January wrap up and An Accidental American Kidnap review

 Hello everyone, 

I know it's Monday, not Sunday evening which is when I usually post but I was still reading my last book of January and needed to rest early for a really busy day today! But I've gathered my thoughts now and am ready to share them with you all!

So, I managed to read 6 books in January which isn't the best for me but the new uni semester has started and I spend a lot of my time reading articles etc rather than books due to that. However, I managed to read 3 physical books and 3 ebooks, which I was impressed with as I've had my kindle for absolutely years and yet could probably count the times I've used it on one hand. 

The first book I read in Jan was The Foundling by Stacey Halls. I really loved this and it reminded me so much at the beginning of reading Hetty Feather when I was much younger. The plot was kind of predictable but it's historical fictions so you somewhat expect it. I definitely like Halls writing style, I think it's really accessible and easy to read, not heavy which is vital given the topic. I enjoyed The Familiars too, and she has a new book out this summer called Mrs England so keep an eye out for that if you're a Stacey Halls fan. 

Next I read The Midnight Library by Matt Haig, which absolutely blew me away as do all of his books. I loved how easy it was to read and I think it made the themes more impactful. I wrote a full review last week which can be found here and if you've read the book and want to share thoughts please do so in the comments on that post - would love to discuss it!

I then read Becoming by Michelle Obama which was my non-fiction read for the month. I definitely enjoyed it and I enjoyed learning about the things herself and Barack accomplished during their time as President and First Lady. Being British and also being only 7 when Barack Obama was first elected I don't remember much about it or what he achieved, I remember a little more about his second term from 2012-2016 but it still wasn't really something I had any interest in. Michelle Obama is such a fantastic woman and I love how she managed to have her education, and then her career whilst raising their children. Most importantly though I loved how she was honest about that and how it was hard and she felt a lot of guilt about ruining her daughter's childhoods and not focusing on them enough which was really emotional and sobering to read. I can't wait to read Barack's book A Promised Land soon. 

Next I delved into the Bridgerton series by Julia Quinn, starting with The Duke & I (Bridgertons #1). I really loved the Netflix series and hadn't heard of the book series before that, so I went onto Kindle to see how expensive they were and managed to get the first 2 books for 99p each which felt worth the risk. I don't usually read light, romantic books but I do like history and the recency era so I definitely got something out of this book. It hovers around a 3-3.5 star rating for me just because it's not my thing but it was definitely enjoyable and I will pursue the series. 

I then read a short story collection by Eric Walrond called Tropic Death for one of my uni modules. It is from a module on global literature; Walrond himself was born in Guyana, moved to Barbados, then Panama, followed by New York and then the UK. The collection has 10 stories and they are about working-class black experience of poverty, death, hunger, hardship and suffering in the Caribbean. It was definitely a really interesting collection especially supplemented by my lectures etc and I liked the short stories over one novel because they featured a range of characters and took place in different Caribbean locales. It uses regional dialect and folklore due to being a Harlem Renaissance work embracing black origins, but that did increase the difficulty to read, however it was definitely very interesting.

Finally, I read my first NetGalley read! I received my first actual approval today but this was one of the 'Read Now' books I downloaded to get started with reading and reviewing. Also, NetGalley means I'll be getting so much use out of my kindle now which is fab! An Accidental American Kidnap is the first of Paul Matthews 'Royally Funny' series and this was my NetGalley review:

