January is busy month as I am finishing up winter camp (three weeks of 7 hours of teaching per day). Repeating, “What’s this? It’s an eraser, it’s a pencil, and it’s a desk,” for seven hours straight is unusually tiring. I am usually exhausted and don’t want to do anything when I get home, except maybe eat food and watch my favorite TV show (QI). However, I am determined to read 5 books this month to keep up with my 2014 reading goal. Here are my picks for January.
This book kicks off the new year for my International book club. Each year our group discusses HOW we will choose the books we read. This year we agreed that we would only read books that have movie adaptations. In this way we can discuss the stories twice.
I remember seeing the trailer for the movie, but had little intention of reading the book. Isn’t that why book clubs are so great? They stretch you beyond your usual genres and broaden your literary experiences.
I was unsure of my feelings going into this book. I had few expectations but thought it was an interesting read. While I wouldn’t classify is as a favorite, or a great work of literary fiction, I think the author raises some important issues. It is a brave author that writes about abuse, drug use, sex, depression, etc… Most especially in a young adult book. I think these are all things young people (and hey, older people too) struggle with, and getting them out their for open discussion is important.
This mystery novel continues the adventures of Amelia Peabody, a headstrong Victorian feminist who journeys to Egypt and encounters the most interesting characters, mummies, and of course a little archeological romance. Readers first meet Miss Peabody in Crocodile on the Sandbank, and her adventures continue in both The Curse of Pharaohs, and The Mummy Case.
Elizabeth Peters’ books are entertaining, humorous, and quite fulfilling if you want to experience adventures in Egypt without leaving the comfort of your own armchair, window seat, or other favorite reading areas.
I thoroughly enjoyed the addition of Ramses, Amelia’s precocious son and how his misadventures and speech impediment add charm to the story. While book one remains my favorite of the series thus far, I found the plot of the quest to unmask the Master Criminal quite engaging.
I received this book as a Christmas present this year in anticipation for my visit to South Africa this February (Yes!! I am going to South Africa!!!!) The Hunchback Missionary details the experiences of Aart Anthonij van der Lingen, as he leaves Rotterdam for the Cape of Good Hope in 1800.
Elsa Joubert is also the author of The Long Journey of Poppie Nongena, and is renowned for her writing about the relationships and conflicts between people and cultures. Her books are originally written on Afrikaans and then translated into English.
This book was a beautiful telling of a mans struggle to overcome adversity and his own weakness. With South Africa as the back drop, this story left me wanting to read more books set in this magnificent country.
My favorite quote: “I must force myself to be chronological. But does life, do the developments within an individual, occur chronologically? In broad outline, maybe. But not iin linear time. And blindly. One lives blindly. But with exceptions, like the moment in the chamber after that south-east wind. An encounter with myself removed from time, beyond experience. A different world.”
Another one of my Christmas gifts this year was this snowy beauty (my family knows me well, buy me books and I’m happy). I have been contemplating a trip across Russia for a long while, and I am hoping this book will encourage me to make the dream a reality. In this book I will travel along with David Greene on the Trans-Siberian Railway, and gather ideas and inspiration for my own railway journey. Midnight in Siberia recently received a mention in the NY Times Sunday Book Review.
I didn’t quite make it to this book, and so I decided to bump it to my February Reading List.
I have had this book in my queue for ages, and have finally decided it must “budge in line”. Based off of the blog (by the same name), creator Justin Valmassoi takes typical animal photos and adds comical captions for our amusement. I wanted something light to read to finish off this months list, and with a description like this…….
“A goat who wants to sell you some meth.
A giraffe who might be violating his restraining order.
An alpaca with a very dirty secret.
A cat who’s really mad at you for cancelling Netflix instant.”
How could I NOT read this?
This book had me chuckling the whole way through. It is literally a compilation of cute/bizarre/odd animal photos that the author has captioned. Not many books make me laugh out loud. This one did. It’s perfect if you have limited time. I read a caption or two while waiting in line or at the dentists office. A fun literary find.
side note: I am an Amazon Associate, and therefore if you buy one of the books on this list by clicking on the link on this post, I receive a (tiny) profit. 🙂
What book are you reading right now? Any recommendations for next month?