Books · Uncategorized

January Wrap Up: Or More Accurately, Where Has January Gone?


Welcome to the first wrap up and 2018 and whilst I thought that January was moving quite slowly, I now can’t believe I’m writing and posting this. Crazy!

Leaving all the talk of time aside, January was the month of big, hefty books, so I was definitely not easing my way into the year. However, every book I read happened to be a re-read so it whilst it was tough, it was very enjoyable. I also finished my first French book of the year which is fantastic!

So before this post is taken over by the rambling, let’s just jump right in:

Shadow of Night and The Book of Life by Deborah Harkness.

Image result for shadow of night deborah harkness  Related image

As I’ve featured the series a lot on my blog recently, you know how much I love it. It is probably of no surprise to discover that on re-reading them, I love them even more. Diana and Matthew have taken pride of place in my heart, although it is the Bishop House, Corra, Ysabeau and Gallowglass who are some of the star characters. Saying they are fabulously entertaining doesn’t quite cut it. Whilst I’m certain I’ve said this before, it is the mix of scholarly pursuits and witchcraft that helps me to fall in love with the series. The university setting, whilst Oxford and not Lancaster (boo hoo), resurfaced many warm memories of my undergraduate degree and I could relate to their scholarly pursuits. I could go on and on about the different aspects but they will undoubtedly say the same thing – I love it!

 Rating – 5 out of 5 stars

Le Petit Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

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No matter what language you read this in, it is a delightful and insightful story of a little prince and his view of the world. The beauty about this book is that you can get something new out of it with each read, and you learn a little about the author in the process. You don’t often get that feeling unless it is an ‘own voices’ book so it was nice and educational at the same time. It is also timeless, enjoyable for children and adults, and that is one of the true definitions of a classic.

Rating – 5 out of 5 stars

Speaking of classics…

Little Women by Louisa May Alcott

Image result for little women book
It is a long time since I have read this, and I think I certainly picked it up again at the right time. First off, we’ve got the new BBC adaptation written by Heidi Thomas, starring Emily Watson and Michael Gambon, which 90 percent of the time, stuck closely to the book. Secondly, I found myself picking up and relating to aspects of the story that I never did before, such as the Pilgrim’s Progress and life moving in the most unexpected of directions. My relationship with the book has changed and I think age plays a huge part in that because it made me look at the story with less naive and innocent eyes. However, it remains an important and well-loved classic that you will know I’ll recommend time and time again.

Rating – 4 out of 5 stars

Lips Touch by Laini Taylor

Image result for lips touch laini taylor

It is always nice re-reading the book that introduced you to a favourite author. For me, it’s akin to walking through the Disneyland Hotel and seeing Main Street Station again. I’m home, living in the world where fiction and magic is reality. Once I’ve enveloped myself with atmosphere of Main Street USA, I can saunter on down to the hub, lovingly stare at Sleeping Beauty’s Castle and let the magic decide which land I visit first.

Lips Touch is Main Street USA, the stories of Goblin Fruit, Spicy Little Curses, and Hatchling the details that make me fall head over heels in love. Each story is beautifully written and well-crafted, leaving you longing for more with each word. I’ve read a few short story collections and none have hit me more than this one. Perhaps a little bit of irritation bubbled to the surface when, in Spicy Little Curses, Laini Taylor described Anamique’s Sign Language as ‘gesture language’ but I didn’t believe it fully fledged to warrant much reaction and criticism. I still love the book as much as I ever did.

Rating – 5 out of 5 stars

Extending the Disneyland Paris metaphor, the next and final book is the Fantasyland of all books – aka my favourite of Laini Taylor’s so far!

Strange the Dreamer

Image result for strange the dreamer

Although, by the time you are reading this, I may still be reading or listening to this beauty. I don’t know what to say about this book that I haven’t already said. It’s stunning, intricate, beguiling, and I could stare at it all day. It is slow and dense, and I understand how that can be off-putting, but that’s perfect for me at the moment because I want to savour every detail and completely lose myself in it.

Even if I haven’t finished it, I know my 2017 rating won’t change:

Rating – 5 out of 5 stars

And I suppose that is that.

What books did you read throughout January?

Thanks for reading and have a brazzle dazzle day!

19 thoughts on “January Wrap Up: Or More Accurately, Where Has January Gone?

  1. Great list! And it would have been so cool if All Souls had been set in Lancaster! I love it there 😊 i adore Laini Taylor too, such great writing!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I love Lancaster so much. It’s one of my favourite cities and I would do anything to live there again. Besides, I think with all the Pendle Witch connections, Lancaster would be an ideal setting for a story around witches and magic.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I grew up in the South Lakes so i used to go all the time. I can’t wait to move back one day! You’re right, I think it would have been a really great setting. And it would have been nice to include some of the local folklore etc. Ah well, they’re still great as they are 😄

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I did my degree at Lancaster Uni and the three years I was living in Lancaster were definitely the best.

        And I agree, The All Souls Trilogy are still great books despite not being set in Lancaster. I actually really like the Oxford, France and Tudor London settings anyway, and it does make sense to have the story set in such strong and historic locations.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. It is great, despite the rain 😄

        Very true, I was also a bit sad that it was Oxford rather than Cambridge where I’m based now as i’d have loved to walk along the river and imagine Diana rowing away 😂 ahh there’s so much to love about this series, i really need to dive back in! And then begin the quest to find another similar series 😊

        Liked by 1 person

      4. The rain does get a bit tiresome after a while. I feel sorry for a few friends of mine who still live there though because they have to deal with the flooding every time the Lune decides to burst its banks again.

        I think the quest to find a similar series will be a challenge. I know there are a few witchcraft books out there but none to the same extent as the All Souls Trilogy which sucks.

        Liked by 1 person

    1. You’re the first person to comment on that, thank you! I definitely love using Mickey ears/heads more than stars!

      I hope you do get around to reading Little Women at some point. It is one of the easier classics so it’s not too bad to read and get through.


      1. Haha I’m surprised I’m the first to comment on that. I have a list of classics I want to read. It’s sad to say that the amount of classic books I’ve read is so small:( it’s hard to read them when authors keep putting out fantastic books!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I have a list of classics to read as well. Most of mine consist of Dickens, RL Stevenson, and Daphne du Maurier though.


  2. oh i looooove the little prince! i totally agree that it’s lovely in whatever language. & i’ve been considering rereading little women (also for the first time in a long time) so i’m glad you enjoyed it!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. They are good little classics. The more I read them both, the greater recognition I have towards their wider themes and characterisations. With Little Women however, I think it helped that I’d watched the new BBC adaptation because parts of story felt more raw and realistic.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yeah it is. Apart from one glaring detail that bugged me at the beginning, it sticks pretty close to the original material. But then when the writer is also the writer of Call the Midwife and Cranford, you know that it will be decent and thoroughly detailed.

        Liked by 1 person

    1. It took a while for me to think it passed quickly. It seemed to drag at the beginning but quickened up towards the end.

      11 books is fab! I’m perfectly happy with my amount though since a few of them were chunky reads.


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