What I Read in January 2021

February 1, 2021
The books that I read in January

One month down and another eleven to go. It’s strange to think how quickly January happened and now I’m sitting at my desk reflecting on the month as I write up my what I read in January post. 

If you know me or saw on my Instagram, I have a spotted history with setting myself TBRs for the month. Mainly because I’m a mood reader at heart and secondly because I’m terrible at sticking to them or I get way too ambitious and want to read all of the books. 

However, in January this year, I changed it up a little for me. I picked a lot of books; however, it didn’t matter if I read all of them or not, I just wanted to feel less overwhelmed with my TBR. Sometimes, when I finish a book and don’t have a small selection to choose from, I can get overwhelmed by choice and just not pick up anything. 

Does anyone else get like that, or is it just me?

Anyway, with this in mind, reflecting on my TBR for the month, I was quite successful and got to read a great selection of books too so here is what I read in January. 

The Tea Dragon Society By Katie O’Neill 

I feel like sometimes the first read of the year is essential, or do we just think it is? For me, I am superstitious with my reading at times, so for the past three or four years, I’ve always started my reading off with a graphic novel. 

The story is lighthearted and fun with gorgeous illustrations too, following a young girl called Greta, an apprentice blacksmith, she encounters the enchanting world of the tea dragon society. I don’t want to say too much, but if you are searching for a lighthearted and quick read that is bound to make you smile then this is it!

Forgotten Scars & Hidden Scars By Natalie J. Reddy

At the start of January, I also read the first two books in Natalie J. Reddy’s Forgotten Scars series. It’s a YA Urban Fantasy that surrounds a girl called Wren as she attempts to navigate the new world of the Psi that she has been thrown into while uncovering secrets of her past. 

Both Forgotten Scars and Hidden Scars were exciting and fast-paced reads. I don’t read a huge amount of YA anymore, but I enjoyed these and couldn’t put either book down. They were both really great as there was constant twists and turns and I loved seeing Wren’s development throughout too. 

The Duke & I By Julia Quinn

I don’t think I need to go into too much detail about Julia Quinn’s novel The Duke & I. It’s the first in the Bridgerton series that the newly adapted Netflix show is based on and I admit I was intrigued and I did partially enjoy the TV show. 

However, some aspects I found really disappointing, especially since the book is twenty years old and some of the problematic issues where still used within the show. Overall, I have a lot of thoughts on this and will be going into more detail in a blog post later this month.

Lumberjanes Volume 16

I can’t believe that Lumberjanes has just released it’s sixteenth volume! Honestly I have loved this series so much and last year when I was in a really bad reading slump these graphic novels really helped me get through it. 

If you don’t know Lumberjanes follows a group of girls at summer camp. We have Jo, April, Molly, Mal and Ripley, and their hut leader Jen too. However it’s not your run of the mill summer camp with mythical creatures, raging gods and several odd occurences do happen along the way. 

But at it’s core even with all the magic, this series is about friendship which I absolutely love and can guarantee I’ll be rereading this series before volume seventeen comes out!

Nevermoor: The Trials of Morrigan Crow By Jessica Townsend

Sometimes there are just some books and series that you keep finding excuses to come back to time and time again. Nevermoor is that for me and when I saw Oliva and Sabine were hosting a readathon for the Nevermoor series, I knew I knew that I would be reading Nevermoor again.

If you haven’t read this series yet, then you can find my first review here.

The Good Immigrant Edited By Nikesh Shukla

In 2020, I want to make it a priority for me to start reading more non-fiction. It was always a genre I didn’t think I would enjoy but at the end of 2020 I found that I actually do really enjoy it. Also it ties in with my belief that books can teach us something and I want learn more about the world around me. 

I picked The Good Immigrant as I’ve heard nothing but fantastic things from all my friends who have already read it. An incredible and powerful piece of literature, The Good Immigrant, shares writers’ lived experiences from Black, Asain and minority ethnic groups in the UK in their own words. ⁠

I’ve written review of this on my Instagram and will link the post here for anyone wanting to know more. 

People from my Neighbourhood By Hiromi Kawakami 

As well as reading more non-fiction, another goal of mine was to read more translated fiction so I decided to start my journey of reading translated fiction off with another book by Hiromi Kawakami. 

I first read Hiromi Kawakami work back in 2020 and loved her writing style so decided to pick up her shorts collection People from my Neighbourhood. In all honesty, I don’t how to describe my thoughts or feelings about this collection. 

Set in a single neighbourhood with some recurring characters over different years, it highlights the intricacies of living in a single place and how we interact with those we live around. I read short every other day and slowly made my way through it. Overall, the writing was superb but I think this will something I have to revisit again. 

There you have my what I read in January 2021 post!
Have you read any of these books? What was your favourite book in January?

