January 2015 Reading

Reading Wrap-Up: January 2015

January 2015 Reading

I wish I could say this year’s reading started with a bang, but it was more like a fizzle. Last year Andi from Estella’s Revenge called one of her slumps “The Sea of Threes”…and I’m feeling like this is a Sea of Fours. While a streak of good books is nothing to complain about, I usually hope for a few more standouts. I’m reading about a month ahead of publication right now, so while many of these haven’t been reviewed yet they’ll be showing up on the blog in the next few weeks!

How to Be Both by Ali Smith
The Sasquatch Hunter’s Almanac by Sharma Shields
One Nation Under Gods by Peter Manseau
Sweetland by Michael Crummey
Silence Once Begun by Jesse Bll
The Train to Crystal City by Jan Jarboe Russell
Disgruntled by Asali Solomon
Welcome to Braggsville by T. Geronimo Johnson
She Weeps Each Time You’re Born by Quan Barry
Bones & All by Camille DeAngelis

Best Book of the Month

Sweetland by Michael Crummey


How has your 2015 reading been so far?

  • My 2015 has been slumpy so far as well with one true bright spot – My Sunshine Away! There were a couple others I’ve liked a lot, but that’s the only one I’m truly raving about. As soon as I finish Bad Feminist (which is hit and miss for me), I’m starting Welcome to Braggsville, so I hope that’s not one of the slumpy ones you were referring to!! I also hope to get to Sweetland sometime soon though it wasn’t on my original plan. And, I have Train to Crystal City, but am going to hold onto it until Nonfiction November.

    • Braggsville was really wonderful…it would have ended up a favorite, but got a little scattered near the end. I think I’ll definitely be recommending it, though.

  • My reading has been a little uneven. The year started off great… if you ignore the first book, which was a 1-star. It was nice to have Bout of Books so quick to shake that one off, and my next few books were great, but then the rest of the month has been a little up and down. I finished the month with back-to-back classics, Frankenstein and Dracula, and while I liked both of them, they just sapped my reading energy. Probably should have broken those up with something a bit lighter.

    • I definitely notice that reading similar weighted books back to back can sometimes cause me to get slumpy, too. I need something to give me a good spark right about now!

  • I’ve been hearing the best things about Sweetland. John Vaillant, author of recently published The Jaguar’s Children, says that he thinks Crummey is one of the best writers in the English language. I’ll be curious to read your review about How to be both [sic], as that one was difficult for me to write about in any meaningful way.

    • I adored Sweetland and can’t wait to dig into Crummey’s backlist.
      I had a hard time with How to be both and I’m not sure I’ll be reviewing it, either. It was a book club pick and none of us loved it. I really enjoyed my first half (the modern story), but could only get through the second half by skimming. It just kind of baffles me a little.

  • Glad Sweetland came out on top! I wonder a bit about the Ali Smith book and if it’s a difficult read? Sounds a bit different

    • I found one half of it to be pretty insufferable and didn’t really finish it, but really enjoyed the other half…it was a very strange read for me.

  • suzinrva

    I added Welcome to Braggsville to my library list yesterday. I await your review. I want it to be funny…is it funny?

    • It is! Dark humor that really gets at many of society’s ills. I really enjoyed it and loved how much it made me think.

  • Deb

    How did you like How to be both? I got it in a giveaway but I had a hard time getting into it. I don’t think reading a book written in verse is quite my thing although I’d like to try. I had a really good January – my favorite book was Americanah.

    • I really liked the modern story (which was first in my book) and could barely get through the story of the painter, so it ended up being a very uneven, not quite enjoyable read for me.

  • I hope February is a bit more exciting! I’m in the middle of Sasquatch Hunter’s Almanac right now and I’m looking forward to reading your review once I’ve finished and written my own.

  • Isn’t it funny how 4-star reads can feel disappointing, if too many come at once? My January was rather like that as well! Out of eight books, only one (maaaybe two) stood out sharply.

    I hope February includes more reading fireworks for you!

    • It totally can! I think I was anticipating a few of these books a little too much and just maybe had expectations that were a little too high.

  • Elena

    January hasn’t been a good month to anyone I know, so let’s stick together and make February a better month!

  • My January was a bit blah last year, I’ve been lucky this year as I’ve found a few amazing books to read. It’s strange how a month of good, but not mind-blowing books, can be as depressing as a month of bad ones. I think the more we read that harder it is to be impressed.

    • Yes! You’re totally right that it can be harder to be impressed. I think I also suffered from a little over excitement for some of the titles, too

  • Was ‘One Nation’ any good? I’m pretty desperate to get my hands on it. :)

    • It was! I have a review coming up in a bit, but it’s much more academic than I think most people will go for… I dug it though. I actually really hope it gets picked up as a survey text in college history classes because it would be pretty perfect. And I’ll send you my copy once I’m finished with my review ;)

  • Hoping your February is filled with outstanding reads! Looking forward to your upcoming reviews.

  • Diane D

    Did you like Bones & All? It was my favorite in January.

    • I really liked the story, but the writing was a little lacking for me…still an enjoyable read!

      • Good to know… just got approved for it on NetGalley, so I hope I like it!