I usually read fairly serious, historical or factual books and it's been a long time since I read anything this light-hearted. I presumed it would turn out to be a romance and I would hate it.... I have never been so wrong about anything!! Firstly, not a romance (albeit for a few flirty details) and secondly.. I LOVED IT! 
George Nearly is one of the most endearing characters I have come across in a book - quiet, clever, slightly boring and loves his own space and most importantly his goldfish. He is exactly the sort of character that you want to follow through a whirlwind week with a royal princess, who threatens to turn his entire life upside down, and break his ugly coffee table. Going through this experience with George as the narrator was a hilarious, cringe and insightful journey that I definitely enjoyed. 
The best thing about this book has to be the humour. I presumed from the title and concept it would be in jest, and not the most serious book ever written, but I didn't expect to spend 2 evenings sat cackling and snorting unattractively over poor George and the hilarious Princess Minty. The sarcasm, digs at real royals and royal events, and George's incredibly mentally dense friends proved to be absolutely what I needed in a book and didn't even know I needed! 
If you're reading this review, you absolutely need to read this book! and keep an eye out for Book 2 coming summer 2021. I am already buzzing for it and it's gone straight on my list of books to watch for.

Paul Matthews then retweeted my review so I was pretty pleased with that! 

Overall January was a good reading month for me, I enjoyed all the books I read and read a few I wouldn't usually so it's been varied and successful. I've started thinking about my February tbr and there's a few NetGalley reads and a few books for uni as well as a small amount of physical books I will read IF i get the chance, so I should get quite a few books read this month. 

Did you have a favourite book of January? What's on your February tbr?

Until next time

xxxx

Comments

  1. Good to see you're getting the use out of your kindle. I just got mine last year and I find it helps me read more even though I still love a paperback! I read The Midnight Library and it's such a great read so it's good to see you enjoyed it!

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    1. I do love paperbacks and I'm still getting used to the feel of a kindle, but it's definitely worth it to be able to get free and new books from Netgalley - helps when you're a poor student like me! Glad to see everyone is loving Midnight Library!! xx

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  2. 6 books and in uni? That's pretty amazing!

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    1. Thank you! 1 of them was for uni, so 5 books plus a compulsory one. Feb has a lot more uni books to read though so I'll be interested to see how it goes this month with any other reading! xx

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  3. I loved The Foundling too, I read it last summer and I can still remember it. My favourite book in January was Where The Crawdads Sing - late to the party but well worth the wait!

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    1. The Foundling will definitely stay with me for a while! Where the Cawdads Sing has been on my tbr for..well...since whenever everyone on bookstagram started reading it. Maybe I'll get round to it eventually. xx

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  4. Some great books here, what a lovely roundup! I adored The Midnight Library too, such an easy read but still so powerful and moving. Hope you have a good reading month next month too!

    Anika | chaptersofmay.com

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    1. That's definitely the best thing about Haig, I always finds his books moving but accessible!! Thank you, I'm excited to see how February goes! xx

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  5. I love The Midnight Library with my whole heart, so I'm thrilled to hear that you enjoyed it as well. I haven't heard of some of the other books, but I'll need to check them out. I have Becoming on my TBR!

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    1. I'm so glad everyone is enjoying Midnight Library, I think with everyone going on in the world right now it's one book everyone should read to show them life is so so worth fighting for! Becoming is an excellent read and not as daunting as it might look - I hope you get to enjoy it soon! xx

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  6. You've given me some reading inspiration -- I must get around to reading 'Becoming' as that's been on my list for a while! Thanks for sharing!

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    1. Becoming is an excellent read and not as daunting as it might look - I hope you get to enjoy it soon! xx

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  7. Congrats on reading six books! It's definitely an accomplishment. I really enjoyed The Midnight Library. As soon as she got to the library and it was explained, I was pretty sure how it would end but it didn't take away from the rest of the book and it was one of those that makes you think about your life.

    I hope you have a great February x

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    1. I would agree the plot of ML may have been somewhat predictable, but the message behind it and what she learned from her alternate lives are the most important things to take away from it!! xx

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  8. Congrats on reading 6 books, I can barely manage two (sometimes three)! The first three books on your list are also one mine, I loved the Familiars also by Stacey Halls so I'm looking forward to The Foundling! xx

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    1. Any amount of books you read is an incredible valid achievement, do not worry! Stacey Halls is an excellent writer, I'm sure you'll enjoy it!! xx

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  9. Great post! I've been thinking of reading Becoming for quite some time, so I'm glad to hear you enjoyed it.

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