A slight obsession with books

Crafts, cats and books

Books read in January


Under the dome – Stephen King
I thought I’d start the year with one that’s been sitting on my shelves for a while now, just begging to be read. I have to be in the right mood for chunky books though, and this is one of King’s heftier efforts at 880 pages. I thought it’d take a while to read. It didn’t. I’d forgotten just how well he draws you in and this book was one chapter of action after another. There were some unpleasant characters in this book, and King does them so well. You really wouldn’t want to meet any of them face to face. There were a few aspects of the book that reminded me slightly of The Stand, which is one of my all time favourite books. I don’t think this was as good as The Stand, but it kept me riveted for almost nine hundred pages, which is saying a lot. I have another of his on the shelves, another monster of a book. Maybe I won’t wait so long to read that one.

Children of the fog – Cheryl Kaye Tardif
This was a Kindle freebie that I downloaded in March of last year. I thought it sounded interesting enough to be worth a try and I rather enjoyed it. Sometimes these freebies are definitely worth getting. This was about a woman whose son is abducted and what follows from there. There’s a lot going on in the book and plenty of tension. There’s a touch of the supernatural about it, but mostly it’s a story about a bad man who abducts kids. I’d read more by this author if I came across them while accidentally surfing on Amazon.

Children of the night – Mercedes Lackey
I picked this one to read as Plum’s challenge this month is anything to do with schools and you do tend to get children in schools. It’s the second book in the Diana Tregarde series and it’s been quite a while since I read book one. I was plodding through it for the first third and not loving it to be honest, but then I starting getting more and more interested in it and in the end I rather enjoyed it. Maybe I’ll read the third one, which is on my shelves, before the glow wears off.

Grave witch – Kalayna Price
This was one of my purchases from the Twelve days of Kindle sale. I really liked the sound of it and after Tree recommended it too, I thought I’d read it straight away. It was excellent. The descriptions of what happened when Alex was working were creepy and eerie and so easy to visualise. I loved the characters in it, especially Alex and I enjoyed the way the action and the tension built up to a fantastic ending. I got it for 99p in the sale, but I liked it so much that I followed the link at the end to get book two. For £3.99. Hope it’s as good.

The Lewis Man – Peter May
The first book in this trilogy was one of my favourite reads of last year so I was looking forward to this, which I’d downloaded to my Kindle. It was excellent – just as good as the first installment. There were enough of the same characters in it to make it familiar, and the landscape of the islands was just as well described. There were new characters, and new settings to keep it fresh and a cracking storyline. At one point it dawned one me what had happened and what the inevitable conclusion would be, but it only heightened the tension, and the way it resolved was still a shock. An excellent book. I can’t wait for the last one in the series.

Mistress of the art of death – Ariana Franklin
I’ve had this on my shelf for a while, courtesy of one of the boxes of books sent to me by Tree. Much as I fancied reading it at the time, it kept getting ignored in favour of other books, just because it was ‘historical’ and that’s a genre that I don’t often read. Yesterday though, it caught my eye, and as it fits the Plum challenge for this month, I thought I’d give it a try. I’m glad that I did as it was excellent. It was set in the time of King Henry II and featured a female doctor who specialises in post-mortems. I loved the murder/mystery aspect and the descriptions of life in Cambridge. I’m very tempted to get the next book in the series.

The sweetness at the bottom of the pie – Alan Bradley
This is one of my recent Amazon Marketplace purchases and a series that I hadn’t heard of before stumbling across it on another blog. It features an eleven year old girl who loves chemistry, has two older sisters and lives in a large house in a small village. It’s set in the fifties and is absolutely brilliant. Just that little bit quirky and offbeat. Flavia, our young heroine, is marvellous. Her father is suspected of murder in this book, so she sets out to uncover the real murderer. The writing is excellent, the characters are priceless and the plot was wonderful. I know I’m supposed to be reducing my TBR pile, but I absolutely must get the next couple of books in this series.

Sew deadly -Elizabeth Lynn Casey
I’ve been looking for another craft-related cosy mystery series for a while and eventually decided on this one. It’s the Southern Sewing Circle series and as the main character is also a librarian, I thought it might be interesting. I managed to get the first three in the series on Amazon Marketplace and have been waiting for them to arrive. Of course, book one was the last to pop through the letterbox, but when it did finally get here I started it the same day. I rather liked it. I liked the Southern aspect of it. Tori, the librarian, moves to Sweet Briar and is a bit of an outsider for several reasons. She’s now in a small town in the deep South and needs to learn its ways. Then, inevitably, someone is murdered, and Tori needs to find out why. I did find the ending quite refreshing as Tori acted in a very sensible way, unlike some amateur investigators. I think I may enjoy this series if it carries on like this.

No Angel – The secret life of Bernie Ecclestone – Tom Bower
This is exactly what the title says, making it one of my rare non-fiction reads. I only like non-fic if it’s about a subject that really interests me, and this being about one of the key players in Formula One sounded very interesting indeed. I found it absolutely fascinating. Not just all the background info on F1 over the years, but learning about Bernie and how he came up from nothing to be a very wealthy and powerful man. Once it got to the eighties, which is when I started watching the races, it was even more interesting as the book told of what was happening behind the scenes of the events that I’d seen on TV. I have another F1 related bio to read. I  may tackle that soon.

Grave Dance – Kalayna Price
I really liked the first book in this series so I decided to read the second one fairly quickly rather than just storing it on my Kindle. This book was just as good and I enjoyed it even more. The story in this one is just as exciting and you learn some new things about Alex’s life and about her gifts. I liked it so much, that I splurged £4.99 on the next book as soon as I finished it.

Burmese days – George Orwell
My first 1001 book of the year. I’m off to a bit of a slow start, but I just fancied some lighter reads earlier this month. This arrived at the library a couple of days ago, after being on reserve for a while so it pushed me to make a start. Like all the other books by Orwell that I’ve read, I rather enjoyed it. This one is set in the Burmese Jungle during British rule and gives you a taste of what life and the attitude of the Brits was like. It was an interesting read as well as a great story. And, as it was the inaugural George Orwell day on Monday, I think it was quite well-timed.
(1001 list)

Cat’s Cradle – Kurt Vonnegut
I liked this one. It was a brilliant story and told in great style. You know pretty much what is going to happen from the start but that only makes it more interesting. One of the more enjoyable authors that I’ve found via the 1001 list.
(1001 list)


Author: Carole

The books I read, the things I make, the places I go.

4 thoughts on “Books read in January

  1. Pingback: February Reading | 3kids2cats1divorce

  2. Excellent reading month – I really enjoyed the 2nd Peter May, I’m waiting for price to go down on book 3 and wishing that it would hurry up! The Grave Witch books were a good find from that 12 Days sale weren’t they? I loved those. I’m glad you enjoyed Mistress of Death even though it’s not your usual thing. There are only 4 in total and I read the following 3 books as well but had to get them from the library. Looking forward to the sewing books 😀


  3. So glad you liked the first Flavia de Luce novel! Some of my favs.


  4. vonnegut is amazing, I really need to read more of him


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