This month was surprisingly successful in terms of reading. I read a total of 13 books and, although they were mostly on the short side, I’m still not sure how I managed to read as much.
Some other book-related things happened this month. Firstly, inspired by all the 2021 stats posts, I also started using a bookish spreadsheet by Hardback Hoarder on YouTube. I made some slight changes to make it perfect for my needs and it’s made me ridiculously happy to use it. I’d been wanting to track my books outside of social media for a while, so I’m glad I started using this. I still have to figure out how to track some of the aspects I want to—mainly related to author identity or diversity—in a way that makes sense to me, but for now I’m content.
I also finally made a Storygraph account, so feel free to add me as a friend there if you use it! I’m certainly still way more active on Goodreads, but I hope I’ll use Storygraph more and more as I get used to it.
What I Read
Erotica Universalis by Gilles Néret
This was my very first read of 2022, which picked up right where I left of in 2021. It was definitely a fast read, since it’s mostly pictures, with very little context. However, I did not really enjoy this. Surely, it’s interesting to see the evolution of erotica in art, but let’s just say I got very sick of the same depictions time and time again. There are a few pieces which I enjoyed, but they’re few and far between.
Manifesto: On Never Giving Up by Bernardine Evaristo
I had read Blonde Roots a few years ago as part of my university compulsory reading and I really enjoyed it, so when I was sent this by Libro.fm as part of their ALC program I was really excited to learn more about Bernardine Evaristo. However, despite this being an interesting read and although it cannot be denied that the author has lived quite an interesting life, I didn’t love this as much as I hoped. At times, I wish we would’ve got more insight but instead some major events were brushed over.
Fetish Girls by Eric Kroll
I had a whole breakdown trying to decide whether I should log this as a read book because all the words in it are on the cover. But my friends convinced me that yes, it is a book after all. So, I thought I’d also comment it here.
This is a collection of erotic photography—you know by now that I’ve been interested in it lately—by Eric Kroll, a pretty well-known photographer in this field. I liked most of the pictures but I’m still not sure how I feel about men in general photographing women like this, male gaze going full force. But that’s another topic that I don’t necessarily have the knowledge to discuss.
I’m with the Band: Confessions of a Groupie by Pamela Des Barres
I came across this book browsing through Audible and, despite having no previous knowledge of it, I decided to give it a try. I really love the film Almost Famous—or I did, I haven’t watched it in years—so I thought this would be a book I might enjoy. Sadly, that wasn’t the case.
This was simply just annoying. It felt like the worst type of boy-crazy teenager ramblings which, at the beginning made sense—the narration starts when Pamela is a teenager—, but there was no real evolution through the years depicted. It became a tedious read quite fast.
Vírgenes, esposas, amantes y putas by Amarna Miller
One of my wishes this year is to read more non-English literature, with an emphasis on Spanish or Catalan books, so I’m happy to say I’m already on the right path.
When I came across this, the title—which translates to Virgins, Wives, Mistresses and Sluts—instantly piqued my interest. I immediately started it, and I’m very glad I did, because I really enjoyed this. This is a feminist non-fiction that discusses many topics surrounding womanhood through exploring the author’s own life experience.
The Tell-Tale Heart by Edgar Allan Poe
Although I have read and enjoyed Poe in the past, I was never fully satisfied with his stories. The Tell-Tale Heart is probably the first one where I had no such feeling. This was really enjoyable and just the perfect amount of unsettling. It is definitely my favourite Poe story I’ve read so far.
The Time Machine by H.G. Wells
This I decided to finally pick up because a Spanish publishing house put it as part of their “1 year, 12 classics” challenge, which I decided to participate in.
This had actually been on my TBR for about eight years but I never gravitated towards it—I’m not a sci-fi reader at all. In the end, I ended up enjoying it and it gave me Doctor Who vibes.
A Sunday in Ville-d’Avray by Dominique Barbéris
I recently mentioned this book in my 2022 reading wishes post, but I didn’t think I’d get to it quite as soon.
This was an interesting and unexpectedly unsettling read. It did not necessarily blow me away, but I also don’t think I’ve ever read anything quite like it.
Helena de Esparta by Loreta Minutilli
I first saw this book at a shopping centre in August last year, and the cover and title—Helen of Sparta—immediately caught my attention.
This is a retelling of The Illiad from Helen’s point of view, and it’s done masterfully. As a greek/roman mythology enthusiast, I thoroughly enjoyed every second of reading this.
How to Be Perfect by Michael Schur
I’ve you’ve read my review of this book, you already know how much I loved this. It was such an impromptu decision to listen to this—it was one of Libro.fm’s monthly ALCs—, but I’m super grateful I did. If you’re interested in philosophy or if you like humour, you’ll definitely like this one.
The Communist Manifesto by Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels
I was browsing through Gutenberg Project looking for other books when this popped up. So I though, “Why not? It’s only 50 pages” and proceeded to get it. This was certainly an interesting read and I’m happy I’ve read it, despite how much I might have enjoyed it—which wasn’t all that much.
Crank by Ellen Hopkins
I started reading this because it was available on Riveted and I had already enjoyed People Kill People by the same author. It did get me a bit to get used to the writing style—it’s a novel in verse—but eventually I got over that and I really enjoyed this story. I’m looking forward to reading the second book in the series.
The Stranger by Albert Camus
I decided to pick this up for two reasons: 1) Camus was mentioned in How to Be Perfect and I really enjoyed his philosophy and 2) I’ve been watching a ridiculous amount of Jack Edwards’ videos. Jack made a video reading every book recommended by Namjoon from BTS and I decided to give this double recommendation a try. I ended up really enjoying it, so it was a great decision to on my part!
What I Wrote
Here are my favourite posts I wrote this month:
- 2022 Reading Wishes: I talked about what I’d like to accomplish in terms of reading in 2022.
- What is a Favourite Book?: A discussion of what exactly makes a book a favourite.
- 10 Book Bloggers I’ve Been Loving: As part of Briana @ Pages Unbound‘s challenge, I talked about 10 of my favourite book bloggers.
Blog Posts I Loved
Besides all the posts about end-of-year stats—which I’m not gonna mention because we’d be here forever since I loved them all—there are quite a few posts I really enjoyed reading this month. As per usual, these are posts I read this month but were not necessarily published in January.
- Lay @ Bookshelf Soliloquies talked about reading goals and failure on I Failed All My Reading Goals | 2021 in Review, which was a very interesting discussion.
- Kristin @ Kristin Kraves Books talked about 2022 Nonfiction Releases and as someone who’s really been enjoying this genre, I picked up some great recommendations.
- How to Read Books on a Budget Legally by Taiwo @ A Lifestyle Nerd. This is an older post, but I’ve been researching on this—I want to write my own post—and it was a truly useful blog post!
- Briana @ Pages Unbound published yet another great discussion: No, Negative Reviews Aren’t Really “Constructive Criticism” for the Author
- Ritz @ Living, Loving and Reading talked about banned books on Discussion: What Do You Think About Banned Book Lists?. This is a topic that’s extremely prevalent right now, so I truly recommend her post.
- Shealea @ Shut up, Shealea listed 22 Must-Read Backlist Books For 2022, and there were some great recommendations!
- Ally @ Ally Writes Things discussed her 2022 reading plans. I genuinely always love reading what other readers aim towards!
- Zoë @ Reading by the Moonlight discussed Modern Books That I Think Will Become Classics where she establishes some guidelines for how to spot them.
- Marie @ Drizzle & Hurricane Books taught us How To Increase Your Book Blog’s Traffic : 7 Easy Ways To Grow, a really helpful post.
- May @ Forever and Everly wrote How My Reading & Mindset About Reading Have Evolved This Year and I found it an incredibly inspiring post.
- Morgan @ Morgan Is Reading Again talked about some of their Bookish Memories, a really sweet post.
- Dini @ Dinipandareads discussed rereading on Let’s Talk Bookish: Re-Reading Books?, and as a fellow non-rereader, I agreed with everything.
- Naemi @ A Book Owl’s Corner taught us The Ultimate Step by Step Guide to Designing a Bestselling Book Cover. Be ready to laugh.
- Ashmita @ the fictional journal listed tropes on my list of very specific favorite tropes. Spoiler: they’re all top-notch.
- Sabrina @ Wordy and Whimsical talked about Five Popular Books I Have No Desire To Read, which was a very interesting read.
How was your reading month? Did you have a good start to the reading year? What’s the best book you read in January?