Hi there, and welcome to my first wrap-up of 2021! January is already over, and I don’t know about you, but 2021 is still looking so similar to 2020 for me. However, this new year marks new beginnings, and even I feel like I’m not doing much, my situation is not the same as it was in 2020!
In Real-Life updates
I went back to college! Well, not really back to, as I’m still in my room, but classes have started again, and after 4 months of internship, I’m discovering
the joy of ✨ online classes ✨ I haven’t many classes yet, it’s a slow start, but sadly, it makes me realize even more how lonely I have been for a year. I haven’t seen my friends since the first lockdown back in March 2020, and online classes are really not the same as meeting before a class, drinking a coffee together, taking the bus, etc. I miss all these little moments that used to be my routine, and I miss chatting with my friends and classmates, and even if online classes keep me busy, it’s not just the same. So yeah, mental health-wise, we’re not that good. And by ‘we’, I mean me.
I’m now back to being a regular student, and I’m making the most of my free time by working on my M.A. thesis. I still have a lot of work to do, and sometimes it’s discouraging, as my thesis director is not the most communicative and available guy, but I have to remind myself that, in a month, I made good progress, and even more that I did in several months.
So, for February, I’m going to relativize and cling to the small, happy things. I’m hoping to go back to my apartment, but nowadays, it feels more like a fantasy than an achievable goal.
books read: 4
average rating: 4/5
the twelve: 1/12
goodreads reading challenge: 4/50
Even if January hasn’t been the best, I’m off to a good start regarding my readings! I have read a total of four books, and half of them are now new favorites!
The House in the Cerulean Sea: I read The House in the Cerulean Sea while listening to the audiobook — my first experience — and I loved the all thing so deeply — the story and the narration.
Each character is complex in their own way, and I love their duality and how real they felt. The only downside is that some characters weren’t as prominent as the others. Plus, I love the world TJ Klune created, a mix between fantasy, bureaucracy, and modern world. His way of writing is very funny and quirky and full of very pretty sentences. However, I didn’t feel like there were much of a plot but the lack of a mastermind plot isn’t to despair: the rest of the story is perfectly enough to enjoy the book. As you may have guessed, I loved the book. The ending was perfect and it still makes me smile just thinking about it. It was a wonderful story and I could only enjoy my reading. It’s a hug made book, soft and caring: if you’re going through a harsh time, then this is the book you need. [full review]
A Thousand Ships: Nathalie Haynes managed to create a haunting ambiance, full of grief and horrors, and yet, with a sparkle of hope in the middle of it all. We can only be inspired by these women’s tales.
But as the Trojans women waited on the shore for their fate, I waited for the plot to thicken. A Thousand Ships is a continuation of short stories, whose purpose is to depict a bigger picture of war. Nothing much happens otherwise. Nonetheless, I grew intrigued by the story of these women. Once I had accustomed to the novella style of A Thousand Ships, I enjoyed the journey way more. [full review]
Retour parmi les hommes: I buddy read this short book with my friend, and it is the sequel to a book I read with her back in November. I think I preferred the first book, as Retour parmi les hommes is much more slow-paced and reflective. It got a bit better by the end when Vincent meets Raymond — their relationship is very intimate and beautiful in a way we’re not used to seeing anymore — and I wished this part would have been more important, would have taken more place in the book. Nonetheless, as always with Philippe Besson, it’s a lovely book, and his way of writing is still gorgeous.
The Starless Sea: I. Have. So. Many. Thoughts. I just finish the book and oh my god. I’ll need a few days to sort my thoughts and process it all, but I loved this book so much. Erin Morgenstern’s way of writing is so, so poetic and gorgeous, and the way she weaves her stories… I’m in awe. My full review will be up soon, but if you love stories, and myths, and books, please do yourself the favor and read The Starless Sea.
On Ursa Reads
January has been a basic month, as well as a new start for the blog. New year, new theme, new goals! Ursa Reads has had a makeover at the beginning of the month, and I still love this new version so much. I feel like I’ve grown a lot since I started blogging a few months back. And as always, your kindness and generosity have been one of my biggest highlights of the month: I still can’t believe the amount of you all that take the time to come to read my ramblings. So, as always, a huge thank you to you all!! You’re the best!
And here is the top 3 of your favorite posts this month on Ursa Reads:
In the book blogging community
I have received so much support that I want to start a new section where I give back. These posts have been written by amazing book bloggers, and I stumbled upon them while blog-hopping. Check them out!
- Anne-Pauline @ ApiReadings is giving tips to read more in 2021.
- Nyx @ DrizzleAndHurricaneBooks is sharing why she’s not doing the Goodreads reading challenge.
- Zenobia @ ThatZenBlog talks about the new Netflix show, Fate: The Winx Saga.
- Sumedha @ ThatWordyHabitat is hosting a guest post series and you can read my interview.
- Ellie & Imi @ BeyondABookshelf are hosting this year’s edition of F/F Feb: a month-long readathon for sapphic/wlw books.
- Anna @ ReadsRainbow put together a list of 2021 books with non-cis protagonists.
What have you been up to this month, travelers?
Anything good on your radars?