We have reached the end of the first month of 2022! I feel like January has a bit of a bad reputation that it does not necessarily deserve. We see and hear a lot of people complain in a light-hearted way about how long it apparently goes on for, but for me it is just a month like any other, albeit one that signals the end of the holiday season.
As for me, this particular January was one of mixed fortunes. The real negative was mental health; I really struggled with anxiety for a lot of the month, which was not helped by the cold weather and lack of daylight hours. It has been tough, but things are gradually getting better now, especially in the last week or so.
On the positive side, a lot of things in January went really well! I passed my driving theory test at the first time of asking, made some positive steps with my writing, had a few nice days out, and read a lot of great books!
It was actually my best reading month for a long time, which I am super pleased about. I finished a total of six books and at least two of them have definitely made it on to my list of favourites. All six of them are from different genres, and I am LOVING that variety! Here they all are…
We Watch You ⭐⭐⭐.5
The Girl Of Dorcha Wood ⭐⭐⭐.5
Oryx And Crake (audiobook) ⭐⭐⭐
Our Violent Ends ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
The Right Sort Of Girl (audiobook) ⭐⭐⭐⭐
I have come to realise that there is barely a fictional world that enthrals me more than the Shanghai which Chloe Gong depicts in her These Violent Delights duology. The sequel was just as arresting and I was hanging on to every word and feeling all kinds of emotions towards it. The news of a spin-off duology, Foul Lady Fortune, has filled me with anticipation.
Just as much of a highlight was Ariadne, a Greek mythology retelling which I simply could not put down. I absolutely loved it. The two audiobooks were fascinating for very different reasons, with The Right Sort Of Girl an extremely honest and insightful memoir about being a British Asian woman. Meanwhile, it was an absolute pleasure to read and be part of the blog tour for We Watch You, the debut thriller by my fellow book blogger NS Ford.
Looking ahead to my February TBR, the first thing to prioritise is finishing Things In Jars by Jess Kidd. Then I am hoping to move on to titles such as Hostage by Clare Mackintosh and The Paris Library by Janet Skeslien Charles, among others as I continue to try and #BeatTheBacklog.
One of my goals for 2022 was start writing more poetry again as I had really let it slide last year, and so far I have done fairly well, finishing four poems in January. That may not sound like many, but it is definitely a good start and I just hope I can keep that going.. And as I type, I am reaching the milestone of 200 book reviews for this blog, and have a new magazine article to write, so February should be a busy one!
This week also sees me return to working in the office with my colleagues again after the COVID restrictions were eased in the UK recently. I am looking forward to it, but also wary as I feel it is too soon, so I shall be taking extra precautions. As for the work itself, I am starting to get involved in some exciting projects, which is a nice change as it plays to my strengths and makes a nice change from the last few weeks of 2021, which were a bit of a grind.
To finish this post, I am highlighting some of my favourite posts from elsewhere in the book blogging community during January:
- Becky shared a list of her favourite standalone novels out of the ones she read in 2021.
- Siena is taking part in a reading challenge for the first time, and listed the books she wanted to read for #BeatTheBacklist
- May did a Q&A to mark five years of book blogging
- Veronika wrote a list of her favourite underrated books
- Dini wrote a fantastic review of Clap When You Land by Elizabeth Acevedo, a book which I really loved.
- Ruby shared a whole range of stats about her reading in 2021 and some goals for this year.
- Emily returned to her blog in January and wrote a wonderfully thoughtful discussion post on the subject of content warnings.
- Kristin reviewed The Firekeeper’s Daughter by Angeline Boulley, and may have found her favourite book of 2022 already!
That is everything for now. Have a wonderful February, full of great reads! 🙂