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Presented by State Library Victoria

January Wrap Up

New year, more books, and now that the first month of 2020 is over, here are the books I read in January. January was a great reading month since, school holidays(yay!) and I managed to get through 19 books. Note that it may sound very impressive, some of them were fairly short and it also includes three graphic novels. This is also most likely going to be my best reading month of the year now that school has commenced. I’m also changing up the format a bit for my monthly wrap up’s, so hopefully this works. 

Title: Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell

Author: Susanna Clarke

Genre: Fantasy/Historical

Book size: MASSIVE

Thoughts: Unique writing style, pacing is probably too slow for most, did not really like Mr Norrell, but Jonathan Strange was a gem. It’s about two wizards in England during the early 1800’s.

Recommended for: People who are used to reading massive fantasy books and want something set in a historical setting. 

Rating: 7.5/10

 

Title: A Darkness at Sethanon(Riftwar Saga #3)

Author: Raymond E. Feist

Genre: Epic/Traditional Fantasy

Book size: Smaller than most fantasy books, I’ll say about average novel length.

Thoughts: Served as a decent ending to a decent(though outdated) fantasy series. It’s pretty old school in terms of fantasy. Treatment of women isn’t the best and are more for guys to stare at.

Recommended for: Lovers of traditional fantasy and guys with swords and magical powers

Rating: 6/10

 

Title: Solitaire

Author: Alice Oseman

Genre: Contemporary/YA

Book size: Pretty standard

Thoughts: I enjoyed it, though didn’t love it and found it to not be as good as her newer books. It’s not bad, nor great. Would have liked more development with the main character.

Recommended for: Fans of YA contemporary fiction who are looking for diversity and a standalone.

Rating: 5.5/10

 

Title: The Obelisk Gate(The Broken Earth Trilogy #2)

Author: N.K Jemisin

Genre: Fantasy/Almost dystopian

Book size: Less pages than your normal epic fantasy book, so average

Thoughts: Would have liked more things to have happened, the diversity and representation is the best out of any fantasy series I have yet discovered,  preferred book 1.

Recommended for: To those looking for a fantasy series where they can feel represented whilst exploring a brilliant world.

 

Rating: 8/10

Title: The Stone Sky(The Broken Earth Trilogy #3)

Author – Book size: See above

Thoughts: A really well done conclusion, though would have liked more things to have occurred during the first half. Overall, I really enjoyed this series, though book 1 is probably still. My favourite.

Rating: 8.5/10

 

Title: Heartstopper(Volumes 1-3)

Author: Alice Oseman

Genre: Contemporary/YA/Graphic Novel

Book size: Not many words, lots of pictures

Thoughts: Someone help me… I need help… anyone…? I’m going to literally burst from how cute this was if no one is going to help me. no? oh ok.

Recommended for: Everyone that needs something good in their lives and to get away from the mess that has been the start of 2020. Can be found online on Tapas for free.

Rating: 10/10 for all three volumes.

 

Title: The Bone Season

Author: Sammantha Shannon

Genre: Dystopian/Fantasy/Alternate/YA

Book size: Bit more bigger than your average YA novel

Thoughts: I really liked the idea of it being set on Earth in the future but the past had been changed, but the plot and characters seemed pretty standard of the genre and ended up not being overly special.

Recommended for: People looking for strong female characters and a mix of different genres.

Rating: 6/10

 

Title: Oliver Twist

Author: Charles Dickens

Genre: Classics

Book size: Average, but it’s very wordy

Thoughts: I liked it, I was invested at the start, but ended up losing interest by the end. It’s quite slow and very description heavy.

Recommended for: All fans of classical fiction.

Rating: 5.5/10

 

Title: The Lord of the Rings(Fellowship of the Ring – Two Towers – Return of the King)

Author: J.R.R Tolkien

Genre: Traditional/Epic fantasy

Book size: Typical of the fantasy genre

Thoughts: This was a reread and it only affirmed the fact that this is one of my favourite series ever set in what is potentially my favourite fantasy world. Yes, it’s a bit dated and people find the writing style slow, but I think it’s actually quite beautiful.

