January Reads 2015

I read a weird mix of books in January – jumping around genres. I also didn’t read at all for a couple of weeks in the middle because of moving / health shenanigans, so I’m surprised by the amount I did get in.

Through the WoodsThrough The Woods by Emily Carroll (Graphic novel – fiction)

This is an excellent wintery read with really beautiful and colourful artwork. It has five short spooky tales based roughly around the woods that are fairy-tale like, but more Brothers Grimm and Edward Gorey than Hans Christian Anderson. I think my favourite was actually the short epilogue, mainly because what the wolf says at the end is truly terrifying. Recommended if you like gothic fiction; a book so visually beautiful it’s definitely one to own.

All the birds, singingAll The Birds, Singing by Evie Wyld (Novel)

Another wintery read, but for very different reasons. A quiet book with plenty of slow tension and a really interesting narrative structure which gradually brings the past and the future together. Highly recommend. Full review here.

grasshopper jungleGrasshopper Jungle by Andrew Smith (Novel)

As the book went on I enjoyed this less and less – it’s a coming-of-age story in which the main character doesn’t actually change in any way, and none of the female characters are real people with personalities. Saying that though, I think a lot of people will enjoy it for it’s sheer weirdness and rudeness, and I’m glad there’s a teenage book that very frankly includes male teen bisexuality. Full review here.

StiffStiff by Mary Roach (Non-fiction)

I loved this book about all the different things that can happen, and has happened, to bodies after death. It’s a book with lots of interesting stuff in it, from body snatchers to the process of a ecological decomposition, and makes you think about what you might want after death. Full review here.

bitch planet 2Bitch Planet #2 by Kelly Sue DeConnick & Valentine De Landro (Comics – fiction)

Even though I find single issues don’t quite have enough for me, I’ve decided this is going to be the first comic I read in singles. Partly because I’m feeling impatient for the next installment, but mainly because each issue comes with an essay in the back by an amazing writer about something to do with feminism. The trades won’t have those, and in both the issues I’ve read so far they’ve been the best thing – shaping what I’ve just read and making me think wider about some of the issues. As it’s only on issue 2, you have plenty of time to catch up! (Check out my review of issue 1 here.)

The Rialto 81The Rialto issue 81 (Poetry)

I tried, and largely failed, to read more poetry last year, and I realised it’s because I know nothing about it so just sort of flailed around a bit. To help me figure out what I like, I decided to subscribe to The Rialto, which is one of the best poetry journals in the UK and publishes a range of styles and poets. I read issue 81 this month, and, while I still can’t quite articulate why I liked a particular poem and not the one next to it, I definitely think I’m getting a feel for things. I’m really looking forward to the next issue and I’ve already started to read more poetry outside of The Rialto, so I think I’m onto a winner.

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