We’re almost two months though 2020 and the 2020 goodreads challenge (and it’s valentines day, probably the gaudiest of hallmark holidays, but back to the books). I challenged myself to read 24 books – roughly two a month. I set my goals low as I know I can go through periods of not reading and averaging two books a month seemed reasonable to me. I’m currently smashing that target. I’ve read eight of my 24 books, I’m currently six books ahead of schedule, and I’ve got four books on the go (this is totally normal practice for me, I promise).
All in all, I’m pretty chuffed. So let’s get into the books I have (and haven’t) read.
Sourdough was absolutely fantastic. It was nothing at all what I expected it to be, and it was so much more than I even knew I wanted.
Our protagonist, Lois, is a woman posessed with all the self-sufficience and can-do attitude I wish I had on a daily basis – She rises to the challenges that are thrown in her direction. She is not remotely weak, but she does being the story somewhat… lost. It’s amazing how perceived success can go hand in hand with feeling lonely and lost – Robin Sloan catches this perfectly.
And then you have the sourdough, the unnamed co-lead in this wonderful book.
I have to wonder how many people now have started named Lois…
I thoroughly enjoyed Sayaka Murata’s Convenience Store Woman. I have to wonder, now I think about it, if part of my enjoyment was nostalgia driven. Reading this book, I was taken back to the convenience stores I frequented back in Korea, ones that you don’t find replicated on the British high street – a corner shop is a very different beast. No 7-11’s here.
Convenience Store Woman is a dry, mechanical read, and refreshing and funny because of it. It is a triumphant roar for anyone who feels different, and a defiant finger at anyone who tells us we can’t be so. In short, it’s a glorious read.
It’s also the perfect length. At a whole 163 pages, this is a light wee read, a far cry from the 1463 pages of Victor Hugo’s Les Miserables. And there are copies everywhere… it’s been piled high in book shops for months – I definitely recommend you give it a whirl.
The House at Sea’s End is the third in Elly Griffith’s Ruth Galloway series. Whilst I enjoyed this book, it wasn’t quite as captivating as the previous two, and it felt like the series was becoming somewhat repetative. Griffith’s found a formula that worked, and she decided to stick to it. Like glue.
I am still fond of her cast of characters – particularly Cathbad, the druid who whafts in and out of the story, seemingly knowing everything – but I was less invested this time around.
I’m pretty pleased that my first non-fiction book of the year was a sewing related book – I think the first one I’ve ever owned. I’ve never sewn with stretch, nor have I worked with block patterns before, but in Sew Your Own Activewear, Melissa Fehr makes it seem like it’s a breeze. After reading it, I was keen to get going on some maths.
I haven’t yet… but the list of makes get’s longer, so this will be used in the not too distance future, of that I’m sure (I’ve just realised that a pair of joggers have rocketed to the near top of that list!)
There was a swift Sarah J Maas re-read early in January. I unashamedly love this series (though I think we can all all agree that A Court of Mist and Fury is the best of the four, though I do like A Court of Frost and Starlight!)
I love the world Maas created in the ACOTAR series, and overall I find the story arcs to be a whole lot more satisfying than her Throne of Glass series – as far as I’m concerned, the first book is a stand-alone and I ignore the rest.
I picked up A Court of Thorns and Roses, Throne of Glass and Red Queen all at the same time, and of all of them, the ACOTAR series ended up being my favourite.
Alas, my hard copies never made it out of Korea – I passed them on to the next reader – but I sense a re-purchase in my future as a) I re-read these on the regular and b) I like these covers and I’m not too keen on the new ones dropping in the summer. I’m also really keen to read the next set of stories focusing on Nesta.
Buying books… oh no! How will I cope…
So the “currently reading” list looks a little like this:
In non-fiction we have An Adventure History of Paris by Graham Robb; in fiction we have Miracle on Cherry Hill by Hwang Sun-Mi, The Stalker by Alex Gray and Three Women by Lisa Taddeo; and in re-reads we have Alice by Christina Henry. So far, so good.
I’m enjoying some more than others, and there’s one I’m feeling might end up on the DNF pile next post, but until then, I’ll have another go…
I am not remotely ashamed of DNF books anymore – life is too short.
After finishing The House At Sea’s End, I moved on to Ruth Galloway #4, A House Full of Bones. I didn’t get too far into it before I put it down, and I just haven’t gone back… Not sure I ever will. I was really enjoying the books initially, but a few pages into this one, it felt too much like deja vu for me!
I can’t class anything else a DNF yet, there’s still time to go back, but I have a feeling I might be adding to this section in future posts.
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