Reads and reviews January 2023

      Comments Off on Reads and reviews January 2023

I’m sooo behind om my reading. My health is a big priority right now and I am glad I can still fit SOME reading into my new schedule, even though it’s not as much as I would like to.

Sadly enough, January wasn’t a good reading month quality wise. The majority was to be mysterious, tense and dark, basically how I like my books, but instead they were disappointing. My average rating was hardly higher than 3 stars!

Most of the read books this month were from my own cabinets, and the ones I didn’t enjoy will be traveling along again. Someone else might enjoy them better. Only 1, from the 7 read books, came from the library. It was funnily enough also the only 5-star read.

Since I was also participating in both NewYearsaThon and the Winter Mixtape, I made a tbr for January suiting both of these readathon bingo’s. I did well on the tbr! I hardly got sidetracked. Whenever I finished a book, I knew what to pick next. It was nice to not having to think about it too much.

These were the books I picked for my tbr, let’s see how many and which of them I’ve read:

#1 Winter, by Jacq. P. Thijsse (Dutch, 5 stars)
I was lucky to retrieve this beautiful edition from 1986, where the drawn colored pictures were pasted in. Reading Thijsse always is both informative as relaxing, if you decide not to think about how little and how much things have changed since he put ink on paper. I loved this so much, I am now hunting and buying all of the four seasons of this series and will read one of them every start of the season this year.

#2 The IT Girl by Ruth Ware (English, 3 stars)
A college in Oxford. A bookshop in Edinburgh. This book has some delicious settings. It felt a bit too much Coming of Age, which is not really my style. But despite that, it reads away easily and fluently, and because of that sucks you in. The story itself is playing a lot into this age of anxieties, which probably makes it real for many people. It’s also clear “that something’s up” early in the story, but it’s still too hard to put a finger on. A page-turner? Not really, for a bit more than the first halve there was hardly any tension or much of a mystery.

Took me three days to struggle through it. I don’t think I am going to read more by her, this is the third book I’ve read and even though she is very good at plot twists, it’s just not exciting enough getting there.

#3 Fairy Tale by Stephen King (English, 4.25 stars)
Another one of Stephen King’s great character stories. It was slow, but in a relaxing comforting way. There was plenty of adventure to be had. It could have done with a bit less referencing, but that is SK’s way… and most of them, were easy to understand and added to the story.

I’m not sure I fell entirely in love with it though. It felt a bit like there were three books. The one of Charlie and Mr Bowditch in this world, the one of Charlie and Radar in the other world, and the third story I won’t say anything about because that would be spoiling things. All three of them are great. And the world of Empis truly sounds like something from a fairy tale. But despite it making me feel comforted, most of this is done before. The book is nothing groundbreaking. Just something to pass good time with.

#4 Winter in Madris by C.J. Sansom (Dutch, 3.5 stars)
Even though I read this thick book in 3 days, I can’t say I recommend it. The writing was good, even though the pacing was slow. There aren’t many books written about this time in Spain, which was interesting. I don’t know if the historical facts were accurate enough, even though the writer states that he only changed two of them time-wise.

There was quite a bit of romance going on, (which I didn’t particularly like), some intrigue and adventure, (which I did like), but overall the book was just… sad. Sad in the many ways a war is sad, but sometimes that sadness can be beautiful and poetic, in this case it’s just sadness. Considering the dark time of year, I did enjoy this read. But it will be traveling along to a nearby Free Little Library soon. I do not need to reread this.

#5 the Tao of Pooh by Benjamin Hoff (Dutch, 2 stars)
I think this is the first Pooh-related book I didn’t enjoy. It was too cluttered, which is kind of funny if you think about it’s subject, Taoism by Pooh-bear. The clutteredness made it confusing and I didn’t really learn much about Taoisme from this. It felt like random quotes/pieces intertwined with Pooh’s stories and a conversation between the writer and the Pooh-characters. I only gave it two stars because the idea still appeals to me. It was set up in a fun way, but it sadly didn’t work out. Some later research revealed that this was possibly due to the Dutch translation.

#6 Glass Houses by Louise Penny (English, 3.5 stars)
I must admit, I liked this one a little less than previous ones. Am I done with this series? Something was off, right from the beginning. There was far more explaining about past events than usual, which felt somehow forced a bit. It wasn’t until further on that the story started to catch on. A good idea of a story. The last 100 pages were a rush, and brought me to tears once again. It wasn’t until the afterword I understood why this book felt a bit off. Louise Penny wrote it right after her husband died. To find comfort. To distract. That pain was one the pages, blocking the happiness that usually accompanies the village of Three Pines.

#7 A Flicker in the Dark by Stacey Willingham (Dutch, 2 stars)
Boringly predictable, it was also very annoying to have a main character who wouldn’t be believed because she has a history with mental illnesses. It also didn’t help much that she was selfmedicating on illegal medicine. An unrealiable narrator in a twist. To be honest, when I look at it now a couple of weeks later I hardly remember the story.

So, these were my reads! As you can see I’ve had opinions. Will next monthly review be better?