Whew. January is always a big reading month for me. I'm not sure if that is because of the weather (there appears to be a correlation between my heating bill and my reading productivity) or simply because we're starting a new year and I come out the gate like I've been shot out of a cannon. Either way, it's generally all down hill from here.
Many of the books I read, as you can see, were advance copies that will be hitting bookstores in February and March. You can expect to see some individual reviews of the exceptional novels, such as Holsinger's stunning debut novel A Burnable Book and Jager's incredible non-fiction true crime Blood Royal later in February.
Other books were simply on my "eventually I'll get to them" list. Rainbow Rowell's Fangirl was one of those and obviously I was not disappointed. I haven't had to grab the Kleenex box in quite a while, but this woman knows how to pluck at your emotions. Ditto for Sharon Kay Penman for all you historical fiction fans out there. A King's Ransom is the sequel to her popular Richard I novel Lionheart and due out in March. I'll give a more complete review then, but suffice to say it was another Kleenex-inducing read.
I was profoundly disappointed in the widely-acclaimed non-fiction The Astronaut Wives Club. While I thought the concept of a close look at the trials and tribulations of the wives of the famous astronauts of the Gemini, Apollo, and Mercury programs was spot-on, the execution took in just too many wives for the story to be effective. Had she focused on only a dozen or so wives, I believe it would have packed a lot more punch. Oh well, can't win them all.
You'll see book #3 of the Percy Jackson Olympians series, The Titan's Curse, up there. Since both Big Kid and myself wanted to read these books we decided not to fight over them and compromised - starting when he was 7 years old - by me reading them aloud to him. We now fight over who enjoys them more. I think I do, but he disagrees. They are wonderful.
Oh, you'll see the Thomas Cook novel Sandrine's Case up there. This was an unplanned read but I couldn't resist after the Edgar Award nominees were announced. I promptly put a hold on all of the nominated best novels at my library (all except those two novels that are a part of a series - I refuse to read a series out of order). Sandrine's Case was the first to come in and wow oh wow oh wow oh wow. What an amazing novel. It makes Gillian Flynn's Gone Girl look like amateur hour. I'll have more to say about this as I continue to showcase each of the Edgar nominees leading up to the awards ceremony. But I loved this novel!
So that's about it for January. Most of the books that were released in January I had already read in December. I am either a month ahead in the new release department - if I read the advance copy - or I am a month or two behind in new releases - if I didn't read the advance copy, ha ha. But never, it seems, do I get to read a new release in the month in which it is actually released. This disconcerts me for some reason. I feel left out.
But for what it's worth, I'll leave you all with my pick for the best new book release of January 2014. At least for my money. Be sure to tell me what your best pick is so I can add it to my list of books to read!