Saturday, August 7, 2021
Tuesday, February 2, 2021
The Ten Thousand Doors of January
by Alix Harrow
Publication Date: September 10th, 2019
"When I was seven, I found a door."
In a sprawling mansion filled with peculiar treasures, January Scaller is a curiosity herself. As the ward of the wealthy Mr. Locke, she feels little different from the artifacts that decorate the halls: carefully maintained, largely ignored, and utterly out of place.Then she finds a strange book. A book that carries the scent of other worlds, and tells a tale of secret doors, of love, adventure and danger. Each page turn reveals impossible truths about the world and January discovers a story increasingly entwined with her own.
Monday, February 1, 2021
Leftovers (to finish from previous months)
1) Ashes (Seeds of America #3) by Laurie Halse Anderson
This was on my 2021 reading list for January, and I didn't quite finish, so we march on! It's great so far.
2) Empire of Sin: A Story of Sex, Jazz, Murder, and the Battle for Modern New Orleans by Gary Krist
I have a list of places, people, and subjects I want to learn more about, and this year's focus place in New Orleans! I got this book while I was in NOLA last year, so I thought this was a great place to start.
3) Transcendant Kingdom by Yaa Gyasi
4) White Fragility by Robin DiAngelo
This was my anti-racism pick for January, and I expect to finish it in the next few days. I wanted to take my time with it, because there's a lot to unpack and think about. Very useful book for me.
5) Lore by Alexandra Bracken
6) The Kingdom of Back by Marie Lu
7) A Blade so Black (The Nightmare-Verse #1) by L. L. McKinney
Books from my 2021 list
1) Cold Mountain by Charles Frazier
2) Sweethearts by Sara Zarr
3) White Oleander by Janet Fitch
This is the oldest book on my TBR, shelved on Goodreads in January of 2010. I hope it's worth the wait!
4) Escape from Disaster (Antartica #2) by Peter Lerangis
5) Proteinaholic: How Our Obsession with Meat Is Killing Us and What We Can Do About It by Garth Davis
6) Nausea by Jean-Paul Sartre
7) The Color Purple by Alice Walker
Sunday, January 31, 2021
I haven't quite accomplished my reading goals this month, but I did get a few books finished, which is pretty good for me nowadays! Here are the books I read in January (covers link to Goodreads):
1) The Ten Thousand Doors of January by Alix Harrow
"I hope you will find the cracks in the world and wedge them wider, so the light of other suns shines through; I hope you will keep the world unruly, messy, full of strange magics; I hope you will run through every open Door and tell stories when you return."We started with a stunner! Ten Thousand Doors of January was such a beautiful and magical book. It centers on January Scaller, a girl who discovers doors between worlds, and learns more about herself and her family in the process. It also includes lots of underdogs fighting against old, evil rich men which I am always here for. I read this book this month because it had the word 'January' in the title, and I loved the section where January's learns why she is named after such a normally dreary month.
2) Little House (Little House, #1) in the Big Woods by Laura Ingalls Wilder
“She thought to herself, "This is now." She was glad that the cozy house, and Pa and Ma and the firelight and the music, were now. They could not be forgotten, she thought, because now is now. It can never be a long time ago.”
I recently got the book The World of Laura Ingalls Wilder: The Frontier Landscapes that Inspired the Little House Books, so I decided to read the series alongside this book focused on the landscapes, practices, and history behind Wilder's real life. It's been quite a delightful experience, not only to dive back into a childhood favorite, but also to learn more about real frontier life.
3) The Widow of the South by Robert Hicks
“The only glory to be had was the glory of surviving.”
This story centers on Carrie McGavock, a woman whose home is taken over as a hospital for Confederate soldiers after the battle of Franklin. Carrie is portrayed in this novel as quite grim, fairly selfish, and taken to fits of violence, it seems. I think this characterization does a disservice to the real Carrie McGavock. I could attribute my dislike for this novel to this or many other factors. For one, I've rarely been a huge fan of novels or nonfiction books set during war time. I picked this one up because it's set in Franklin, TN, and as a native Tennessean, I've been through there before. However, the setting wasn't much of a factor, other than being the place where the real-life story behind this novel took place. The romance in this book was super weird and felt forced. And, it's told from a white, Confederate/indifferent perspective, with the only Black voice in the book being somewhat of the "loyal slave" archetype. The novel seemed to be really pushing the futility and meaningless of war, portraying both sides as the same, and I just couldn't sit with that. I can still say I'm happy I finally read this, as it was the oldest book on my to-read shelf on Goodreads, added in 2010!!