January Books


I think it might be easier to do these as a monthly post, rather than every time I finish something, which means that I’ve already blogged about a couple of these. Never mind. Also, I know there’s a white man on there with all my read women/read diverse books, but this is what I read this month. I think the ratio was pretty good 😉

Neil Gaiman, Anansi Boys – Carrying on my new found love affair with everything Neil Gaiman has written, this is following my reading The Ocean at the End of the Lane, Smoke and Mirrors, and American Gods last year.  It’s kind of a sequel to American Gods, but only in the sense that it shares a character, who isn’t really actually in the book.  It makes sense when you read it.  Anyway, I loved it. Fragile Things next!!

Ta-Nehisi Coates, The Beautiful Struggle* – Oh my god.  Where to start with this?  It just sings.  Coates’ writing is so, so beautiful. This is a memoir, and is about him growing up in Baltimore. It’s a story about brothers as much as fathers and sons, with Ta-Nehisi and his brother Big Bill the main focus, along with their relationships with their ex-Black Panther father.  I absolutely devoured this. (Out in February, Verso)

Edward P Jones, The Known World – I started this before Christmas and put it down for a while by accident, so I’ve only just finished it.  It’s about a black slave owner, and how his household copes after his death.  Except it’s not, really.  It’s about those things, but it’s also complex and complicated, and it jumps around timelines, giving every character a backstory, a family, a life. It’s not a quick read, and parts of it are heartbreaking to read.  Jones creates a vivid world for his characters in the pre-Civil War South, and every character is lifelike enough to exist there.  Beautiful.

Shirley Barrett, Rush Oh!* – I already reviewed this here, so I won’t again, but oh, it’s a good one. (Out February, Virago)

Milena Busquets, This Too Shall Pass* – Translated from Spanish by Valerie Miles, this bestselling novel is about forty year old Blanca and how she copes in the immediate aftermath of her mother’s death.  It’s a snapshot of her decision to spend a summer at her mother’s house on the coast in Cadaqués with her two ex-husbands and two sons, and her best friends.  It’s quite a quick read, but not easily dismissed.  I liked Blanca immediately; she’s not perfect, her life is a bit of a mess, and she just embraces it, and surrounds herself with the people who care about her the most to help her through the grief of losing her mother.  (Out in May, Harvill Secker) (I kind of want my Spanish to be good enough to be able to read this in Spanish. I might just buy it and muddle through!)

Merritt Tierce, Love Me Back* – This is another that I reviewed already, but it’s SO, SO GOOD.  I thought about it some more, and it reminded me a little bit of both A Visit from the Goon Squad, and The Life and Death of Sophie Stark*.  Yes yes yes.

All of these are, obviously, on my Goodreads, and the little stars are there for when a book was sent to me by the publishers.


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