January 2022

Thank you for joining me here!   I hope you enjoy this series and I’d love to hear from you about what you are reading these days.

Book #1:

The Ten Thousand Doors of January by Alix E. Harrow (Length: 385 pages).  What a story! This is a fantasy/mystery that’s beautifully written. It’s about a girl named January Scaller who is an almost-orphan as her father Yule Ian (Julian) travels the world obtaining treasures for his boss, the ultra-wealthy Cornelius Locke. January lives with Mr. Locke in his sprawling Vermont estate. This book contains tales within the main story about magical doors to magical worlds. The novel lags a bit in the middle but overall, it’s a fantastic read with lots of twists and turns, that will transport you to magical places. Absolutely worth a read!

Book #2:

Beneath a Scarlet Sky by Mark Sullivan (Length: 525 pages).  This is my book club’s January pick, and boy, am I disappointed! This is a fictionalized account based on the true story of an Italian boy, Pino Lella, who becomes a spy for the Italian Resistance during World War II, and personally helped several Jewish citizens escape over the border to Switzerland, and then as a personal driver for General Lerner (a Nazi), passed on German secrets to the Allies. The story is very captivating, and the plot of this book is an absolute page-turner. But the writing . . . ugh. The writing is very stilted and juvenile, as if a high schooler wrote this, which is odd because the author is award-winning and is very prolific (at least 18 novels). Moreover, this novel had a bit of a Forrest Gump feel for me as the coincidences are entirely unbelievable at times (which I won’t enumerate here as they’d spoil the plot). Overall, it’s worth a read for the story, but perhaps lower your expectations regarding the quality of writing. A movie based on this book and Pino’s story is currently in development, and I’ll absolutely watch that.

Book #3:

Applied Electro-Magnetism by Susannah Nix (Length: 256 pages). This is a romance and is the perfect palate-cleanser between heavier books. It’s one of six books in a series entitled Chemistry Lessons which features women in science as the protagonists, which I love. Nix is a good writer, with better-than-usual character development for romance novels, and she definitely can write a strong female lead with nerdy tendencies (my favorite type as I’m the same). This particular novel features a business road trip with two co-workers who don’t care for each other, so it’s the enemies to lovers trope. The author writes about their travelling from buying snacks at the airport, to stopping at the famous Buccee’s convenience store in Texas, and I always enjoy reading those types of real-life details. Again, the author’s writing is strong enough that I’ll definitely continue to read more of this series. (The books seem to end up in the daily Kindle deals too, so watch out for those if you can’t find these at your library.)

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