Bout of Books,  monthly review

Hey, February! Where did you come from?

I pretty much say this all the time at the moment but, seriously, WHERE DOES TIME GO?!  January has absolutely flown.  Work has been seriously busy but I’ve been travelling further afield to meetings by train and have used my outward journeys to prep and my return journeys to read, giving my early 2013 reading a huge boost.  Also, I took part in the Bout of Books read-a-thon and had a wonderful time.  All in all, 2013 is rocking it so far.

Last year, I didn’t do monthly updates and went for quarterly updates instead.  I was struggling to remember why but looking back at my first quarterly post of 2012, I only read three books in January.  This year (or, more accurately, for as much of this year as I remember for…), I’m switching back to monthly.  I like checking in at the end of a month and noseying through my GoodReads lists and statistics to see where I’m up to, even if it DOES mean more battling with Blogger’s new fun feature of throwing pictures all over the place…

Total books read in January  7

Pages read in January  2,244

 As I mentioned in my recent “It’s Monday” post, a lot of these have been included in award shortlists and one even scored a win.  I am under no illusions that all books nominated for awards/shortlisted for awards are all great reads – we’ve all read at least one lauded book that’s turned out to be a real stinker (although I can’t recall one just at this very minute…).  All the same, my January reads were all seriously good.

I gave both The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood and The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller five stars out of five on GoodReads.  I know that a lot of readers reserve the five star ratings for complete game changers but the text that goes with a five star rating on GoodReads is “it was amazing”, as opposed to the four star “really liked it”.  “Really liked it” doesn’t really cover how I felt about either book, so “it was amazing” it is! Favourite of the month goes to The Handmaid’s Tale.  Offred’s tale is so moving and heart-breaking and beautifully told and is one of *very* few books that I’ve read in recent years (literally) that I would genuinely consider re-reading one day.  High praise, in my world.

January on the Blog

I put up nine posts in January.  While not as many as I would like, it’s an improvement on the end of December.  I started out the year committing to not committing to challenges, a decision I’m more than happy I made.  I participated in Bout of Books during the second week in January, which buoyed both my page count and number of posts and helped my get back into blogging for 2013.  In other general news, I also participated in my first It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? of the year and waffled about award winners, blubbing over The Song of Achilles and getting freaked out by Gone Girl.

I also got completely sick of the Intense Debate comment system either eating or hiding your comments so I flung out some ranty tweets before ridding myself of it completely.  Disqus kindly imported all of the comments that were both hidden in Intense Debate somewhere and lurking in my Blogger history and is settling in nicely so far.

Most importantly, I suppose, I posted two reviews (click on the covers to head to my reviews):


As always, I would love to post reviews BUT they are obviously the posts that take the most time, even though they are the posts that I enjoy writing the most…more of that in February, perhaps.

So how’s January been treating you all?  Whether you’ve been trudging through snow or battling your way through a heatwave, I hope there have been great books involved!  What’s been your favourite read of 2013 so far?  Anything to warn us away from?