Reading Wrap-Up January 2016

I had a great start to the month but then lost steam and slowed down my reading in the last two weeks.  I didn’t love all of the books that I read but there were some that I really enjoyed. In total, I completed 11 books (5 of which were in audio format).  I did a lot of walking this month since the weather was pretty fair for Toronto standards so I got through quite a few audiobooks.

  1. Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates (4.75 stars) – though I own a physical copy of this book, I opted to listen to it via audiobook on overdrive.  Considering how short this book was, it was incredibly moving and stunningly written.  I cannot wait for Coates’ Black Panther comics to come out.
  2. The Case of Lysandra P. by Helene Gremillon (3.25 stars) – The newest psychological thriller written by a female author to be compared to Gone Girl and Girl on the Train.  I have to say that I actually preferred this book to its two predecessors because of Gremillon’s sensual writing style.  I had some issues with this book, namely, I got tired of the women in the book defining themselves only by their role as mother, wife and/or lover.  I wish the women had more to them.
  3. Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Saenz (2 stars) – I thought that I would love this book because of the hype it received.  I certainly understand why it is loved and why it is important for LGTBQ+ representation in young adult literature.  Hence, the two stars.  Ultimately, I hated Saenz’ writing style.  It was too repetitive and got on my nerves.
  4. Late Night at the Viper Room by Gavin Edwards (4 stars) – I really enjoyed listening to this non-fiction audiobook about the life of River Phoenix.  I actually knew next to nothing about the actor but ended up empathizing with him and hoping for a different outcome even though I knew what the end would be.
  5. Without You There is No Us by Suki Kim (4 stars) – another non-fiction audiobook that I listened to and enjoyed.  I was riveted by Kim’s story of teaching ‘privileged’ boys in North Korea.
  6. Spill Simmer Falter Wither by Sara Baume (3 stars) – I started this one at the beginning of December and was really enjoying it but it went to the wayside when I went on vacation.  I forgot about the book and eventually when I continued reading it, I had a hard time getting into it.  Still, if you’re a dog or animal lover, check this one out.
  7. The Paying Guests by Sarah Waters (2.5 stars) – While I really enjoyed Waters’ writing style, the two main characters drove me nuts.  I hated them.  Too much whining for me to enjoy this one. I listened to this on audiobook and the narrator did an excellent job bringing the characters to life.  I probably would have given it 1.5-2 stars if not for the audiobook.
  8. The Three Musketeers by Alexandre Dumas (2 stars) – Count of Monte Cristo is one of my favourite books of all time.  I was really looking forward to The Three Musketeers but thought it was too silly.  It was probably the most disappointing read of the month for me, simply because of how much I hoped that I would love it.
  9. The Broken Monsters by Lauren Beukes (3 stars) – I loved about 90% of the book when it was written as a police procedural plus a few extra characters intricately weaved in.  Then it switches genres and it lost me.  The last 50-60 pages (I listened on audiobook, so maybe the last hour or two) were utter garbage in my opinion.  I hated it.
  10. The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson (2.5 stars) – I just don’t think Shirley Jackson is for me.  I found this one to be pretty underwhelming. I listened to this on audiobook.
  11. What I Talk About When I Talk About Running by Haruki Murakami (4 stars) – I really enjoyed Murakami’s memoir about his life as a runner.  It was what inspired me to go for long meandering walks along the city.  I like that he doesn’t try to give tips or convince people to become runners like him, but rather focuses on his own personal journey.

2 thoughts on “Reading Wrap-Up January 2016

  1. I think you’re the first person to dislike Aristotle and Dante! I haven’t read the book myself but it has been getting so much hype lately.
    I’ve only read 1 Haruki Murakami and I really wanna read more of his work. Nice to know that I’ll probably love What I Talk About When I Talk About Running! ☺️


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