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
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 List: Delirium, 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?