Reading in January

It’s been a good month for reading. I’ve been making inroads into my own unread books, as well as reading books I’ve had on loan from the library since last year. These are the books I’ve read with links to my posts:

  1. Vengeance* by Benjamin Black
  2. Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell
  3. The Uncertain Midnight by Edmund Cooper
  4. Not Dead Enough* by Peter James
  5. The Hangman’s Song* by James Oswald
  6. Cannery Row by John Steinbeck
  7. Shakespeare’s Restless World by Neil MacGregor
  8. In the Woods* by Tana French

Half of them are crime fiction(*) and my Crime Fiction Pick of the Month is Not Dead Enough by Peter James. For more nominations for the Crime Fiction Pick of the Month see Kerrie’s blog – Mysteries in Paradise.

But my all-round Best Book of the Month is a tie between Shakespeare’s Restless World by Neil MacGregor, a non-fiction book that beautifully recreates Shakespeare’s world through examining twenty objects;

and Cannery Row by John Steinbeck. I came to this book with no idea of what it was about or what to expect. I loved it – there is humour and tragedy, meanness and generosity, life and death all within Cannery Row’s 148 pages.


Reading Challenges progress in January (for details of these challenges see my Challenges page):

  • Mount TBR Reading Challenge – 5 of my own unread books. My target is 48.
  • Read Scotland Challenge – 2 books. My target 13+.
  • Sci-Fi Experience also 2 books read. This ran from December to the end of January. There was no target as such, other than to read sci-fi books and my total was 4.
  • Triple Double Dog Dare – this is to read just my own unread books with some exceptions allowed, so I made it through January. In addition I’m trying not to buy any books, which has been a struggle, but I managed it this month. Somehow I doubt I can keep it up for much longer, nor can I see myself sticking to reading just my own unread books, not with the library van coming round once a fortnight and the temptation of borrowing books (the ones I’ve read so far were ones I’d borrowed last year). In any case I like to be spontaneous in my reading and this is getting to be too restricted for me.
  • What’s in a Name 7 – 1 book (Cloud Atlas in the weather section).
  • Historical Fiction Challenge – no progress. My target is 25 books.
  • Colour Coded Challenge – no progress. The target is to read 9 books in the different colour categories.
  • The Agatha Christie Reading Challenge – no progress!! I’ll be reading some of her books soon.
  • My Kind of Mystery Challenge – starts today!

14 thoughts on “Reading in January”

  1. Seems to me you did really well last month. I think I have Cannery Row on my Nook so will try to remember to give that a read. I don’t know much about it and am intrigued. My husband read some of his short stories last year and said they were brilliant.


  2. Margaret – You’ve had a good reading month. And I agree with you about how good Cannery Row is. Steinbeck was so very good wasn’t he at evoking a sense of place and atmosphere. I’m glad you enjoyed the book.


  3. I’m glad you enjoyed Shakespeare’s Restless World – I loved it too, both the audio discs where his enthusiasm shines through in his voice, and the book with all those superb illustrations. Have you read his History of the World in 100 Objects? Also excellent though sadly not nearly as well illustrated.


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