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  • Reply Kelly Diane February 3, 2021 at 9:18 am

    You read so many great sounding books in January. I wanted to read the books Bridgerton is based on too. I can’t wait to hear your thoughts further.

    • Reply @cupofwonderland February 13, 2021 at 4:29 pm

      Thank you! Currently have a lot of complicated feelings so taking my time with writing up my overall thoughts but hopefully will have it out in a week or two!

  • Reply Weird & Liberated February 3, 2021 at 9:53 am

    Great post.

    I’ve been watching Bridgerton and I didn’t know which book it was based on. I liked the series so I’m guessing the book is freaken awesome.

    • Reply @cupofwonderland February 13, 2021 at 4:29 pm

      Thank you for reading. I think the book was okay, I have a lot of complicate feelings and you can definitely tell that it was written over 20 years ago.

  • Reply Anika February 3, 2021 at 11:33 am

    I can definitely get overwhelmed by choice too! Or if the TBR list in my head is too long, haha. Great wrap up, I look forward to hearing more thoughts on The Duke & I.

    Anika |

    • Reply @cupofwonderland February 13, 2021 at 4:31 pm

      Yes! I completely get that – my TBR in my head is always way too long! I’m definitely hoping to write up my thoughts completely and get the post out in a week or so. There are just a lot of thoughts and want to make sure I get it right.

  • Reply Cristina Rosano February 3, 2021 at 11:52 am

    These are some great reads and glad you started the year with plenty of reading! I want to pick up ‘The tea dragon society’ and ‘the good immigrant’. Also, I heard only good things about ‘lumberjanes’ so will have to pick that up top! Thanks for sharing x

    • Reply @cupofwonderland February 13, 2021 at 4:31 pm

      Thank you for reading! You’ll have to let me know what you think of the books when you get to them!

  • Reply Rebecca Smith February 3, 2021 at 12:10 pm

    What an interesting selection of books! I haven’t read any of these but have heard a lot about the Bridgerton books so I will be looking forward to your post with your thoughts.

    • Reply @cupofwonderland February 13, 2021 at 4:32 pm

      Thank you – seems like it’s a popular post that people are looking forward too. Definitely have a lot of thoughts so hopefully will be able to share it soon.

  • Reply Rosie Ireland February 3, 2021 at 12:19 pm

    The Good Immigrant sounds really interesting. I am devoting more time to reading this year and this list will be great for when my own reading list gets a bit empty!


    • Reply Ellie February 4, 2021 at 4:30 pm

      My favourite book I read in January was The White Book by Han Kang!

      • Reply @cupofwonderland February 13, 2021 at 4:38 pm

        I really need to try reading some of Han Kang’s books – I’ve heard brilliant things.

    • Reply @cupofwonderland February 13, 2021 at 4:33 pm

      It really is interesting and thought-provoking read – highly recommend so you’ll have to let me know if you end up reading it!

  • Reply Claire Lomax February 3, 2021 at 2:04 pm

    I think I need to start breaking my TBR piles down a little because whenever I finish a book, I struggle picking the next one.

    I haven’t read any of these but they sound great x

    • Reply @cupofwonderland February 13, 2021 at 4:34 pm

      I would definitely recommend it. I admit that my TBR overall is way too much and extremely overwhelming so I find breaking it up a little each month helps.

  • Reply Jenny in Neverland February 3, 2021 at 2:23 pm

    I totally believe that the first read of the year is essential! As well as the last read of the year. That’s why I read my favourite book ever at the end of 2020 (The Age of Miracles) and the authors new book (The Dreamers) at the start of 2021! Thank you for these suggestions 🙂 xxx

    • Reply @cupofwonderland February 13, 2021 at 4:36 pm

      oh! I’ve never thought about the importance of the last read of the year before – that’s definitely given me food for thought!

  • Reply Nikki February 3, 2021 at 7:40 pm

    Looks like it was a good month!

    • Reply @cupofwonderland February 13, 2021 at 4:37 pm

      It definitely feels like a good start, but I think February is going to be much better.

  • Reply Stephanie February 3, 2021 at 11:07 pm

    Oooh I’ve never read any of these, which is actually kind of fun because now I can look them up and see if I might like them as well! Glad you’re off to a good start for the reading year with these picks!

    • Reply @cupofwonderland February 13, 2021 at 4:37 pm

      Sounds good! You’ll have to let me know which ones you end up trying and what you think!

  • Reply Literary Leisha February 4, 2021 at 11:43 am

    I so need to read the Tea Dragon Society!
    I wanted to read the Bridgerton books, but I’ve heard quite a few people say how problematic they are! Think I’ll give them a miss for now.

    • Reply @cupofwonderland February 13, 2021 at 4:38 pm

      You really do! It’s just a brilliant and joyful graphic novel! I honestly don’t know if I would recommend the Bridgerton Books, I’ve only read the first and don’t think I’ll continue but definitely would like to discuss my thoughts more on my blog soon.

