January 2022 reading wrap-up

With February solidly in place, it means my reading time in January has come to an end. Over the last few years, I have dedicated my reading time to tackling my massive TBR, which luckily has shrunk quite a bit. Not only do I love to read, but I also love to share what I have read with others. In fact, oftentimes, I pick up books because I have seen others talking about them and that has piqued my interest. Some of those books I enjoy, some I don’t. This January 2022 reading wrap-up showcases the books that I read during the month along with my thoughts on each of them. I hope that this inspires you to pick up a book, perhaps one from this list, and see how you like it. You will never know if you will enjoy a book or not until you start to read it.

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January 2022 reading wrap-up

Komi Can’t Communicate Vol. 16 by Tomohito Oda

I always look forward to a new volume of Komi Can’t Communicate, so when this one arrived, I dove in immediately. This one had so many great parts to it, the awkward but hilarious father-son bonding with Shosuke (Komi’s brother), the cat cafe experience, and of course the play at the end as part of the cultural festival. There was also the introduction of a new character, Emoyama who has an odd quirk to her, but that fits in with the story well. There wasn’t much of her in this volume, but I am sure we will see more of her in future volumes.

I also loved the little story about Komi’s parents when they were dating. It was so cute seeing how even back then she was the bold one and he was the quiet one.

Life And Limb by Jennifer Roberson

My friend got me this book because she knows I love western and fantasy genres but never when they mix. Well, she decided to find a book that combined those two genres and this was a result. We decided to read it together and share the experience.

The prologue stood out too much from the rest of the book, even the writing style was so vastly different that it felt out of place. Ignoring that, the remainder of the book had fantastic writing. The alpha and beta aspect of the relationship between Gabriel and Remi was great and played well in all parts of the book as the story progressed. As for the rest of the cast of characters, there was a great mix of personalities and powers. My favorite of them all was The Morrigan. She added a lot to the story and every time she was in a scene I knew it would be good.

The story has this mix of mythology, Christianity, pop culture, and fairie tales, that may sound like an odd combination but somehow it worked to create a well-rounded story. One thing that worried me about this book was that it felt like it would be too heavily focused on Christianity and that would bog down the story. While Christianity did play a big role in the story, the presence of other religions and folklore helped to mitigate that. In fact, it was the folklore that saved the book in my opinion.

There was a decent amount of repetitiveness in the books, which certain things being said or experienced over and over again, which did cause the book to drag in parts. Overall, this was an interesting read and I will be checking out the next book in the series at some point.

A Brief History of Japan by Jonathan Clements

Really enjoyed this one. Obviously, it doesn’t cover the entire history but enough to get a good understanding of the origin of the country up to recent times. The origin of the name, how it changed from Cipangu to Japan. The Chinese influence and beginning of the island nation. The significance of the red and white on the flag. The rise and fall of the samurai, shogun, and religions. A great book to read for those who have an interest in Japanese history, as it will cover a lot of major points and then you can look into other aspects of the history afterward. It has led me to seek out other sources of Japanese history to get a better look at aspects that were mentioned in this book but did not have a lot of detail.

Delusions of Grandma by Carrie Fisher

I’ve read a few of Carrie Fisher’s books in the past and the one thing I can say is she has a very unique writing style. Some of her paragraphs can be a page long and may consist of a single sentence. It can make the books a bit of a challenge to read. However, buried in those long-winded sentences is a quirky story that, unless I am mistaken, is based on some events of Fisher’s life. This one had a decent story but I can’t say that I truly ever got into the story fully.

Sword Art Online Alicization Invading Vol. 15 by Reki Kawahara

Sword Art Online is one of my favorite light novel series, so it’s always exciting to dive into a new book. Now, having watched the anime series, I already technically know the story. However, the books go more in-depth, delving more into characters’ thoughts and including some scenes that don’t make it into the anime. This volume has a lot going for it. After the major victory of the previous volume, which in turn caused a major setback for Kirito, things take off pretty quickly. Alice’s character has a lot of development and conflict in this one, as she tries to adjust to a new way of life, while also attempting to keep her old life alive but hidden. Rumbles of war keep the action and suspense going throughout and because of this is it a very quick read. Even if you have watched the anime, I highly recommend reading this one as it does add more to the story.

Craft In The Real World by Matthew Salesses

I’ve read a decent amount of writing craft books over the last couple of years, and this one had been on my to-read list for a while. This one took a lot of what previous books have covered and turned it upside down, threw some of it out, and all around changed the way to approach writing. I will admit, I found the book itself to be a slow grind of reading, so I was only able to get through a few pages at a time. That being said, there was a lot to be gleaned from those pages and I would say that knowing these things will make me a better writer.

This is not your typical writing craft book. However, if you are looking to expand your writing knowledge and get a different perspective on writing, then this is the book for you.

