January wrap-up 2021!

I don’t know about everyone else, but this January has felt sooooooo loooooong. It’s not been a bad start to the year for reading though, with a couple of real gems popping up already. I’m just sorry I haven’t got round to reviewing them all, but in lieu of that, here’s a run down of January’s book discoveries – I’d love to know if you’ve read and enjoyed any of these too!

  • The Hand of Justice by Susanna Gregory – I come back to this series periodically after first getting into it in 2018, and this is number ten. If you’re a fan of historical crime that’s not too dark or heavy-going I’d highly recommend them; the first is A Plague on Both Your Houses. Perfect escapism from the trials and tribulations of the modern world!
  • Where Three Roads Meet by Salley Vickers – Do you ever come across a book that you love and want to produce a glowing review for…… and then find that somehow you just can’t write about it?! Unfortunately this was one such book, but I want to put a word in for it here because it was excellent, and if you’re interested in retellings of ancient myths then it will fascinate you. It’s the story of Oedipus as told to a dying Sigmund Freud by a mysterious figure who visits him in his final weeks – a figure who it transpires was a participant in the story itself! I thought Salley Vickers’ novel was an exceptionally clever twist on the idea of how we retell old tales, and it’s definitely worth a look.
  • Leonard and Hungry Paul by Ronan Hession – I wrote a review of this only a few days ago (which you can check out here) so I won’t say too much more other than, put it on your tbr pile now!
  • The Foundling by Stacey Halls – I’m aware that I’m very late to the party as regards Stacey Halls, and having LOVED this book I’m sorry I didn’t read her sooner. It was one of those novels that kept you up until the small hours, desperate to find out what was going to happen; her previous book, The Familiars, has just arrived in a parcel this morning, and I’m currently debating whether to leap into it straight away or save it for a time when I need a guaranteed page-turner.
  • The Hunting Party by Lucy Foley – and this was a guaranteed page-turner that I’d been saving! I thought The Guest List by the same author was enormous fun (read my review here); to be perfectly honest, this was pretty much an identikit format with an incredibly similar cast of characters, but actually, I found I didn’t care as what was also identical was the level of enjoyment I got out of it!
  • Little by Edward Carey – Before I started on this wrap-up post I was debating whether to pick a January Book of the Month and decided I couldn’t because the choice was too hard. If I had to though, this would be a definite contender. My full review is here, but in summary it was a thoroughly original, striking, macabre and imaginative piece of historical fiction: highly recommended.
  • Acceptance by Jeff Vandermeer – This was the final installment of the Southern Reach trilogy, which I started reading not long before Christmas, and I can honestly say I can’t remember a series that disturbed me as much as these. It’s not outright horror by any means, yet the ideas at play here are so terrifying when you really start thinking about them, that it’s difficult to get them out of your head. I am SO lucky to have just received a proof of his latest novel, Hummingbird Salamander (out this Spring), and it’s next on my list to read.

As ever, I’d love to hear your thoughts if you’ve read any of these, as well as any must-reads I need to add to February’s list! Until next time, happy reading x