January Round-up

I read 7 books in January, 2 Non-fiction, 5 Fiction, all on my Kindle. Not too bad for a lady who had a baby!

Under Heaven by Guy Gavriel Kay. I’m not sure where I first heard about this book, but it’s been on my To-Read list for a while (I’m making a concerted effort to actually read the books on my To-Read list this year). It’s vaguely a fantasy book (set in some made-up dynasty of the indeterminate Chinese past), which isn’t usually my thing, but mostly it was just a really good, really engaging story. I was into it the whole way through (and often with more contemporary fiction there are parts that drag for me). Just a really good read.

Cod: A Biography of the Fish that Changed the World by Mark Kurlansky. Kurlansky is one of my favorite non-fiction writers. He writes interesting social histories bound around a fairly specific topic (in this case, Cod). I can easily recommend anything he’s written. I mean, if you are into nerdy history things.

Our Kind of Traitor by John le Carre. This is the first book I’ve read by le Carre, who writes spy novels. This is the first book I read after Frances was born and it was mostly read in the wee hours of the mornings. I thought it was really great and was very into it – right up until the ending which I found wholly unsatisfying. I’d try him again though.

Blood, Bones & Butter: The Inadvertent Education of a Reluctant Chef by Gabrielle Hamilton. I love a memoir and if the memoir talks about food, so much the better. This book got mentioned in a bunch of 2011 year-end wrap-ups, and I’m glad I gave it a try. It was a good read.

State of Wonder by Ann Patchett. When Dr. Singh’s colleague dies on a visit to the Amazon (checking on the progress of an elusive drug researcher), she is chosen to complete his mission (and bring back his effects to his family). Really well written and interesting book. One of my favorites of the last year or so.

Before I Go to Sleep by S. J. Watson. Christine has suffered memory loss as a result of an accident that she can’t remember. Every day she wakes up not knowing who she is or what has happened to her. She can remember things throughout the course of the day, but forgets everything again overnight. At the suggestion of a doctor, she begins keeping a journal to help her remember, but it also makes her realize that all is not as it seems with her devoted husband, Ben. Interesting premise and very suspenseful.

The Moving Finger by Agatha Christie. The next Miss Marple mystery (although Miss Marple doesn’t make an appearance until 2/3 of the way through the book) features anonymous “poison pen” letters. As always, Ms. Christie does not disappoint.

January Round-up