January is a month that I’ve struggled with in recent years but actually this January didn’t weigh on me quite as much so I feel like I’ve made progress in coming to terms with some things. I also turned 40 this month so am determined that my 40s will be fabulous!
I always plan ahead to keep my mind occupied in January so this time my plan was simple… read lots of good books! And I definitely succeeded with this! I read more books in January then ever before (since I started keeping record of what I read) and ended up finishing 34 books over the month! I can’t pick a single favourite as pretty much every book was really good but I have to give a special mention to Ideal Angels by Robert Welbourn because that book was incredible and it won’t let go of my thoughts!
I also managed a lot more blogging in January than I’ve done for a while and I’m really enjoying it. It feels like my blogging mojo is fully back now after the wobble I had over the summer so hopefully it will stick around now!
Here are the books I read in January:
The Mermaid and Mrs Hancock by Imogen Hermes Gowar
This was a Christmas present from my husband. I’ve been wanting to read it for a while and it was worth the wait because I loved it. I already feel that this will make my favourite books of the year so 2019 was off to an amazing start!
Ivy and Abe by Elizabeth Enfield
I had an ARC of this book but I decided to listen to the audio book while I was feeling unwell and I very much enjoyed it. I’m fascinated by the idea of fate so this book was right up my street. I do plan on reviewing it when I get a chance.
The Liar’s Girl by Catherine Ryan Howard
This was another excellent book that I just couldn’t put down! I’ve already reviewed this so you can see my full thoughts here if you’d like to.
The Hunting Party by Lucy Foley
This book a really good way to pass a cold, wintery day when I needed some escapism! My review is here if you’d like to know more.
The Signature of All Things by Elizabeth Gilbert
I’ve had this book on my TBR for ages and so I decided to part listen to the audio and part read it and I adored it. It was everything I hoped it would be and more!
This book was brilliant, it more than lived up to my expectations for it and is another book that I think may well be on my top books of the year! My review is here if you’d like to read it.
The Story Keeper by Anna Mazzola
This book is so atmospheric and had me gripped from start to finish. Find out more in my review here.
No More Plastic by Martin Dorey
This was an interesting introduction to reducing plastic but I was hoping to learn more. I’d definitely recommend it if you’re looking for somewhere to start though.
The Perfect Girlfriend by Karen Hamilton
I’d had an ARC of this on my TBR for quite a while and I finally picked it up in January and I ended up reading it in one sitting, it was so good! Here’s my full review!
The Second Sister by Claire Kendall
I bought this book sometime last year and I spotted it when I was tidying up my shelves last month so kept it out to read. It was a good thriller, it kept me turning the pages!
Ideal Angels by Robert Welbourn
This book is incredible. I loved it, even though it broke my heart. I know this book will be in my favourite reads of 2019, it just won’t let go of me. My full review is here if you’d like to know more.
The Party by Lisa Hall
This book was an okay read, it was one I read over the space of a couple of hours but it wasn’t as thrilling as I’d hoped.
Storyteller: The Authorised Biography of Roald Dahl by Donald Sturrock
I’ve had the audio book of this for ages and it caught my eye when I was going through my Audible app recently. I very much enjoyed learning more about Roald Dahl, and I now want to read all my favourite of his books!
The Language of Kindness by Christie Watson
I’ve wanted to read this ever since I first heard about it so when I spotted it on an Audible deal recently I snapped it up. I listened to it over a couple of days and found it really interesting. It didn’t have the same lasting impression as Adam Kay’s book but it was a good listen.
The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides
I was lucky to receive an ARC of this last year and finally picked it up a couple of weeks ago and I devoured it in one sitting. It is such a brilliant novel, I loved it! My review is here if you’d like to know more.
Into the Silent Sea by Claire Stibbe
This was a really good thriller and another book that I flew through as I simply had to know how it would all end. Here’s my review!
I’ve read and enjoyed Fiona Barton’s previous two novels so I was delighted to receive a copy of this one. This is a brilliant novel, definitely Fiona’s best yet and I loved it. My full review is here if you’d like to know more.
Our Kind of Cruelty by Araminta Hall
This is another ARC that has been on my TBR longer than it should but when I did pick it up I devoured it. I was gripped from start to finish. I hope to get my review finished and posted soon.
This was a really good read, although I struggled at times with the child narrator. Here’s my review.
Need to Know by Karen Cleveland
I read this novel in one sitting over the course of an afternoon and I loved it. I was intrigued from the opening chapter and it had me hooked right to the end. I’ll be reviewing this one soon.
Dear Mrs Bird by AJ Pearce
I had an ARC of this so I read it while also listening to the audio book and I really enjoyed it. It’s such a wonderful novel, one that I think I might re-read in the future. I hope to get my review posted soon.
Bring me Back by BA Paris
Sadly I didn’t really get on with this book, it was too far-fetched to me and it just didn’t gel at all. I have enjoyed a previous book by the author so maybe this just wasn’t the right book for me.
