January 2020 reading round-up

New Year’s Day excursion to Kinderdijk.

Today is not a good day. I’d quite like to pretend Brexit isn’t happening, even though I know that the better approach is to reaffirm my love for Europe and the EU. I love the EU so much and will greatly miss being part of it.

This month started strong, with our holiday in the Netherlands, and ended terribly. Maybe February could average out a little? That would be nice. (There is a chance I am also suffering a little from late-winter blues, so as the days get longer I’ll hopefully cheer up, whatever politicians gets up to.)

As well as the Dutch loveliness, this month we also had a very nice weekend with friends in Leicestershire and we saw the excellent JoJo Rabbit at the cinema. If you’re a Taika Waititi fan (and why wouldn’t you be?) you will not be disappointed.

Books read

The Prince of Mist by Carlos Ruiz Zafón
A Spanish YA novel set during World War Two. I liked the “real” aspects but wasn’t convinced by the magical mystery storyline, or the villain.

Jessica Jones: Purple Daughter by Kelly Thompson and Mattia de Iulis
The first Jessica Jones story I’ve read that was not written by Brian Michael Bendis and that I genuinely enjoyed. Bendis created such an amazing character and Thompson brilliantly follows up with a story that taps into what it is like to be a survivor of trauma, how that never leaves you.

The Heart is a Lonely Hunter by Carson McCullers
Oh wow, this book. I will review this properly soon, but it will be hard to do justice to it. John Singer is a deaf mute man living in a small town in the southern US. When his deaf best friend leaves him, other town residents turn to him for companionship, and a disparate group of lost souls forge bonds with this increasingly lonely man. An astonishing and angry book.

Mary Ventura and the Ninth Kingdom by Sylvia Plath
This Faber mini-book is a short story that Plath wrote as a college student but was not able to publish in its original form as it was deemed too dark. I loved it. It’s about a young woman taking a train journey, which it becomes clear is a metaphor for…something. Definitely worth hunting down.