January was a quiet month reading wise. I spent a lot of my spare time knitting instead of reading, though I’m thinking of listening to audio books while knitting to be more productive! Here are the books I read in January.
The Little Paris Bookshop by Nina George
I got this book as an advanced reading copy from Goodreads. Jean Perdu runs a little bookshop on a barge on the Seine. Or a Literary Apothecary as he calls it, diagnosing people’s problems and giving them prescriptions of certain books to cure them. At home he lives a simple life, one where he denies himself any pleasure ever since his love, Manon, left him 2 decades ago. When Jean reads an unopened letter from Manon that was found in an old table, all his anger and disappointment towards turns towards himself as he realises the reason why she left. One day on the barge Jean decides to just up anchor and go down the river to Provence where Manon was originally. The journey is not just a physical journey for Jean though, but an emotional one as he thinks about Manon for the first time in years and also opens up to enjoying things in life. I don’t want to go into too much details here, as I’m going to do a proper post closer to the release date but I really liked this book! I loved how the characters interacted and seeing Jean’s journey was beautiful. Look out for a longer review in a later post.
Elizabeth is Missing by Emma Healey
Maud is forgetful. She doesn’t remember how much toast she’s eaten today, she keeps finding cups of tea she’s forgotten around the house and her daughter gets angry at her for buying for more cans of foods. She writes herself notes to try and reminds herself of things (but unfortunately sometimes she can’t remember if the note is old or new!). She finds one that says ‘Elizabeth is missing’ and wonders when was the last time she saw her friend Elizabeth. No one seems to believe Maud when she mentions this nor do they want to help so Elizabeth decides to take matters into her own hands and investigate for clues. But the clues just bring back memories to Maud of when her sister Sukey disappeared just after World War II. The book was different to what I expected, mainly because I thought it was going to centre around the mystery surrounding Elizabeth. And while this mystery does come to a conclusion towards the end, the book becomes more about the disappearance of Sukey. I loved how Healey managed to show how Maud’s dementia allows her to remember the past vividly but come back to the present time and be forgetful or start confusing her memories with present time. Maud was a lovely character, I felt so sorry for her as she knew she was forgetful at times and her family got so frustrated with her. I cried at times reading this and really enjoyed this book. If you’re thinking of picking it up, do give it a go.
Yes Please by Amy Poehler
Yes Please is Amy Poehler’s first book. Looking for major gossip about Tina Fey or SNL? Not in here (not that there’s nothing about these but there’s no spilling the beans). Looking for major gossip about her divorce? Walk on. Not happening in here, it’s clear that it’s still a sensitive subject for Poehler. She manages to talk about her personal life but without being very personal. It’s a mix of childhood memories, behind the scenes look at Poehler’s work, anecdotes about her co-workers and from her co-worker and advice for people reading. This is not written to be a laugh out loud over the top type of memoir and I liked it for that. It’s also different to Fey’s book so there’s no point trying compare them. I enjoyed reading it, I didn’t get bored and while I’m a fan of what I’ve seen of Poehler’s work, I didn’t know anything about her past so I loved finding out about it. The book did make me laugh in places though, Poehler can’t help but inject some of her humour into writing. And oh boy did I cry my eyes out when reading about her trip to Haiti, it was so touching. Definitely worth picking up, especially if you’re at least aware about Poehler and want to learn more about it. I’ve heard the audiobook is great as well as she narrates it and has guests feature too.
Number of books read- 3
Ratio fiction to non-fiction- 2:1
Male to Female authors- 0:3
Number of eBooks- 2 (The Little Paris Bookshop and Yes PLease)
Number of books borrowed from library- 1 (Elizabeth is Missing)
Fem-tellectual Book Club January Theme ‘Pretty Funny Ladies; A Book by a Female Comedian’- Yes Please by Amy Poehler
Reading Challenge Completed
A book that was originally written in a different language- The Little Paris Bookshop (German originally)
A memoir- Yes Please
A book by a female author- Elizabeth is Missing
And that’s it for January! A quiet month but I’m happy with the books I read. Now to plan for February.