Books of January

Thursday, 2 February 2017

Books to read

January has been my most productive month for reading since I started these “Books of” posts. I somehow managed to get through 5 books (my other half insisting on binging on a show that doesn’t interest me probably helped with that) and I’m feeling pretty pleased with myself. I managed to get through the remaining books in my latest book haul so now I have an excuse to buy more books. January, you were wonderful!

Ok, enough self-indulgence, let’s get into this.

Books to read

Lust by Roald Dahl was the first book I finished in January and I really struggled with it, to begin with. After enjoying Cruelty, a book that is made up of short stories focusing on human cruelty, I thought I would enjoy Lust just as much but I couldn’t get into it at first. The first few short stories didn’t really suggest Roald Dahl to me; I felt like they could have been written by anyone. It wasn’t until I reached The Visitor that I felt like Roald Dahl’s voice was present and I could begin to enjoy each story. The Visitor actually made me laugh out loud (a tough thing for any book to do) so it sort of made up for the shaky beginning.

Small Great Things by Jodi Picoult was probably the best book I read last year so I was eager to read more of her work. I ended up reading The Storyteller after finishing Lust and I am so happy I did as it is amazing. When it comes to emotion, I have very few so when a book almost leaves me in floods of tears, you know it has some power.

Books to read

The Storyteller is about a baker who hides from the world as she is ashamed of her facial scars. She befriends a man at a grief group but while the man is loved by the whole community, he hides a very dark secret and seeks the help of the baker to end his life. I won’t go into too much detail but the story of the Holocaust and Nazism is the main focus of The Storyteller and at points, it’s difficult to read. The Storyteller is beautifully told and is incredibly well researched. Jodi Picoult has just made me thirsty for more of her books.

The Whistler by John Grisham was picked up after The Storyteller was devoured. I was rather apprehensive about The Whistler as a story that follows a woman investigating potential judicial fraud isn’t my cup of tea and alas, I was right to be apprehensive. The only real twist in the book failed to shock me and the substantial amount of characters left me confused. The Whistler seems muddled and it’s rather lacklustre. I have heard that John Grisham’s other work is supposed to be fantastic so I’m happy to give another book of his a shot.

I followed The Whistler up with a book I was more excited about. The Beautiful Dead by Belinda Bauer sounds a little like Nightcrawler only it’s far more exciting (sorry Jake Gyllenhaal). It follows the story of a young TV news reporter who solely discusses murders in London. The book opens with another woman being murdered and, while there is no real shock value throughout, the beginning alone had me hooked and I struggled to put The Beautiful Dead down.

The only negative comment I have about The Beautiful Dead is the ending felt very rushed. I had predicted how it would end a hundred pages or so before so I was quite disappointed to find I was correct.

Books to read

The Miniaturist by Jessie Burton was the fifth and final book I read in January and I only just managed to squeeze it in. I had 6 days to read The Miniaturist which I thought was more than enough but the first 100 pages made me fall asleep 3 nights in a row so I was a little too optimistic.

The Miniaturist is set in Amsterdam in the 1600s and follows the story of Petronella, an 18-year-old girl who has married a wealthy merchant. Her life should now be perfect but her husband doesn’t go near her, her sister-in-law doesn’t seem to like her and there’s something very off about the entire situation. The story is beautifully written and is wonderfully descriptive but absolutely nothing happens and yet somehow, The Miniaturist is captivating.

Once I stopped falling asleep I found myself insisting on reading just one more chapter. I don’t understand how a book can be so dull yet so brilliant but somehow The Miniaturist is. The story leaves a lot to be desired and I felt like there was little explanation as to what was actually going on but I somehow still enjoyed it. This book has left me very confused!

Unlike December, I wasn’t overly disappointed with the books I read in January. I felt like The Whistler could have been significantly better and Lust didn’t always offer the best examples of Roald Dahl’s work but for the most part, I’m pleased with my reading choices. I have a few books in mind for February so I’m excited to get started and, judging by the weight of one of them, I’m going to have some serious muscles when I’m done.

No comments

Post a comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...