January Reads (2020 Edition)

estimated 4 min read

The first month of the year’s reading is always a little fraught. Will I unintentionally set a theme for the year? Will I make any progress on reviews? January was a good mix of books, including a few I wish I had read before, others I’m delighted to discover now, and some that were fun diversions. I even wrote one review!

January 2020 Reading List

  1. Electric Forest by Tanith Lee
  2. The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath
  3. Don’t Look Back (Konrad Sejer #2) by Karin Fossum, Felicity David (Translator)
  4. The Weight of Ink by Rachel Kadish
  5. Dreyer’s English: An Utterly Correct Guide to Clarity and Style by Benjamin Dreyer
  6. Bloodchild and Other Stories by Octavia E. Butler
  7. Forest Dark by Nicole Krauss
  8. The Newcomers: Finding Refuge, Friendship, and Hope in an American Classroom by Helen Thorpe
  9. No One Is Too Small to Make a Difference by Greta Thunberg
  10. A Plague of Giants (Seven Kennings #1) by Kevin Hearne
  11. The Secret Commonwealth (The Book of Dust, #2) by Philip Pullman
  12. A Blight of Blackwings (Seven Kennings, #2)★ by Kevin Hearne

List of Book Covers for titles read in January 2020

Recommendations

NetGalley Reviews

A ★ indicates I received the title through Netgalley, the FTC wants you to know.

A Blight of Blackwings (Seven Kennings, #2)★ by Kevin Hearne

I reviewed and highly recommended the first book, A Plague of Giants when it came out. In A Blight of Blackwings, the Raelech Bard Fintan continues his tales to the peoples congregated on Survivor Field in Pelemyn. It’s an amazing story and I love how Hearne has put it all together. My library hold for this title came in earlier this morning and I’m looking forward to rereading it!

See my complete review at NetGalley »


Additional Recommendations

I’ll recommend almost every title I read in January. I don’t think they all should be permanent additions to your bookshelves, borrowing from the library is a great way to trial a book! Some of these will become a part of my collection.

Non Fiction
  • Dreyer’s English: An Utterly Correct Guide to Clarity and Style by Benjamin Dreyer
    This is fun if you’re a grammar geek.
  • The Newcomers: Finding Refuge, Friendship, and Hope in an American Classroom by Helen Thorpe
    This is a well written overview of the time Thorpe spent at South High School and her interviews with students and their families. I feel I understand a little more now, and I want to do lots more to help.
  • No One Is Too Small to Make a Difference by Greta Thunberg
    While it’s quite repetitive, I think that is what makes this a useful read beyond the headlines. I wish I had her drive when I was younger.
Fiction
  • Bloodchild and Other Stories by Octavia E. Butler
    Wow. I see why Bloodchild won both Hugo & Nebula and Speech Sounds won the Hugo. Every single story in this collection was amazing.
  • Don’t Look Back (Konrad Sejer #2) by Karin Fossum, Felicity David (Translator)
    Have you seen the tweet about any US Crime Show vs (for example) Midsomer Murders? Fossum’s writing is deep, complex, compelling, and the ending is only found after numerous (unexpected) twists and turns.
  • The Weight of Ink by Rachel Kadish
    It took a while to get past the first chapter. I both listened as audiobook & read it as paper. I felt disillusioned bythe ending, but there was so much in the entire story that I loved reading every moment. It’s recommended with the caveat that it’s full of Jewish philosophy/history and may be lost on most readers.
  • Electric Forest by Tanith Lee
    Published in 1979 and recently released as ebook so it was all over my library feed. Overall, I thought it was fascinating when I take into account that it was published 40 years ago, it deals with tech — computer & biological/technology. The ending was not at all what I expected, so it needs a reread, but not right yet.
  • The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath
    Not sure why I hadn’t read this classic before.
  • The Secret Commonwealth (The Book of Dust, #2) by Philip Pullman
    I read this while watching the show on HBO. The Book of Dust series is ok, but feels less special than reading His Dark Materials. For all my ambivalence about it, I did not at all appreciate the cliff hanger ending.

Next reads

I’ve checked out quite a few books but haven’t yet gotten into anything after finishing Hearne’s second book. We’ll see what happens in February!

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