January Wrap Up

Hey everyone! I do realise that it has been a while, and I will not bore you with all the reasons as to why I haven’t written about books for a while. But I have an idea which I hope will work with my insane schedule. Since I’m on winter break, there’s no time like the present to kick this off.

Although I had exams throughout January, my reading productivity seemed to peak during it. And in fact, I performed best on the exams that I was reading a lot while preparing for, so I’m very happy about that. Anyway, here’s a post to sum up all the things I’ve read during my busy January.

My full reviews on Goodreads are linked below on each book’s title.

 

 NONFICTION:

Nonficion

  • The Fire Next Time by James Baldwin: Political, religious, but elegant, powerful, and never preaching. I found beauty in the way Baldwin expresses his thoughts and I look forward to reading his fiction.
  • Men Explain Things to Me by Rebecca Solnit: If you’re like me and you thought that this is just a book of anecdotes where men are being self-important know-it-alls, you’re wrong. This is a collection of very different essays, all well written, many supported by numbers and facts. It is, by far, one of the most eye-opening books I’ve read about feminism.
  • Memories of a Meltdown by Mohamed Makhzangi: It’s a deconstructed memoir (or rather anti-memoirs) of a young physician studying/working abroad. It’s a blend of art, poetry, and politics. Enjoyable even if slightly inconsistent. But I would also say that it’s translated beautifully.

 

FICTION

ficion

  • The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath: I was so scared of this book because the way people talked about it always made me believe that I’d end up loving it and I worried it wouldn’t live up to all the zeal. But it did. If anything, it surpassed it. And I highly recommend listening to the audiobook narrated by Maggie Gyllenhaal. It’s a thing of beauty! It’s probably going to be one of my top ten books of this year!
  • Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston: Honestly, I almost gave up on this book for the second time. But I’m glad I stuck to it because it gets good so suddenly, and the characters start leaping off the page. They are so real and so flawed; undefined and constantly growing and changing throughout the story. It was a really interesting read.
  • Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe: I decided to pick this book up again and finish it off, and it was an excellent decision. Good job, me! This book, too, picks up the speed all of a sudden after page 100 (ONE FREAKING HUNDRED) to explore a lot of topics and ideas. I was really surprised by how it left me feeling about the main character. Also filed under ‘interesting’ reads.
  • Life After Life by Kate Atkinson: I would’ve absolutely loved this book had it been 200, or even a 100 pages shorter. At some point, it just started dragging out pointlessly for me, even though it was exactly my cup of tea. English countryside, World War II, a touch of science fiction…! I’m just so sad because up to that point, it had the potential of being a 5-star read for me. 😦

 

COMIC BOOKS/GRAPHIC NOVELS

comics

  • Hyperbole and a Half by Allie Brosh: I can tell that the author and I conceive the world the same way. Minus the dogs. I did enjoy the portrayal of such complex thoughts with such simple art though, and I’d like to read her new book, too!
  • SILK Vol. 0 by Robbie Thompson: Since comic books are the easiest thing to read in 15 minutes breaks… If you’re looking for a comic book with an interesting story, but also diverse characters, this one is perfect. Also, Spiderman pops up every now and then! How cool is that?!
  • Rat Queens Vol. 1 by Kurtis J. Wiebe: I enjoyed it so much I gave it FIVE stars. I loved the art, the banter, and the plot. If you follow me on Twitter or are my friend on Goodreads, you’d know that my new avatar/profile picture is of one of the main characters (DEE)! That’s how much I enjoyed it!
  • Aya de Youpogon by Marguerite Abouet: it’s a graphic novel set in Ivory Coast. I read it in French as part of a project to improve my French, but there’s a version in English as well. It’s sort of a coming of age story but also kind of a comedy of society set there. The main character Aya aspires to go to medical school, so, of course, I couldn’t help but fall in love with her.

 

My favourites this month (one per category) are: The Fire Next Time, the Bell Jar, and Rat Queens. I highly recommend ALL THREE of them!

So yes, as you can see, I ended up reading a wide range of things this month, which I really am proud of. I won’t kid myself; I know I can’t keep this rate up all year, but I hope I can at least keep it going through February. At least. Hopefully. I bought a lot of new, diverse books at the National Book Fair over the past few days, and I can’t even decide where to start with them. So yeah…

Please let me know how you kicked off your reading year or if you’ve read any of the books I’ve mentioned. I would love to hear about it!

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One thought on “January Wrap Up

  1. Okay, placed a hold on Men Explain Things to Me. Just bought The Fire Next Time. (I love Baldwin’s writing.) I own Things Fall Apart and Their Eyes Were Watching God, both of which I really want to read! Plath and Atkinson are not at the top of my TBR. Thanks for your thoughts on these. And congrats on exams AND reading for pleasure! 🙂

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