Friends, I read so many books in January! I started my quest to read more Indigenous Canadian books, I finally read a John Green book, I powered through one of my least favourite challenge criteria on the Read Harder list, I finally read a Maya Angelou book, and I filled the time in between with a few lovely illustrated works and poetry books.
I also briefly (very briefly) toyed with the idea of reading only one book at a time. That was quickly squashed when I got to the big event in The Break and I needed a moment to breath. So, I picked up another book. And, then another. Oh, and a poetry book that I’d ordered ages ago finally arrived …
Yeah. Apparently, I need multiple books at a time.
I have the utmost admiration for people who can dedicate themselves to just one book at a time, but sometimes I’m just not in the mood. Or, I’m reading something difficult and need to take a wee break to remind myself that there’s still beauty in the world despite the horrible things I just read.
I won’t go through all the books I read in January. They are listed below and you can see my (generally very brief) reviews on Goodreads. I do want to mention a few that I was particularly fond of:
The Girl Who Raced Fairyland All the Way Home is the fifth and last book in the fairly land series (technically, it’s the 6th story, because Valente publishes a prequel on Tor.com). This is such a delightful series. Valente has the unfettered imagination of a precocious child and that shines through the whole series. The last book was just as enticing and fun as all the others and, though I had not expected the ending, it was a welcome conclusion.
One of my goals for this year is to read more diverse books and I’m using Book Riot’s Read Harder challenge as one of the tools to help me meet that goal. While I’m not married to the idea of actually finishing the whole list, I did decide to plow through one of my least favourite challenge items right away: a book about sports. I ended up picking King Leary which was featured (and won?) on Canada Reads a few years ago (2008, I believe). It’s well written and amusing, but, man there was a lot of hockey talk. I don’t do hockey. Yes, I know I’m Canadian and hockey is practically required by law here, but I’d rather watch paint dry. Also, the main character was kind of an arrogant ass. That’s part of the whole plot, but it’s still annoying at times. I did, however, enjoy the book and I really loved the ending (specifically, the last paragraph and how it connected to a lovely memory Leary recounts earlier in the book).
I’ve discovered that I really love using poetry books for short breaks while reading hard books or as quick reads to dive into while on my lunch break. This month I read two poetry books that have since found a forever home on my bookshelf. The first is even this page is white, which an incredible collection of poems about race and racism. Vivek made good use of design elements to compliment her poems (example, by leaving a lot of white space) and was open and honest about her experiences throughout her life. It’s an excellent book and one that I highly recommend, especially if you’re looking for a little diversity in your reading.
The second poetry book was by one of my favourite Canadian poets. Small Mechanics is another great collection by Lorna Crozier. I can’t place my finger on why I love her work so much, but I know it’s in part because of her reverence for nature and the atmospheric tone in her poems. While not my favorite Crozier collection, I still have an abundance of beautiful things underlined throughout the book.
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All the books that I read:
- Take Us To Your Chief And Other Stories (Canadian indigenous author)
- The Fault in Our Stars
- Secret Path (graphic novel with accompanying album)
- M Is for Magic (audiobook)
- Lost & Found (illustrated tales)
- El Deafo (graphic novel)
- The Bird King and Other Sketches (art/illustration book)
- The Girl Who Raced Fairyland All the Way Home (Fairyland, #5)
- The Fox and the Star (technically a kids book, I think)
- The Illustrated Compendium of Amazing Animal Facts (illustration book)
- Weird Things Customers Say in Bookshops (non-fiction)
- even this page is white (poetry)
- King Leary
- Never Hit a Jellyfish With a Spade: How to Survive Life’s Smaller Challenges (non-fiction, audiobook)
- Descender, Vol. 1: Tin Stars (graphic novel)
- Small Mechanics (poetry)
- I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings (non-fiction, audiobook)