January Book Reviews

It is 2020 baby.  This year, I want my mitts and my foggy vision reading absolutely everything.  Whether it is flicking through the yellowing pages of a Brontë novel or running around the block with the buttery voice of Stephen Fry in my ears.  Tip-tapping my Kindle on my roof with a glass of Sainsbury’s finest or racing to the conclusion in one of my new whodunnits?  Reading more is my number one 2020 priority. 

January set off the year beautifully.  My eyes; ears and fingers brushed over a total of 11 books.  Some bubbled with brilliance.  A handful were chocker with belly-laughs and wee-yourself-silly moments.  Interestingly, I thoroughly (almost) enjoyed them all.

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1 – The Cows by Dawn O’Porter *
Read via physical copy

O’Porter has always been left of my list.  No vendetta or misguided hatred; I was just missing that sheer urgency for her writing.  There was never a need.  But, with my entire Instagram feed burying their nose in (or using as a coffee coaster) The Cows over the last year – I had officially been influenced. 

The Cows is a moreish tangle of concern.  Fake friendships and false physical illnesses.  Hysteria and suppressed desires.  The exploitation of masturbating and societies inability to accept a heart change.  Powerful and bold: an encouragement to carve your own road.  O’Porter wants women to rise with confidence, hone their voices and project it across the barren wasteland of the internet.

Women are cool, but they are even more wicked on a united front.  The Cows summed up in a single word is unbelievable.  That missing urgency I?  Found and harnessed.


2 – Eric by Terry Pratchett *
Read via Kindle

Who is behind door number nine? It is Eric – the youngest, headstrong and most naïve demon master to have been born on the face of Discworld.  This basis of this novel sees this meticulous and calculating boy-wonder summoning our favourite unsavoury wizard, Rincewind, via spell.  And do not worry, the luggage is only two steps behind him.  London Elekricity’s 2008 dance revelation is taking on a whole other dimension. 

One of the better Discworld novels I have had the pleasure of being glued too, Eric is fast and fun.  Read these books and tell me that the fourth appearance of our raggedy wizard friend is not your favourite – I dare you.


3 – The Murder of Richard Ackoroyd by Agatha Christie *
Read via Kindle

I pronounce, I shout, I scream – I prefer the television-interpretation of Hercule Poirot when pitted against his original novel form.  Scoff at me all you want.  I know my opinion is fact.

Lacking his bodacious bodied personality and ability to charm; The Murder of Richard Ackoroyd finds Poirot meek.  Complicated, fluffy jargon with no substance – this murder mystery novel is as dry and boring as they come. 

The saving grace is the paramount twist.  The murder reveal bumped feelings from a one-star to two.  It was ridiculously clever and painstakingly obvious – I will not spoil it.  Would I recommend? Definitely not… I may as well spill the beans.


4 – Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone by J. K. Rowling*
Read via Audible

I always have the Harry Potter audiobooks on a yearly rotation.  It would not be 2020 without some J. K. Rowling in my ears.  I have lost track of how many times my favourite literary series has engulfed me.  I am afraid I may carry this tradition on for longer than necessary.

While I should really invest my time wisely with unchartered reads and novels I am yet to listen too, the Harry Potter series gives me too much joy to give up.  Why should I deny myself adoration?  I am such a geek.  My love is real. 

5 – Nine Perfect Strangers by Liannne Moriarty *
Read via Kindle

The Crazy Rich Asians trilogy left a major chick-lit sized hole in my life last year.  I am grateful therefore, that I have started filling the China Rich Girlfriend and co. gap so early into 2020.  Lianne Moriarty’s Nine Perfect Strangers,

Comedic and unsettling; versatile and mysterious – Nine Perfect Strangers is exuberantly puzzling in the most mesmerising way.  I lapped up her oddball  characters; her fierce females and complex males.  Her settings are visions of delicate delights and her story was hungrily digested.  I am a BIG, big fan.  Nine Perfect Strangers is easily the most fun I have had reading this January.


6 – Dear Girls by Ali Wong *
Read via Kindle

I just fucking love Ali Wong.  I genuinely believe she is the best thing  since sliced bread.  I heartily snorted orange juice out of my nose as she pounced through horrific first-dates.  I admired her ability to not-give-a-shit about pubic hair.  Everything about Dear Girls is frank, open and honestly delightful.

Her capabilities as a wordsmith is outstanding.  Her bare intimacy is admirable.  Her words bleed pure, ecstatic love.  When I grow up, I am not sure whether I want to be, be with, or be like Ali Wong.

Part-memoir, part-tell-all secret flurry, part love-note; Dear Girls is an outstanding autobiography and I for one, am in LOVE.  L.O.V.E


7 – Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by J. K. Rowling*
Read via Audible


8 – Moriarty by Anthony Horowitz *
Read via Kindle

I feel like January 2020 is like a play of Top Trumps cards.  How many of my favvy authors can I cram into one month?  The last on my January Hitlist was my main man, Anthony Hororwitz, and his takeover of the Conan Doyle estate. 

Morirarty (that slimy, clever trickster) has been murdered, and New York detective agency, Pinkertons, and the London Police, are on a goose chase to uncover the case.  Filled with gruesome twists and littered with spells of pure madness – the estate is in a firm hands with Horowitz. 

I will not taint a second of this book.  But I shall say, that it is way too good to miss out on.


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