Book, Review, Wrap Up

January 2020 ~ Wrap Up

A new year, a new Goodreads goal and I’m actually really happy with the way I’ve started my reading this year; one of my goals for this year is to listen to more audiobooks and I’ve listened to four this month, all non-fiction, all of which I’ve quite enjoyed.

The Year of Less ~ My first audiobook of the year tied in perfectly to all those typical New Year’s resolutions budgeting better; quality over quantity and learning what’s important to you. On Cait’s 29th birthday she began a year long experiment to stop shopping outside of a small list of rules, she blogged the experience at the time but the book expands more on everything else she was going through at the time and all the challenges she faced. Slightly more memoir than decluttering bible this was an enjoyable listen with some sensible advice, you can read my full review here, 3 stars.

The Five ~ A fascinating look at life in the late 1800s through the lens of the five victims of Jack the Ripper, rather than focusing on the women’s deaths, The Five is an indepth look at their lives, full review here, 4 stars.

Girl Up ~ This is one of those books I wish I could go back in time and give to teenage me, this advice book on everything from puberty to consent. Twenty-eight year old me found myself skim reading some parts but for the right audience this would be a great read, 3 stars.

The Comparison Cure ~ Author Lucy Sheridan is the UK’s first and only comparison coach, the book is part self-help, part workbook allows you to work through a series of exercises to identify where your personal pain points are.  She encourages you to use the book as an exercise book, filling in the various charts, tables etc as you go along; I chose not to do that on my first read as I wanted to get a feel for the book as a whole but I will be going back and redoing all the exercises but probably doing the writing in a notebook. A perfect new year book, if you to find out more about Lucy and her work she was recently interviewed by Emma Gannon in her Ctrl Alt Delete podcast and I’d really recommend giving that a listen, 4 stars.

The Bookshop Book ~ Normally I read to have some time away from my phone but while reading this I picked my phone up so often to check if the bookshops mentioned were still in business.  Unfortunately one near my parents is no longer open however this has left me desperate to want to go and explore more bookshops, we’ve got a week visiting Yorkshire in March and I’ve been researching independent bookshops in the towns we’re planning on visiting, I’m sure my husband will be thrilled. When I checked this out of the library, both librarians admitted they’d thought about reading it before putting in on the reserve trolley so hopefully they’ll get a chance now I’ve returned it, great read for any booklover – full review here, 4 stars.

Parsnips in Love ~ This confused me and as bad as I feel for saying this I’m glad I read this for free via Prime Reading. I was intrigued by the title but the plot of a farmer who harvests a parsnip which looks like two people in love. I was amused by how obsessed people were by the idea but I just felt like I had no connection with the story or the characters, 2 stars.

Everything I Know About Love ~ I read this when it was first released and have wanted to re-read for a while as an extra chapter was added with the paperback release; so finding the audiobook in my libraries catalogue seemed like the perfect opportunity. I loved listening to this, Dolly reads its herself and she has such an easy voice to listen to; would highly recommend this, particularly to millennials, 5 stars.

Uprooted ~ I’ve owned this for ages, after hearing about it via YouTube; I struggled to get into this, waiting for the aha moment but unfortunately it never came. This has won so many awards and the premise was really intriguing, every ten years ‘The Dragon’ takes a young woman from one of the surrounding villages in exchange for protecting them from dark magic.  Agnieszka is convinced this time it’ll be her best friend Kasia who’s chosen but her world is flipped around when its her that’s taken. I struggled particularly with liking Agnieszka and I found her relationships between other characters difficult to feel invested in, 2 stars.

Period. It’s About Bloody Time.  ~ My third audiobook of the month, all about as the name suggests, periods. Full review here, 4 stars.

Big Girl, Small Town* ~ We follow Majella throughout a week in November as she tries to go about her normal routine of working in the local chip shop and generally keeping her head down, there’ll be a full review up nearer to its release next month but if you enjoy character developments and generally funny reads this could be for you, 3 stars.

Death on the Page* ~ I was mainly drawn to this because it’s set around a bookshop, in a castle, on an island; could there be a better setting? What I didn’t realise is that this is a sequel, I was still able to follow along but I think it did stop me from connecting with the characters fully; my review will be posted nearer the release in March, 3 stars.

How To Fail ~ I first heard about this via The High Low podcast but its come out of Elizabeth Day’s podcast of the same name.  I really enjoyed this, its so well written and tackles everything from the perspective of something Elizabeth feels like she’s ‘failed’ at during her life, from making friends at school to her struggles to have children; I’m now subscribed to the podcast and am making my way through the backlist of people I’ve heard of, 4 stars.

Naturally Tan ~ My fourth and final audiobook of the month, Tan France is one of the Fab 5 of Netflix’s Queer Eye, I really like the show so I quickly reserved this when I saw it in my library’s audiobook catalogue; its an honest memoir and really well read. My main gripe with this was it was quite Americanised; Tan now lives in America with his husband so it is understandable but he grew up in Yorkshire and particularly at the beginning was equating British terms in American language e.g. explaining break time is the same as recess; I found this a little jarring for the first couple of chapters then either it it tailed off or I got used to it; there’s also some bonus content featuring Antoni which was really funny, 3 stars.

Can You Hear Me?* ~ If you’ve followed this blog for a little while you’ll know we love a medical memoir in my house; so when I got my hands on this paramedic memoir I was very excited, this is released on 6th February and my review will be up in the next week, 4 stars.

Titles marked * have been provided for free in exchange for an honest review.

How was your January? Are you still managing to stick to any of your resolutions or goals?

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