January reading and February reading plans

January isn’t really over yet but I think I can already conclude that it has been a good reading month. I’m hoping to read books by authors from 30 countries this year, and wanted my January reads to give me a good start. I have certainly succeeded in that, the authors of the 16 books I have read so far were born in 12(!) different countries. I know that it will be harder from now on, but it should be doable.

Memorable first time reads

  • Blomsterdalen by Niviaq Korneliussen (Greenland/Denmark)
  • My garden by Jamaica Kincaid (Antigua and Barbuda)
  • Gubbas hage by Kerstin Ekman (Sweden)

Prince Caspian

January was also the time to read the second book in the Narniathon, Prince Caspian. I remember liking Prince Caspian as a child but it was never one of my Narnia favourites. Nevertheless I must have read it many times because almost all plot points were still clear to my memory as I reread it.

Reading it again as an adult I still love the beginning where the Pevensie children return to Narnia. Their rediscovery of Narnia, and Caspian’s discovery of “old” Narnia, are some of the real highlights of this book. I’m less enchanted by the second half of the book. In the first half of the book all plot threads are gradually coming together, but then they seem to disperse again and I feel that the story loses direction a bit. I’m also a bit distracted by some of the human activities that feel out of place in Narnia (schools etc.). What I do like in this book is how much more competent the Pevensie children are. I never liked Edmund’s role in the first book, although I can see that it was necessary for the plot, but in this installment both he and Susan have nicer roles. As I’m strongly in favour of competent main characters, this is a pleasant change. All in all I stand by my childhood assessment that this is a good installment in the chronicles of Narnia, but not one of the very best ones.

February plans

February is the ReadIndies month, which I’m really looking forward to. I have a good selection of possible reads on my TBR shelf (see below), and I might easily end up buying more along the way.

Books by independent publishers on my TBR shelf.

6 thoughts on “January reading and February reading plans

  1. I felt too that that school episode — in fact the whole town episode at Beruna — was out of place in the fantasy, doubtless Lewis on his hobby horse having a go at one of his bêtes noires — schools in general. And yes, the second half feels less focused, less tied to the imperatives that moved the first half along. But it’s often a favourite with many readers so it.must get some things right!

    Good luck with the indies project: I’ve too many books piled up to think of acquiring new ones, however worthy!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think it makes sense in theory, the Telmarines would have had to create some sort of society instead of the Old Narnian one, and as they came from Earth it is reasonable that their society would reflect that. However, I don’t want mundane things in Narnia and it felt weird that it was introduced so late in the story. Rather than feeling freed in that scene that Aslan had returned Narnia to right the wrongs, I felt oppressed by it as I had not imagined that there might be any dull children having dull lessons in dull schools in Narnia to start with. Of course, as this was a reread I did know it would happen, but the feeling was the same.

      Liked by 1 person

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