January 2019 books

This is the latest post in a series I started in late 2019, anticipating the twentieth anniversary of my bookblogging at the end of October 2023. Every six-ish days, I’ve been revisiting a month from my recent past, noting work and family developments as well as the books I read in that month. I’ve found it a pleasantly cathartic process, especially in recent circumstances. If you want to look back at previous entries, they are all tagged under bookblog nostalgia.

I started the year by taking B for a walk to a castle near where she lives.

We went to Mechelen to see the mysterious Enclosed Gardens, which I must write up some time.

I also went to an exhibition about the legacy of the Dukes of Arenberg at the M Museum in Leuven, in the course of which I bumped into the actual Duke.

“Entschuldigen Sie mir, bitte, sind Sie der Herzog?”
“Darfen wir bitte ein Selfie machen?”
“Ja, natürlich.”

I had two working visits to London, and in the course of the second one I introduced my uncle to chopsticks.

A couple of days earlier, Scotland House hosted a Burns Night in the shadow of Brexit, with some emotional performances.

Auld Lang Syne
The haggis

I read 17 books that month.

Non-fiction: 2
Blue Box Boy, by Matthew Waterhouse
Berlin Calling: A Story of Anarchy, Music, The Wall, and the Birth of the New Berlin, by Paul Hockenos

Fiction (non-sf): 3
Milkman, by Anna Burns
From Here To Eternity, by James Jones
The White Tiger, by Aravind Adiga

sf (non-Who): 8
The Year’s Best Science Fiction & Fantasy, 2010 Edition, ed. Rich Horton
Heartspell, by Blaine Anderson
Europe at Dawn, by Dave Hutchinson
“The Queen of Air and Darkness”, by Poul Anderson
Tales from Moominvalley. by Tove Jansson
The Only Harmless Great Thing, by Brooke Bolander
Avalanche Soldier, by Susan Matthews
Children of Blood and Bone, by Tomi Adeyemi

Doctor Who, etc: 2
The Time Lord Letters, by Justin Richards
Secret Histories, ed. Mark Clapham

Comics: 2
Saga vol 9, by Brian Vaughan and Fiona Staples
Lambik by Marc Legendre

5,100 pages
7/17 by non-male writers (Burns, Anderson, Jansson, Bolander, Matthews, Adeyemi, Staples)
3/17 by PoC (Adiga, Adeyemi, Staples)

Hugely enjoyed my return to Tales from Moominvalley; you can get it here. Hugely enjoyed Paul Hockenos’ Berlin Calling; you can get it here. Hugely enjoyed vol 9 of Saga; you can get it here. Blaine Anderson’s Heartspell is rubbish; you can get it here.