A fresh start to the year and a fantastic start to my reading goal. I have kicked reading’s butt this January, even managing to complete a 600 page book without it impacting too much on the rest of my reading.
I mean, yes January has felt like the longest month ever and I’ve had to utilise more than one of my tips for hygge-ing my way through but on the flip side, more days to get through means more days for reading, right?!
As always I love sharing what I’ve been reading with you guys, so please scroll on for some inspiration. And remember that the links here are affiliate links; if you click through and purchase anything it doesn’t cost you any extra but is a great way to support me and my content.
Call Down The Hawk – Maggie Stiefvater
Straight out of the gate; the first book I read and completed in 2020 was an excellent pick. This is a spin-off from Stiefvater’s better known Raven Cycle series and although you don’t need to have read those books to pick up Call Down The Hawk, it does help. Our main character, Ronan, is a main character from the Raven Cycle series and other names do pop up as well. I think you would potentially find it a bit spoiler-y to pick these up having not read The Raven Cycle. Classed as YA paranormal (with a bit of romance), these are easy to read and the perfect option if you want a story to get lost in for a little while. Better for me, Ronan was my favourite character from the RC so for him to have his own series just ticked all the right boxes. He’s just the right amount of angsty, just the right amount of grey and just the right amount of a sweetheart under all that anger and I’m totally here for it.
It’s Not Supposed to Be This Way – Lysa Terkeurst
I started this book several months ago and somehow stalled on reading. I devoured the first few chapters, having picked it up after seeing a friend recommend it on social media but my interest seemed to wane for a short while. This is a book for people with faith (however that looks) and is about how we reconcile what we thought our lives would look like, with how they actually look. If you’ve been through any sort of trauma, be it large or small…any part of your life that feels like it has broken, or not turned out the way you hoped…then this is a good book to pick up. I can’t say that it was life-altering but it certainly offered me new perspective and gave me plenty to ponder along the way.
The Garden of Lost and Found – Harriet Evans
Sadly this was my least favourite pick of the month, but I’m including it here because I feel like, whilst it might have missed the mark for me, it could be a really good read for someone else. This is a dual timeline fiction about a painting and an old family home. It was also my first book by Harriet Evans and having seen such praise for The Wildflowers, I was excited to dip my toe in. Unfortunately, it just didn’t work for me. I found the characters difficult to connect with and the historical part of the dual timeline was overly dramatic and therefore not all that realistic. I could see what Evans was trying to achieve and there were elements of the book which were well done. I suppose when it comes to dual timeline family sagas, Kate Morton is my benchmark and this just didn’t cut it. If family drama, historical fiction and a bit of romance are your thing then this might just be the right kind of book to pick up. But sadly it was only a 2.5 star read for me.
Tower of Dawn (Throne of Glass #6) – Sarah J Maas
I never thought I’d say this about a Sarah J Maas book but…wow. If you’ve been around here a while (or followed me on Youtube) you’ll know I have a fickle relationship with Maas’ books. I devour them, but I have a number of issues with her writing style. This book though, felt different somehow. I don’t know if it’s because I’ve had rather a large break from her books but I loved this story. It was clever to take a side step away from the main Throne of Glass storyline for this book, and a real tease that you picked up on little bits of what was happening elsewhere but never got the full picture. I hope that the final book in this series ‘Kingdom of Ash’ doesn’t just pick up where this one ends but takes us back a little while and runs concurrently with the events here. I particularly enjoyed Maas’ heavy borrowing from the Mongol / Genghis Khan history and how she wove it together with the fantastical element of this YA series. Bear in mind if you choose to pick this up, that these do contain content suitable for mature readers only, despite the YA tag.
Stormbird – Conn Iggulden
If I’ve said it once, I’ve said it a hundred time; Iggulden is one of the most underrated authors in the book community. And I don’t know why! I was very tempted to go back and do a re-read of his Emperor series but decided to give this one a go instead. It’s Iggulden’s version of the War of the Roses and although this is a part of history which has seemingly been done to death by authors I thought that Iggulden’s take was pretty good. Iggulden does here what he does well; manages to blend fact with fiction almost seamlessly, however I did have a few niggles with this book. There were a lot of characters to follow, and I found it difficult to connect with any of them for this reason. I’m hoping that this book was simply setting the scene and the follow-on books will read more smoothly. That said, the final extra chapter featuring a young Suffolk reminded my exactly why I loved Iggulden and it was well worth it.
I’d love to know what your favourite book from January was. And Happy Reading!