Reading Round Up – January 2019

Now that we’re pretty much half way through February, it seems like the perfect time to talk about the books that I read last month. I read a mix of books this month – a few that had been on my TBR list for a while and a few new releases that I was lucky enough to be sent proofs for! Once again,  I wish I could say that I’m really getting through my TBR pile but in all honesty, I’m adding more than I’m reading! Working in a bookshop has all the perks, except the super overwhelming TBR pile. 😂

This month I read:

  • The Chestnut Man by Søren Sveistrup

Blurb: One Tuesday in October, Rosa Hartung is returning to her job as minister for social affairs following a year’s leave of absence – granted after the dramatic disappearance of her twelve-year-old daughter. Linus Bekker, a mentally ill young man, confessed to her killing, but is unable to remember where he buried the various part of her dismembered corpse. On the same day Rosa returns to Parliament, a young single mother is found brutally murdered at her home in the suburbs of Copenhagen – she’s been tortured, and one hand has been cut off. Thulin and Hess, the detectives sent to investigate the crime, arrive at the address to find a figure made of chesnuts hanging from a playhouse nearby. When yet another woman is murdered – this time with both hands missing – and another chestnut figure is found, Thulin and Hess begin to suspect a connection with the Hartung case. But what is it? Thulin and Hess are racing against the clock, because it’s clear that the murderer is on a mission that is far from over…

Genre: Fiction, Thriller, Mystery, Psychological

I really loved this book, full of twists and turns which really kept me guessing. Which, I think, is exactly what you want from a good thriller! I hadn’t seen Sveistrup’s first triumph, the TV show The Killing, but went into this book with an open mind and was really pleasantly surprised – so much so that I’m planning to go back and watch the show!

You can check out my full review for this book here

  • Then by Morris Gleitzman

Blurb: A little hope goes a long way. I had a plan for me and Zelda. Pretend to be someone else. Find new parents. Be safe forever. Then the Nazis came. My name is Felix. This is our story.

Genre: Fiction, Historical, Children’s

I loved this book so much! This series is shaping up to be my new favourite of all time. Both books are so brilliantly written and the characters are so three-dimensional and believable. I can’t wait to read the rest of Gleitzman’s books!

You can check out my full review for this book here

  • Birthday Girl by Haruki Murakami

Blurb: She waited on tables as usual that day, her twentieth birthday. She always worked Fridays, but if things had gone according to plan on that particular Friday, she would have taken the night off. One rainy Tokyo night, a waitress’s uneventful twentieth birthday takes a strange and fateful turn when she’s asked to deliver dinner to the restaurant’s reclusive owner.

Genre: Fiction, Literary fiction

This was my first venture into Murakami’s work and what better place to start than with one of his popular short stories! I thought this one was a brilliant case of storytelling which left me with a lot to think about. The underlying message that life is what you make it and no matter what you wish for, life still goes on was one that I needed to hear.

  • The Glass Woman by Caroline Lea

Blurb: Jón Eiríksson buried one wife this year. But how long can his secrets remain hidden? 1686, Iceland. A wild, isolated landscape that can swallow a man without so much as a volcanic gasp, where superstitious Icelanders are haunted by all-too-recent memories of witch trials. Rósa is leaving her home in Skalholt. Betrothed unexpectedly to the mysterious and wealthy Jón Eiríksson, Rósa travels with her new husband to his isolated, windswept village of Stykkisholmur. Here, the villagers are suspicious of outsiders, and seem fearful of Rósa. Whispers follow Jón around the unexplained death of his first wife, who he buried in secret in the dead of night. And Rósa has her own suspicions. Refusing to answer any questions about his first wife, Jón instead gives Rósa a small glass figurine, a glass woman. Rósa feels a presence in the house, and she can’t shake a dread that darkness is coming. She fears she will be the next victim. How long before the glass woman shatters?

Genre: Fiction, Historical

I thoroughly enjoyed this book! The description was brilliant and the characters felt complex enough to be believable. There were definitely The Bear and the Nightingale vibes to this story and it’s made me even more of a sucker for Scandinavian/Eastern European historical fiction!

You can check out my full review for this book here

  • Bone Lines by Stephanie Bretherton

Blurb: A young woman walks alone through a barren landscape in a time before history, a time of cataclysmic natural change. She is cold, hungry and with child but she is neither without hope or resources. A skilful hunter she draws on her intuitive understanding of how to stay alive… and knows that she must survive. In the present day, geneticist Dr Elouise Kluft wrestles with an ancient conundrum as she unravels the secrets of a momentous archaeological find. She is working at the forefront of contemporary science but is caught in the lonely time-lock of her own emotional past.

Genre: Fiction, Historical, Sci-Fi

This book came to me as a review request and grabbed me from the start! I studied History at university so anything with a historical twist appeals to me. I really loved the parallels between modern-day Elouise and prehistoric ‘Sarah’, with the characters both really speaking to me with their strength.

You can check out my full review for this book here

  • The Taking of Annie Thorne by C. J. Tudor

Blurb: It arrived in my inbox just over a month ago. Surprising, really, that it didn’t get shunted straight into junk.

Sender: MSG@hotmail.com

Subject: Annie

‘I know what happened to your sister. It’s happening again…’

Because when my sister was eight years old, she disappeared. At the time, I thought it was the worst thing that could ever happen. And then she came back…

Genre: Fiction, Thriller, Mystery

After reading The Chalk Man back in October last year (and absolutely loving it!) I was super excited to get my hands on a proof copy of Tudor’s upcoming release. It’s got all the ingredients that I hoped for – creepy younger siblings, unexplained events and strange notes left by someone who knows more than they’re letting on.

You can check out my full review for this book here

What books did you read this month? Did you manage to work on getting through that TBR pile? What did you think of them? I’d love to know! 📚

You can always find me over on Instagram and Twitter if you’d like to discuss any of these books (or any others that I’ve featured) in more detail 😌

5 thoughts on “Reading Round Up – January 2019

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