JANUARY READING WRAP-UP || Contemporary and Literary Fiction

JANUARY READING WRAP-UP || Contemporary and Literary Fiction

hey guys so I'm here today to do my end of month reading wrap-up for the month of January so I have a very big basket of books that I read over the month of January January is summer school holidays here in Australia so I had a lot of extra reading time and I absolutely made the most of it but it is too hot to be sitting in this room and going through all of these books with you so I'm just going to go through some of the ones that related more directly to my reading goals for the month now if you missed my bookish bullet journal video from a couple of weeks ago my reading goals for January would read 10 fiction or nonfiction one classic and one of Shakespeare's play I wanted to read everyday if possible and I also wanted to make sure that the majority of my readings fit into the Goodreads monthly genres there is a fly I wanted the majority of my fictional reading to fit in with the Goodreads monthly genre challenge so that was contemporary fiction and literary fiction for January so I did not hit all of those goals life got in the way I did not get to read everyday although I did read most days I did hit the 10 fiction or nonfiction I read one of Shakespeare's plays did not get a classic in and my choice for literary fiction I haven't quite finished I did read some really great contemporary fiction but overall I'm really happy with how my reading for the month went so I'm going to share some of those books with my Shakespeare read I read a Midsummer Night's Dream this is my favorite of old Shakespeare's plays so it was definitely a reread for me a nice easy way to get back into reading Shakespeare now I won't going into the plot or a discussion of the characters or anything because I think this one is probably one of the more well known of Shakespeare's plays and you've probably come across it before what I will say is that instead of reading it solo like I would normally I read this one while listening to a podcast of a performance of the play so I will link that pod although I'm English Shakespeare's play they were written to be performed so if you're reading them yourself I would recommend reading them aloud or read them while listening to a performer to get so much more out of it so I absolutely love this it's always a five-star treat for me because it's my favorite so I did read the Pelican version this time and I do recommend these ones because they are very faithful to the original but they also have some really good footnotes in there that explain any of the words or references that might not come naturally to a modern English reader so that was my one and only Shakespeare read for the month and I loved it okay so my first contemporary fiction book for the year was seaport by clear to st. now this is not the kind of book I would normally read in that it's a short story a very short story it's more like a poem really and it's illustrated so it's a picture book for adults which is not something I would normally pick up but I was waiting on my library to have in another book by the same author so I thought I would read this in the meantime I am so glad I did this is one of the most emotional books that I have read in a very very long time it's so short but he manages to convey so much emotion in the few pages that he has that I cried when I got to the end even though because it's based on a true story I already knew how it was going to end so fair warning this is based on the true story of a three year old Syrian refugee who died when he was fleeing his homeland with his family so this one is written from the point of view of his father explaining why he felt the need to leave why they decided to get on the boat in the first place I think it's a really important read given the rhetoric around refugees at the moment particularly here in the story there is a lot of negative conversation around people coming to Australia embarks and I think this is something that is really important for people to read to understand why people make the choice to do that so I would thoroughly recommend this book okay so I would say prayer while I was waiting so Kai runner to become available in my local libraries so this one is an earlier work by the same author Kalia Husseini and this one is looking at the situation in Afghanistan so it follows the story of a young boy Amir who is born into a wealthy Afghani family and it looks at the relationship that he has with his friend flash 7th son so they come from very different social classes and they also come from very different branches of Islam and it looked at the way that ma abused his friend and it also looks at the situation in Afghanistan and how it went from being a relatively liberal country through the issues that they had with Russia through the coming of the Taliban and it follows this young boy his relationship with his father his relationship with his son and how life changes for him once he moves to America okay so it wasn't a difficult read it's written in first person which is always my preference I just find it much easier to get into a character's mind when it's written from first-person perspective it's written in chronological order there's no jumping around or anything so you flew this young boy from the time he's 12 trying to win the kite runner competition which is where the name of the book comes from all the way through to adulthood where he is trying to reconcile the mistakes that he made in the past to make amends for them and to move forward so it is a beautiful book and it really helps you to understand how the situation in Afghanistan came around I will admit that I only had a very basic knowledge of the situation there and how the Taliban came into power and this was not a terribly in-depth explanation but nevertheless it still managed to give you a sense of how one thing led to another so for that fact alone I found the book helpful to read but I just I felt so much for the boy the character is so well developed the it's not just a character where he does good things and good things happen to him or you know there's this problem in the country and this is how we overcome but it was far more nuanced to the mad he really really struggled in his relationship with his father there is a fly um he really struggled with his relationship with his father and then it moved over time and he really struggled with some of the decisions that he made with his friendship with her son so it was a great read I would thoroughly recommend this one my favorite book from the month there was your second life begins when you realize you only have one so this is the English translation of a French novel that came out a couple of years ago the English translation came out at the beginning of last year my library finally had it I loved it it is the perfect January read it deals with a woman