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January 2020 Reading Round Up

This month has seemed both very long and incredibly short; people do say it’s February that drags, no matter the fewer days. I’ve spoken enough about my reading this month so I’ll simply say here that I managed to finish everything I planned and have made a start on another; two, actually, though the second may be a longer-term read.

All books are works of fiction.

The Books

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Andrew Blackman: A Virtual Love – Various narrators discuss their time and dealings with Jeff, a man who posed as a famous blogger when a woman mistook him for that blogger and proceeded to show a romantic interest. Very good commentary what was in 2013 a current issue and still is today (the environmental issues have expanded, now, too). A re-read.

Andrew Blackman: On The Holloway Road – A man discontent with his life embarks on a journey with a notorious local, aiming to find true freedom in a country full of restrictions. Excellent. (This was a re-read.)

Camilla Bruce: You Let Me In – Aged 74, popular romance novelist Cassie has disappeared, leaving a letter in the form of a manuscript for her niece and nephew to find; in it she explains her version of the story of her childhood, during which she believes she saw fairies (she still does) but that a therapist at the time saw as a coping method for severe abuse and neglect. This is a debut novel by a Norwegian writer; it’s out on 5th March and is absolutely fantastic.

E C Fremantle: The Poison Bed – Frances Howard and her husband Robert Carr have both been arrested for murder and are being held separately in the Tower of London; they each tell their stories. Dark, thrilling, fab.

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Nicola Cornick: The Forgotten Sister – Dudley’s wife, Amy, has died, and, seen by the media as his likely lover, popstar and presenter, Lizzie, finds herself caught up in a suspected murder case; whilst this is happening, we read about Amy Robsart, wife of Robert Dudley, Elizabeth I’s favourite, who was found dead at the bottom of a flight of stairs. A thrilling, compelling, tale with time-slip elements and an intriguing, well-thought-out way of offering a solution to the historical mystery. The book will be published late April.

Sherry Thomas: Delicious – An ex-member of the nobility has a relationship with an Earl, and later a one-night-stand with his brother, somewhat unknowingly; years later, her lover is dead and she finds herself in the role of Head Cook for the brother. Strictly okay – the heroine was rather annoying and the plot artificially drawn out.

Susmita Bhattacharya: Table Manners – A collection of stories about human relationships and connections, linked by the theme of food, whether the food is an item, an idea, or a construct. Awesome.

Tracy Chevalier (ed.): Reader, I Married Him – A collection of stories by twenty-one women writers based on Jane Eyre. Seems longer than it is but the stories are all pretty good.

This was a stellar month; five 5 star reads, one 4 star, and only one less than those. I had a ball.

I now have a sort-of plan for this new month; I have three books I’ve started tentatively – subject to change, effectively. One is a book I want to read but is a little longer than I should be reading at the moment, another is a short-ish classic comedy I started purely because I only had my tablet with me and have read the majority of the books I had on there, and the last is a potential re-read. I’m going to take February more slowly in terms of planning – have a basic idea but some options for those.

What books have you started the year with?



February 3, 2020, 4:28 pm

I’ve put The Poison Bed on my wish list and Table Manners is waiting in my Kindle.

January was a good reading month, so I’m off to a great start for the year.

Freda Mans-Labianca

February 3, 2020, 4:28 pm

You did fantastic! Happy February!



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