January Reviews

2015 has proven to already be a much better year than 2014 for many reasons, one of which is the books! This year my goal is to read 10,000 pages, which I'm on track to exceed at this point. My rationale was that anyone can read 100 YA or "easy" books, while you could spend two months on War and Peace. Page numbers just make more sense to me, at least for this year. Here we go:

The Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka
72 pages
This was a reread for work, and for those unfamiliar with the premise, it's about a man who turns into a bug (or DOES he?). Kafka's examination of identity, guilt, sympathy, isolation, and familial duty is profound. Add a dash of existentialism and absurdism and your guaranteed a good time (or not really if you're in my class and being taught this philosophical mumbo-jumbo by yours truly).

Verdict: I go back and forth between enjoyment and irritation. Nonetheless, I'm still appreciative and respectful.

I Am Radar by Reif Larsen
656 pages
I wrote a post here going more in-depth, but to sum it up this book is about a black boy born to white parents and a group of performance artists. And puppets.

Verdict: I definitely enjoyed it but thought it may be a bit too ambitious.

Sous Chef by Michael Gibney
240 pages
I also wrote on this book as well, a memoir about a day-in-the-life of a sous chef at an upscale restaurant in New York City.

Verdict: I loved this book. Like "want to buy all the restaurant memoirs I can get my hands on" loved it. I used a few short passages in my classroom to have the kids analyze things like syntax, as well.

Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel
352 pages
My, my, my how people loved this book last year. Mandel writes about different characters, both before and after The Georgia Flu strikes, killing most of the population rapidly. She focuses on a group of characters connected closely and by proxy, examining their survival emotionally and physically, all the while scaring the crap out of her readers. This could happen, guys.

Verdict: This book was definitely interesting, and was hard to put down. I thought the writing was decent as well, and appreciated that Mandel's first three books received less than stellar reviews- perseverance paid off. I'm a little over dystopian lit, for now, thought (despite the fact I have at least one another new book from the genre waiting to be read). 

January: 1,320 pages
2015: 1,320 pages


  1. Your review of Kafka is much more level-headed than mine would be. I can't make myself teach that crap. I love the "counting pages, not books" idea!

  2. Definitely looks like a great start to your reading year. I hope February turns out equally good.

  3. Glad to hear you've had a good month! I think I'm reading Station Eleven next and am looking forward to it :)

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  6. Excellent, Sous Chef in my TBR stack.... *moves it up*

  7. Yes! Pages read makes so much more sense, especially when YA readers are all like "I read 150 books this year"! So annoying.