Saturday, 11 February 2017

Books I read in January!: I'll Be Home for Christmas, Pond, See You in the Cosmos, The One Hundred Nights of Hero, Buffering, The Bear and the Nightingale, An Account of the Decline of the Great Auk

Well hello there and welcome to my January reading round up! I had a good variety of books and graphic novels and audio books and short stories this month. When it was still just after Christmas time and I was still on holiday, I read I'll Be Home for Christmas, the short story collection from Stripes Publishing with proceeds going towards Crisis, the national homelessness charity. With stories on the theme of 'home' from writers including Holly Bourne, Non Pratt, Julie Mayhew, Lisa Williamson, Juno Dawson, this YA collection is an excellent festive treat. Maybe save it for next winter if you haven't read it yet!

Next up I read Pond by Claire-Louise Bennett from the Fitzcarraldo Editions. This is the first I've read from these lovely blue editions, and was a Christmas present from my best pal, and I enjoyed it very much. It's another collection of short stories/essays sort of about nothing but also everything, and I will be keeping it near at all times to use as a thesaurus because Claire-Louise Bennett's vocabulary is extensive and lyrical and extremely envious.
I had a middle grade review copy on my to be read pile crying out to be read- See You in the Cosmos by Jack Cheng. This strange and funny and moving story is told in the transcriptions of voice recordings 11-year-old Alex Petroski makes on an iPod he intends to send to space on the rocket he has built and will launch at a rocket convention. His unexpected journey takes him from Colorado to New Mexico to Las Vegas to L.A. and back Colorado again.

I finally read Isabel Greenberg's The One Hundred Nights of Hero, the follow up graphic novel to The Encyclopedia of Early Earth, which I loved. The One Hundred Nights did not disappoint, with fantastical stories of from the world of Early Earth woven together into one beautiful tale of resistance and cunning. As always, the artwork is wonderful.
In audiobooks, this month I listened to Hannah Hart's Buffering, which chronicles Hannah's life and childhood up to her current success as a YouTube creator. I knew a little of Hannah's story from watching her videos, but HOLY MOLY has her life been crazy, which has led to an extremely compelling set of essays. Growing up with a schizophrenic mother, a Jehovah's Witness father, and being in the closet until a couple years into college, Hannah has not had an easy life. She's a natural writer, and I really recommend the audiobook read by Hannah herself.

I preordered The Bear and the Nightingale and it arrived in time for my birthday in the middle of the month. I saw the beautiful cover and so many twitter recommendations and read the blurb and it was a done deal. Based on Russian folk stories in a snowy winter setting, this was the perfect January read. 
To round off the month I read some more short stories, this time by Jessie Greengrass. An Account of the Decline of the Great Auk, According to One Who Saw It, is the title of the collection and the first story. As it was apparently a Foulis who killed one of the last Great Auks I have a particular interest so the title totally drew me in. The stories were varied and interesting and I'm looking forward to what Jessie Greengrass writes next! 

Full reviews of a couple of these coming soon! 

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