January 2013 Wrap-up

Read: 15 books

On the first day of the New Year, I signed up for Goodreads 2013 Reading Challenge. I have 50 books to finish for this year. It is the same amount of books I have read for six months last year so others think I can do a hundred in a year. That may be possible, but I anticipate myself getting busy later this year so I got half of that.

For the first month of the year, I got productive in reading 15 books in a month. Some think I am an introvert who spends most of my free time stuck in books. But they are wrong. I do go out and spend quality time with my friends. Time is limited, true, but I do make time for reading. I am in constant “vigil” for my books. Even though Mom is perpetually angry whenever she sees light in my room after 11 PM, it did not discourage me to continue reading more. I learned to be covert about it instead. Hehe.

So what books did I read for January 2013? Here is the list with ratings and comments. They are arranged by the date I finished reading them.

The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald


Rating: 5/5

Why haven’t I read this book before? I so love this novel. It gave me glimpses on how American society was right after the war. Though I learned the facts in my history classes, it is still different to read something out of a fiction book. I am glad to note that as far as my knowledge permits, the characters are realistic during that time period. The crises are also appropriate. The storytelling is unique and magnificent. And of course, Gatsby. *sighs* Gatsby who is just like me.

The Diabolical Baron by Mary Jo Putney


Rating: 3/5

After reading two novels from the same author, I tried to read more of her work. This one held a lot of promise, but did not meet my expectation. I think it would be helpful if the author focused on a single love story in a book than having it two.

The Thing with Feathers by Anna Sweazy-Kulju

Kulju-The Thing With Feathers-Final Cover.indd

Rating: 4/5

I received a free copy of this book in exchange of an honest review. I posted my comments in this site and you can find it here.

The Gatekeepers’ Challenge by Eva Pohler

Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000038_00023]

Rating: 4/5

I participated in a blog tour and received a copy of this book for review. You can find my comments here:

Beautiful Beings by Kailin Gow

beautiful beings

Rating: 4/5

Again, I received a free copy of this book in exchange of an honest review. Please feel free to read my comments here:

Necessary Evil by Adrian Lupsa


Rating: 3/5

The author personally contacted me to review his debut novel and I agreed to support him. Please read my thoughts on his first novel here:

Stop the Insanity by David Welch


Rating: 4/5

I personally like this book. Again, I received this via a book blog tour, and I am happy that I had read it. I have strong opinions about some of the points made by the author so you may find my review on it a bit lengthy. My blogger friend, Cush, also helped me discuss what arguments I actually opposed, so even the comments in that post are also long. Should you be curious enough, you may see the review here:

Unholy Testament by Carole Gill

unholy testament

Rating: 4/5

Even though this book consists of supernatural creatures which I found cliché already, this novel surprised me by adding character to the story. The history is rich and well researched, and I am looking forward to read the next book. For more of my comments, you may click here:

Xingu by Edith Wharton


Rating: 2/5

I first saw this book from my blogger friend, Rebecca. The number of pages for this book caught my attention as it specifically mentioned in Goodreads that it is only 88 pages. I got the digital version of the book and guess how many leaves it has? 27. Anyway, I did not like this book as it only showed how vain people were before regarding books. And to think that the story revolved in a book club!

Life of Pi by Yann Martel

life of pi

Rating: 5/5

I love this book. It is not only entertaining. It also helped in stimulating cerebral processes in me which I thought already died after I finished studying. I caught myself closing the book for a while to think what the author actually said.

Insurgent by Veronica Roth


Rating: 3/5

The story from Divergent continues. I love the first book, but got disappointed in this recent installment. Don’t get me wrong – the book is still amazing. It is just that I hoped the author wrote more about the world the characters live in so we can actually understand where they are coming from.

For the Love of Hades by Sasha Summers


Rating: 4/5

I love Greek Mythology and I am glad that I read this book. This is for another book blog tour so I received a complimentary copy in exchange of a review. If you want to read more about this, please check out my post here:

Fairy Tale Fail by Mina Esguerra


Rating: 5/5

If I can give 6 stars, I would. I so love this book. I don’t know if the author knows me, but it’s as if she wrote my life story. If you want to know more about me, please read this book.

The First Time by Kevin Morris

the first time

Rating: 3/5

I admit I was not prepared when I read this book. It is a collection of short stories portraying real-life problems. Teenagers find themselves in situations difficult to handle and they tried to solve them in form of prostitution. It could actually be good if a. the author focused on creating a single novel showing this, or b. if all the stories relate about prostitution.

To Catch an Heiress by Julia Quinn


Rating: 3/5

I read something from one of my favorite authors to end the month. This book is utterly hilarious yet romantic and it never failed to capture my interest in regency era. I especially like the vocabulary words used at the start of each chapter and their sentence usage. However, there are rooms of imporovement when it comes to the characters. For one, the heroine must not be over-talkative like me.

There you go. My 15 books in the first month of 2013. As of the moment, I have read three books for this month, making me 32 books away from my 2013 Reading Goal. Yay! Let’s read more. What are you currently reading? Any good suggestions based on the books I have read?