who on the surface there is absolutely nothing wrong with her lives she's married she has child she has a decent job but she still has that feeling of being dissatisfied with it and I think that's a feeling that a lot of us can relate to anyway I don't want to wreck it but it starts off with her becoming stuck in a storm coming on a back street back into Paris car breaks down she just like she can't sit there and wait all night with my reception in this dorm so it she wanders up to the nearest house and asks to use her phone while she's there she's a man who introduces himself as a routine ologist and tells her that her problem in life is that she is stuck in a routine she has routine itis and he is going to help her get out of it and that sounds absolutely ridiculous but somehow it works so it is like a self-help book which is not normally my thing but it's like a self-help book written in novel form it is just just such a fun read it is great for getting motivated to make those small changes in your life in January I love this one so much that I think I'm going to buy it and reread it in January every year just as a bit of a motivational kickstart to the year to make those small changes that we just end up feeling we do we feel like we have routine itis it is a thing I believe it so this was just a nice fun one I recommended this to my sister before I even finished reading it she isn't a big fiction reader but she's very much into mindset and motivation and this lipstick her down to a tee so I've got not even halfway through when I'm on the phone Stacy you've gotta read this so definitely for a light-hearted slightly motivational fiction read this one is a great one to pick up okay sorry my very last contemporary read for the month was the tattooist of Ashley now this novel is based on a play that is based on the true story and told to a Australian woman he interviewed a Jewish man who was not really a survivor of Auschwitz but he happened to be the man who was responsible for tattooing the inmates as they arrived so this is story of lolly Sokolov and it explains how he came to be in Auschwitz how he came to be a tattooist some of the very near misses that he got into while he was there and also how he met and found love in this situation which is a new take for me on Holocaust fiction it's not something that I'd read before and the fact that it was based on a true story made it all the more poignant criticism with this book is that because it was written as a play there isn't a lot of character development happening it is mostly based on the plot one thing happening after another and those are interesting things that are happening and it does dump a little into lolly circle of feelings but not not as much as I would have liked I really would have liked this novel to have gone deeper than the play did and I think that is my number one criticism of it it was an easy read it's not terribly long it's less than 300 pages long including the afterword yeah I I feel like it was a great story it was a good book it just it could have gone deeper that's it I would still recommend the book to be read I found it really really interesting and I found it in an enjoyable read but the difference between this and something like secret is that I didn't feel that emotional attachment sorry in 300 pages this couldn't make me feel as much as cp/m made me feel in those you know few lines that I've had so that's definitely a downfall of this book but as I said I would still recommend reading it it is still a good book it's just not a great book moving on into the more literary fiction side of things so I read three books that I would feel comfortable putting in this category so the first that I'm going to discuss is a symmetry so a symmetry is written as two novellas and a coda so the coda is the prototype the two novellas together I don't think it did a very good job of that at all and if I haven't had it pointed out to me how the two were linked I'm not sure I would have got that on my own to be honest there is only like one line in there that pointed perhaps how the best and second develops were joined together now I've been reading reviews of this on Goodreads and it seems that most people prefer the first novella to the second and I'm absolutely the other way around these first novella in asymmetry is a bash a young woman Alice who is in her late twenties she meets and begins a relationship with a really highly esteemed author who happens to be an old man and it looks at how their relationship develops now for me because this is written in third person I always find it really hard to connect on an emotional level with characters when it's written that way that's just a personal preference on my part if you don't have such a strong personal preferences or best person over third person that might not be an issue for you it definitely was to me I also found that my not being American might have played a really big part in why I just could not connect in this first novella there was a lot of faithful references there is a lot of commentary from game the discussion about the game I found it so boring it almost made me put this book down several times because there was just such a struggle to get through so the fact I didn't have animo your connection to the characters and then I was just bored out of my mind by all the baseball reference's that are really really hard to get through this first novella I always put the big book down and didn't finish it it's also very heavy on dialogue which is not my favorite thing there is a hint for right at the very start that that will happen and it opens with Alex was beginning to get very tired of all this sitting by herself with nothing to do every so often she tried again to read the book in her lap but it was made up almost exclusively of long paragraphs and no quotation marks whatsoever of a book thought Alice that does not have any quotation marks if there were he needs to have an awful lot of quotation marks there is a lot of dialogue so for me there are a lot of things in this festival that were not my personal preference and I found it really hard to get through I also really struggled with the relationship between Ella's and the author and you can see that Alice begins to struggle with this relationship too and I'm not gonna say more about their relationship than that these second novella I loved I would have read it as an entire novel on its own it followed a young man who was Araki born sort of he comes from an Iraqi family he grew up in America and eat is that half his story in the present time as he sits in a holding room in an airport in London he has been banned from entering the country because they don't believe that he is there for the reasons that he says he's there and then the other half is told in flashback of his time in America of time that he spent in Iraq before hand and he's just sitting there waiting