It's a funny old month, January. It gets off to such a slow and sluggish start in the aftermath of all those festivities, drags its way slowly through the middle, and then suddenly goes and ends on us, announcing that the first month of the year is already gone!

Still, we made it through.

 This month I:
- Had mixed emotions about the cold and snow.
- Ran, cycled, swam and went to my first step aerobics class in a typical burst of New Year energy.
- Enjoyed an evening in the company of a family living and serving in Namibia.
- Spent a night at the ballet. 
- Found myself intrigued by the 'Enough Food If..' campaign.
- Started a new youth group at work.
- And booked my first ever foreign holiday!  (Disclaimer: I've been abroad before - to Tanzania - but i don't really count it as a holiday.)

I read:

'It's Not Me, It's You' by Jon Richardson
An easy but amusing read about how comedian Jon Richardson's "impossible perfectionism" has kept him from romantic involvement for seven years. I enjoyed this book and may be more than a little bit in love with Mr Richardson.

'My Sister Lives On the Mantelpiece' by Annabel Pitcher
I didn't realise this was for children/young adults when I downloaded it on Kindle ..and, truth be told, I still hadn't entirely realised by the time I was done. A fictitious story about a family in the aftermath of a terrorist attack, the only words I can think to describe it with are "hopeful" and "warm".

'The Fault in Our Stars' by John Green
I'm all about the Young Adult fiction this month, apparently, and devoured this book in a matter of hours. The story of Hazel, a teenager living with cancer, and her romance with Augustus Waters, this was typically teenager-y and entirely predictable, but really quite beautiful. I snottered and cried my way through the last quarter of the book.

'Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking' by Susan Cain
This has been on my wishlist ever since I watched her TED talk some time ago. It was a little more scientific than I'd imagined - more theoretical than practically based - but it might be that very fact which saved it from falling into the trap of cliched self-help book. As a pretty major introvert trying to make my way on a career path that often demands a certain degree of extroversion, this book was an encouraging reminder of the gifts introversion has to offer.

'The Last Battle' by C.S. Lewis
The last in the Narnia series (which I seem to have been reading forever) and probably my favourite, besides 'The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe'. Lewis' gift for weaving profound theological truths into beautiful narrative imagery is simply astounding.

'The Hunger Games' Trilogy by Suzanne Collins
Having avoided it for so long, curiousity finally got the better of me and I gave in and read the three books in the Hunger Games series.. and have to confess to really enjoying the story. I'm sure I could write a plot summary and reflect on what interesting sociological/political issues it raised, but, honestly, the books themselves would be about as quick a read and certainly a lot more enjoyable.

'The Psychopath Test' by Jon Ronson
This book was not at all what I expected. That was my own fault entirely. I clearly never read a synopsis and instead took its subtitle - 'A Journey Through the Madness Industry' - to indicate some kind of critique on psychiatric imperialism and capitalism of the pharmaceutics industry. It's not about that at all: it is quite literally about the test for Psychopathy.
That said, it was actually an interesting read and the writing made me want to read his better known books like 'The Men Who Stare at Goats'.

And I enjoyed watching:
'Pitch Perfect' at the cinema, 'The Descendants' on DVD, and the new series of 'Miranda', 'Call the Midwife' (Miranda Hart obsession, anyone?) and 'My Mad Fat Diary' on TV.

All things considered, it's been a good month, really. I hope it was good for you too?

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  1. What a pile of books! I loved the Jon Richardson one, and I haven't read that particular Jon Ronson one but I have enjoyed some of his other books.

    And oooh, where are you going on holiday?

    1. Would you recommend any of his other works in particular?

      I'm off to Tunisia with friends - it's not 'til May, but i'm SUPER excited!