Saturday, February 1, 2014

Closing the lid of January - 12 books, 3 movies

In general, all I have to say about this month is that it was cold. Really, really, annoyingly, unbelievably cold. That's it. Moving on to warmer more interesting stuff.
I finished 12 books in January - bang! What a start to the year. In all honesty, though, a few of them were the ones I had started some time ago and had a bit left to finish (The Man Who Mistook His Wife For a Hat, The Quantum Thief), but I'm glad I wrapped them up.
  • Definitely Maybe * Roadside Picnic by Arkady and Boris Strugatsky (3/5 and 5/5)
  • Tolstoy and the Purple Chair by Nina Sankovich (4/5)
  • Dead Souls by Nikolai Gogol (4/5)
  • Packing for Mars by Mary Roach (5/5)
  • Why Be Happy When You Could Be Normal? by Jeanette Winterson (4/5)
  • The Curse of Europa by Brian P. Kayser (3/5)
  • The Coldest Girl in Coldtown by Holly Black (3/5)
  • The Quantum Thief by Hannu Rajaniemi (3/5)
  • The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat and Other Clinical Tales by Oliver Sacks (3/5)
  • The Lies of Locke Lamora by Scott Lynch (5/5)
  • The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver (4/5)
  • Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by J.K. Rowling (4/5)
To crunch some numbers, this makes:
-- 2 books from my Classics Club list;
-- 3 fantasy books;
-- 3 sci-fi books;
-- 4 non-fiction books (yay!);
-- 2 YA books;
-- 4 chunksters (!), 2 books towards TBR Pile challenge, 1 towards Russian Lit challenge.
If every month was such :)
Moving on to the films - I am not a big movie person, generally. There isn't that much I want to see in theaters, and I always prefer a book over a film. However, in attempt to be more of a well-rounded person, I was inspired by Sarah's post, in which she decides to watch 52 movies in 2014. I'm not going to set a number for myself, since my movie watching schedule is so random, but I decided to at least try to document what I watch and how much I watch.
In January, we watched 3 movies (very puny result, I realise):

  • Equilibrium (2002) with Christian Bale, Sean Bean, Emily Watson - this was a re-watch for me, but Jan hadn't seen it before. 1984 with fight scenes from Matrix, basically.
  • Stardust (2007) with Ian McKellen, Charlie Cox, Sienna Miller, Henry Cavill, Michelle Pfeiffer, Claire Danes, Robert De Niro (best character by far!) - this was Jan's pick. Based on the book by Neil Gaiman. It's the kind of fantasy film I'd describe with "sticky sweet", but the sweetness was redeemed by some really awesome characters, and humour.
  • District 9 (2009) with Sharlto Copley and Jason Cope - OH, MAN. For the first 15 minutes, we both were sitting on the sofa, mouths open. It's a very different kind of sci-fi/alien movie. It's the kind of a good film that leaves you paralysed and gaping, and you might say "It's one of my favourites, but I never want to see it again" - just like Requiem for a Dream.


  1. It's been raining for basically the entire month here. Apparently it's the wettest January in 100 years =o Welcome to England...

    12 books, brilliant number! Did you start reading Locke Lamora in December with the book group? If so, we both finished it late =P I really struggled to get into it at the beginning, but it really redeemed itself towards the end (it was never BAD, just not gripping), and earned a solid four stars.

    I'm really scared to watch District 9 because I'm really squeamish and I heard it's pretty gruesome?

    1. Looks like it's really annoying winter everywhere this year (I don't envy Canadians...)

      I wanted to start Locke Lamora in December, but never got to it, but I did read it now and it went really fast, 3-4 days or so. It was contrary for me, I liked the first parts of the book a lot better than the end, but generally I did enjoy the world a great deal and can't wait to get back there (they are saying second part is even better!).

      Oh, man, District 9... I don't know if I would dare to recommend it, I mean it covers such awesome themes but yes - it is very gruesome. So if you generally don't like such movies, I'd say maybe try it but be careful and maybe stop watching if you have a feeling it's too disturbing.

  2. You had a great month for books! Lies of Locke Lamora has moved way closer to the top of my TBR pile thanks to your great review.

    I loved the Stardust movie. In fact, I liked it better than the book, which almost never happens!

    Have a great February!

  3. What an awesome reading month you had!
    And I really like both the film & the book of Stardust, the film is sweeter than the book but there's just enough irony that it gets away with it.

  4. I love the book Stardust. I don't actually remember the movie but my husband says I saw it. The audiobook version that Gaiman reads himself is one of my favorites! You did really well picking books this month -- nothing less than a 3. Great job!

  5. You read so many great books! It really makes me smile to see that Locke Lamora and The Poisonwood Bible got high ratings from you :-D

    I watched 3 movies in January too! So far, so good. That's just under 1 movie a week, really. And I saw Equilibrium for the first time last year. Ehhhh. I had issues with it, that I only vaguely remember now, but basically that I didn't think the premise worked at all.


Leave a comment if you feel like it - it warms my little bookish heart. :)