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January Monthly Recap

pile-of-booksIt’s time for our first monthly recap of 2018. Find out which books were favorites and which were duds for the month of January. We’ll end our wrap up with a glimpse of what’s coming out in February. 

Jen: After an insane end of 2017, I’ve finally found the time to get back to reading. 2018 is off to a great start for me. I read 14 books this month.  Only 5 books were written by women and only 3 were written but ethnic or racial minority authors. Two books either featured LGBTQ+ characters or were written by LGBTQ+ authors. Two were translated works.

Favorite book read in JanuaryHer Body and Other  Parties by Carmen Maria Machado. You can read my review of that book here. Honorable mention goes to my Iceland book for Read Around the World Challenge, The Greenhouse by Auður Ava Olafsdóttir.

Least favorite book read in January: Women in Love by D.H. Lawrence. I found it rambling and boring. I hated the characters because I found them thoroughly uninteresting and inane.

Future Goals: I have gone overboard with challenges and book swaps. I’m participating in numerous Litsy book swaps, am running a 1001 traveling book swap (if you want to join in, come join our goodreads group: Reading 1001. We are a group of readers making our way through Boxell’s 1001 list of books to read before you die), and am doing way too many reading challenges.

Book Worm:  I have had a slow start to the year. So far I have only read 7 books. In my defence only 2 of those were under 300 pages and 2 were over 400 pages so my page count is pretty good. My mix of male and female is well balanced at 4 male and 3 female authors. The book I am currently reading is also by a female author. I also managed to read 2 translated books and have crossed Iceland and Norway off my read around the world goals.

Favorite book read in January: Independent People by Halldor Laxness. I loved this look at a remote croft in Iceland where superstitions battle daily with Christianity and the realities and hardships of life. This is a book full of ups and downs and the central character Bjartur will drive you mad.

Least Favorite book read in January: Women in Love by D H Lawrence. The only good thing I can say about this book is that it was not as bad as Story of the Eye by Georges Bataille. This book was tedious from start to finish.

Future Goals: I have had to cut back on reading challenges as I just don’t have the time anymore so my aims are pretty much to keep up to date with the Goodreads Reading 1001 monthly, yearly, and quarterly books as well as as TBR challenge.

Upcoming February Releases:
I am, I am, I Am: Seventeen Brushes with Death by Maggie O’Farrell
How to Stop Time by Matt Haig
Jagannath: Stories by Karin Tidbeck. Technically this is already out but is being pushed as a 2018 release. While I don’t love short stories, this collection sounds pretty amazing.
Sadness Is a White Bird by Moriel Rothman-Zecher
Freshwater by Akwaeke Emezi. Debut novel set in Nigeria
What Are We Doing Here: Essays by Marilynne Robinson

What can you look forward to on our blog in February? We’ll be playing catch up and posting some of the backlog of reviews we have. We’ll also be hosting our Read Around the World challenge. February is Turkey and we hope you join us. Time permitting we’ll be featuring Jeannette Winterson as our February author. Finally we’ll be posting lots of book reviews and book-related posts.


We want to hear from you. So what are your plans for February? How was your January? Which books were your favorites and least favorites read this month? 

12 Comments Post a comment
  1. Nicole R #

    Well, I definitely will not be reading Women in Love! lol.

    I am looking forward to your thoughts on How to Stop Time. WaPo called it a “quirky romcom” and that is about all I need to add it to my list! It seems like it would be a good audio.

    Liked by 1 person

    January 31, 2018
    • Yeah, you’d hate Women in Love even more than I did.


      January 31, 2018
    • Anita #

      Me too on Women in Love! Fortunately, I was forewarned by Jen’s initial reaction and ended up reading the alternate selection for Reading 1001.

      Liked by 1 person

      January 31, 2018
      • Ha ha, well I think there were some people In Our group who didn’t hate it


        January 31, 2018
  2. Anita #

    Jen, you read 14 books! How do you do that? Incredible. I read 7 which for me is very good, but unlike Book, I can’t say they even had high page counts. But, I was pretty happy because they were all four stars and above. But only three were what I’d consider literary fiction . . .my usual genre of choice, but where I’m more picky. The other four were non-fiction where I’m less judgmental. Two were from Boxall’s 1001 list, and those were both strong. Favorite: Born a Crime by Trevor Noah. Least favorite: the Soul of an Octopus, but the writing was still very good.

    Liked by 1 person

    January 31, 2018
  3. Very excited to read more reviews from you about the books you recently read! I’ve never heard of Independent People and will be interested to read your thoughts and why it was your favourite book of the month 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    January 31, 2018
  4. Tracy S #

    Independent People was fantastic, and Women in Love, well, wasn’t. My favorite this month from the 1001 list was Bel-Ami by Maupassant, and I very much liked non list books Winter by Ali Smith, White Tears by Hari Kunzru, Improvement by Jean Silber, Idaho by Emily Ruskovich, and The Ninth Hour by Alice McDermott. It was a good reading month.

    Liked by 1 person

    January 31, 2018
  5. Diane Shea #

    Do you plan to do the March Madness challenge again? That was so much fun!


    January 31, 2018
  6. Ugh Women in Love – so dull. But not as bad as another of his books The Rainbow. i had to read them all for my final university module. Yawn……..

    Liked by 1 person

    February 1, 2018
    • Oh no. The Rainbow is on the 1001 list too so I’ll have to read that one one day. I’ve only read Lady Chatterley’s Lover which I thought was okay but not my favorite either.


      February 1, 2018
  7. JoLene #

    I’m pretty sure that I didn’t like Women in Love when I read it in college.

    I read 9 books in Jan, but 4 were graphic novels. 4 were by woman, 1 was POC, and 2 were non-fiction (science-y books). My favorite was A Gentleman in Moscow, but I thought The Hate U Give was thought provoking. I re-read A Wrinkle in Time, which I remembered loving as a kid — it didn’t hold up so well, but that is a common problem when I re-read which is why I don’t do it very often.

    Liked by 1 person

    February 2, 2018

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