The Art of Asking by Amanda Palmer
This book has been on my TBR since it was first published but I’ve put off reading it because it felt like it was no longer for me. I’m so glad that I gave it a go though as I got a lot more out of it than I was expecting to so I recommend it.
Diversify by June Sarpong
This book was hit and miss for me. There were chapters that really struck a chord and others that didn’t. I’m glad I read it though, it was interesting for the most part.
The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle by Stuart Turton
I finally read this book and I can totally see why it got so much praise last year! I loved it too, it was so different to other books in this genre and I really appreciate how much work it must have taken.
Dead Girls by Graeme Cameron
This was a good read, it wasn’t as good as the previous book Normal but it was still a book that I read in just two sittings.
Notes on A Nervous Planet by Matt Haig
This was another Christmas present and I’m glad I picked it up when I did. I found it even more useful than I was expecting to and I think it is a book that I will go back to in the future.
A Very English Scandal by John Preston
This audio book was fascinating, shocking but really interesting. I already knew some things about this case but there was so much I didn’t know. I was hooked all the way through this book, it left me reeling!
Senseless by Anna Lickley
This is such a good novel. It’s got a great storyline, which I really enjoyed and it also has excellent disability representation, which I very much appreciate in a novel. I’ll be reviewing this in February for the blog tour!
Tilly and the Bookwanderers: Pages & Co. by Anna James
I got this book for Christmas and I saved it to read on the anniversary of my mum’s death when I knew I would need a comforting read. This book was everything I hope it would be and so much more besides, I adored it! I’m hoping to get a chance to re-read A Little Princess soon as it’s reminded me how much I loved that novel as a child.
The Six Loves of Billy Binns by Richard Lumsden
This book was beautiful, so much more more than I was expecting it to be and I loved it. I’ve already reviewed this so you can see that here if you’d like to know more.
The Cactus by Sarah Hayward
This book is gorgeous! I read it in one sitting and I completely and utterly fell in love with it. I’ll definitely be reviewing this one soon but in the meantime I highly recommend it!
Someone Like Me by MR Carey
I was sent an ARC of this and was told it was a thriller so I was a bit discombobulated when I started reading it. I’m still not sure what I think of it but I did read it in just a couple of sittings so it definitely gripped me!
Spare Room by Dreda Say Mitchell
I read this book in one sitting and it kept me up way past my bed time as I just couldn’t put it down! I reviewed this one yesterday so you can find that here if you’d like to know more.
January Blog Posts & Reviews:
My Favourite Novels Read in 2018
My Favourite Non-Fiction Read in 2018
Reading Bingo for 2018! Was it a full house for me??
2018 Reading Reflections, Statistics and Plans for Tackling the TBR
Stacking the Shelves (5th Jan)
Mini Crime and Thriller Book Reviews featuring A Noise Downstairs by Linwood Barclay, The Mystery of Three Quarters by Sophie Hannah, All The Hidden Truths by Claire Askew and Bluebird Bluebird by Attica Locke)
Review of The Liar’s Girl by Catherine Ryan Hyde
Review of The Story Keeper by Anna Mazzola
Review of The Perfect Girlfriend by Karen Hamilton
Review of The Rumour by Lesley Kara
Review of The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides
Review of The Hunting Party by Lucy Foley
Review of Only Child by Rhiannon Navin
Review of Ideal Angels by Robert Welbourn
The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying up and How the #KonMari Method Changed My Life!
This was a much more personal post than I normally share on my blog but I wanted to share how following Marie Kondo’s de-cluttering methods had actually made a huge difference to my life!
Music Monday: In My Life by The Beatles
Review of Into the Silent Sea by Claire Stibbe
Review of The Suspect by Fiona Barton
The Six Loves of Billy Binns by Richard Lumsden
Review of Spare Room by Dreda Say Mitchell
The state of my TBR:
Well, in 2018 I succeeded in reducing my mammoth TBR… but 2019 has been the month with all the books. I started January with 2447 books (this is books that I own, I don’t add books to my TBR if I don’t own them) and have ended the month with 2464 books. Oops! This is in spite of me reading 34 books off my TBR this month, the fact is that I’ve acquired 51 books so overall my TBR has increased by 17 books. My plan is to reduce my TBR by 20 books every month so I need to do some serious reading and/or unhauling (unhauling keeps autocorrecting to unfailing and I was so tempted to leave it at that! Haha!) in February to get back on track! In all seriousness though I’m not worried as last year the reduction of my TBR happened over the course of the year so I feel sure I’ll be back on track come December 31st!
How was your January? I hope you all had a good month and that you read lots of good books. Did you read many books? What was your favourite book of the month? Please tell me in the comments, I’d love to know. Also, if you have a blog please feel free to leave a link to your month’s wrap-up post and I’ll be sure to read and comment back. 🙂