January Reads

          January was the month of audio books for me. I made it through four audio books and one physical book, and that made me freakin’ stoked. Even though I decreased my expectations, I managed to go beyond what I set for myself. I need to push myself back into reading physical books again, but I’m still happy with what I can accomplish at the moment.

          Three of the books were Sherlock Holmes. I got obsessed out of nowhere and I couldn’t get enough. And honestly, I only went to a different book after the first three because I felt like it would be kind of a lame post if all I talked about was Holmes.

          A Study in Scarlet

          The Sign of Four

The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes by Arthur Conan Doyle

          I had a great time getting through these books. I found myself laughing out loud at work while listening to them. There was so much wit and quick-thinking, it was fun keeping up with the mystery as Holmes unraveled the clues.

          The scenery came to life in each tale. I felt like I was walking the streets of London along with Holmes and Watson. Every corner they explored, I felt like I could see and hear what they did. The imagery was very impressive.

          These aren’t your typical mysteries, either. There isn’t much hunting around because Holmes simply knows all. He sees what others don’t and can fit a puzzle together where someone else sees mismatched pieces. All he needs to do is examine the floor or the contents of someone’s pockets before he knows exactly what happened.

The City of Brass by S.A. Chakraborty

          I heard about this series on the Book Riot podcast and it appeared to be something that would interest me. And I’m glad I was right. Even though I don’t read much YA, this book didn’t give me a cheesy teenager feeling. (No offense to YA fans/writers. They aren’t all for me).

          Nahri is a great character right off the bat. I love her resilience and ability to sustain her way of life. She gets creative about how to bring in her income and supports herself fairly well for someone basically alone in the world.

          But then along comes Dara to change her whole life. And not entirely in a good way. Sure, he brings her to a world she’s meant to live in and helps her discover who she really is, but at what cost? She has to bow to a ruler she doesn’t agree with and be forced into an arranged marriage? Is that really better than her life in Cairo?

          She grows and changes into a more mature woman and learns to fight for what she believes in and not just for her daily bread.

          Until it all blows up in her face. And so of course, I now have to buy the next book in the series. Because along with Nahri’s story, there were so many other supporting characters with their own lives to follow that I need to know what’s going to happen to them all.

          I highly recommend this book to anyone looking for a series to jump into.

The Elements of Style by William Strunk Jr. and E.B. White

          This was technically my craft book from December, as I mentioned in my December reads post, but I didn’t finish it until January, so here we are.

          This book was a good refresher on the rules of grammar that seem to be forgotten over the years. Not being in school or studying English or writing makes it easy to have once heavily enforced sentence formation slip out of my mind. Even though I feel like my grammar isn’t too terrible, it did give me some nice pointers. I love anything that helps me self-edit my work. I would love to be wealthy enough to afford an outside editor for my writing, but I have just not reached that level yet. Instead, I read books on editing and grammar and hope I don’t make a complete fool of myself. I really feel like this book helped me become a more competent writer.

          Income tax season has arrived and I can’t wait to go to the bookstore and load up on new material. I have literally read every book I own, other than the ones I received for Christmas. I desperately need to stock up on some to be reads. If anyone has any suggestions, I’ll gladly take them into consideration.