January 2021 book blog

Goodreads is a useful way of logging what I’ve been reading, but I thought I’d start a more personal reading blog here. I’ll start with January just gone, and aim to catch up with the rest of the year soon.

January is my favourite month of the year for reading. I have a December birthday, so by the end of December I usually have a fairly hefty pile of new books, and a nice armoury of book tokens to deal with any sequel emergencies. This year I started out with a fair number of sequels, some stand alone novels by new to me authors, a trilogy that I’m really looking forward to, a couple of collections of short stories, a nice haul of chapbooks, and a poetry collection. Where to start?

The book that ticked over from 2020 was Wyntertide, the second book in Andrew Caldecott’s Rotheweird trilogy. It had been on the shelves for at least a year, but it’s a complex tale with many characters, and I wanted to delay reading it until I had the third book ready to read. Christmas brought me Lost Acre, the third book, so I settled down with Wyntertide. As I thought, the complexity of the plot and the wide cast of characters made for slow going at first, but eventually I got back into the spirit of the story and was ready to plunge straight into Lost Acre and finish the trilogy.

But hang on. My lovely husband, knowing how much I’d enjoyed Adrian Tchaikovsky’s ‘Children of Time’ and ‘Children of Ruin’, had bought me a quite beautiful paperback by the same author. ‘The Tiger and The Wolf’ has a gorgeous cover that tempted me away from ‘Lost Acre’. It also has a first chapter that had me so rapt that I broke away only to order the second and third book in the series, spending some of my lovely book tokens. Luckily for me, most books arrive quite quickly these days, and I pretty much just got to the end of ‘The Tiger and The Wolf’, and plunged straight into the sequel, ‘The Bear and The Serpent.’ I’ve realised now that there’s an entire series that I should, perhaps, have read first, but the Echoes of the Fall series does stand alone perfectly well.

So, just three books in January, but to be fair I was spending quite a lot of time getting my own first book, (Fight for the Future), ready for publication. I was also dipping into Rosie Garland’s poetry collection ‘What Girls Do In The Dark’. I’d been reading it, on and off, since the start of November, and I’ve probably read each poem three or four times, and I’ve kept the book close at hand in case I need to dip into it again. The collection is life affirming and magical, and I love it to bits.

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