Thursday, January 31, 2013

January 2013 Reading Update

Hey everyone!

I originally noted in my 2013 Reading List post that I would do quarterly reading updates, but as you can guess from the title of this post, I decided to change it to monthly. My decision to do this stemmed primarily from the desire to proclaim a "favorite book of the month." I found that I was reading at a decent pace and came to the conclusion that if I didn't update until the end of March, it would be difficult to give a fair amount of the books any spotlight. Even doing weekly book reviews can't accommodate for all the books I want to talk about. So, without further ado, I want to get into what books I read in January, which book was my favorite, and possibly some books that I wanted to add onto my reading list.

This post would turn into a painfully long read if I tried to do a mini-review on every book so I'll allow myself a maximum of 4 sentences on each.

Also, I won't be posting full book reviews on all these books (simply because there are still so many books I read last year that I want to do reviews for as well), so as you're reading through this post, if you come across a book you would like me to do a complete review on, then request it and it shall be done!

And without further ado, here are the books I have read so far in January 2013, in the order completed:

Sarah's Key - Tatiana de Rosnay

Emotional, heart-wrenching book that deals with the atrocities committed on Jewish people in German-occupied France. Full book review coming in the next few weeks (maybe) so I'll keep this one short.

The Tipping Point - Malcolm Gladwell

An eye-opening piece of non-fiction that will inevitably have you observing the trends around you. It was a slight disappointment. I definitely expected the book to be more of a life-inspiring read than a business one (completely my fault, of course), but either way, it wasn't revolutionary. Interesting, though.

The Family Fang - Kevin Wilson

Odd. Very odd, compelling novel about the familial ties that exist whether we want them to or not. I enjoyed how the story switched back and forth between past and present. The characters in this novel were very "alive" and I found myself very invested throughout the book's entirety.

Delirium - Lauren Oliver

Fun read if you're into teen dystopian novels like me. Full review here.

The Invisible Man - H.G. Wells

Not as great as The Time Machine, but still interesting and a bit eery. The language and writing itself is a bit slow and drawn out. My sister, who attempted this book many years ago, said she couldn't make it through half the short novel.

To Say Nothing of the Dog - Connie Willis

Full of Awesome. A time-travel narrative with lovable characters and compelling twists. Complete review here.

The Giver - Lois Lowry (reread)

One of my favorite books of my childhood and a book I could reread every year.

Blueberry Girl - Neil Gaiman

Cute illustrated children's book about the importance in allowing children to pursue their dreams. If I had a kid, I would give this to him/her.

The Boyfriend List - E. Lockhart

As the title suggests, this book is all about boys, boyfriends, and the impact they have on friendships. It's a cute book on adolescent/high-school relationships that made me very nostalgic, despite some of the bad memories it brought up. Ruby's voice was distinct and seemed to be spot on for a girl her age. The book left me caring enough to want to read the next book in the quartet. If I do a review, I'd rather wait until I have finished the series to do a cumulative one. I think that was 5 sentences.

1984 - George Orwell

I think everyone knows what 1984 is about. I am incredibly, incredibly thrilled that I finally read this novel. It is indeed a classic in the dystopian novel genre. A must read.

The Blood of the Lamb - Peter de Vries

Tragic, beautifully written novel. There were numerous passages that I had to pause and reread because they were too beautiful to simply read once and leave behind. I could read Peter de Vries write about anything.

M Is For Magic - Neil Gaiman

It's Neil Gaiman- you can expect that you'll have no idea what to expect. A great collection of short stories, and a fun read, especially for Halloween. All great stories, but my favorite ones are probably: "Chivalry," "Price," "Sunbird," "The Witch's Headstone" (exerpt of The Graveyard Book?).

That wraps up my brief reactions to each book.
And now, to announce my January Book of the Month....

But before I get to that, I'm going to announce the runner-up for January Book of the Month.

I really wasn't going to pick a runner-up because my mind was overwhelmed trying to pick which book that would be (because honestly, January was a great month for books), but I decided last minute that I couldn't go on without giving another great novel some extra attention. So, runner-up for January is....

George Orwell's 1984!

My class was one of the unlucky ones that was not required to read this, and for whatever reason, I progressed through high school and college feeling as if I heard so much about Big Brother and Newspeak that I wasn't sure I would get much from reading the book itself. However, in more recent years, this book has been on my list and I'm thrilled I finally read it. Orwell's writing is what makes this eery dystopian novel even more so, and I can see why it's a classic when it comes to the genre. 1984 is the primary reason I wanted to have a slot for "runner-up" since I most likely won't be doing a review on it. But if you haven't read it, it is a must read!

And finally, for the Book of the Month...

Connie Willis' To Say Nothing of the Dog!!

This is probably not at all a surprise, since in my review for this book, I said it had potential of being one of my favorites for the entire year. Great, funny, engaging read. One of those books that was so incredibly difficult to put down. A definite recommendation from me. (: Once again, if you would like to read my full review on this novel, you can find it here.

I am happy to say that I have knocked off three books from my 2013 Reading ListDelirium, 1984, The Blood of the Lamb. Not a bad statistic for someone like me.

I intended to end these reading updates with the appending of books to my 2013 Reading List but unfortunately, if I did that, that section of this post would be more than triple of what you've already read. So, instead, if I somehow finish off the list by July/August, I may make a new reading list for the remainder of the year. Otherwise, you'll just have to see what I read as I go. (:

I hope you enjoyed this update. It was very fun for me to do. Again, if you would like a complete review on any of these books that I haven't already done, feel free to suggest it.

Were there any books I mentioned that you now feel compelled to read?
What is your favorite book you've read this month?


  1. I knew that piano looked familiar. If you would please perhaps review that? I have it on my list and am most curious about it! (And the Family Fang!)

    This monthly posts are going to linearly increase the books on my list. All the most welcome! ^ ^

    Have a great day!

    1. Yes, I can do both reviews! They'll probably up within in the next few weeks. (: