Thursday, 17 March 2016

January Book Wrangle

Kia Ora!

This post is really late. I don't really have a reason, other than life getting in the way of blogging. Oh well, hopefully you'll enjoy reading about the books I read, and loved. There isn't a bad one in this bunch!

I read a heck of a lot of books in January! Part of it was because of the Biannual Bibliothon (which I didn't finish to be honest), and partially because of the summer break. Let's get started!

Winter of Fire - Sherryl Jordan
This has been a favourite for years. It's about Elsha of the Quelled, a slave race that works to mine firestones from the Earth (in a very futuristic post-apocalyptic type world - where the apocalypse was so long ago it isn't really part of the plot). Elsha is chosen to be the Handmaiden to the Firelord, and she uses this position to turn many of the racial beliefs on their heads. It's a great book, with friendship and righting old wrongs as the main themes. I love the characterisation, the plot, the setting, and everything about this book. Go check it out!

In the hand of the Goddess - Tamora Pierce
Another childhood favourite (as you can probably tell since the copy in the picture is quite worn out). This is the second in a quartet, about Alanna the Lioness. Alanna is a woman who wants to become a knight, in a medieval world (with the addition of magic), and women aren't generally allowed to participate in war. She hides her identity with the help of various friends (including the King of Thieves). Tamora Pierce is a brilliant author, who puts female characters at the forefront of many issues. Tortall is her world, and she has written many novels set here. Basically a wonderful Young Adult fantasy novel, if you haven't read any of her books you need to remedy that right now.

The Slow Regard of Silent Things - Patrick Rothfuss
Another of my favourite authors! This is a short story that turned into something more. It is about one of the characters in The Name of the Wind, Auri. It's the best book I've ever read that has only one character, and no dialogue. It's a masterpiece, very thoughtful, and perfect if you already love Patrick Rothfuss' other works. Possibly not the best introduction to his world, and characters, but fantastic if you already love them.

The Method - Shannon Kirk*
Imagine a helpless, very pregnant teenager who has been kidnapped. This is not who Lisa is; she is cold, calm, and meticulous in her planning to escape. This book turns kidnapping on it's head, while exploring the fears and paranoia that a kidnapped girl may experience, albeit through a sociopathic facade. I did enjoy this book, it was fast-paced, exciting, and draws you in. If you are into thrillers, you should check this out. It's not what I would call world-changing, but it is a great read for a lazy weekend.

The Darkest Secret - Alex Marwood*
Does anyone else love watching cop shows on TV (like SVU, Castle, etc) where a case is looked at, various red herrings are discarded, and then someone you don't expect was the killer? This book is a literary version of this, in a cold case kind of way. Identical twin, 3-year-old Coco Jackson disappears one weekend during her father's birthday party. This book switches back and forth between the weekend it happened, and one weekend years later when the truth comes out. It covers the various perspectives of important characters, and eventually reveals the unexpected truth. It's not often a book can surprise me with an ending, but this one managed it with a great twist. It pulls at your heartstrings, leaves you guessing, and it was another book I couldn't put down. If you like crime novels, mysteries, or thrillers, check this one out!

The Aeronaut's Windlass - Jim Butcher*
First things first, this book is huge! I was a bit put off for awhile, but it's worth getting into this book. I loved it! The characters are fantastic, the plot is believable (for a fantasy world), and there is plenty of depth to this book. Intrigue, mysterious backstories, and an evil that is greater than any of the characters can imagine. Once I was into this book, I couldn't put it down. It required a bit of work to start with, but after the first 50 pages or so, it was effortless. I've always heard about the masterful work of Jim Butcher, and this was a wonderful book to read!

All Fall Down: Christchurch's Lost Chimneys - Geoff Rice
A non-fiction book, not something I read a lot of generally. I studied history at the University of Canterbury, and had several classes taught by Geoff Rice. After the Christchurch earthquake in 2011, this book was published. I've been looking for it ever since, but only managed to get my hands on a copy in December last year. I loved this book. It told me more than I ever wanted to know about the history of chimney's, and particularly the history of chimney's in Christchurch. I've been noticing lots of the features of chimney's in Auckland since reading this book, and honestly loved learning about them. It has a chapter on the history, and the rest is written very well. I feel like I know Professor Rice on a personal level, as he has put so much of himself into this book. If you like non-fiction, history, or just something a little bit out of the ordinary then check this out!

*PR sample and affiliate links. 

And that's that! Overall, January was a great month for me, book-wise. I'm off to make a start on the huge list of books I requested from the library earlier this week now. Keep an eye out for March's Book Wrangle!

Until next time ...

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