because his brother who does live in Iraq has been kidnapped and I just wanted to read an entire novel of this I don't know why did not seem to like the second novella as much as the first because I just could have read that for so much longer I was so disappointed that it stopped now the coder at the end is written as an interview with the author from the first novella and it really does reveal him to be the kind of man that I suspected him of being in that first novella and any sort of good feeling I had towards him evaporated by the time we got to the end of the interview with him but again I thought that link between the first and second novellas was very very tenuous link I wouldn't have picked it up if it hadn't have been blatantly pointed out to me at some point I don't think the coda did a very good job of joining the two together the car and the photo novella went to the really wealthy so it was an interesting read but I can't they I enjoyed it all that much so one book I read that I enjoyed even less than a century was the bookshelf I once taught this I struggled to get through it eat you've eight hundred and fifty six pages start to finish not alone read but I struggled because I was just so bored now there isn't a whole lot of plot in this it's a woman who decides to open a bookstore in an English town that doesn't have a bookstore it's set in the 70s it's looking at the difference in classes and it should have been great it was set up to be a really good book the characters remain so underdeveloped the entire time through you can't form any kind of emotional connection with anyone you're not even reading for Florence like Iike what happened is she decides to open a bookstore there's not really a lot of reason behind her wanting to opening a bookstore to me it seems like she's come to a point in her life where she's on her should know what to do with herself so she decides to open a bookstore because before she was married she worked in the bookstore it has nothing to do with the love of literature or with wanting to change her town or make a difference it's just sort of I don't know what to do with myself so I'm going to try and get back to what I did before and there is a lot of opposition from the townspeople she pays no attention to that forges on ahead which could have been great it so Clarence is wanting to set up this bookshop there is opposition from town members with much higher social standing than hers she decides to forge on ahead at one point she asks for the opinion from fallible a gentleman in the town who is very highly regarded he's seen as near one of the forefathers of the town he's someone who's good favorite everyone would like to be in although he's quiet a recluse at this point in his life anyway she reaches out to him in a letter and ask for his advice he responds by inviting her to team visiting that and they're having this this conversation over tea and it's not a terribly deep and profound conversation it feels like he's trying to sort of lead her into deeper meaning and she's just not getting there and at one point it's a mister Brundage sighed deeply perhaps he had found her wanting in some respect and that was the one line in the book where I was like yes yes because I found her wanting in so many respects she just she had no strength of character she didn't develop from one point to the next this seemed to be nerd motivation for what she did there was also this absolutely ridiculous subplot involving a haunted building that she is in possession with of that seemed to have absolutely no bearing on the rest of the story it could have been left out it was pointless if being in there it just bugged me that it was in there one thing that I will say in favor for this book is that things don't turn out quite the way she planned and I actually found that to be a much more satisfying ending on my part because she didn't put in any effort there was no sign of growth there was no depth to her so I think she kind of got the ending that she deserved and my very last book of the month is one that I'm still stuck on I decided to read someone Rusty's The Satanic Verses a million years after the rest of the world has read it because I knew that I wasn't ready for this book up until this point so I think to read this book it definitely helps to have some background knowledge on Indian culture on Islam on Indian myth and legend without that I would be absolutely stuck I am probably about a third of the way through this book at the moment I am really enjoying some things I'm really disliking others so I quite like the jumping between dream sequences between the present between the flashbacks of the past flashbacks are a really good way to delve into the psyche of the characters there is some beautiful beautiful writing in here so I have a habit of writing down sentences or paragraphs that I just find really beautiful or very meaningful and one that I write down from here was mrs. Morrow was a thin woman like a pencil beside the rubbery Baba Saheb but she was filled so full of mother love that she should have been fat like a potato I loved it and there are so many little gems in there like that it's well worth reading for finding those that's said I feel like the book could be heart the link that is and that would be just fine with me it does tend to feel rather wofully what could be said in a couple of pages is that in maybe 10 and sometimes that can be a beautiful thing that sometimes it's like omelets let's get going not that you want something else to be happening per se but just then it doesn't feel like it anything to the story so I've been stuck on that a few times and for me that's why it is slow going but I am going to renew this one with my library and Pesa barrows that so I will give my full of thoughts on this when I finally come to the end okay so this video is getting very very long I'm going to stop right now so these were my literary fiction and temporary fiction pics for the month of January the February Goodreads genre ease romance women's fiction and Weston I'm really struggling to find something for wisdom so if you have a suggestion leave it in the comments below I would be very very grateful it's not a genre that I have read much in kind of honestly don't have much interesting but I am trying to read more widely this year I do have quite a few things on hold at my library for romance and women's literature so I will be sharing those with you in a book very soon I will see you guys later bye you

3 thoughts on “JANUARY READING WRAP-UP || Contemporary and Literary Fiction

  1. Hey Kiki Wylde new on your channel gave your video a full watch, liked and added to my playlist, I hit your red support button.

  2. Feel like I'm a weirdo I dont read books but I'm always up-to-date on the latest releases. So yea I didnt read anything in Jan since you asked.

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