Hi, I'm Angi
Welcome to my corner of the internet! My passions include travel, photography, books, music, Japanese language and culture, Italian language and culture, and art.

Here at Abbott Lane you'll find my thoughts on these topics and much more. Thanks for stopping by to visit!

January 2021 TBR

I always love the start of the new year when it comes to reading! First of all it's winter, which just screams cozy reading. And I also like the idea of having a whole year ahead of me to indulge in one of my favorite activities. So much time to read!

I've decided to continue the newish-to-me tradition of coming up with a TBR each month. This year, since I've aimed to read 75 books, which means I need to read an average of seven books a month. This should be no problem - last year I had to read an average of six books per month, so this isn't a huge leap - as long as I commit to reading a bit each day. 

In a Dark, Dark Wood - Ruth Ware
What should be a cozy and fun-filled weekend deep in the English countryside takes a sinister turn in Ruth Ware’s suspenseful, compulsive, and darkly twisted psychological thriller. Sometimes the only thing to fear…is yourself. When reclusive writer Leonora is invited to the English countryside for a weekend away, she reluctantly agrees to make the trip. But as the first night falls, revelations unfold among friends old and new, an unnerving memory shatters Leonora’s reserve, and a haunting realization creeps in: the party is not alone in the woods.

I got this one on audiobook using one of my credits. As someone who's new-ish to the world of audiobooks, I'm discovering that they work best for me if the story isn't too complex or heady. Otherwise I easily lose track of things. I have a tendency to space out for short spaces of time as I listen, so it's better for me to listen to straightforward stories. This one sounds like fun, a good murder mystery!

Deacon King Kong - James McBride
In September 1969, a fumbling, cranky old church deacon known as Sportcoat shuffles into the courtyard of the Cause Houses housing project in south Brooklyn, pulls a .38 from his pocket, and, in front of everybody, shoots the project’s drug dealer at point-blank range. The reasons for this desperate burst of violence and the consequences that spring from it lie at the heart of Deacon King Kong, James McBride’s funny, moving novel and his first since his National Book Award–winning The Good Lord Bird. In Deacon King Kong, McBride brings to vivid life the people affected by the shooting: the victim, the African-American and Latinx residents who witnessed it, the white neighbors, the local cops assigned to investigate, the members of the Five Ends Baptist Church where Sportcoat was deacon, the neighborhood’s Italian mobsters, and Sportcoat himself.

This was a super buzzy book that was released last year that I never got around to reading, so this year is the time! 

Time Is the Simplest Thing - Simak
Space travel has been abandoned in the twenty-second century. It is deemed too dangerous, expensive, and inconvenient—and now the all-powerful Fishhook company holds the monopoly on interstellar exploration for commercial gain. Their secret is the use of “parries,” human beings with the remarkable telepathic ability to expand their minds throughout the universe. On what should have been a routine assignment, however, loyal Fishhook employee Shepherd Blaine is inadvertently implanted with a copy of an alien consciousness, becoming something more than human. Now he’s a company pariah, forced to flee the safe confines of the Fishhook complex. But the world he escapes into is not a safe sanctuary; Its people have been taught to hate and fear his parapsychological gift—and there is nowhere on Earth, or elsewhere, for Shepherd Blaine to hide.

Sometimes I just want a good, old fashioned space adventure. This seems to fit the bill!

Intimations - Zadie Smith
Written during the early months of lockdown, Intimations explores ideas and questions prompted by an unprecedented situation. What does it mean to submit to a new reality--or to resist it? How do we compare relative sufferings? What is the relationship between time and work? In our isolation, what do other people mean to us? How do we think about them? What is the ratio of contempt to compassion in a crisis? When an unfamiliar world arrives, what does it reveal about the world that came before it?

Another buzzy 2020 book. This made the rounds in a lot of bookish circles. Since we're STILL in the midst of the pandemic, this seems like a good way to reflect on what this world-wide crisis tells us about ourselves, and one another.

The Empress of Salt and Fortune - Nghi Vo
A young royal from the far north, is sent south for a political marriage in an empire reminiscent of imperial China. Her brothers are dead, her armies and their war mammoths long defeated and caged behind their borders. Alone and sometimes reviled, she must choose her allies carefully. Rabbit, a handmaiden, sold by her parents to the palace for the lack of five baskets of dye, befriends the emperor's lonely new wife and gets more than she bargained for.

Yet another book I've heard rave reviews about! This is a short novella, so I imagine I'll be able to finish it in one sitting. It sounds pretty fascinating!

2 Wild Cards!
One of these will be reserved for the next book club pick, and the other will be for whatever comes up! I have an idea of what my personal pick might be (The Apparition Phase), but we'll see what actually happens.