Goodreads: What I Read in January 2018

It’s been an entire month since
my last blog post and I’m very disappointed myself of slipping out of the habit
of consistent blogging. I’ve been incredibly busy with work and haven’t had a
minute to myself to sit down and divulge my thoughts and feelings, let alone
sit down and write hundreds of words worth of book reviews and travel guides!
This next week is half-term and I’m planning on giving myself lots of time to
catch up on my blogging, alongside planning my lessons for next term, of
course!


Despite this lack of time to
write, I did make an effort to try and read (although granted a few of the
books I mention here are books I’ve read with the children in my class at work)
as much as I possibly could. Here are some of the books I read in the month of
January, along with a few of my thoughts on them!

The Remains of the Day by
Kazou Ishiguro
has been on my To Be
Read
pile for a few years now. I went home to stay with my parents for a
few days over the Christmas holidays, as I do every year, and whilst I was up
there I finished the book I was reading. I hadn’t accounted for this happening,
so I grabbed any old book off the shelves in my childhood bedroom and got stuck
in. The Remains of the Day was the
book I happened upon and I am incredibly happy that I did so. I’ve previously
read Never Let Me Go by Kazou, and I
absolutely loved that, so I had high hopes for another of his books. I enjoyed
this one, granted not as much as I enjoyed Never
Let Me Go
. I found that the story was a little bit difficult to get stuck
into, because of the language, but I will admit it is just as much the
masterpiece as every claims it to be. The story was heart-breaking in the sense
that our protagonist, a loyal and faithful butler, put every aspect of his
being into being the best that he could possibly be in his role. In doing so,
he allows himself to lose the sense of his own being and in his final days realises
that his entire livelihood has left him feeling obsolete. A heavy read, but one
that I will likely go back to in the coming years.

The Roanoke Girls by Amy
Engel
is a book that a few of my friends have read and loved, so I was keen
to read it myself. My little brother bought me a copy of this for Christmas and
with my expectations incredibly high, I got stuck straight into it as soon as I
could. After a very slow start, and a frantic message to the girls in my group
chat who had recommended it to me to see just WHEN I was going to get as hooked
as they promised. I needn’t have worried, of course, because the book was
absolutely fantastic and I found myself in a situation where I couldn’t put it
down. The story follows Lane through two different periods of her life and the
circumstances that surrounded the mysterious Roanoke. After the death of her
mother, 15 year old Lane goes to live with her grandparents and her cousin
Allegra. A summer later, she leaves Roanoke and never looks back, unable to deal
with the events that go on there. Flash forward in time and Lane is forced to
return upon learning of her cousin Allegra’s disappearance. Nothing has changed
in Roanoke and Lane has to relive everything about the place that made her
leave in the first place. An absolutely spectacular read that left me gasping
by the end!

We Found a Hat by Jon
Klassen
was a fun read of a book that I bought for shared reading in my
class. I’m yet to read it to them but I’m going to use the book to support a
PSHE lesson on sharing. It’s a very cutesy book about two turtles who find a
hat and have to make a decision on which of the two of them will get to wear
it.  

My class reader for January was Toto the Ninja Cat and the Great Snake
Escape
by Dermot O’Leary. I
wasn’t aware that Dermot had even written a book before I came across a copy of
it (signed, no less) in Waterstones in the New Year. After a quick look at
reviews, a read of the blurb and a glance at the language level, I decided that
it was definitely a book that the class would love. It took about ten pages for
the entire class to be completely enthralled by it, each of them sat on the
edge of their seats and asking if we could ‘not do spellings today’ and read
the book instead! (No to not doing spellings, but they were much quicker at
getting their coats on at the end of the day so they could listen to the story
in Drop time!)

Another book we read as a class
in January was Unfortunately the Milk by Neil Gaiman. As a huge fan of Gaiman
myself, exploring his books for younger readers was high on my agenda and I was
keen to get stuck in. Luckily, the kids were just as keen and loved this book
almost as much as they loved Toto. They loved the ‘craziness’ of the story and
were really eager to discuss whether or not they thought that Dad was telling
the truth about his adventures to get their breakfast milk. A definite hit with
both me and the kids.

I have plenty of books to get
stuck into over the coming weeks, including a few book tours that I’m a part
of.

What have you read recently that
I need to get my hands on? Let me know in the comments!