Monday, 1 February 2021

What I Read In January

Books marked * were either sent via Netgalley to review or as a PR sample but all views are my own

 If you've been following my blog for the last few years you'll have seen that each year I like to set myself a reading goal. Usually throughout the year I'll do a few mini updates, usually every few months and I share my thoughts on the books I've been reading. This year I'm aiming for 80 books. I've managed to read over 100 books the last two years but I found towards the end of last year I was getting really picky and I found myself getting disappointed quite a lot, probably just because I was reading so much in one go. I also know when I'm busy I can go ages without picking up a book and I'd love a busy year with Bear's Brownies & More so if that becomes a reality, I just don't think I'd be able to reach 100 again. I know 80 isn't loads less but I still think it could be do-able. Anyway, long story short, I'm changing things up and I'm going to share a 'what I read this month' each month instead. I just think this will mean they'll be less books for you to read about in one go and I can go into a bit more detail about the ones I've really loved. So, here's what I read in January.

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by J.K. Rowling - ⭐⭐⭐⭐
The last book I read in 2020 was Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone and I gave it 5 stars so it was a great one to end the year on. I started Chamber of Secrets as soon as the New Year hit and I thoroughly enjoyed it. I'm not quite sure why it's not five stars like the first book but I can just tell when one is. I'm pretty sure I read the first few Harry Potter books when I was younger but I can't remember reading the last couple so this year, even though I'm sure I'll space them out, I want to get through them all. I adore the films and at the time of reading this, we were re-watching them all again for the millionth time but I'm loving getting a bit more detail from the books.

Haven't They Grown by Sophie Hannah - ⭐⭐
'Twelve years have passed, the children don't look a day older. Why?' That alone on the cover had me desperate to read the book every time I spotted it in a shop so when I saw it was 99p on Kindle, I bought it and got stuck in straight away. Unfortunately there was so much about it I didn't like. The characters were so unlikeable, it all felt so far fetched and some of the dialogue was just a bit strange, everything was so matter of fact at times. This has such a fantastic premise and could have been amazing but I ended up feeling really let down by it.

Never Greener by Ruth Jones - ⭐⭐⭐
I love Ruth Jones. I was so keen to finally read one of her books and actually really intrigued as she's clearly a great writer going on the success of Gavin and Stacey (which is a masterpiece let's be honest). I ended up feeling quite conflicted about this though. Never Greener is about Kate who at 22 had an affair with married man Callum. Years later when they've both moved on and had children, they meet again and find the feelings are just as intense and hard to ignore as before. They're faced with a choice - walk away or find out what might have been. From the beginning I didn't like Kate so it was hard to feel much sympathy for her and all the way through I just wanted Callum to realise what he was risking as I LOVED his wife Belinda. I think it's a brilliantly written book with lots of humour throughout but I'm not sure it's one I'd be recommending to everyone.

The Duke & I by Julia Quinn - ⭐⭐⭐⭐
Did anyone else absolutely love Bridgerton which was released recently on Netflix? We flew through it in a matter of days and I grabbed the book soon afterwards as I loved it so much. Even though I didn't race through this, I found it such an easy read. I just took my time with it and really enjoyed reading a few chapters each evening. Daphne and Simon were just perfection.

Until Next Weekend by Rachel Marks* - ⭐⭐⭐⭐
I absolutely loved Rachel's first book, Saturdays at Noon so I was so excited to read her latest book. Until Next Weekend follows Noah, a 'weekend dad' on a mission to win back his ex-wife Kate. He misses the life they used to have together, he misses spending everyday with his boys and he's decided enough is enough, he's going to change. At first I wasn't sure how I felt about Noah, it seemed like Kate had been well within her rights to make the decision she did but as the book went on, I really grew to like him and every character actually. The story felt very believable and after we find out what Noah went through growing up, it was very easy to feel sympathy for him and hope he would get the ending he wanted. There's no denying Rachel is a fantastic writer, this had some really emotional moments throughout which I didn't expect but there was humour thrown in too and it was the perfect balance. I can't wait to read more from Rachel in future.

The Thursday Murder Club by Richard Osman - ⭐⭐⭐
I'm not gonna lie, I didn't love this as much as I hoped I would. Maybe I went into it with too high expectations, I don't know, but it's one of those books that seems to be endlessly spoken about at the minute but I just didn't feel what it seems everyone else is. It took a long time for me to really feel interested in the story unfortunately and the writing wasn't quite flowing for me. Not every book is for you and that's okay so I'm still glad I read it but I'm not sure I'll be reading the sequel.

So that's everything I read in January! I had about 2 weeks where I didn't really pick a book up so I'm glad I still managed to get through 6 before the end of the month.

What did you read in January? Have you read any of these books?

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jennyinneverland said...

I remember reading a Sophie Hannah book a good while ago now and I hated it - it was so weird. So probably won’t pick this one up! The Chamber of Secrets is my favourite HP book, I think!

Lindsey said...

I still haven't quite got around to Bridgerton yet but don't think I realised it was a book first - now feels like I should read that first, but considering by TBR and to be watched pile, that's probably a bad call. I'm listening to the Harry Potter audio books for the first time and it's definitely fun returning to them. Good luck with your goal - I'm setting mine lower this year because I couldn't make it last time.

LoveRosiee said...

I just started re-reading Chamber of Secrets this week! I read all the HP books as a kid but I got them all brand new for Christmas and wanted to get back into it!


Hannah said...

How did I not know that Bridgerton came from a book. I need to get around to watching it and reading it haha!xx

Hannah |

Heather Nixon said...

I definitely want to read a couple of these x

Sophie Naylor said...

I've only ever read half of the first Harry Potter book and then life got in the way! I really love the films though so I definitely need to give the books another go :) x

Kayleigh said...

I recently bought all of the Bridgeton books and I've been loving the Duke and I, it's such a good read. I also really enjoyed reading the chamber of secrets too x

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