Monday 3 February 2020

Books I Read in January

Ok, this is a new post idea. I'm trying to read more books this year, so I decided to share what I've been reading here. I've been using the Good Reads app to track my reading. I set myself a challenge to read 26 books this year. I realise that's not many, but I am having a baby in June, so I think my reading is likely to suffer in the second half of the year because I'll be too tired to understand words. This post contains affiliate links, you won't be charged any extra if you choose to use any of these links to purchase your books, but I will get a teeny tiny sum each time you do.

Here are my January reads:

Invisible Women: Data Bias in a World Designed for Men 
by Caroline Criado-Perez 
Laurie bought me this for Christmas, and it was the first book I read in 2020. I loved it, in an I-am-so-angry kind of way. This book should be on the to-read pile of literally everybody. It's crazy to see how many ways women are ignored and how this impacts on women's health, safety and daily lives. Even if you think you already know lots about this subject, this book will contain new information you haven't heard before. I learnt so much reading this book. Buy it now!

A Woman Is No Man
by Etaf Rum
I got this book for Christmas, too. I hadn't heard of it before but was keen to read it. It's a debut novel and is simply fantastic. The story follows different generations of the same family as they deal with the problems facing women in conservative Palestinian-American families. The book is narrated by the various female characters and their different dreams, perspectives and challenges. I found myself unable to stop reading because I was desperate to know what happened next. I found myself completely immersed in their world, and I was sad to leave when the story was over.

by Ali Smith
This is actually Laurie's book, and he hasn't read it yet. I am a terrible person. In my defence, I am pregnant, and it was the closest book to me. Laurie was away for a couple of nights, and I knew I could read it fast. I treat books with the utmost respect, and so if I hadn't told him, he probably wouldn't even have realised that I stole his book's virginity from him. I was looking forward to reading this book because I enjoyed Autumn and Winter so much. Spring absolutely lived up to its predecessors. I love the way Smith writes, especially the rambling rants that appear throughout the book. I think she is so talented and has such an interesting of writing.

The Silence of the Girls
by Pat Barker
This was another of Laurie's books, stolen before he'd had a chance to break the spine. Truly, I am a terrible wife. I didn't know anything about this book before I started reading. I never read the blurbs. For some reason, I thought this was going to be a feminist dystopian novel perhaps set in the future, I have no idea why. In fact, it is a book about Achilles, the Greek God, but told from a woman's perspective. The book is more about the lives of women living during the war. It's depressing, like the lives of women in wars. 

It's not a book I would have chosen if I'd known the subject matter, Gods and myths and fantasy don't really appeal to me, but having said that, I really enjoyed this book. I found myself completely committed to the characters and their struggles throughout the story. I don't know anything about Greek mythology, but I didn't feel that this limited my enjoyment of the book. I liked the book a lot, and if you're into Greek mythology, then it's probably an even better read.

by Barbara Kingsolver
I had decided not to buy any new books until I've read all the ones gathering dust on my bookshelf. I am terrible for buying books. I love books, but I have a lot I am yet to read. So I decided to work my way through those before buying any more. Then the very next day I bought this because I like to immediately fail all self-imposed challenges. And also because I loved The Poisonwood Bible by the same author so I couldn't not buy this. If you haven't yet read The Poisonwood Bible, do.

I didn't love this book as much as I loved The Poisonwood Bible, but I should probably stop comparing them as they are different books. Unsheltered is beautifully written, and the characters are immediately engaging and likeable, but it wasn't one of my favourite reads this month. It featured two stories based on characters living in the same place years apart. I loved the modern story and its characters, but I was less engaged with the story and characters from the past. This is a problem I have though, and it's why you won't find many classics on my read list, I seem to find it hard to engage with characters from times gone by. I still enjoyed the book, though, and one of the characters from the past story was particularly interesting because she was based on an inspiring woman. 

Top Photo by Sharon McCutcheon on Unsplash

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