Books I enjoyed in January

books I enjoyed in January 2019

I read five books during the month of January but only actually enjoyed three of them. One of them was the January pick for the A Bookish Baker Book Club (I really wanted to enjoy it) and one was sent me as an ARC. I quite enjoyed it until the end when I felt utterly cheated by the writing. It was almost like a murder mystery when the murderer turned out to be someone who hadn’t been mentioned throughout the book. But it’s doing great guns on Amazon reviews so perhaps it was just me.

On this blog I like to concentrate on the positives so these are the three that I LOVED:

(Please be aware that two of them marked with * were sent to me as part of a sponsored Instagram campaign - but I haven’t been paid to write this blog post and I genuinely loved them.)

Dry Hard by Nick Spalding *

This was a book timed to release with the start of the new year when people would be making resolutions to give up alcohol for the month - perhaps after hitting Christmas hard with the booze. Married couple Kate and Scott hit the booze hard all year around. So much so that their teenage daughter, Holly, is at her wits’ end.

So she uploads a video of her parents’ drunken antics to YouTube in the hope that by seeing themselves in such a terrible state they stop.

The only thing is, the video goes viral. Holly’s wish comes true and they stop drinking. But their journey to sobriety is a very public one.

What I loved about this book: the comedy around a serious subject. The love that was evident from the parents towards their daughter; I could almost reach into the book and grab it. And the use of social media and YouTube as part of the plot.

Once Upon a River by Diane Setterfield *

Tales have been told in The Swan, an ancient inn near the source of the River Thames, for years. But this year the story happened right in front of the regulars’ eyes. A man bursts into the the inn, injured, with a child in his arms.

The man is breathing. Just. But the girl is dead. She is laid to rest in another room in the inn - only for her to return back to life - to the utter puzzlement of Rita the local nurse.

So who is the man? And who is the girl? It soon becomes apparent she isn’t his daughter. Three people come to claim her. A local couple whose daughter was kidnapped a few years previous. Or is she the sister of the loner woman? Or maybe she’s the granddaughter of a farmer?

Against a background of folklore, mystery and romance the story and the river weaves it’s magic and pulls you into it’s atmospheric world.

What I loved about this book: everything. The twists and turns, the rich, well-researched story, the mystery, the touching romance and all of the compelling, well-drawn characters.

Old Baggage by Lissa Evans

This is the story of a former suffragette, Mattie. It’s 1928 some years after the suffragettes were active and Mattie is in middle age. She does a bit of writing, a few talks about those years, a bit of stomping about the Heath but she doesn’t have a purpose anymore. Not like she used to.

So, she comes up with an idea. One where she can help shape the women of the future.

But, she gets distracted. And things start to derail.

What I loved about this book: this was not a smooth read for me. I enjoyed the fact it was a challenging read, it slowed me down and stopped me from reading in one hungry gulp.

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the books I enjoyed in January.