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I have many alternative worlds, all on my bookshelf. Working at BookLikes.com Say hello: kate at booklikes dot com

Books I've Read in January

I’ve noticed this trend of January Books on BookLikes Dashboard started by Pesca (Meine Bücher im Jänner 2013 / Books I've read in January) and followed by Lillelara (Bücher, die ich im Januar gelesen habe) and Bucheule (Buchbilanz Januar) and decided to join with summing up my reading January life on the last day of the month! At first I got little unsure - if I haven’t read as many books as you I would look little pale in this comparison. So I started counting.  Uff, my January reading stats aren’t so bad :-)


January brought me variety of literary worlds, themes and writing style. Which is good as no monotony sneaked into :-) I started New Year with two books from YA “Siren” series. Both books - “Siren” and “Undercurrent” - were quite enjoyable and fast-readers, however not fast-paced. What I liked was modern representation of ancient creatures, meaning sirens but the story as a whole sometimes lacked the trigger. Overall siren experience was positive mainly thanks to easy-going author’s writing. Both books received 3 stars.


Next read was “Dom na Krawędzi” (eng. The House on the Edge) by Polish writer Maria Nurowska. This was a second installment about Daria who was convicted of murdering her husband and the story of her process of adjustment and confessions in prison (described in Drzwi do piekła, eng. The Door to Hell). The House on the Edge is a continuation of Daria’s fate after she was released. I absolutely loved this book, it was touching and not so dense as the first one, if you know what I mean. Maria Nurowska is a gifted writer, her books are so vivid and realistic that you nearly feel the breath of main characters on your face. The House on the Edge got 4 stars.


Next 4-star January book was A Second Wind, memoir by Philippe Pozzo di Borgo. It’s story of him, his life prior and after being paralyzed, his wife who suffers from cancer, their history and struggles. Telling the truth it was the movie (The Intouchables) based on this real life story that inspired me to grab a book. A Second Wind was a rollercoaster, on one page you want to cry and smile on the next one (there were more tears-prone pages, though). The story was absolutely amazing and although it’s an autobiography I couldn’t imagine that this could happen for real, for me. The book is bitter, sad and full of pain but also hope, inner strength and some smiling points too. The movie presented only a tiny positive snapshot from Phillipe’s life and the book was nothing like it. His memoir is very inspiring and makes you  appreciate you life. Instantly while reading it.


The last book I read in January was Michel Houellebecq's The Map and the Territory. I have a problem with this book and ambivalent feelings. The story was led around successful French artist, parisian artistic society and murder of Houellebecq. Yes, the author of the book, which was strange for me and little hubristic. The book was neither bad nor good for me, some extracts were static, philosophical and nearly boring and some exciting. On the second hand the book received prestigious The Prix Goncourt in 2010 for “the best and most imaginative prose work of the year” so there must be something deeper. In my respect, the story lacked something, on the one hand it was fully presented, all plots were explained and resolved, the writing was excellent but on the second it was still incomplete. I gave the book three stars so here’s an example of literary critic’s and reader’s different reading experiences, apparently.


My January Books In Numbers:

I’ve finished 5 books that gives 1 book every 6 days. I’ve read 2 YA books, 1 memoir and 2 literary fiction. I’ve read 1638 pages. 3 books received 3 stars and 2 were rated with 4.

What was your January reading experience?