Every Book I’ve read in January

Every Book I’ve read in January

Hello my wonderful bookworms! It feels like it was just yesterday that we were enjoying Christmas Dinner and complaining about another year ruined by COVID and now January has already come to an end. Can we please make time slow down? How am I ever going to get through my TBR before I die? Okay, let’s not go there. January is already depressing enough.

Anyway, January has been a good reading month for me. I set a goal for 75 books this year and I’m already slightly ahead. I like to be a little bit ahead so that I don’t have to stress about finding the time to read. I’ve read a total of 9 books in January and these are all of them:

The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho

Rating: 3 out of 5.

My very first book of the year. A young shepherd goes looking for a treasure and his purpose in life. Short, sweet and a little disappointing at times. The writing was just fine, but I just didn’t always agree with the themes. Also, I really disliked the ending. Literally any ending would’ve been better. The book kind of gets you thinking, but since I didn’t much agree with the themes, I didn’t take much away from it. If you have this on your TBR, you can leave it there, for it is interesting and relatively short and easy to read, but don’t move it up on my account. If the themes speak to you, read it. Otherwise, it’s not worth your time. It counts towards your reading goal, though..

The Comfort of Others by Kay Langdale

Rating: 3 out of 5.

Heartbreaking, intriguing at times, but also very slow and occasionally dull. I liked, but not loved, this book. It peaks very early and I kept waiting for more, but it didn’t really come. Parts of the story were really heartbreaking and I noticed myself holding my breath while reading those, but most of the time I was just struggling through, waiting for something to happen. I linked a full review in the title and down below, including a summary of the story.

The Burning Maze by Rick Riordan (The Trials of Apollo #3

Rating: 5 out of 5.

The third part of the Trials of Apollo series, where the Greek God Apollo is punished by Zeus and sent to earth in the body of a mortal. Apollo is now 16-year-old Lester Papadopoulos, complete with acne and love handles. He is to stay on earth with 12-year-old Meg McCaffrey as his master until he has fulfilled his punishment. The books are set in the same world as Percy Jackson, so there are a lot of familiar faces.

I read the first two books in the series last year and since I made a New Year’s Resolution to finally finish some of the series I’ve started, I figured I’d start with this one. In The Burning Maze, Meg, Apollo and Rover (yes, Rover from the Percy Jackson series) have to find their way through the Labyrinth to rescue the next oracle in order to stop the emperors from taking over the world.

The Tyrant’s Tomb by Rick Riordan (The Trials of Apollo #4

Rating: 5 out of 5.

The fourth book in the Trials of Apollo series by Rick Riordan. Meg and Apollo set off from Camp Halfblood to Camp Jupiter, in the San Fransisco Bay Area. Camp Jupiter is the home of demigods that descend from the Roman Gods. The camp will be under attack soon and Apollo needs to find a way to defeat their enemies. That’s as much as I can say without spoiling anything. I loved this book. That’s all I will say.

Chess for Dummies by James Eade

Rating: 4 out of 5.

I started reading this Ebook AGES ago when I started to play chess with my boyfriend. I was a terrible chess player and he is actually pretty good, so I wanted to get on his level (or at least nearer to his level) so it would actually be fun for both parties. So I decided to do what I do best: read! Well, I owe mister Eade a great big thanks, because shortly after I finished this book, I won my very first chess game from my boyfriend, something I had never deemed possible. All kidding aside, the Dummies series is actually an amazing series to get into a certain subject with no prior knowledge. The book stays on the surface, but it gives you that push that gets you on a certain level. From there you can decide if you want to learn more. Chess for Dummies was very helpful to me! Now on to grand-mastery!

Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone by J.K. Rowling (reread)

Rating: 5 out of 5.

I really hope I don’t need to explain the plot to you anymore. I read Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone in January for my Rereading Harry Potter series of posts that will continue throughout the next couple of months. I absolutely loved rereading it. There were so many details that I had completely forgotten about and I loved meeting familiar characters for the first time again. It was just perfect. I linked the whole Rereading Harry Potter series so far in the book title. Check it out if you’re interested.

The Tower of Nero by Rick Riordan (The Trials of Apollo #5

Rating: 4 out of 5.

