At the start of the year, I set myself the completely ridiculous goal of reading 100 books in 2017. That’s roughly two a week.
I began well, buzzing through two books for the first three weeks of the year. Unfortunately, I fell off the rails a bit after that, but we won’t talk about February just yet, even though it’s very nearly over…
January was actually an amazing reading month and really lifted me out of the slump that I had fallen into in 2016. I tackled a range of genres, with fiction, non-fiction and memoir, and really enjoyed everything I read.
Gemina, by Amie Kaufman
After moving to a remote space station with her dad, pampered teen Hanna spends her days fighting boredom – not to mention the attentions of drug dealer Nik, a reluctant member of the on board crime family.
But what neither of them realise is that the crew of the Hypatia are hurtling towards them, hoping for rescue after the Kerenza assault. When an elite team of mercenaries get to the station first, Hanna and Nik have to join forces if they’re going to get out of the situation alive.
This is the sequel to Illuminae, and it’s just as action packed as its predecessor. Again, the story is told via the ship’s files and messaging systems, with transcripts of security footage thrown in.
It follows much the same format as the first novel: teen boy and girl thrown together reluctantly to save themselves and their crew from an evil corporation bent on their destruction. But there are some new elements to the story and the two books link up nicely.
Definitely check out this series if you enjoy YA and/or sci-fi fiction.
The Long Way to a Small Angry Planet, by Becky Chambers
When Rosemary joins the crew of The Wayfarer, a tunnelling ship that has seen better days, it gives her a chance to escape her past. She’s soon drawn into life in space with the motley interspecies crew, as they are offered the job of a lifetime in a distant and dangerous galaxy.
But the crew have secrets that threaten the harmony of life on board The Wayfarer and Rosemary realises she may not be able to get away from her troubles as easily as she thought.
Only the beginning of January and my second sci-fi book of the year – considering I rarely read the genre this is pretty good going!
I’ve been eyeing this novel for ages, partly for the lovely title and partly for the cover art. It’s reminiscent of Firefly, with its episodic story and quirky camaraderie among the fringe settlements of space, but with a crew made up of both humans and alien creatures.
The characters are all incredibly well drawn and developed and the writing is beautiful. I’m looking forward to reading the second part in the series.
The Good Immigrant, by Nikesh Shukla
This collection of essays by BAME writers, edited by author Nikesh Shukla, explores what it means to be an immigrant, or descended from an immigrant family, in modern day Britain.
Essays deal with racial profiling in airports, the language we use to describe people of different races and cultures, representations in the media and much more. It’s an eye-opening glimpse into what life is like for many people in our society and it’s something everyone should read, if only to re-examine their own perceptions on race and privilege and develop a deeper sense of the everyday struggles that some people face.
The Year of Magical Thinking, by Joan Didion
When her husband died suddenly, while their only daughter was perilously sick in hospital, writer Joan Didion was confronted with a new reality that she found hard to accept.
This memoir recalls her feelings in the year following her husband’s death and how she coped with her grief, all the while expecting him to return home to her.
This is an incredibly sad and intelligent examination of grief and how it can strike so unexpectedly.
Dear Amy, by Helen Callaghan
When teacher Margot receives a strange letter at the local newspaper where she writes ‘Dear Amy’, a regular advice column, claiming to be from a girl who went missing years earlier, she is drawn into a correspondence with the mysterious letter writer and disturbing secrets from her own past threaten to emerge.
I reviewed this book in more depth earlier in the year, but it’s a psychological thriller that delves into the world of repressed memory and trauma.
It’s a twisting thriller that makes for an entertaining read.
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, by J.K. Rowling
Wizard Newt Scamander arrives in New York with a case full of magical creatures, just as a dark force is terrorising the city. After several of his creatures escape, Newt joins up with former auror Tina, her sister Queenie and no-maj Jacob to round them up and prove that they are not responsible for the chaos.
After finally reading the Harry Potter series last year, I’ve been converted to the whole wizarding universe and was excited to read the screenplay for Rowling’s latest film, after seeing it at the cinema of course!
It’s a fun and engaging read and the book itself is beautiful. No doubt it has already become part of many Potterhead collections.
This post contains affiliate links. I received a copy of Dear Amy from the publisher, but all opinions are my own.