Reading Wrap-Up: Books I Read in Jan 2020| 3 Books, 3 Genres

I started the new year resolving to read more widely and consistently. I think I’ve done pretty well considering my circumstances (attention-seeking preschooler + freelance writing assignments!).

I’ve read 3 books in January, all for my #armedwithabingo reading challenge.

Malnourished, a memoir by Cinthia Ritchie, was the first book I read this year. It was an ARC that I picked up from Reedsy Discovery. Such eloquent writing, yet the things Ritchie writes about are so painful that I am surprised she had the courage to write about them at all. She has adopted a no-holds-barred approach, writing about her own deep animal desires and mental health issues. This is a book that will stay with me for a long time.

Women Under Scrutiny, an anthology compiled by Randy Susan Meyers, had an interesting cover—that of a full-length mirror. I found it on NetGalley while attempting to build up my review feedback ratio. As a skinny teen, I am no stranger to body image issues and feeling inadequate–no thanks to the boys who only seemed to think of their classmates in terms of their “assets.”

I took my time with this book because the collection of articles and poems, from a diverse range of women, required me to pause and think–and also get past the anger I felt at the way women are viewed and treated, no matter what they have achieved.

It is a good collection, but, in my opinion, it could have been shorter. Not all the pieces had the same quality. I don’t want to sound dismissive, but some pieces did nothing to add to the conversation around body positivity and society’s double standards about women.

Orson (The Lucid Chronicles #1) by David J Pearson is a book that I should have read in December last year. I got to know about it via BookTasters on Twitter. The author had very kindly agreed to mail a physical copy to me. I didn’t know it would take nearly a month for me to get the book from the U.K.!

It may be a good thing that I had to wait because, as I am finishing this book, its sequel–Estan–has been released. Now I can continue with the story without an agonizing wait.

Orson spans three worlds–Earth, the Moon, and the Jupiter Eclipse–and takes you on an interstellar roller-coaster ride. The action scenes are detailed and play out like a movie in your head. The author is good with painting “atmospheres” with words–you can almost feel the coldness of the “Mega Corps” shimmying up your spine, the tension between the characters stretching you taut, or the heat of the wastelands causing your skin to blister.

I’ve stayed up nights reading this book–and at 347 pages–it isn’t quick. Pearson fleshes out his characters very well, gives everyone a credible backstory, and gives relevant histories without giving away the plot. Despite the volume, the pace doesn’t let up and every word is necessary. There’s some philosophy, some humor, and even some debates on morality.

February Plans

I hope to speed up a bit in February–perhaps a book a week. I don’t think I can read faster than that and enjoy the books. I have compiled a list of the books that I’m going to read for my #armedwithabingo challenge–you may want to take a look!

Books I plan to read in February 2020:

(This post contains Amazon affiliate links.)

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