Now, I’m off to watch Les Misérables with a friend. Better try not to hide from those paperbacks and be sociable instead. Or else, my surrogate grandfather might play matchmaker again!

monica's signature

53 thoughts on “January 2013 Wrap-up

  1. How do you do it? I completed 4 books in January and it felt like such an achievement already. Haha. My list is on my blog. Looking forward to seeing your other recommendations.

    1. I have a lot of time in my hands as I am single and my friends are almost always busy to hang out every day. I also do not do house chores at home as others are paid to do those. I am also not busy at work so yeah, I have a lot of free time to read. I even give two-four hours of my sleeping time to reading which results to my dark circles and panda eyes.

      I will check your list now. Keep reading!

  2. I have decided that the competitor in me will take a back seat. There is no keeping up with you so I will not even try. It’ okay. l do not mind being humble in your presence. After all, I can probably eat more ice cream in one sitting than you can. I will be happy with that accomplishment. Read on!

  3. Good job, Monica! I like getting head starts on my goals. 🙂

    This is a year of writing for me, not as much reading. My first book was published today!

    1. I don’t know where I was hiding in the past few years. This was not included in my high school reading requirements. I was in a science high school so we were busy doing robotics and stuff. Anyway, there are a lot of books to be read so I hope we can read at least 5% percent of them. Keep reading.

  4. You’ve really managed to read a lot in the span of a month! I’m only halfway through my sixth book, haha. Also, out of your list I’ve only read The Great Gatsby, and I have to say my rating was a lot lower. xD

  5. Great job with all the books this month! Even though you didn’t like Xingu. I liked how vain the women were because they got showed up in the end and people act the same now as they did back then, except instead of showing off with book knowledge people show off with outfits, makeup, anything to make others feel bad about themselves. I like that they were upstaged by the author and the member of their club.

    1. Thanks for recommending the book to me. The story can be proven real t that time until now. However, I dislike that kind of attitude and personalities which brought my sentiment about the book. How dreadful to have a book club like that!

  6. Why in the world is my reader not notifying me about your post :O Anyway…
    You just got me to Fairy Tale Fail! It would be the perfect February read 🙂 I have yet to start reading The Great Gatsby but I plan to get to it this month!

    1. Oh why? I experienced the same thing with a specific blogger. He told me that perhaps I accidentally clicked the Unfollow button which sits next to Like.

      Let me know if you have problem acquiring a copy of Fairy Tale Fail. It is written by my fellow-Filipino and is available in our local book stores. I am not sure if it is sold internationally though.

        1. Oops. And I googled it now. Hmm yeah I see that it is available in Amazon, too. I think the one in Amazon is the digital cover? I have the printed version and the cover is the one in this post. I hope you enjoyed it. It is a light romance novels set in my country, the Philippines. You may have a glimpse of how we live here. 🙂

          1. Reading this book seems like a great experience! I don’t think I have read any books by a Filipino author. I am very interested to learn more about how you live. The differences that cultures have amazes me sometimes. A British girl ounce moved to our school and was surprised to learn that we eat waffles for breakfast. Apparently, it is considered a dessert in Great Britain.

            1. Well, I can remedy that. I can suggest some Filipino works for you though I like the historical ones. I hope you read books in that genre.

              You’ll find that Filipinos are more Western than one can imagine. We are greatly influenced by Americans and Spanish so you won’t be culture shocked to see Filipinos having Continental breakfast here 🙂

              1. That would be great 😀 I have been meaning to branch out and although I do love the historical genre I haven’t read much of it.
                I always found it interesting how cultures influence each other. It is a good thing since I don’t think I can live without having a waffle in the morning.

  7. Impressive as always, i have only read The great Gatsby and The life of pi, both of which I loved too. I have my work cut out keeping up with you this year. At the moment I’m reading The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern which is really enjoyable, it’s a place you’ll love to be in, rich and imaginative and colourful.

  8. Loved the Great Gatsby as well back when I read it in my high school English class!

    I hope that you aren’t completely turned off by Edith Wharton based on the book that you read. I just finished The Age of Innocence with my favorite Goodread’s bookclub (join in you’re interested: http://www.goodreads.com/group/show/78394-classics-without-all-the-class) and even though it was slow in parts, I thought it was great. Wharton had some interesting insights into the state of society at the time.

    I’ll come back to your blurb on Life of Pi after I finish it this month with the book club!

    1. It seems you have an interesting book club there in Goodreads. I joined a few, but I’m not an active member. I find club notifications annoying as they tend to flood me with comments.

      I am planning to read The House of Mirth this year since I have read some good reviews about it.

      Enjoy reading Life of Pi.

  9. Lots of quality books there! I read The Great Gatsby in school, and I have some good memories of it, but I’ve been thinking that I should re-read it for some time now, especially with that sudden hype that has sprung about around it. Also, I’m curious now in what way Gatsby is like you!

Share your thoughts, I would love to read them!