Spark Joy by Marie Kondo

Listening to the audiobook version of an illustrated book was probably not the best way to tackle this one. There was supposedly a pdf with the illustrations for the audiobook version, however, the library copy I borrowed did not have the pdf. In the end, I don’t think I missed much due to the lack of illustrations.

This book goes a bit beyond her first book, breaking down how to better declutter and organize your items. But the main point seems to be the joy. How do you attune yourself to the joy and item brings so you know whether to keep it or not? What to do about items that don’t spark joy but are necessary for life? After all, who feels joy over their toilet brush. One part I found strange was the idea that clothes have feelings and you can essentially offend them if you fold them wrong. Overall, it’s an okay book that may help you further your decluttering process, especially when you are struggling with certain items.

Darth Bane: Dynasty of Evil by Drew Karpyshyn

The final book in the Darth Bane trilogy. After struggling to enjoy the previous two books, I will admit, I had little desire to read this one. However, I decided to give it a try, so that I could say I read the entire trilogy. Much like the previous book, I felt little connection to the characters or story. Stuff was happening but at a slow pace and most events were highly predictable. Overall, this trilogy was lackluster in many ways.

Blue Flag Vol. 1 by KAITO

This is a manga I picked up on a whim. It was listed among the popular manga available through the library and figured I’d give it a try. I didn’t even read what it was about before diving in. My curiosity peaked right from page one with that first sentence. The dynamic between Taichi, Toma, and Futaba changes quite a bit throughout the story. The flow of the story is good, though there are a couple of slow spots, overall, I found myself wanting to see what happens next and eagerly turning to the next page. The ending caught me off guard but also has me excited to see what happens in the next volume and beyond. Really enjoy the art style of this book as well.

January 2022 reading wrap-up stats

  • Books read: 9
  • Books purchased: 3
  • Books purged: 0
  • Books DNF’d: 1

I hope you enjoyed my January 2022 reading wrap-up. What books did you read in January?


22 Comments

  1. Love your eclectic book selections in your January reading wrap-up. I will definitely be looking into theMarie Kondo book, as I did get some valuable takeaways from another book she wrote. Glad you are continuing to whittle down your TBR pile. Very inspiring!

    1. Author

      Thank you. Yes, definitely check out her other book, especially if you found her first book helpful.

  2. Thanks for sharing January 2022 Readng wrap-up. I love the review on Crafts. I was just talking about craft shows this morning.

    1. Author

      I’m glad you found this interesting.

    1. Author

      It was a good reading month. The Japan book was very informative and I really enjoyed it.

  3. Wow, that’s loads of books! I managed to read 5 in January – all in the last 5 days haha. I’ve been meaning to read Spark Joy 🙂

    1. Author

      Thank you. Five is a good number to read, especially in five days. It’s a good book for sure, so if you have been meaning to read it, I’d suggest making time to do so.

  4. What a great month in books Sarah! I must read the Marie Kondo books – they’ve been on my TBR list for quite some time. I must be offending my clothing all the time! Thanks for sharing.

    1. Author

      Thank you. Definitely check out her books, they will really help with decluttering and organizing all aspects of your life.

  5. Wow, Sarah, you read a LOT of books in January, however did you find the time?! I don’t recognise any of the authors or books but I must say the idea of a fantasy western is something that I now feel I need to investigate ASAP 🙂

    1. Author

      Well, the answer is simple, it’s winter and is often too cold to do much besides sit and read. Yes, do yourself a favor and read a fantasy western, you may be surprised by the combo.

  6. Thanks for the synopsis of what you’re reading. I purged my closet when Marie Kondo became popular and Carrie Fisher’s writing style sounds a little tedious. I am going to try A Brief History of Japan! I love to add NF to my reading mix. I appreciate the reviews!

    1. Author

      I hope you enjoy A Brief History of Japan. I also did a big decluttering using the Konmari method when she first started gaining popularity. Carrie Fisher’s writing can get tedious, but if you can get past the first few chapters then you are likely to enjoy her quirky stories.

    1. Author

      I hope you do manage to read some of these and enjoy them.

  7. I love all things Star Wars, so I’m bummed that the Darth Bane series was lackluster 🙁
    Given your description of Life and Limb, I’ll be adding this one to my reading list for sure.
    Thank you for sharing!

    1. Author

      It was a bummer too because the trilogy could have been amazing. However, most of the other Star Wars books I’ve read have been amazing. I hope you enjoy Life and Limb, it was great and I look forward to reading the next book in the series.

  8. Thank you for this list of books. The book that is calling out to me is the one by Marie Kondo. I’ve heard so much about her.

    1. Author

      Her books are great. If you do want to read this one, I would suggest readying her first book beforehand so you can truly benefit from all the knowledge she shares.

  9. That’s quite the eclectic list of books. I do have Marie Kondo’s first book and I’m hoping to finish it… one day 🙂

    1. Author

      I do tend to read a little bit of everything, so my monthly wrap-ups are very eclectic. I hope you are able to finish her book at some point.

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