  • Reply Nicola Chard February 4, 2021 at 9:09 pm

    Ooooh, I need to read Nevermoor!

    • Reply @cupofwonderland February 13, 2021 at 4:40 pm

      You really do! It’s a fantastic series and honestly, I don’t think I’ll ever stop recommending it.

  • Reply Kirsty February 4, 2021 at 10:50 pm

    I really want to read the Tea Dragon Society!

    • Reply @cupofwonderland February 13, 2021 at 4:41 pm

      It’s a really joyful and beautiful graphic novel so I hope that you enjoy!

  • Reply amyjanealice February 5, 2021 at 8:45 pm

    There are some great reads here!

    • Reply @cupofwonderland February 13, 2021 at 4:42 pm

      There really was!

  • Reply Nancy February 5, 2021 at 10:45 pm

    I am wondering the same – how did January pass by so quickly?! It is great that you got to read a good amount of books in January. The Tea Dragon sounds like a pretty good read. It is great that there are some great YA books out there. Love that you have different varieties of reads. Thanks for sharing!

    Nancy ✨

    • Reply @cupofwonderland February 13, 2021 at 4:43 pm

      Haha I definitely have a varied reading taste for sure but that’s the adventure of it I think! Love trying different things – although I won’t touch horror!

  • Reply Lorraine February 6, 2021 at 9:25 am

    I’ve heard so many good things about The Tea Dragon Society (and bought it for my Secret Santa) so I should really think about reading it myself!

    • Reply @cupofwonderland February 13, 2021 at 4:43 pm

      You really should! It’s such a brilliant read!

  • Reply Charlotte February 6, 2021 at 6:12 pm

    The only one I’ve read from your list is Nevermoor which I absolutely loved. I am glad you had a good reading month. I always want to see the year in with something magical. This year it ended up being Cinderella is Dead which isn’t my usual new year vibe, but I’m all for bringing some feminist smash the patriarchy energy into 2021

    • Reply @cupofwonderland February 13, 2021 at 4:44 pm

      Love that energy Charlotte! I really need to pick up Cinderella is Dead but for some reason I just haven’t been picking up much YA recently so will have to change that soon!

  • Reply Della Driscoll February 7, 2021 at 12:56 pm

    I love these types of posts – it looks like you’ve read some fab books! I haven’t heard of any of these so will look into them. I’m currently reading the Guilty Feminist and loving it xx

    • Reply @cupofwonderland February 13, 2021 at 4:45 pm

      Thank you! You’ll have to let me know if you try any of them! I haven’t read the Guilty Feminist but have been told to try it so think I’ll have to keep my eyes out for it now.

  • Reply Aimsy February 7, 2021 at 4:48 pm

    I’ve not heard of any of these books so I will have to check them out. I must admit I have fallen of the book reading wagon and need to get back on! My tbr list is growing!
    Thanks for sharing!
    Aimsy xoxo
    Aimsy’s Antics

    • Reply @cupofwonderland February 13, 2021 at 4:45 pm

      Thank you for reading! I hope that you find your reading spirit again and hope that you get to read some fantastic books too!

  • Reply Emily February 7, 2021 at 5:47 pm

    I do want to read the Bridgeton series but they are all sold out when I look!

    • Reply @cupofwonderland February 13, 2021 at 4:45 pm

      That’s fair enough, if I’m honest I’ll probably end up giving my copy away – not a keep book for me.

  • Reply Reads and Ramblings February 7, 2021 at 7:22 pm

    Bridgerton is definitely problematic, the marriage etc is very unhealthy and some elements are difficult to digest. I enjoyed the series much more than the book- definitely could have been better! I’m not sure how I feel about pursuing the book series. 🥴

    • Reply @cupofwonderland February 13, 2021 at 4:46 pm

      Yas! Thank you for commenting and saying this as I was starting to feel a little alone with my thoughts and feelings on the book!

  • Reply Hannah February 15, 2021 at 8:14 pm

    Wow you’ve gotten through so many books! I’ve not seen or read Bridgerton before, but I know everyone loves it. I suppose it says a lot if it’s 20 years old, but from the sounds of it I think I am going to pass on that one xx

    • Reply @cupofwonderland February 24, 2021 at 11:40 am

      Yeah Bridgerton was such a disappointment for me and I think it’s a book and show I’m liking less the more that people keep on brushing over how problematic some scenes and areas are.

  • Reply Cora @ TeaPartyPrincess March 2, 2021 at 10:46 am

    I feel like Bridgerton could have been so much better as a TV show if they had left out that scene, although I appreciate that they made it alternate instead and made it more diverse.
    Cora |

    • Reply @cupofwonderland March 3, 2021 at 11:19 am

      Yes – definitely wish they left out that scene. At first, I enjoyed the show but since reading the book and looking back I have a lot of mixed feelings for sure.

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