I'm not sorry to see the end of January. It feels like such a long month! On the plus side, the long dark mornings mean plenty of reading time. I tend to wake early and if I'm really lucky, I get a cup of tea in bed and that's when I'll get half an hour or so reading time before I get up. I'm hopeless if I read at bedtime and can't remember a thing I've read!
My Year in Books choice for January was The Miniaturist by Jessie Burton. I really enjoyed this book and felt transported to 17th century Amsterdam. It had a strong story that was well told, but by the end I couldn't really see the point of the miniaturist. Hard to say more without giving too much away but I didn't think the dolls house etc added anything to the story other than add an element of intrigue and mystery that never was solved or revealed to any degree of satisfaction. Or maybe I'm missing something? If you've read it I'd be interested to know what you thought. But that said it didn't detract from what I thought was an excellent read.
Prompted by the wonderful alchemy of mixing pigments with egg yolk for my egg tempera painting, I have also started to re- read Colour, Travels Through the Paintbox by Victoria Finlay. This is part travelogue, part memoir and part story telling as it charts the history of the various different colour pigments used by artists and dyers over the centuries. An easy, informative read that I'm enjoying all over again.
I also read in January Elizabeth is Missing by Emma Healy. I picked it up in the bookshop on a whim and end up reading it in just four days it was so hard to put down. It is a sort of mystery story but the narrator is an elderly woman with dementia which sounds depressing but it's not. It's clever, funny and sad in equal measures but compulsive reading. I loved it.
I'm trying to finish the Colour book before I start anything new but my choice for February's Year in Books is H is for Hawk, a memoir by Helen Macdonald, which I'm very much looking forward to reading.
I better hurry up though... February always whizzes by after the long days of January. Are you reading anything good this month?