January Reads in Review

Before I discuss my January reading month, I should mention that I have been nursing a shoulder injury that has made it difficult for me to sleep. What do you suppose I have done with these lost hours of sleep? Read, read, read. As you may have anticipated.

As a result, this January, I read more text than I have done in any month since I’ve begun recording my reading (approximately nine years, if I’m not mistaken). As much as I’ve enjoyed having all this glorious extra reading time, I cannot recommend my methods, i.e. tear rotator cuff, experience severe sleep deprivation.

Still, the stats nerd in me has enjoyed playing with the numbers, especially since it’s highly unlikely I’ll be able to replicate them (my shoulder has been feeling much better). So please indulge me as I bask in the fun of numbers play:

Number of books read: 16

Number of pages read: 5,281

Books over 500 pages read: 3
The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle by Stuart Turton (505)
An Orchestra of Minorities by Chigozie Obioma (515)
The Night Watch by Sarah Waters (560)

Formats read: 3
9 paperbacks
4 ebooks
3 library books (all hardcover)

Genres read: 5
5 children’s/YA
6 adult fiction (2 thriller, 4 assorted)
I poetry
2 history/scholarship
2 ancient literature

Full list of books read (annotated, in order read):

Oh My Gods by Alexandra Sheppard (paperback)

A sweet coming-of-age story about the daughter of Zeus and a mortal woman, it has a lovely message about the value of family and friendship.

The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle by Stuart Turton (paperback)

A mind-bending thriller, set in a time loop, in which a man races to solve a murder despite having lost his memories and having to inhabit others’ bodies.

Stay with Me by Ayobami Adebayo (library hardcover)

Against the backdrop of political instability in 1980s Nigeria, a couple struggles to hold their marriage together amidst secrets and lies.

Homer by Barbara Graziosi (ebook)

A cogent, concise overview of Homeric scholarship.

The Agricola and The Germanica by Tacitus, translated by Harold Mattingly (ebook)

Two short works by Roman historian Tacitus, one on the general Agricola’s conquests in Britannia and the other on the Germani.

Winter Magic, edited by Abi Elphinstone (paperback)

A delightful collection of mostly fantasy children’s and YA short stories all set during the winter season.

Snowglobe by Amy Wilson (paperback)

An enchanting children's fantasy novel. Two children with magical abilities become trapped in a maze of interconnected snow globes.

Friends, Lovers, Chocolate (Isabel Dalhousie #2) by Alexander McCall Smith (library hardcover)

The second in a series about Edinburgh-based philosopher Isabel Dalhousie, who mostly gads about and frets about things that are probably not her business.

Sometimes I Lie by Alice Feeney (library hardcover)

A woman in a coma narrates how she got there and is totally unreliable as a narrator.

Memorial: An Excavation of the Iliad by Alice Oswald (paperback)

Possibly my favorite work of reception literature to date: A poem that provides an epitaph for all the deaths recorded in the Iliad. Feels like reading Homer but compacted.

The Apothecary by Maile Meloy (paperback)

In 1952, an American girl moves from Los Angeles to London and gets swept up in a mystery involving Soviet agents and mystical abilities.  

Crenshaw by Katherine Applegate (paperback)

A young boy struggling to cope with his family’s financial instability reconnects with a special friend from his childhood. A heartening combination of whimsy and poignancy.

An Orchestra of Minorities by Chigozie Obioma (paperback)

Fresh, enchanting prose plays counterpoint to a soul-destroying narrative about Chinonso, a poultry farmer who falls in love with a chief’s daughter and will do anything to gain her family’s approval.

Eureka!: Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About the Ancient Greeks But Were Afraid to Ask by Peter Jones (paperback)

Lively and fun read about my favorite historical period courtesy of Jones’ conversational voice and wide-ranging, bite-sized anecdotes.

The Night Watch by Sarah Waters (ebook)

A narrative flipped on its head: Begins in 1947, travels back to 1944, and ends in 1941 as a cast of Londoners navigates love, longing, and the effects of war.

Callirhoe by Chariton, translated by Rosanna Omitowoju (ebook)

Set in the 4th/3rd century BC, it narrates the outrageous trials and tribulations of young lovers Chaereas and Callirhoe. A wacky and fabulous ancient Greek adventure/romance dating to the 1st/2nd century AD.

How was your reading month? Any surprises, recommendations, favorites, etc.?

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