This was a bit of a trickier month this month. A lot of ambitious books some of which I read but some I struggled with.
- I read 12 books this month
- Genre: 7 fantasy, 2 historical fiction, 1 mystery, 1 non-fiction and 1 contemporary
- Gender of authors: 5 women, 3 men, 1 various and 1 gender-fluid author.
- Race of authors: 5 white authors, 4 asian authors and 1 various.
- Age range: 7 adult, 3 YA and 2 middle grade
- Format: 6 paperback, 3 hardback, 2 audiobook and 1 ebook
The Secret of Matterdale Hall by Marianne Ratcliffe (DNF)
This book was sent to me via the author and unfortunately, it didn’t work for me. It follows a young woman who becomes a new teacher at a new school and not everything is as it seems. For me, I found some of the characters to be forgettable and I didn’t find myself connected to the plot at all.
The Very Merry Murder Club by Various Authors (DNF)
I was super excited to get into the Christmassy mood with these mysteries. Unfortunately, I just got caught up with other books and never got round to finishing it.
The Wind in the Willows – Kenneth Grahame (2 stars)
When I was 10 years old I took part in my school’s version of The Wind in the Willows musical. I played Mole! I was super excited to revisit the story of Mole, Rat, Toad and Badger. I decided to listen to the audio dramatisation rather than the actual novel and I loved all the performances and the ambience. I felt I was in the story myself. Unfortunately, I didn’t love the plot itself and the characters annoyed me.
Look Back – Tatsuki Fujimoto (2 stars)
This was the first manga I had ever read by this author. It follows a young woman who meets a friend through their love of manga. I had no big reason against this story. I just didn’t love it. I wasn’t a big fan of the main character so I think that must be why I couldn’t connect to the story.
Small Things Like These – Claire Keegan (3 stars)
I don’t read too much literary fiction. It’s not a genre that I enjoy too much but due to the short nature of the story, I felt it was a good bridge to give it a go. This follows a guy who is spending his before Christmas working and supporting his family while reflecting back on his childhood. Alongside that, we see glimpses into the treatment of unwed pregnant girls in 80’s Ireland. In terms of the story, I wanted more. I felt Keegan was connecting to something really important and just as we properly got into the story – the book ended. It was too short for me. I wanted more!
Welcome to St. Hell – Lewis Hancox (3 stars)
This was a graphic novel about one person’s experience growing up transgender in the early 2000’s. I found it to be really interesting and profound to get a first-hand account of someone’s personal experience. I will be honest and say I didn’t love the art style and I did find the dialogue to be quite cringey.
In The Watchful City – S. Qiouyi Lu (3 stars)
This was my first experience reading a book with Neo-pronouns. This was a super interesting story but I did get a bit confused throughout. I did enjoy the story within a story element as well as the numerous powers.
TLOZ: Twilight Princess Vol. 1 – Akira Himekawa (3.5 stars)
Still my favourite Zelda game to date. I was super interested in seeing the story adapted into a manga. I really enjoyed Himekawa’s take on the story and I think the first volume set everything up really well.
Secret History – Brandon Sanderson (3.5 stars)
I can’t say too much about this book due to major spoilers. I did think I was going to enjoy it more than I did but it did answer a lot of questions I had and still had some great emotional moments.
The Bands of Mourning – Brandon Sanderson (4 stars)
Probably my favourite book in the Mistborn era 2 series. I have already finished The Lost Metal and I still think book 3 is better. I felt that the characterisation was super strong, the plot was really interesting, the unexpected romance made me super happy and an ending that blew my mind.
Disfigured – Amanda Leduc (5 stars)
A super powerful and insightful book about how Western fairytales laid the foundation for the treatment of disabled people and the normalisation of ableism. I learnt a lot from reading this book. So many things I had been ignorant too.
Sailor Moon Vol. 1 – Naoko Takeuchi (5 stars)
I healed my inner child by reading this manga. Powerful women, beautiful illustrations, hilarious dialogue. It felt like I was 10 years old again watching Saturday morning cartoons. I am now officially obsessed with Sailor Moon and it has become my whole personality.