Recommended for: Fantasy fans.

Rating: 9.5-10/10

 

Title: Dragon Harper(Dragonriders of Pern #20 – Standalone)

Author: Anne and Todd McCaffrey

Genre: Fantasy/Sci-fi

Book size: Reasonably small wish.

Thoughts: this book was bad. I did not like this book, the characters were bland, the author never describes anything and we are never given the main characters age so I still don’t know if the massive case of instalove was teenage hormones or if the writing was really just that bad. 

Recommended for: Pern fans and apparently the earlier books written by Anne McCaffrey are much better.

Rating: 0.5/10

 

Title: Conqueror(Conqueror #5)

Author: Conn Iggulden 

Genre: Historical fiction

Book size: Large

Thoughts: I really liked this conclusion to this series on the rise of the Mongol Empire and thought that everything was fully realised for what it was.

Recommended for: People wanting to check out more historical fiction

Rating: 8/10

 

Title: The Lost Symbol(Robert Langdon #3)

Author: Dan Brown

Genre: Mystery/Thriller

Book size: Again, large

Thoughts: It is thrilling for the most part, yet all of the flashbacks made it drag and some of the things that happened in this were quite ridiculous. It was suspenseful though.

Recommended for: People who like Dan Brown’s books(think, The Da Vinci Code)

Rating: 4.5/10

 

Title: Mallee Boys

Author: Charlie Archbold

Genre: Contemporary/YA

Book size: Quite small

Thoughts: This was the book I had to read for school and for the most part it was enjoyable though it could have done with some extra pages as everything happened so quickly considering it took place over the course of a year.

Recommended for: People looking for more books set in regional Australia that it also written by an Australian author

Rating: 5/10

 

Title: The Toll(Arc of a Scythe #3)

Author: Neal Shusterman

Genre: Dystopian/Sci-fi

Book size: Chunky for a YA novel

Thoughts: It was a good conclusion to two books that I loved(Scythe + Thunderhead) and am satisfied by the outcome. The author took very daring steps in this that I appreciated though it was not what I expected.

Recommended for: Everyone that enjoyed the first two books in this trilogy

Rating: 8.5/10

 

Title: Gallipoli

Author: Peter FitzSimons

Genre: Non-fiction/War

Book size: There’s lots of pages

Thoughts: By this point I had run out of books to read and since it was just a few days before school commenced, I picked this one up since I had it at home. I don’t read much non-fiction but I enjoyed this one and I liked all the maps and the format.

Recommended for: People who want to learn more about The Great War and the details of the Gallipoli campaign.

Rating: 8/10

And there you have it, all the books I read in January. Also look out for Between the Pages first read of the year for February which will also be announced soon on both here and on the group on Goodreads. Happy reading everyone and take care out there!

9 comments

inky State Library Victoria

Brilliant reading - everything from history nonfiction to graphic novel. You've finished the Scythe trilogy! And you read Oliver Twist! I'm reading Bleak House by Dickens and wordy doesn't begin to describe the density!!!

31st Jan, 20
zitongbooks

Thank you! Dickens really likes to write about a load of random things.

31st Jan, 20
sylvs

What a list! You read so much more than me! With Heartstopper unfortunately you can get no help however my advice is to shove it in people's faces until they end up reading it and fanboying/fangirling with you. At least that's what I did and it worked XD

2nd Feb, 20
zitongbooks

Ok then, I will go do just that 🤣

2nd Feb, 20
sylvs

In reply to zitongbooks

XD it does work!

3rd Feb, 20
silene

Heartstopper is great ;)
You read so much!!!

4th Feb, 20
zitongbooks

Heartstopper certainly is great and I suppose I do read a lot :)

4th Feb, 20
bookwithbane

Brilliant list!

10th Feb, 20
zitongbooks

Thank you!

10th Feb, 20