Has January really gone that quickly? Apparently it has. That's scary. And it's such a long month too, always seems to keep on keeping on. Readingwise I feel like I made the most of it though. Ten books read and nearly all decent reads.
So without further ado, the books:
1. Northern Lights by Nora Roberts
2. Dear Me by Peter Ustinov
3. Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan
4. An Elderly Lady Is Up To No Good by Helen Tursten
5. The Winter People by Jennifer McMahon
6. Future Crimes edited by Mike Ashley
7. The 4.50 From Paddington by Agatha Christie
8. All Systems Red by Martha Wells
9. Under the Sea Wind by Rachel Carson. This non-fiction book charting the lives and journeys of various birds and fish off the coast of the USA was beautifully and lyrically written but somehow mananged not to engage me very much at all. I expected to love it but in fact struggled to finish it. I'm still wondering 'why'.
10. The Etruscan Net by Michael Gilbert.
Michael Gilbert is now one of my favourite vintage crime writers and I have Tracy to thank for that. She reviewed several and I managed to find one of them, Close Quarters, absolutely loved it, and have since read several more. The Etruscan Net features Robert Broke who moved to Florence after the tragic death of his wife. He's running an antique store and book shop concentrating on the Etruscan civilisation, about which he's an expert. The father of Tina, the young woman who cooks and cleans for him, is killed in a 'supposed' hit and run accident and Broke comes under suspicion and is arrested. Three of his friends, an ex-commander of the Royal Navy, the daughter of a UK diplomat and Tina herself, come together to investigate as they don't believe that Broke did it. This one has quite a complicated plot involving the Mafia, and shady goings on over Etrusan artifacts. It also says a lot about Italian politics in the the late 1960s and how much it was wrapped up with police work. Anyway, very enjoyable, possibly not one of his best, but certainly very good.
So, quite a good reading month, seven fiction books read and two non-fiction. Most were very good, one or two a bit average. My two favourite books of the month: Northern Lights by Nora Roberts and The 4.50 From Paddington by Agatha Christie. Places I've been to this month: Alaska and Vermont in the USA (all over that country in fact), Sweden, Italy, the UK, not to mention Outer Space. So not a bad bookish road-trip.
At the beginning of the year I made a plan to challenge myself by trying to read one science fiction or fantasy book a month. I susprised myself and read 'three' in January, Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief, Future Crimes (an anthology) and All Systems Red by Martha Wells, the first in her 'Murderbot' series. Next month I'm hoping to read Project Hail Mary by Andy Weir.
Challenge-wise, I read three books for my 'Book Bingo' challenge, one for the 'Back to the Classics' and started the 'Read Around the World' challenge with Northern Lights by Nora Roberts.
A few books I want to get to this month:
Wintering - Katherine May (just started)
The Dead of Winter - Nicola Upson (just started)
The Age of Innocence - Edith Wharton
Dear Mrs. Bird - A.J. Pearce
The Mysterious Mr. Quin - Agatha Christie
Percy Jackson and the Sea Monsters - Rick Riordan
Project Hail Mary - Andy Weir
The Splendid and the Vile - by Erik Larson
Deep South - Paul Theroux (the winter section)
Suspect I won't get to all of these but it's nice to have something to aim for. I'll be happy to get to half of them to be honest.
I hope you had a good reading month in January and that you find some excellent books to read in February.