• Hannah Cartwright

January Reading Wrap Up!

This month I managed to read six books, which is a lot for me! I had a big stack of books to get through before starting back at University at the end of the month, which I powered through! It helped that a couple of them were really short, meaning I could read them in a day or two. These are the books I read and what I thought of them.

1. Becoming by Michelle Obama 5/5

This book was so good! By far my favourite book this month. It was so interesting and inspiring to read, I never wanted it to end. It was pretty much all I could think about and talk about for the entire time I was reading it, and the weeks that followed.

I wrote a full review which you can find here.

2. Harry Potter and the Philosophers Stone: Illustrated Edition by J.K. Rowling and Jim Kay 5/5

I’ve wanted to read the illustrated editions of Harry Potter for so long, so was over the moon when Ben bought me the first three for my birthday. The illustrations are so beautiful and made reading the book a whole new experience. I would highly recommend to any Harry Potter fan!

You can view it on Goodreads here.

3. Lincoln in the Bardo by George Saunders 2/5

Lincoln in the Bardo tells the story of Abraham Lincoln and the loss of his child during his time as President of the United States. It is told through a mix of fact and fiction; Some chapters are made up of quotations from writers and witnesses of Lincoln around the time his son died. The rest of the novel is told from multiple perspectives of the souls living in the bardo with Lincoln’s son.

This was a course book which to be honest I wasn’t overly excited to start. It took me a little while to get into it but once I understood where the book was going and the way it was written, I appreciated it much more. I still struggled with the style at certain points but overall it was an interesting and well written novel.

You can view it on Goodreads here.

4. Frankie Vah by Luke Wright 4/5

I always go into my University reading list half-hearted, expecting the books to be long and boring. However, Frankie Vah exceeded my expectations and restored my faith in course books! It was a really short book, about 65 pages long and written in verse. I read it in around an hour and was actually gutted when it ended so quickly! It tells the story of a young man who after being kicked out of University in the 80s, travels around as a support act for a band. He recites his poetry, addressing topical political issues, particularly surrounding Thatcher. It was a really interesting read and I'm definitely going to be reading more by Luke Wright in the future!

You can view it on Goodreads here.

5. The Reservoir Tapes by Jon McGregor 4/5

This book tells the story of a missing girl in a Northern English Village from the perspectives of all the locals. We see how all of these lives are intertwined together and the effect of this girl on them all. What I didn’t realise upon reading, was that this book acted as a prequal to a much larger story, Reservoir 13, which led to me being a little confused over the ending. However, I plan to read the full story soon and can’t wait piece the two together!

You can view it on Goodreads here.

6. The Dry by Jane Harper 3/5

Set in rural Australia, The Dry tells the story of a village rocked by the deaths of three of their residents. They believe that the husband killed his wife and child, before taking his own life. Police Investigator, Aaron Falk returns to the village for his childhood friend’s funeral and ends up sticking around to get to the bottom of what happened that day. Through further investigation, more secrets from the past, hidden within the village, start to resurface.

It took me a little while to get into this one, and I was absolutely convinced I wasn’t going to enjoy it. I struggled initially with the way the author wrote, which distracted me from the story. I found it hard to like the characters too, often getting confused about who was who. BUT…about a third of the way into the book, I was engrossed! As I got more into the story and the mystery I couldn’t put it down. I began to like the characters more and found it a lot easier to envisage them as I read. I sped through it, desperate to find out what really happened - and I was left guessing right until the end!

You can view it on Goodreads here.

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