January Reads and February Plans

Hello dear readers!

I hope your January has been fantastic and that you’ve been welcoming the new year with open arms, feeling excited for things to come. I’ve read so many wonderful posts both in reflection of 2014 as well as fun projects for 2015, that opening my blog feed has always put a smile on my lips. I had a small bout of blogging from 27th December to around 2nd January when I posted every day and I loved it. Things have calmed down since then, which is probably for the best because I do have to work and study too 🙂 In January I shared my 15 in 2015 reading challenge as well listed some other goals I had for reading. Other non-review posts that I published after the New Years were my Bout of Books week posts (1&2), sharing Oxford Culture Review’s giveaway post for White Hunger and the news about the BBC’s Greatest Novels of 21st Century.

Since I read a total of 9 books in January, there are still a few that I need to write reviews for. I do also have a book haul coming up which will consist of 13 books that I bought in January alone. So many books to read, so little time. A quick summary of my reading month would be this: There were many books that I loved this month, but also a few that I enjoyed but forgot soon after. I also did manage to read a short story collection for the Jazz Age January event. The highlight of the month was finishing The Name of the Rose, which I’ve had on my TBR list for ages. On the other hand, I had high hopes for Neil Gaiman’s The Graveyard Book, but ended up feeling rather ‘meh’ about it.

Books read in January:

10820890A Woman of No Importance features a young man named Gerald Arbuthnot who is invited to work for a highly fashionable gentleman, Mr Illingworth, by the recommendation of Mrs Hunstanton. Mrs Hunstanton hosts a dinner party for her friends, with the intention to introduce the mother, Mrs Arbuthnot, to the gentleman and thus gain her permission for the venture. However, as the awaited meeting happens, things don’t go as planned and old secrets are brought to daylight. I’ve been reading one of Wilde’s plays per month since October and although I love the fact that gives more attention to each play, I’ve also begun noticing some themes and elements that are repeating. I read A Woman of No Importance during the Bout of Books readathon, and though it was fun and witty, some of the punches turned out to be duds. Nevertheless, the play had some interesting man vs woman dabates and I loved the character of Mrs Arbuthnot. 3.5/5

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I’d set the Dial M for Murdoch as my non-fiction read of the month, but instead I picked up The Entrepreneurial Linguist: The Business-School Approach to Freelance Translation by Judy and Dagmar Jenner. The Jenners are twins who have their own small translation business and who have been active bloggers in Translation Times. I’m not going to go on more detail about the book, because the topic is a rather niche one. The Entrepreneurial Linguist is a sort of a self-help/tips and how-to for translators who either have their own translation business or are considering starting one. It has a lot of interesting tips and anecdotes, but in the end I found it really hard to rate it because I didn’t really have anything to compare it to. However, I really enjoyed reading about translating and the book did inspire me to think more about entrepreneurship, so I gave the book 4/5 stars.

Books on my February TBR:

  • When the Doves Disappeared by Sofi Oksanen (currently reading)
  • Terrifying Tales by Edgar Allan Poe (currently reading)
  • An Ideal Husband by Oscar Wilde
  • 1984 by George Orwell
  • Never Trust a Happy Song by Natalie Bina
  • Night Film by Marisha Pessl
  • Lost In a Good Book by Jasper Fforde

Firstly, I have two review copies on my February TBR: When the Doves Disappeared is the second novel by Sofi Oksanen to be translated into English (the first one being Purge) and it will be released on February 10th. It’s set in Estonia in the 1940s and portrays the lives of Estonians in the conflict between Soviet Union and Germany. Never Trust a Happy Song is YA novel about a studious teenage girl attending a prestigious summer program but who is thrown into the society of people who don’t necessarily value academic success over everything. The book will be republished as an e-book on March 14th.

I picked up the e-book of Poe’s Terrifying Tales on a whim and I’ve been enjoying reading the creepy tales although Halloween is long gone. So far I’ve only been reading the stories during breakfast time, but I think I’ll save the rest for the evenings, because it suits the mood better. My collection of Oscar Wilde’s plays is down to its final play, An Ideal Husband, which is also the longest play in the collection. After the small disappointment of A Woman of No Importance, I hope that this will settle the score. Another book from my collection is George Orwell’s 1984 which I bought on sale in the beginning of January. I can’t wait to read one of Orwell’s greatest novels and I think I’ll need a bit of dystopian in my February.

Lastly on my list are two library loans: Night Film by Marsiha Pessl and Lost In a Good Book by Jasper Fforde. I’ve heard nothing but great things about Night Film, which is a mystery novel surrounding the suicide of the daughter of a famous director, and I can’t wait to delve into this monster of a book (it’s over 600 pages). Lost In a Good Book is the sequel to The Eyre Affair, and I’m so glad that I can finally continue with the series and see what type of shenanigans Thursday Next has before her. The blurb at the back is certainly intriguing!

That is it for this post. You should expect to see the reviews for The Graveyard Book and If I Stay soon, so if you’re interested, keep your eyes open for those as well as other bookish posts. In the meantime, let me know what was your favourite book in January!

Cheers! x

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7 thoughts on “January Reads and February Plans

  1. I’m going to start taking notes on the books you review. I have a list that I’ve been working on for a year. What is your secret to reading NINE books in a month? Seriously. I’m lucky if I get two read in one month, haha! I’ve been reading a lot of classics and books that “you just have to read”. 1984 by Orwell was on that list and it is a great, intellectual read. Right now I’m working on Gulliver’s Travels. Thanks for posting & have a great day.

    • Haha, I don’t know if I have a secret. I was on holiday in the beginning of the month and just generally had more free time than usually 🙂 Plus I read mostly books that have been written in the past 20 years, which means they are a bit quicker reads than many of the classics.
      But I’m really excited for 1984! Let me know what you think of Gulliver’s Travels, because I’ve had that one sitting on my shelves for the longest time.

      • I guess that makes sense. I finally found a way to fit it into my schedule but then I picked up a second job, so now it is nearly impossible. I have time at the end of the night but now I am just so tired I can’t do it. I fall asleep on the first sentence.

        You’ll enjoy 1984. It will make you feel like you’re in another world.

        The classics DO take forever. You’re so right. Hm. I will let you know how it goes. It isn’t jumping out to me yet but I think it will be a good book once I have time to flip through some pages.

  2. It looks like you had a great reading month in January 🙂 Good luck with your February TBR as well! I’m looking forward to your reviews 🙂

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