January 2023 | The Books

Photo by Towfiqu barbhuiya on Unsplash

Last year for the first time, I kept a tabulated list of all the books and short stories that I read during 2022. It was a BIG list. This was a direct result of abandoning Goodreads part way through the year; I had to find another way of tracking what I was reading.

For 2023 I have decided to post a monthly list instead. I’ve also added an ‘origin’ column to encourage me to read more books from my TBR piles. Those with the ‘ARC’ tag are reading copies I obtained from work that have been on my pile less than 3 months.

BournvilleJonathan CoeEnglandHistorical Fiction2022ARC
Tokyo ExpressSeichō MatsumotoJapanCrime Fiction1958TBR
Before He Left the FamilyCarrie TiffanyAustraliaShort Story2012Anthology
The Color of the Sky is the Shape of the HeartChesilJapanFiction2016TBR
Finn Family MoomintrollTove JanssonFinlandJunior Fiction1948TBR
The RoomWilliam TrevorIrelandsShort Story2005Anthology
The Woman in the Purple SkirtNatsuko ImamuraJapanFiction2019TBR
Adam BedeGeorge EliotEnglandHistorical Fiction1859TBR
Dead-end MemoriesBanana YoshimotoJapanShort Stories2003ARC
Old Flame William TrevorIrelandShort Story1991Anthology

Story of the month: The Woman in the Purple Skirt

  • I finished seven books and three short stories during January.
  • One book was a Finnish children’s classic and one was a teen story set in Japan.
  • Nine of the ten titles were read for reading events.

Adam Bede was read for Nick’s #EliotReadalong, although I finished it ahead of schedule to clear the decks for February. It was also my CC Spin #32 book.

In previous years, I would consider myself lucky to read one book for Meredith’s Japanese Literature Challenge. This year, with a slightly tighter time frame in which to read books (two months instead of three), I have finished a record number of books for the challenge (4)…and I still have a whole month to go!

Finn Family Moomintroll was finished in time for Annabel’s Nordic FINDS reading event. The two William Trevor short stories were for Cathy & Kim’s #AYearWithWilliamTrevor and the Carrie Tiffany short story was my lead-in post for Bill’s Gen 5 Reading Week.

My most commented on book post during January has been The Woman in the Purple Skirt. It was also the story that got under my skin the most.

But most importantly, ALL ten books & stories were from my TBR pile, even if like Bournville, some had only been on the pile for a very short while.

What was your favourite read during January?

This post was written on the traditional land of the Wangal clan, one of the 29 clans of the Eora Nation within the Sydney basin. This Reading Life acknowledges that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples are this land’s first storytellers.

16 thoughts on “January 2023 | The Books

    1. I should have also noted that the four Japanese books were novella length according to page number, although not necessarily novella-like. I will need to more time to think about what that actually means though 😀


  1. I’m always impressed by the wide range you cover, and especially keeping up with all those reading events! I almost matched you with books read in January – nine for me – though admittedly one was a graphic novel, the second a short fiction and another was an art book with an introductory essay; still, three Nordic countries were represented, a couple of children’s books and two science fiction pieces – so, some variety…


    1. That’s a tremendous variety Chris! I realised as I was finalising this post that I had not finished and non-fiction during the month. I will now probably overcompensate by finishing all the half-read non-fiction books lying around the house in Feb 😀

      I’m trying to use the various reading events this year to help me seriously tackle my TBR. January was a good start – the trick will be to avoid the temptation of shiny, new releases at work!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Ah yes, shiny new releases… I’m currently reading 2022’s Babel by R F Kuang but at least I am tackling my humungous TBR piles and packing up my read books for transport to the charity shop! But I’m still haunting the library…

        Liked by 1 person

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