[Wrap-up] Books read in January 2017

The first month of the year has flown by and I’m happy to see it go honestly. One step closer to spring!

It’s also time to wrap up what I’ve read this month. I read a total of eight books and one novella, and I have reviews up for them all! Links to my reviews are included in the list below.

My January reads:

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[Book Review] Kitchen by Banana Yoshimoto

31hyk6wnavl-_sx305_bo1204203200_Title: Kitchen
Author: Banana Yoshimoto
Genre: Fiction, contemporary

Where I got the book: I purchased this book through Bokkilden.

My rating: 

Summary: “Kitchen” consists of two companion stories; the novel of the same name and the novella “Moonlight Shadow”. In “Kitchen”, we follow Mikage Sakurai, an orphan raised by her grandmother. When her grandmother dies she struggles to come to terms with it, and is eventually taken in by her friend Yuichi and his transgender mother Eriko. Mikage’s favorite place in any house is the kitchen, and it’s through this room and through cooking that we get a glimpse into the life of a young woman who discovers love in the face of tragedy. In “Moonlight Shadow”, young Satsuki loses her boyfriend in a car crash. While she’s out running she meets a strange woman named Urara, who introduces her to The Weaver Festival Phenomenon, a strange experience that she hopes will help her heal.

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[Book Review] A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness

51a60e4hkzl-_sx318_bo1204203200_Title: A Monster Calls
Author: Patrick Ness
Genre: Fiction, fantasy, children’s literature

Where I got the book: I purchased this book through Bokkilden.

My rating: 

Summary: Ever since his mother fell ill, and ever since she started all the different treatments that don’t seem to have much of an effect, Conor has had the same recurring nightmare, the one with the darkness and the screaming and the intense feeling of fear. But the monster that shows up outside his window one night is something completely different. It’s a gigantic creature, a wild and ancient force of nature. The monster tells Conor he will come back at night to tell him three stories. The fourth story however, is a story the monster wants Conor to tell him instead. And this story will be the most dangerous thing the monster wants from Conor. It will be the truth.

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[Book Review] 1984 by George Orwell

51vsw7md2bbl-_sx307_bo1204203200_Title: 1984
Author: George Orwell
Genre: Fiction, utopian and dystopian, political fiction, social science fiction

Where I got the book: I purchased this book at Norli.

My rating: ★★☆

Summary: Winston Smith lives in London, Airstrip One, which is located in the superstate of Oceania. This is a broken city suffering from war conflicts and the aftermath of revolution. The ruling doctrine is Ingsoc (English Socialism) and the Thought Police spy on Party members through the numerous Telescreens installed in every building. All of this happens under the watchful eye of Big Brother, the leader of the revolution whose face is still used as an icon and displayed on posters everywhere. Winston is a middle-class member of the Outer Party and works at the Ministry of Truth, where his main task is to revise and alter historical facts. He is good at his job but feels a tremendous frustration over the Party’s rigid rules. This prompts him to start writing his thoughts and feelings in a diary, thus essentially committing thought crime. He also finds himself drawn to O’Brien, a member of the upper-class Inner Party who Winston is convinced is secretly a member of the Brotherhood, the mysterious underground group that works to overthrow the Party. In the midst of all this, Winston meets Julia, a young woman who works at the Fiction-department at the Ministry, and the two fall in love and begin an affair. They do everything they can to keep their relationship a secret, but Big Brother sees everything…

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[Book Review] Late Night Partners by Fennel Steuert

32958268Title: Late Night Partners: A Tale of Vampires and Twentysomethings
Author: Fennel Steuert
Genre: Fiction, supernatural

Where I got the book: I received a free e-copy from the author in exchange for an honest review.

My rating: ★★☆☆

Summary: Unfortunate old man Simon finds himself attacked by a vampire. As he struggles with the effects of the aftermath, his nephew Roger comes to stay with him. While Roger tends to his uncle, a young woman not considered human anymore, shows up at their door one night. Her name is Doris and she offers Roger a glimpse into the life she’s living. From there on we’re pulled into a world filled with vampires and ghouls, a world that becomes more and more broken as the earthquakes begin to shake it apart.

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[Book Review] Animal Farm by George Orwell

51wou3k-erl-_sx304_bo1204203200_Title: Animal Farm
Author: George Orwell
Genre: Fiction, satire, political satire

Where I got the book: I purchased this book at Norli.

My rating: ★★☆

Summary: On a farm in England, the lazy and incompetent farmer Mr. Jones completely neglects his livestock. This cruelty spurs on a rebellion after the pig Old Major’s dying vision. Under the leadership of the pigs Snowball and Napoleon, the animals drive Mr. Jones away and proceed to take over the farm, which is promptly and fittingly renamed Animal Farm. The animals are now completely in charge of running the farm and learn that “all animals are equal.” However, as time passes internal disagreements within the leadership arise and soon it undergoes drastic changes. Following these changes the farm rules are constantly altered in favor of the new leadership, and it soon becomes clear that “some animals are more equal than others.”

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[Book Review] The Strange Library by Haruki Murakami

51igxao45yl-_sx334_bo1204203200_Title: The Strange Library
Author: Haruki Murakami
Illustrator: Maki Sasaki
Genre: Fiction, magical realism

Where I got the book: I purchased this book through Book Depository.

My rating: ★★☆

Summary: This is the simple and seemingly straight-forward story about a boy who goes to the library to return a book and finds himself briefly wondering how the Ottoman tax collection system works (as young boys often do). The request for these particular books sends him to an unknown part of the library and to a creepy old man, who escorts him through a giant confusing labyrinth to an underground reading room, which in fact turns out to be a prison cell. Aided by a couple of unlikely helpers, the boy must escape the library before his death sentence is up.

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