In today’s Sunday Summary post, I have lots of blogging and bookish updates for you!
The first blog post I shared this week was my monthly wrap-up for January 2023. I would normally share this post on or around the first day of the following month. However, this month the first fell on a Wednesday. As I have recently started a series that I share every Wednesday, I didn’t want to conflict with that. As a result, I drafted most of my post ahead of time, adding a few last-minute updates, before the post went live on Tuesday. If you want to find out what I have been reading throughout the month of January, check out that post.
On Wednesday, I shared the aforementioned feature for my new series, Well, I Didn’t Know That! In this week’s post, I shared an article that introduced me to a book I wouldn’t have discovered elsewhere.
On Friday, I shared my planned TBR for February. Even though it is the shortest month of the year, I am not cutting myself any slack. I have set myself an ambitious list of seven books that I would like to get through this month. If you want to take a look at those, check out my February TBR post. Some of the books mentioned in that post are going to feature below in this week’s reading progress update.
I don’t quite know how I managed it, but I’ve read in the region of 780 pages this week!
The Chimp Paradox
As of last week’s Sunday Summary update, I was just over a quarter of the way through The Chimp Paradox by Professor Steve Peters. I had decided to pick up this book as it interested me from a psychology point of view. Not only that, but I was hoping it will be able to teach me some ways in which I can help manage my metaphorical chimp.
In last week’s update, I did voice some gripes about the book. Those didn’t change throughout my reading experience, so it wasn’t the best read I’ve ever picked up. To summarise, the psychology is very simplified, I wasn’t a fan of the condescending tone, and whilst it did give me some useful information, I would say it was limited. This turned out to be a mediocre three-star rated read.
The House of Fortune
Next, I picked up the last book I intended to read in January, The House of Fortune by Jessie Burton. This book is the sequel to The Miniaturist, which I read around about this time in 2018. I confess that I had to remind myself of the characters in the first book in order for things to slot into place for the second one. Where the first book focuses on Nella as the main character, for the second book, we effectively move on a generation; Thea Brandt is the focus of the storyline.
I didn’t like Thea as a main character. For an 18-year-old who has lived a fairly sheltered life, she really does think she knows it all. Not only that, but her character is very different throughout the narrative – at times, she is headstrong and bold, and yet in other parts, she wallows away in her bedroom for a month because something happens that she doesn’t like. It didn’t seem consistent. I’m also a bit disappointed that a female author could do the disservice of creating a female character that could be this pathetic.
Small gripes aside, The House of Fortune was a decent read overall. This also ended up being a three star rating.
This morning I moved on to my current read, Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff. So far, I am 123 pages into this book. I am already loving it! The target audience for this one is a little bit younger than I am, but the characters are still enjoyable from an adult perspective. The main selling point for this book is that it is written in mixed media. The story is told through messages between characters, interviews and such like. I really enjoyed this when I picked up The Appeal by Janice Hallett last year. Illuminae is different from The Appeal in that it is a kind of mystery in a sci-fi setting… but so far, it’s really working and proving really easy to read. I read the 123 pages towards my current progress just this morning!
If you check out my Wednesday feature post, Well, I Didn’t Know That!, you will know that I have added a book to my reading list this week.
I have decided to add Deep Wheel Orcadia to my reading list as it is a completely new concept to me. If you are not familiar with this book, it is a sci-fi. That is not what makes it unique though. It is unusual in that it is the first complete book to have been written in Orcadian Scots for over 50 years. It does have English translation, in case you are interested in the story but are not bothered by the language element. Personally, I am intrigued by it, and I can’t wait to pick it up!
My first blog post of next week is going to be a book review. This week, I am going to be sharing my thoughts on the next book in the Harry Potter series, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. I re-read these books in 2021 and 2022 with a view to comparing my experience of reading them as a teenager versus an adult. I have reviewed a number of the books in the series so far, and this is the fifth instalment.
On Wednesday, I will be sharing my next post in my new feature, Well, I Didn’t Know That! If I am entirely honest, I am still deciding on the feature of this post. That’s why I’m not disclosing any more information at this time.
On Friday, I will be back with a First Lines Friday feature. Seeing as how my last post (and the novel way I planned to pick the featured book) didn’t go to plan, I’m not going to christen it this time. Instead, I will share how I went about it in that post.
As always, I will be back with another Sunday Summary update to catch you up on what I’ve been reading and what I have shared throughout the week!
For now though, that is all from me in today’s Sunday Summary post. Have a wonderful evening and week and I’ll catch you in the next one.