January Reading ReCap

January was a bit of a slow reading month if you look at number of books completed, but, given that these were both audio books if you look at hours listened it was a bit of a marathon with nearly 60 hours of listening time combined.

1Q84

I started off the month listening to Sand: Omnibus Edition. The goodreads description of this one intrigued me, and I’m glad I gave it a shot. Some of the reviews are kind of ehh, so I was a bit worried, evenso I like the read. I especially like it as an introduction to Howey’s work. I think many of the not-so-great reviews were disappointed with the work due to their experience with his other novels. I however, found it well written and captivating. What appears to be a series of short stories quickly blends into an over-arching plot featuring a dystopian world where scavengers dive through sand dunes looking for lost treasure – all the while Howey encourages readers to examine familial ties and interpersonal relationships. And, while I probably won’t read the book again, it did intrigue me enough to want to check out Howey’s other works, specifically Wool.

After Sand, I read 1Q84 – at over 46 hours long, the audio book took me the rest of the month and a few days into February to finish. Originally written in Japanese and then translated to English, the book itself is a bit tricky to explain. At it’s core I would say it’s about a woman, a man, a girl, and how they end-up in and try to escape from an alternate world. Drawing heavily from Orwell’s 1984 there are themes of big brother, espionage, and overtly controlling organizations. There’s also a heavy dose of Bradbury-esque sci-fi with “little people” spinning “air chrysalises” that serve as cocoons for alternate versions of the characters. It can be a bit dense and a bit slow, but was perfect as a sewing companion and later as a “I’m sick in bed and can’t just lie here” read. Overall, I really enjoyed the book – I’m not sure I’d go so far as to say I loved it, but I think it’s one of those that will grow on me as time goes by. There are definitely some themes and scenes that will stick with me.

What about you, what have you been reading lately?

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