Wrap-Up: January 2017

The time has come to see exactly how much of my January TBR I managed to actually read!! To be honest, I was surprised by how much I read, although, obviously, I did not finish all the book from my TBR. I read 7 books from my 12 books TBR and 2 book that were not on my list. In total, 9 books - but if I break them down, then I read: 3 plays, 2 audio-books, 1 novel, 1 (quite long) essay, 1 collection of short stories and 1 children's book.

So maybe I did not read as much, but it is a good start, plus I purchased some books that I always wanted to have in my collection and read about half of another book, but did not finish in January. That being said, let's chat more about my January books!

Taking them in the order I mentioned them in my TBR, I read both books picked from my bookcase:
The Remains of the Day by Kazuo Ishiguro ★★★★☆ 
Also known as the book that I carried in my bag all month almost, but I don't plan to talk too much about it because there's already a review on Goodreads and I want to make a blog post about this book and the film adaptation. But since it got 4 stars, I clearly enjoyed it! 
A Room of One's Own by Virginia Woolf ★★★★☆ 
I am trying to remember why I gave this book four stars instead of five a few days ago, because the truth is Woolf's writing is gorgeous. Plus it's research is great and while she shares so many facts and opinions, it never feels heavy - although I had to stop a few times to google things up. It's a book on women and writing (and women in fiction); it dwells a lot on why women did not write as much in the past and what they needed (and need) in order to do it. And she does it in beautiful aesthetic ways, yet quite simple. I guess it's more of a 4.5/5 because some parts of it were... probably perfect for the decade it was written in, however not relevant.

Possibly my only regret of the month is that I did not read the free Samsung book (Opal Fire by Barbra Annino), but to be honest I had a lot of other interesting books and I did not have the tablet with me in order to read it. But the best part of the month is that I managed to read all three Shakespeare plays for January and I made a post about them here! These three plays made me realize that I have quite bad taste when it comes to plays or Shakespeare.

On the books-I-was-already-reading-when-January-started, I have to admit that I did not do that well. I have yet to finish The Archived by Victoria Schwab, and although it's really interesting and I read quite a lot of chapters in January, it never catches me in that fashion that makes it hard to put the book down - which is why I put it down and read a lot of other things (I will continue to read it in February, and hopefully finish it, but I won't mention it on my TBR). But, alas, I finished the other book I started in December:
Dune (Dune #1) by Frank Herbert ★★★★☆ 
Another book I am not sure why I only gave it four stars, because it is a fascinating story in a complex world (check my Goodreads notes as well). It is intriguing and on so many levels - there's parts about the environment, there's politics, there's religion... and it feels real. That's how good the world-building is, that you do not really feel it's a science fiction book. I think I should do the same with Dune that I want to do with The Remains of the Day, but I need to get my hands on the film first.

From the rest of my TBR, I only read one book (you will see shortly), but I am glad that I finally purchased the edition from One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez - I only read a page from the book (because I had to!!) and now, that I own the book, I will keep it for a summer read or something like that. As for The Three Musketeers by Alexandre Dumas, I did not even start, but I have two months left to read it, right? And another book I did not start nor have the intention to add it on my next TBR too soon is The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead - truth is historical fiction is not something I read too much and I find it hard to start, but I am not saying I won't return to this book one day (hopefully in 2017). So here's the other book I read from my TBR:
Kissing the Witch: Old Tales in New Skins by Emma Donoghue ★★☆☆☆ 
Fairy tales retold with a twist where the women have other intentions, where they fall in love with other women, where they save themselves, where we hear the stories of the evil characters and so on. I really wanted to enjoy it more, but the writing was lacking and most of the stories felt like they were just ideas on napkins, not fully-developed or detailed enough. I am still expecting more, and although I liked the twists and turns, the fact that the stories were either too simple, either poorly written, it made me enjoy it less.

So the three Shakespeare plays and four other books were read from my TBR. I think that's pretty good! But as I said, if there's a book I really want to read then not even my TBR is going to stop me from reading, so here are the books that were not on the TBR, but were read last month:

End of Watch (Bill Hodges Trilogy #3) by Stephen King ★★☆☆☆ 
I really wanted to like this book because I love the rest of the series. However, Stephen King had to go all Stephen King on its final book from this trilogy and I did not enjoy it no matter how excited I was to read it. In this book, our villain from the first book returns - this time not only with a plan to kill people, but with supernatural powers because having a good crime series is not enough to keep King happy. Okay, I am still really mad and frustrated because of this book. It's not bad, just silly at times and definitely not as good as the first two simple awesome crime novels! 
The Bad Beginning (A Series of Unfortunate Events #1) by Lemony Snicket ★★★★☆ 
After watching the Netflix series, I just had to buy the book! And it came and I had to read - I wanted to add it on my February TBR, but I ended up reading it in the last day of January! The book is great - and I enjoyed it more now, as an "adult", than when I was a little kid. Isn't that funny? It's funny, melancholic, and the writing and narration is just to-die-for!

See, it was a good reading month and a great way to start the year! Now I will take a short break, and hopefully I will write my February TBR this evening - because tomorrow I am flying to my family to spend some time with them (so I might skip a Friday Reads, but I hope I won't).

Happy Reading!

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