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Somehow February is now upon us, and we’ve already gone through the official worst month of the year – January. The post Christmas haze has cleared and life is back to normal. For me, that means reading as many books as I can get my hands on.

So what did I read in January?

Gorgeous book, gorgeous cover.

  • Circe by Madeline Miller – an excellent novel from Madeline Miller, who also wrote the absolutely heartbreaking The Song of Achilles. This one focuses on Circe (surprise), her growing witchy powers and her exile to a deserted island.
  • Dumplin’ by Julie Murphy – this is really not a book I expected myself to pick up, let alone enjoy, but I watched the Netflix film in December and really enjoyed it. It was a fabulous coming-of-age piece with lots of Dolly Parton and cameos from some excellent drag queens. The film was a good adaptation, leaving out the stuff that dragged the book down.
  • Skullsworn by Brian Staveley – apparently this is technically a prequel/set in the same world as Staveley’s Chronicles of the Unhewn Throne series, but can easily be read as a standalone. Which is lucky, because I’ve read the first book and don’t remember a thing about it. It’s a serious disorder called book amnesia, and affects something like 75% of all book bloggers* because our brains are just overflowing with plots, characters and infuriating story arcs, so some of it just has to get pushed out.
  • Cold Earth by Sarah Moss – this was lent to me by my mum, who recommended it to me as it’s about archaeologists on excavation in Greenland. It’s told from multiple points of view, and the first character, Nina, seriously needed to get a grip. I was hoping for some redeeming qualities but then her section just suddenly ended, which was frustrating. The ending of the book itself was also super disappointing.
  • The Martian by Andy Weir – I re-read this book, which I’ve been meaning to do ever since I watched the film. First time round I read it on my Kindle and I think that dampened my enjoyment a bit. It went from a 3 star rating to 4 stars!
  • Puddin’ by Julie Murphy – a sequel to Dumplin’, this was some cute fluff but not as enjoyable as the first book.
  • Yes She Can by Ruth Davidson – I grabbed this in the library because I was interested by the premise – women who are ahead of their fields or the first to do something. Just goes to show how little I know about politics – it’s written by the leader of the Scottish Conservatives. Definitely a interesting read though.
  • How to Live Safely in a Science Fictional Universe by Charles Yu – this was another random library choice, and it fell really flat. I didn’t quite know what the whole point of the story was…
  • Kingdom of Ash (Throne of Glass #7) by Sarah J. Maas – the conclusion to the Throne of Glass series that first appeared when I started book blogging, I’ve really enjoyed the stories of Aelin and her companions. There are moments in these books that have me unintentionally laughing out loud, especially some of the sex scenes, but in general it’s been a fun fantasy series to follow.

(* not scientifically proven)

What did you read in January? Have you read any of these titles?
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Just like last year, I’m sharing my year in books for 2018!

I read 42,948 pages across 106 books. Quite a bit less than last year (147), but I joined Twitch at the end of 2017 and started playing video games even more.

The longest book I read was The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova, at 704 pages. This was a re-read of a book that I’d previously loved, but it just didn’t seem to be all that great the second time around.

The shortest book I read was The War of Art by Steven Pressfield. It’s only 168 pages and is a pretty interesting self-development book.

My rating breakdown looks like this, with an average rating of 3.3 stars (lower than last year), which doesn’t sound great!

  • 5 stars: 11
  • 4 stars: 37
  • 3 stars: 30
  • 2 stars: 26
  • 1 star: 2
  • Did not finish: 0

Unlike last year, I didn’t DNF any books! However, I seem to have read quite a few books that I didn’t particularly enjoy, and I’m amazed I only gave 11 books 5 stars. Maybe this year I need to be more picky about what I read?

The highest rated book on Goodreads that I read in 2018 was The Hunger Games (The Hunger Games #1) by Suzanne Collins. Unsurprising, and this was also the fourth or fifth time I’ve read it. The lowest rated was Bottoms Up in Belgium by Alec Le Sueur, which I read on a travel writing binge.

This year also saw a couple of re-reads, but perhaps not as many as I thought. I’m planning to do quite a bit of re-reading this year anyway, mostly because I need to continue a few series and have completely forgotten the contents of the first book(s)…

HOW WAS YOUR YEAR IN READING?
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Dragons & Jetpacks is a science fiction and fantasy bookgroup, based on Goodreads. The group is open to all, all that is required is a Goodreads account. We read two books a month, one fantasy and one sci-fi – the second week of each month is when members make suggestions, and the third is used for voting. We’re always happy to meet fellow fans of the genres, so you’re more than welcome to join the group!





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