Hello and welcome to my first reading status of 2021! The new year began with a very prolific reading experience, as I read 5 books since my previous monthly status from December (my personal record from 2020 was 4 books a month). A diverse blend of historical fiction, magical realism, and murder mystery!

Interestingly, 3 out of the 5 books I read were written by Japanese writers! While I did not consciously choose to focus on books from Japan, I am so happy that I expanded my reading horizon.

Currently reading

I am reading Three Daughters of Eve by Elif Shafak. A very dear friend recommended to read this book and I just went for it. Before starting reading I only knew that it was a story about three women and that’s all I needed to know. I read about 50% of it, so far it is amazing – a curious blend of identity, religion, and academia mystery!

Finished reading

First I finished The Shadow King by Maaza Mengiste (my review). It is a historical fiction story about Mussolini’s 1935 invasion of Ethiopia. The focus of the story is on the not-talked-about contribution of women soldiers in this conflict, the women who fought alongside men. I enjoyed a lot reading this book, it was eye-opening!

Then I continued with the one and only Murakami! Killing Commendatore is the most recent book published by Murakami and it is the story of a painter in his thirties. Of course, it involves magical realism elements and the whole narrative is sprinkled with food and music. The 700+ pages went by very quickly!

Next was a shorter book – Before the Coffee Gets Cold by Toshikazu Kawaguchi. It was an emotional book with 4 heartbreaking stories that take place in a special cafe. There people can travel back in time, but they have to get back before their coffee gets cold. The present cannot be changed, so does it really make sense to travel back in time only for few minutes? 🙂

The list of read books continues with Earthlings by Sayaka Murata (my review). This was one of the most shocking and weird books I’ve ever read, and definitely the winner of the “most misleading cover”. It is a story about toxic relationships and not fitting in the society – an extreme rebellion against human culture and spirit.

The fifth book of the month was The Hollow by Agatha Christie. I joined the #ReadChristie2021 challenge and this book was the pick for the January theme: a story set in a grand house. The murder mystery has an interesting plot, with unusual characters and a revolver gone missing. The most simple answer is not always the correct one … or is it!?

Reading next

I’ll definitely read The Living Sea of Waking Dreams by Richard Flanagan. The book will be published tomorrow – on 14th of January – and earlier this week I received access to the eARC. The joy!! ❤️ Years ago I read The Narrow Road to the Deep North by the Australian writer (my review) and I enjoyed it a lot.

Greta Thunberg said on her Instagram account “New year, same crisis” … and it made me think that 31st of December and 1st of January are just two days one after another, and nothing actually changes from one day to the other.

However, the magic of a new collective beginning might actually be a powerful force. I have a good feeling about 2021.

‘Till next time … happy reading!


Cover photo by Christin Hume on Unsplash

10 thoughts on “What I’m reading in January 2021

    1. I agree, Killing Commendatore is a captivating read! I was a bit afraid that I would not like it, as I read many reviews saying that it was not as good as the other books … but it worked its magic on me! 😀

      Liked by 2 people

  1. Okay I’ve read one Agatha Christie book so far! It was Death On the Nile. Is Killing Commendatore your favorite Murakami book? I usually don’t read much magical realism, but I feel like I need to read one of his books.
    Isn’t it weird the pull January 1 has??

    Liked by 1 person

    1. 1Q84 is my favourite book by Murakami. It is also one of his longest and most complex books. If you’re looking for a shorter read, then I recommend A Wild Sheep Chase or Kafka on the Shore.

      I am planning to read a book by Agatha Christie each month this year. I already bought the books for January-April so I don’t have any excuse to not read them! 😀

      Liked by 1 person

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