Books I Read in January 2022

1 Feb 2022

Well well well, It's been a minute since I updated here. I've been taking a break from blogging and forcing myself to post on social media in general to allow myself to fall in love with it again. And I think I'm finally ready to kick things off again. I also fell of the reading wagon a bit for a similar reason. I felt like I was reading in order to post about the books rather than just reading because I wanted to. But I've been reading again which has been great so I thought I should start with what I read last month. I got through four books all of them very different but all of them enjoyable nonetheless.

You'll Be The Death Of Me

Karen M McManus

Gifted by Penguin for TikTok content creation purposes

Ivy, Mateo, and Cal were best friends in middle school and when they all by chance run into each other in the parking lot in the midst of different personal crises they decide to skip school for the day. However while there, they discover another classmate murdered in an abandoned building and are suddenly part of a murder investigation. Not quite the day off they had in mind.

I loved One of Us is Lying and I’m always so keen to read more of Karen M McManus but I’m generally not a mystery thriller reader. It was the character arc that sold me on OOUIL rather than the mystery aspect and I guess it was similar for this one too. I just didn’t love it as much. Still a great read and story though. (also who let me make actual proper TikTok content for actual penguin. MADNESS)

Swimming In The Dark

Tomasz Jedrowski

Growing up in a communist Poland, Ludwig struggles to be himself. In this love letter to his former lover he unpacks his past - an early encounter with a local boy, his blossoming relationship with the elusive Janusz and the ever-escalating political climate in Poland.

This book managed to perfectly encompass my comfort movie genre of chill european social issue dramas in the most beautiful way. If this was an indie film on Netflix I would have ABSORBED it immediately but it's something I've never really read before. The language was so beautiful and ornate that I needed to write down my favourite quotes to come back to again and again. Words are powerful and Tomasz Jedrowski does an absolutely amazing job of stringing them together to make you see and feel and experience everything so vividly. I read it all in one sitting which is something I've struggled to do lately as well. It was heartbreaking yet had so much heart at the same time and just PLEASE READ THIS BOOK OKAY!

Franny and Zooey

J.D. Salinger

Franny and Zooey are the youngest members of the Glass family and in 1950s New York they’re trying to figure out their place in the world. In these two short stories from J.D. Salinger we learn about the Glass family and how growing up has affected each of them differently.

This is a book I’ve been planning to read for years, I’ve looked for it countless times in bookshops and never managed to find it so when I saw it on the shelf of WH Smith at the airport I figured it was destiny. I’m a little mixed on how I feel about it because I loved ‘Franny’ a lot but I really didn’t enjoy ‘Zooey’ all that much so it was very much a story of two halves for me but I’m still very glad to finally have read it after so long.


Min Jin Lee

Sunja is born in a village in Korea as the only surviving child of a crippled fisherman and his wife who run a boarding house. As a teenager, she falls in love with a wealthy yakuza who promises her the world but when she falls pregnant she learns that he is already married. To prevent shame on her family a kind young minister passing through on his way to a church in Japan offers to marry her instead and take on the child as his own. As she journeys with him to a new land where Koreans are not often welcomed she and her family face many trials as we follow them through almost 100 years and four generations.

I picked this one up when I was at John Sandoe in London (one of my all-time favourite book shops and definitely worth a visit next time you’re in the city). I loved this story and it had so much heart. I really felt like I was journeying through life with Sunja. I read it over the course of the whole month which I think helped with the span. I definitely cared for some characters more than others but it was so interesting to learn about a whole piece of history that I’d never read about before. This is definitely a book that I’ll be thinking about for a long time.
That's a wrap on January's reads. I'm really happy to be back to reading again and I have a lot of exciting books lined up for the next few months which I can't wait to get stuck into. Make sure to follow me on Goodreads (and also StoryGraph because I've been trying to use it more) to keep up with all my latest reading ventures. Let me know down below what you've been reading to give me some inspiration!

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