January Reads 2017

It must have been a whole year since I started my book blog as I think my first ever post was a January wrap-up! How exciting! If, you know, you don’t have much else going on in your life.

So I have been somewhat quiet on the blogosphere, and my 2017 target to love reading again has been a little bit the reason for this. It’s going well, because I am enjoying all the books I’m reading, but the downside is that I don’t have as many ideas for blog posts, because I’m not forcing my way through so many books and therefore having more subjects floating around in my brain. Hopefully it’s just a bit of a blogging slump and I’ll be posting much more regularly again soon!

I read a total of 5 books in January 2017 and enjoyed nearly all of them!

1. The Noughtie Girl’s Guide to Feminism by Ellie Levenson.

I go into more detail about this book in my review, but to summarise – I did enjoy reading it but there were some opinions I really didn’t get on with, and all the way through I had this feeling of disliking something that I couldn’t put my finger on. Finally I’ve realised what the problem was: the author is really obnoxious.

I also felt the title was quite misleading. I was expecting something like a feminist self-help guide, a bit like Laura Bates’ Girl Up but for older girls. But it was just a load of opinions presented as fact.

2. Hunger by Susan Hill.

This short story was a bit of a nothing book, to be honest. For a start, I went in expecting an old-fashioned ghost story of the type I’ve come to know and love from Susan Hill. It’s definitely branded as one, too. But it’s not a ghost story at all. In places it’s kind of creepy, but by the end of it I was just confused as to what had happened and what I was supposed to have cared about.

3. Weird Things Customers Say in Bookshops by Jen Campbell.

There’s not much to say about this one except that it’s really funny! It’s a book of overheard quotes from when the author worked in bookshops (I think she still does work in a bookshop, actually), has a few cartoony illustrations thrown in and is just a good laugh.

The problem with these sort of books, though, is that you only tend to read them once.

4. Ballet Shoes by Noel Streatfeild.

(Yes, that is the correct spelling of the author’s name!)

I watched the film adaptation of this with Emma Watson when it first came out and really liked it. At the time, I did pick up the book at the library but for some reason I never went any further with it. Recently, I was in Hatchards and decided to buy this, and I promptly devoured it on the train home.

It’s a classic-type children’s story: a little sugary; posh characters (despite the fact that they’re struggling for money being a large part of the plot) and with a slightly unrealistic happy ending. But I loved it.

I just had a really nice time reading this book, and as a reader I think that’s one of the biggest compliments you can give.

5. Britt-Marie Was Here by Fredrik Backman.

Every time I read one of Backman’s books, I fall a little bit more in love.

His writing style is just… ah. Every book I read by him reminds me of what a treat and a privilege it is to be able to read.

His books are about the nitty-gritty, the ordinary, and the uninteresting. Yet he finds the extraordinary and interesting behind all of this, and creates characters you really care about.

I would recommend any of the books I’ve read by Backman (A Man Called Ove, My Grandmother Sends Her Regards and Apologises, and this one) as everything I read by him automatically becomes a new favourite.

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