The fifth and final part of the Trials of Apollo series. Weirdly enough, this was actually my least favourite of the three Trials of Apollo books that I read this month. I loved the final battle, which covers about half of the book, but the first half was a little annoying, if you ask me. Apollo and his companions go underground to look for the Troglodytes, a weird lizard-people who wear hats and eat other lizards, but also pretty much everything that moves. I guess the Troglodytes were amusing enough, but also a little too weird for me. The ending was epic, though, and a little emotional. Still definitely worth the read.

Red, White & Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Without a doubt my favourite read for this month. Honestly, it was so much better than I had expected. I was a little afraid that it was overhyped when I read it, but it really isn’t. The story is completely fictional of course, but I hope with all my heart that one day we will have a female president and she will have a bisexual son who falls in love with the queer Prince of Wales. Until then, I will just have to keep rereading this book on repeat. Full review is coming somewhere in the next week. Stay tuned 😉

Elevation by Stephen King

Rating: 3 out of 5.

Definitely the winner of the most-disappointing-January-read award. I had such high hopes for my very first Stephen King book, but alas. It wasn’t meant to be. Elevation is short, which is why I picked it as my first Stephen King book, but perhaps a little TOO short and frankly, it seemed a little rushed. I linked the full review in the title and down below.

I’m currently reading The Wrath and the Dawn by Renée Adhieh, The Gifts of Reading by Robert Macfarlane and of course Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. Stay tuned for updates and reviews on those! As always, thank you so much for reading and I’ll see you soon with more reviews, book recommendations and Harry Potter reading updates!

The Alchemist review: https://caffeineandcurlsbookblog.com/2022/01/07/the-alchemist-by-paulo-coelho/

The Comfort of Others review: https://caffeineandcurlsbookblog.com/2022/01/14/the-comfort-of-others-by-kay-langdale/

Rereading Harry Potter: https://caffeineandcurlsbookblog.com/category/harry-potter/harry-potter-reread/

Elevation review: https://caffeineandcurlsbookblog.com/2022/02/01/elevation-by-stephen-king-book-review/

The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho

The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho

  • Fiction
  • Fantasy
  • Ebook
  • 226 pages
  • Goodreads rating: 3.89

Rating: 3 out of 5.

Hi fellow bookworms! I’m back with a review for the very first book I read in 2022: The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho. I had a hard time choosing the first book of the year, but I eventually settled on this one, because it is relatively short and when someone asks what your first book of the year was, you can say: “Oh just The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho, why?”. So, there’s that.

“And, when you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it.”

Paulo Coelho, The Alchemist

I was a little bit disappointed with the book (hence the 3-star rating). My expectations were pretty high because of the good ratings and all the praise on Bookstagram and Booktok, but it kind of let me down. Funny thing is, now that I take a closer look at some other reviews of this book, the keyword there is “underwhelmed”. So I guess I’m not alone in my disappointment.

First of all, the main character, Santiago, is constantly referred to as “the boy”, but at no point in the book do you have any idea how old he is. This may be a tiny detail, but if you say “boy”, I may think he’s like 7 years old at first. But then suddenly that 7-year-old says he wants to marry the merchant’s daughter next year and you figure, okay I guess he’s probably a little older than I’ve been picturing him. If I’m constantly trying to figure out how old the main character is, I’m not paying attention to the story.

“It’s the possibility of having a dream come true that makes life interesting.”

Paulo Coelho, The Alchemist

The other thing that bothered me, is the circumstances around the search for Santiago’s destiny. I mean, I love a good story about someone trying to find their destiny and eventually finding it, but in this case the destiny was basically just getting rich. So I guess this a religious self-help book written by a capitalist? Also, the boy is constantly told that all that matters is fulfilling his destiny and as long as he does that, everything will magically fall into place. Except, he forgets that he is trying to fulfil a destiny like every 10 seconds. Most of the book he’s just doing his thing in a crystal shop, making a lot of money and thinking of ways to make even more money.

I really liked learning new things about the Islam, like how the Quran dictates that you should always feed a hungry person. I love how the book paints the Islam in such a positive light. The world needs more books that show how beautiful Islam can be.

All in all, The Alchemist was alright. It had some beautiful quotes and some life lessons to remember every now and then, but also a lot of life lessons you should forget as soon as possible. If all you have to do to get something, is to want it bad enough, I would be married to Ryan Reynolds right now. Also, without spoiling anything, the ending to the story was really frustrating…

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