January 2021 reading wrap-up

Another month of reading has come to an end. January is the month where readers often set goals of how many books they want to read in the year. I used to do this, but now I no longer set number goals, outside of a minimum per month. That is because I mainly want to focus on enjoying the books I am reading and ensure I am working through my TBR. With every month that passes and every book read, I have managed to take my TBR from an overwhelming pile of books to something far more manageable. This January 2021 reading wrap-up showcases the books I read this month and my thoughts on them.

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January 2021 reading wrap-up

The Rising of the Shield Hero Vol. 2 by Aneko Yusagi

This volume continues the story of the Shield Hero as he struggles to overcome the negativity surrounding his name. We also get introduced to a few more characters, namely Filo, who becomes part of the Shield Hero’s party. I can’t say that I noticed any differences between this volume and the same story part in the anime series. Overall, a good read, and I look forward to reading the rest of the series.

Made To Stick by Chip and Dan Heath

This was a book that my husband recommended that I read. It’s all about how and why certain ideas or stories stick while others don’t. The authors break down what makes an idea “Sticky” into several categories and give a few too many examples on each one. I found this book very difficult to get through as it seemed to be more rambling on about examples than anything else. In fact, the entire concept of the book didn’t stick with me. I feel that if they had been more to the point, I would have gotten more out of this book.

Ikigai: The Japanese Secret to a Long and Happy Life by Hector Garcia & Francesc Miralles

This book had been on my radar for a while and I finally got around to listening to the audiobook. The narrator was pretty monotone, which made listening to it a bit tiresome, however, I will say that the overall idea behind the book was interesting. However, I also feel the book lacked a lot of substance, the audiobook was only 3 hours long, and the concept of ikigai was glossed over instead of getting into more detail. Overall, I did enjoy this book and it did leave an impact on me.

There is a sequel to the book, which from what I have read about it, goes much more in-depth into the concept of ikigai than this book did.

Sword Art Online Vol. 9 Alicization Beginning by Reki Kawahara

Sword Art Online is one of my favorite series, whether in manga, light novel, or anime form. This volume covers the beginning of the third series of the story, Alicization. Kirito is once again thrown into a virtual world and needs to figure out how the game works and how to survive, but this time it’s much different and even he isn’t sure what is happening. I will admit, when the anime came out I didn’t immediately love Alicization, I think it’s the lack of Asuna in the story, but knowing how it progresses I was able to better appreciate the story in light novel form and look forward to continuing reading through this story. It can be fun to try to spot any minor or major differences between screen and paper.

Outlining Your Novel by K.M. Weiland

I’m trying to read more writing craft books and this one is highly recommended. As someone who is currently working on rewriting a novel outline, this book was a wealth of knowledge. In fact, I wish I had read it sooner as I likely would have had a more solid outline to start with. I really liked how each chapter was followed by an author interview going over that particular author’s outlining process, so you got to see more than just one way to do it.

Star Wars: The Old Republic: Fatal Alliance by Sean Williams

Star Wars is one of those series I love but haven’t read enough of, especially in regards to the Legends series, previously know as the Expanded Universe. This book was alright. I did find that it slowed down a lot after an initial burst of activity and that caused my attention to waver a bit. By sticking with it I was rewarded with a pretty solid story in the second half of the book. Even so, I did feel some parts felt drawn out and other parts of the story felt more forced than well flowing with the main story. Overall, a decent read.

Godzilla: Awakening

My son insisted I read this comic, as he is completely Godzilla obsessed and wants to share that love. This comic takes place before the 2014 Godzilla movie. It does a pretty good job of giving some backstory on Godzilla as well as Dr. Serizawa. The art was decent, though I felt like none of the Japanese characters looked Japanese, as everyone looked generically caucasian. Overall, a decent little story.

One Second After by William R. Forstchen

I first read this book back in 2018 and really enjoyed it. This felt like a good time to reread it. The story revolves around a community, and really the entire United States, being hit by an EMP and the struggles of trying to survive a world that suddenly has no technology, and the supplies in your area are all that you have. It really does a fantastic job of showing how quickly society crumbles. I highly recommend everyone read this book.

Also, I found that reading this book on my Kindle was kind of ironic, given the premise of the story.

January 2021 reading wrap-up stats

  • Books read: 8
  • Books purchased: 0
  • Books purged: 1
  • Books DNF’d: 0

I hope you enjoyed my January 2021 reading wrap-up. What books did you read in January?


  1. Great wrap up! I haven’t come across these titles before so there are definitely a few that are going on my list.

    Anika | chaptersofmay.com

    1. Thank you. I hope you do get a chance to read some of these books. Always nice to discover new books and authors.

  2. One Second After sounds very intriguing. I read a similar book a few years ago about an EMP knocking out tech, and it was actually a trilogy, by Terri Blackstock. The first book is called Last Light. I love that you read what your son loves to read. That’s how I got hooked on Harry Potter. Those shared literary experiences are so much fun. Thanks for sharing your book experiences!

    1. It’s a really good book, and even the rest of the trilogy is quite good, but I think One Second After is the best of the three. Oh, I haven’t heard of that one before, I will have to check it out, always up for reading more disaster type books. Reading what my son loves is so much fun, and I feel like it encourages him to read more because he knows we can discuss the books once we have both read them.

  3. Always such great book ideas for a number of different tastes! Thanks once again for sharing 🙂

    1. Thank you. I love reading a mix of genres and I hope sharing that helps to inspire others to read more.

  4. I definitely need to begin reading the SAO manga because I freaking loved the anime so much. It’s one of the few animes I’ve watched multiple times. I’ve only recently gotten into manga, but it’s fun to read them (and learn more than the show could ever cover)!

    1. Always nice to hear from another SAO fan. I highly recommend reading the manga or the light novels as they do delve a bit deeper into the story than the anime. I also recommend his latest version of the series, SAO: Progressive, as it’s the version of the story he wanted to write but felt too constrained to do it in the first books. It’s a lot more in-depth with the floors of Aincrad and a lot more characters too.

  5. Wow 8 books in one month. I used to be able to do that but I can’t seem to be able to finish 1 any more. I’ll have to check these out and figure out something to read. Thanks.

    1. Thank you. I understand not being able to read as much as you used to, some months I struggle to read several books, while others I can read 20+ books with ease. But you know what, even if it takes you a month or two to finish a book that is fine, you are reading in the end and that is great. I hope you do check out some of these books.

  6. One second after definitely sounds like my kind of book. I’m going to add that to my wish list!

    1. I’m glad you found a book here that you would enjoy. It’s really good along with the other two in the trilogy.

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