Welcome to the end of another month, the first of 2021. We’re still all stuck at home due to Covid19, we’ve had a bit of snow and not much else to cheer up us but, luckily, the books keep coming…
January in numbers:
22 books, 6,646 pages.
Average rating 3.8 out of 5
4 books with top billing this month
3 released this year.
72% of books were finished at the weekend.
8 new authors
For someone who loves books as much as I do, I have worryingly frequent dry-spells where I stop. Not so in January though, and although the dips in the graph are evident (my longest “didn’t finish a book” spell was between 10-15th January, the 11th being a working Monday) I’ve read pretty solidly throughout the month.
I’ve pulled a lot of young adult fiction this month, partly because of re-introducing myself to the first handful of Alex Rider books, and partly because they caught my eye and I decided to shuffle them up the pile. Indeed 3 of my 4 top rated works this month are YA. As a genre, teen stories are brilliant because they can be so diverse, yet have to be written in a style that’s accessible to their age bracket. This limits them sometimes, but also means you know roughly what to expect in many circumstances.
Best of the month
What exactly were those top 4 then?
Tune it Out by Jamie Summer is the story of a girl with a sensory processing disorder who learns to embrace the wide world after living pretty much captive with her mother in the back of a pickup truck. It was seriously heart-warming, and had that excellent sense of grounding in a certain generation by use of very on-point cultural references. Then there was This Will be Funny Some Day by Katie Henry, the story of a girl with seemingly quite little to complain about on the surface who yet discovers so much wrong in her own relationships and most importantly in herself. Willful Machines by Tim Floreen was quite dark (more sci-fi for the market than the other two), and portrayed a society where being “human” meant avoiding Human-like machines, as well as abnormalities like being gay. Finally, the second novel tying into the Star Trek: Picard series, Dark Veil by James Swallow, provided a fantastic return to Trek form with a more typical adventure story than the first book.
February should be exciting. I have already blocked off an evening for my pot-of-tea, packet-of-biscuits routine to read the new Sylvain Neuvel out this coming Tuesday, which also sees new releases from David Levithan and Nick Jones. Karen Osborne has a new release on the 9th, and tied in my breathlessness with the Sylvain, on the 16th a Becky Chambers. Someone asked about space opera in the last few decades and the only answer I saw was Scalzi, but I’d put chambers up there, along with Elliot Kay and the Kollin brothers. I haven’t even read the expanse, which keeps making waves.
Well there you have it folks, January off to a good start. Averaging a shade over 200 pages per day at the moment, and so far, the year’s off to a happy reading start.