How did January treat you? I’ve spent most of my days indoors, by the front window, watching the rain fall.
Just kidding! It rained a lot, but I spent most of my time watching screens: working, watching The West Wing, playing Don’t Starve Together (available on Steam), or yelling at my friends while playing Overcooked (available on Steam and on your fave console). I also saw Blade Runner: 2049, which was absolutely fantastic and I recommend you watch ASAP. It’s long, but wonderful.
I also left my house a few times (!). I left to go spend time indoors elsewhere. Did I mention it rained a lot this month? I love feeling cozy, but after so much rain, and so much more rain to come because it’s winter in the Pacific Northwest, my daydreams are filled with trips to sunny, far-off places.
But January wasn’t all rain and games. I also read a few books that I happened to love! This month I ended up reading young adult historical fiction, humour/autobiography, and children’s lit. All were great reads.
The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue, Mackenzi Lee - 4/5 Stars
The Gentleman’s Guide is a great example of a YA book that takes diversity to the next level. It’s about two British best friends setting out to tour the continent--until, of course, the whole plan gets derailed. It’s also about friendship, coming of age, a strange, morbid mystery.
The Gentleman's Guide deals with a long laundry list of social justice issues, all of which make for an important read, even if I found the ending to be a little fantastical for a novel so grounded in real people and real world problems. It’s also a wonderful love story, and despite dealing with a lot of heavy subject matter (abuse, homophobia, sexism, and racism are just a few), The Gentleman’s Guide is a comedy, thanks to our witty, smart-mouthed narrator. I didn’t find it as hilarious as other readers did, but the book is definitely funny. Give it a read.
Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? And Other Concerns, Mindy Kaling - 4/5 Stars
I love Mindy Kaling. She’s hilarious. I have no idea why I haven’t read any of her books before, because I’ve loved The Mindy Project for a long time. But I finally set my priorities straight and once I picked it up, I couldn’t get enough of it. Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? is a short, fluffy book full of laughs and anecdotes about the comedian’s early life and career (pre-Mindy Project). A must-read for Mindy Kaling fans, though I’m sure most fans have already read it, seeing as it came out in 2011…
One note: I found the use of the word “tranny” offensive, so that’s just a heads up for anyone else who might, too.
The Golden Compass, Phillip Pullman - 4/5 Stars
For our February meeting, my book club is reading the His Dark Materials trilogy. (I’ve got a little less than three weeks to finish the other two books. Wish me luck!) I really enjoyed The Golden Compass. It felt a bit long, but the story is well-written and full of adventure. It's a cozy read, if that makes sense. I'd also say it's accessible to all ages, despite being a children’s book, so if you’re looking for a good middle-grade fantasy, it’s a great story to dive into.
Masked Mayhem, Kate Leth & Meredith McLaren - 5/5 Stars
This short graphic novel gets a special mention. If you’re looking for cute, fluffy Adventure Time stories, Masked Mayhem is as perfect as any of them! It’s a great little read before bed.
What did you read this month? What’s the weather like where you are? If it's like Vancouver, are you taking your vitamin D pills??