Month in Review: January 2020

Hello friends!  I hope we’ve all had an excellent start to the new year!  For myself, I wish I’d gotten a little more read, but I did better than last year so that’s something.  And with my review of The Vanished Birds yesterday, I managed to get through all of the many ARCs I had committed to for January so I’m happy I’ve kept on track with those at least.

Novels/Novellas Read: 7

Short Stories: 3

Pages Read: 2,900

Average Rating: 3.8

Female Authors: 6

Favorite Reads:

Most of what I read this month was at least a 4 star read, but looking back, these two stood out as my favorites:

The God Game by Danny Tobey

Followers by Megan Angelo

Other Reads Completed:

Empire Ascendant (Worldbreaker Saga #2) by Kameron Hurley

The Broken Heavens (Worldbreaker Saga #3) by Kameron Hurley

A Beginning at the End by Mike Chen

Wonderland by Zoje Stage (RTC!)

Zenith Man by Jennifer Haigh

The Lion’s Den by Anthony Marra

A Good Marriage by Stephen King

The Girlfriend’s Guide to Gods by Maria Dahvana Headley (available free here!)

ARCs Received:

This is not including the ARC of Wonderland (pictured above), which I snuck in in January because I didn’t want to wait.

The Chill by Scott Carson – Has been getting some mixed reviews, but the blurb feels like it’s speaking so directly to me I couldn’t turn it down.

Pretty Things by Janelle Brown – A con artist who learned the trade from her mother, works a young heiress in the scam of a lifetime “where their intertwined lives give way to a winter of aspiration and desire, duplicity and revenge.”  Yes. Please.

Code Name Helene by Ariel Lawhon – Last year I strayed away from historical fiction, but it’s one of my favorite genres, and I want to get back to it this year.  It’s the story of a “socialite spy…who killed a Nazi with her bare hands and went on to become one of the most decorated women in WWII.”

Machina by Fran Wilde (and others) – Sent to me by Serial Box!  I loved Ninth Step Station, and was really honored when Serial Box reached out to me about Machina. I’ve already started listening to the first episode and it’s as great as I expected.

I did not receive any eGalleys in my effort to cut back on the number of ARCs I’m committing to.  (Which is not going well.)

PopSugar Prompts Completed: 5/50

A book published in 2020: A Beginning at the End by Mike Chen

A book that passes the Bechdel Test: Empire Ascendant (Worldbreaker #2) by Kameron Hurley

A book with the same title as a movie or TV show but is unrelated to it: Wonderland by Zoje Stage

A book about or involving social media: Followers by Megan Angelo

A book with a robot, cyborg, or AI character: The God Game by Danny Tobey

Other Posts from January:

Reading Challenge: 20 in ’20

Discussion: Books on a Budget

Book Haul

How was your January?  Anything special you’re looking forward to in February?



19 thoughts on “Month in Review: January 2020

    • Thanks! I actually was really surprised I got through them all. I did start in December. Now I’m looking at February and that ones really daunting. I’m not as excited for my February ARCs and there were a couple I forgot to add to my master list so I actually have more than I originally thought. Luckily only one of them is really long.

      And I’m so excited to see what you think of Followers! Does your library have more than one copy I hope?


    • I think it’s a smaller novella first published within a collection. I listened to the audio on that one and loved it. It’s about a woman who thinks she has a good marriage, and then discovers some secrets about her husband. It was kind of predictable- but still wonderful.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Ooh how was Wonderland? I keep seeing it everywhere and I’m intrigued. Also, I was offered Machina as well, I’m tempted to listen to it in audio. If you’re enjoying it, maybe I will😁

    Liked by 1 person

    • I just love the serial box audios. They do amazing things with the background noise and effects that makes it a very immersive experience. I actually refuse to read the ARC at this point because I love the audio so much.

      Liked by 1 person

    • And Wonderland was a little disappointing to me- there were some big names thrown around in the blurb: The Shining and Shirley Jackson, and I just didn’t feel like it quite lived up to that standard, and in fact felt amateurish in places. It’s my first time reading Zoje Stage though so I wasn’t sure what to expect.


      • I have found that I am sometimes overly critical, so don’t take my word for it if you like the author.

        I felt like there were some genuinely good parts in the middle, but I kept waiting for it to take off and then it kind of fizzled out. The dialogue was also very repetitive which is where it felt amateurish. There was a lot of back and forth between Orla and her daughter Eleanor Queen that I felt like I was reading the same conversation over and over again every chapter.


      • I just finished Wise Blood by Flannery O’Connor and the dialogue is SO repetitive, sometimes to the point where it seemed like one character was talking, but the other hadn’t even heard, like they’re conversing from different planes of existence.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Ugh! That would make me nuts. Luckily in Wonderland it seems to be the same 4 lines getting repeated over and over again… so it wasn’t entire conversations, but yeah. It got annoying.

        I’ve always read though you want dialogue to feel real you don’t want it to sound real (in other words- get rid of your Oh!s your Umm…s and talk filler. I saw a lot of — marks being thrown around and half sentences. Sometimes I wonder who edits anymore.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. See, to me, it looks like you had a great month! 🙂 I know what you mean, though, about hoping for more. Sometimes I find that I get too caught up in my way-too-high expectations and have trouble remembering that I’ve still made great progress.

    I hope you love Machina! I joined Serial Box based on a couple of reviews of their works (yours and The Captain’s, I believe) and have subscribed to that one even though I haven’t started it yet. It sounds like fun, though!


    • I’m definitely falling behind for February. I think my problem is that I’m not really in the mood for anything that I’ve requested (totally my own fault). I just keep getting sidetracked by stuff that sounds horror-ish. I need a good scary book to scratch that itch it seems.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I haven’t even been requesting ARC’s but I keep getting sent some, most of the time I ignore them if not interested but then the publicist contacts me and I feel obligated LOL. Sometimes you need to go where your mood takes you!

        Liked by 1 person

      • I definitely need to go where my mood takes me. This happens to me every other year. I go on an ARC requesting ban, then I feel starved for the newest stuff. Then I request too many ARCs, and wish I had the freedom to read whatever I wanted. I guess everything in moderation? I just wish I was better at moderation. Lol

        Liked by 1 person

      • Yeah, I am trying REALLY hard not to request them because the same thing happens to me, even with books I’m looking forward to, once I have an ARC and am on a time table suddenly I lose some of the zest for it. Something about required reading. Moderation is definitely something I need to get better at myself *glances at piles of books* lol

        Liked by 1 person

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