If the rest of this year goes the way my January went, I will have aged a decade by the end of it. This was an exceptionally stressful and emotionally taxing month. As you will be able to tell from the dominance of romance on this wrap up.
Books I read in January:
My first book of the year was Archangel’s Prophecy (Guild Hunter #11) by Nalini Singh (4 out of 5 stars). I am trying to finally catch up to this series – I am so very close! I enjoyed this a lot, especially the last third when everything came together really satisfactorily. The cliffhanger meant that I immediately had to start the next book in the series. But as that one was fairly long with 500 pages, I finished Well, This is Exhausting by Sophia Benoit (3.5 out of 5 stars) first. It worked best for me when the stories stayed close to Sophia Benoit’s own experiences and less when the essays were meant to be more universal. It helps that I find her genuinely hilarious and that I am also, embarassingly, very online. Then I sped through Archangel’s War (Guild Hunter #12) by Nalini Singh (4.5 out of 5 stars) which brought the first arc of this series to a great end and was my absolute favourite book in it so far. I then went on a serious Lauren Layne binge. I first read Good Girl (3.5 out of 5 stars) which I enjoyed and whih gave me exactly the amount of angst I needed. Afterwards I read The Prenup (2 out of 5 stars) which was not my favourite because the male main character was just the absolute worst and didn’t ever seem to understand what he did. Then I finished I Knew You Were Trouble (4 ou of 5 stars) – which I should not have enjoyed as much as I did, given it features one of my least favourite tropes, but enjoy it I did. I loved this and I am so glad I read it. Then I changed it up and finished an ARC of Hidden Valley Road by Robert Kolker (4 out of 5 stars). This was an emotionally taxing but for the most part worth it read. Following on the one hand the Galvin family where of the 12 children six were diagnosed with schizophrenia and on the other hand the development of schizophrenia research and psychiatry in general, this is harrowing and sad and surprisingly readable. I prefered the more science history aspect but thought the focus on the family managed to put that part into greater focus. I would have prefered to have more emphasis given on the voices of people diagnosed with schizophrenia but I am also very aware of the limitations there. Well worth reading, but be aware of the very very grim topics. I finished the month with my favourite full read of a Lauren Layne novel (I read parts of many many more. When I say I binged, I mean it): Walk of Shame (2 out 5 stars) – I disliked this enough that it finally made me stop binge-reading. Which is a good thing because this kind of reading is ultimately not good for me.
Favourite of the Month:
I loved Archangel’s War so much. I love when Nalini Singh pulls her many plotpoints together and how she manages to make a book with this many characters still emotionally resonant. I just really really love her writing (obviously, having read, what like 40 of her books in the last few years).
I read 8 books, even of which were written by women. Two were non fiction, four contemporary romance, two speculative romance.
2 thoughts on “Wrap Up January 2022”
I’ve really been on the fence about Well, This is Exhausting. I find these jokey kind of essay collections are either love it or hate it for me, and I don’t know her so I’m unsure…it does help to hear that you find her so hilarious, though! Maybe I need to give it a try.
I’m glad you mostly found Hidden Valley Road worthwhile too. It was indeed a really tough and taxing read, but I thought it was impressively well done and told. I think about parts of that story so often – it’s haunting!
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I really enjoyed Well, This is Exhausting – but the first few essays were a bit rough, I thought, just as a warning. Benoit is at her best when she focusses on herself because her analysis (political or feminist) just is not that impressive.
Hidden Valley Road KILLED me. It was definitely impressively done, I just wish he had acknowledged a bit more how incomplete the family’s story must necessarily be if he cannot interview so many people properly. I found the history of science part overall more well-rounded, I think, but again, missing the voices of the affected. Have you read The Collected Schizophrenias by Esme Weijun Wang?