Christmas is over, the festivities have died down and everyone is getting on with New Years’ Resolutions. For me, it is to share more often the books that are currently on my shelf. Nothing is better than escaping reality with a good book, especially on these dark winter days in front of the fire, with a nice glass of wine or a hot cup of tea! Here is my January 2022 in Books.
Last year I did not manage my reading challenge. So this year let’s double it! From looking at the rundown of my 2021 in books, the main genres were Murder Mystery and Historical Fiction. This year I would like to break out of that trend, if you have any suggestions then please comment below!
January 2022 in Books
Books that came out in January 2022
A Flicker in the Dark
by Stacy Willingham
Genre: Mystery & Thriller
Length: 368 pages
First Published: 2022
When Chloe Davis was twelve, six teenage girls went missing in her small Louisiana town. By the end of the summer, Chloe’s father had been arrested as a serial killer and promptly put in prison. Chloe and the rest of her family were left to grapple with the truth and try to move forward while dealing with the aftermath.
Now 20 years later, Dr. Chloe Davis has her own private practice as a psychologist in Baton Rouge and getting ready for her wedding. She has found herself in a somewhat normal life, away from her traumatic past, even making plans to get married. However, this mask sometimes slips as she relives her own past through her younger female patients. Then a local teenager goes missing in a familiar way; then another… Has the past caught up with her?
Debut novels are either the easiest to review or the hardest to review. No in-between. To be honest, I was skeptical at first about the portrayal of our main character Chloe, but as the story went on, I seemed to understand her a little more. The book is not a description heavy, you don’t waste time on appearances or how things look unless they are of importance. This is something I didn’t pick up on at first but it made it so much easier to read so quickly.
If you are looking for a murder mystery thriller that has a good pace and enough twists to get you dizzy then add this to your bookshelf. I thought I had this book figured out by page 60. Only to doubt myself, question everything, and then be rewarded with the reality of the novel. Looking forward to what this author has to offer in the future!
The “Must Reads”
The Song of Achilles
by Madeline Miller
Genre: Historical Fiction
Length: 378 pages
First Published: 2012
The Life of Achilles, son of the sea goddess Thetis and the legendary king Peleus. He is strong, swift, and beautiful. His life is told through the eyes of Patroclus, an awkward young prince, exiled from his homeland. They are brought together by chance, and forge an inseparable bond, despite risking the gods’ wrath.
We follow the training and growth of Achilles and Patroclus from boy to adulthood, ending at the long siege of Troy over the kidnapping of Helen.
Well. I can understand the hype around this book, but it just was not all I expected it to be. The descriptions seemed forced to fit into a Mediterranean style, some working some absolutely not.
I have no qualms with the portrayal of relationships or character development. This part of the book I actually enjoyed. Watching and sharing the growth of the two men was very enjoyable. The love story in this book which leads from greatness to mutual destruction is 5 stars. It is let down by content in other passages.
The Rose Code: A Novel
by Kate Quinn
Genre: Historical Fiction
Length: 624 pages
First Published: 2021
Set in 1940s England, this novel is split between war and the Royal Wedding of 1947, Princess Elizabeth and Prince Philip. As England are thrown into the throngs of war to fight the Nazis, three very different women answer the call to mysterious country estate Bletchley Park. Debutante Osla is the rich girl, adorned with beauty, wealth, and the dashing Prince Philip of Greece, but she aches to prove herself as more than a society girl, and puts her fluent German to use as a translator.
Opposite is the imperious self-made Mab. From East-End London poverty, who ends up working the legendary code-breaking machines, as she conceals old wounds. Both Osla and Mab are quick to see the potential in local village spinster Beth, whose shyness conceals a brilliant facility with puzzles, and soon Beth spreads her wings as one of the Park’s few female cryptanalysts. But war, loss, and the impossible pressure of Bletchly Park, the place that drew them together, tear them apart.
Wow. Kate Quinn has done it again. After reading the Alice Network I needed a minute to think things through. The attention to detail and the research involved in these books are in themselves a feat and I wish more writers would pay this much attention. This book gave me emotions. Good ones bad ones. I wanted to rip up the pages at some points, but overall it’s left me sad. The characters are just so well thought through, they all have their own likable and detestable qualities that are all so real, I felt very much a fourth part of their friendship.
Commonwealth: A Novel
by Ann Patchett
Genre: Literary Fiction
Length: 322 pages
First Published: 2016
Spanning 5 decades, this novel covers the life and relationships of four parents and their six children. Spending summers together, the Keating and Cousins children forge a lasting bond that is based on a shared disillusionment with their parents and the strange and genuine affection that grows up between them.
My Reviews are biased toward Literary Fiction. It takes a very special book of this genre to actually spark enthusiasm and this one did not ignite me. I have no issue with the writing style. I love how Patchett writes. The description and characters are well thought out so carefully. This story just underwhelmed me in a “not my cup of tea” kind of way.
Warrior: The Amazing Story of a Real War Horse
by Jack Seely
Genre: Biographical Non Fiction
Length: 176 pages
First Published: 2011
My Horse Warrior, was first published in 1934. By Winston Churchill’s great heroic friend, Jack Seely. Warrior was the thoroughbred horse Seely took to France in 1914, surviving five years of bombs and bullets and leading a cavalry charge in 1918 before returning home where they rode on together until 1938.
The book Warrior: The Amazing Story of a Real War Horse tells the whole history of Warrior from his birth in an Isle of Wight field, to his amazing life as a famous war horse. The book narrates the horse’s extraordinary character and some unbelievable twists of fate, which helped him survive a war which claimed the lives of 8 million horses.
This new edition has an introduction by Jack Seely’s grandson Brough Scott, a well-known broadcaster and journalist. It includes the original illustrations that equine and war artist Sir Alfred Munnings drew especially for Jack Seely both during the war and at home afterward.
Seemingly impossible to buy the original 1934 version, this newer edition with the additional illustrations and foreword was surprisingly a good additive to the book. The book is beautifully written. It covers almost every aspect of this horse’s life.
Unlike the fictional Great War books, this writing is informative, and factual and gives a little more insight into what the cavalry faced in those terrible years. It is a short book so I can’t speak too much on it to not give spoilers, but a book well worth reading.
What books are you getting stuck into? Any suggestions?
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