I have previously received PR products from Penguin. Swing Time, Ways of Seeing, Everything Under and The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo are published by Penguin, or by companies owned by Penguin.
For once, I don’t feel like the month has flown by. January seems to have lasted forever, anyone else feel the same? The lockdown fatigue hit me hard this month, along with a reading slump. Despite the slump, I have managed to get a fair bit of reading done, mostly towards the end of the month. So, let’s take a look!
Books read in January: 6
How many were from my TBR? 6
How many are left on the TBR? 0
If nothing else, I’m good at sticking to my TBRs! I find that the monthly TBRs really motivate me to keep going with my reading, else I’d be so overwhelmed by choice that I’d never pick anything up! And I have to say, my January TBR was a banger, with some incredible books on the list. I’m not sure I’ve ever had such a high average star month since I started doing these monthly wrap ups.
- [Previous PR relationship] Ways of Seeing – John Berger. 4 stars.
One of my 2021 Reading Goals was to read more nonfiction, so I’ve started strong with that one! Ways of Seeing is a great introduction to art and art history. I’ll definitely be looking at getting more books on art, so please let me know of any recommendations you might have. I posted a review of this one, which you can find here.
- The White Book – Han Kang. 5 stars.
This was a momentous occasion, because I so rarely give 5 stars, but this prose poetry work was just utterly beautiful. Through a series of personal stories, observations and musings on white objects, Han Kang somehow manages to explore what it means to be alive. I love Han Kang’s writing, and you can read my full review here.
- Rebecca – Daphne du Maurier. 5 stars [REREAD].
I very rarely reread books these days, but when the Let’s Get Classical book club voted for Rebecca to kick off 2021 with, I knew I had to reread it. I’ve been wanting to reread this one anyway, but it gave me the perfect opportunity. I loved it just as much the second time round as I did the first, and it’s so perfectly gothic and horrifying, with just the right mix of tenderness and honesty. You can find my review here!
- [Previous PR relationship] Everything Under – Daisy Johnson. 3.5 stars.
I’m excited to see what Daisy Johnson writes next, because from this book it’s clear that she’s a talented writer. Unfortunately I did have some issues with the way the book was structured, and it felt a bit too busy. There’s also definitely some content that some readers might not be comfortable with (suffice to say it includes a retelling of the Oedipus myth), but generally I think it’s a good debut novel. My review of this one is being posted on Saturday, so watch my blog for more!
- [Previous PR relationship] Swing Time – Zadie Smith. 4 stars.
Sadly, I didn’t enjoy this quite as much as the other Zadie Smith I’ve read, but she really is a great writer. The jumping back and forth in time did throw me a bit in places, but overall the story came together really well. It’s an interesting look at race, class, and gender, and also tackles ‘poverty tourists’ and the white saviour stereotype in an interesting way.
- Cannonball – Joseph McElroy. ??? stars.
I have no idea what I think of this, mostly because it’s so densely written and the plot so obfuscated that it definitely needs to be read multiple times to properly understand it. Despite being utterly bemused, it has a funny way of leaving you with more than you realise: after you put the book down and take a step away from it, the bigger picture starts to form, though while you’re reading, you feel lost. I have the bigger picture, now I need the finer details. While I don’t feel like I can give this a star rating yet, I do think this is an incredibly impressive work.
- Why Marx Was Right – Terry Eagleton
- Kudos – Rachel Cusk
- Exciting Times – Naoise Dolan
- Republic – Plato
- [Previous PR relationship] The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo – Taylor Jenkins Reid