My January & February Reads (Mini-reviews)

The year isn’t off to the best start reading-wise, I only managed to read one book in January and two books in February. I have been cheating on reading with binge-watching content on YouTube (did you read my post on Japanese YouTubers?). But I am impressed with the variety of books I managed to read these past two months. Here are their mini-reviews:

The Celestine Prophecy: An Adventure by James Redfield 

I got this book through a book exchange on Instagram. The book is a spiritual guidebook but written as a fictional story in an effort to make understanding the guidance easier. An ancient manuscript has been discovered in Peru which holds the spiritual insight into understanding life and how to save our planet. The narrator heads to Peru to uncover the 9 insights that are a part of the manuscript and the novel follows his adventures as each insight he uncovers leads him closer to his destiny.

Verdict: It is an amazing book and I could find myself relating with all the insights. I honestly, think understanding what the book is teaching could help bring peace to the world and to each one of us. The book is a very very heavy read. I couldn’t read more than a few pages at a time since there was just SO much to understand and absorb. I didn’t enjoy the author’s writing style much though I understand that he was trying to simplify his insights for the masses. Also, the book is a little preachy but in a non-preachy way.

Rating: 7.5/10

Check it out on Amazon here.

Before the Coffee Gets Cold by Toshikazu Kawaguchi

Continuing with my Japan obsession, I ended up picking up this book after randomly seeing it in a bookstore. The story revolves around a cafe that allows its visitors to go back in time but with some caveats. The main caveats are – you can only time travel in a particular seat in the cafe and need to finish the coffee poured out to you before it gets cold. This first part of the trilogy revolves around 4 people that visit the cafe and their varied reasons for wanting to time travel.

Verdict: The storyline had the potential to be something good but it was just an okay read. I think the 4 stories lacked the depth needed to make me feel for the characters and their stories. I was pretty disconnected with all the characters and just read the book since it was a light read. Do I recommend it? Not really.

Rating: 5/10

Check it out on Amazon here.

The Stalker by Sarah Alderson

I was dying to read a good suspense/thriller novel when I randomly came across this book while at the bookstore. The cover and the plotline really intrigued me and so I picked it up. Laura is whisked off to a romantic Scottish island for a late honeymoon, by her husband Liam. The location is perfect, they are in this gorgeous house on an island all alone. But are they really alone? Soon sinister things make them feel like they are being watched. But by whom? Is the island haunted like the locals suggest?

Verdict: The first half was SO good!! The storyline had me in its grip and I actually got a little spooked since I do most of my reading late at night. (I literally got up and drew my curtains shut!!) But as with most suspense thrillers, as the suspense is unraveled the storyline just didn’t feel that WOW. I was expecting some shocker of a reveal but it was just okay. My main issue: we live in the world of the internet – where you can literally google and find out just about anything about a person or a location or history of a place – it bothers me that that isn’t factored into storylines, especially when the story mentions Facebook and social media. Overall, I was disappointed by the second half since the build-up in the first half was SO SO SO good. But if you like creepy, suspense books – you might enjoy this one.

Rating: 7/10

Check it out on Amazon here.

So those were the three books I have read so far in 2022. My goal for this year is to read 30 books and I am off to a shaky start. But I’m hoping I catch up this month! I really want to read a good suspense thriller (something like ‘The Guest List’ by Lucy Foley). If you have any recommendations please leave them in the comments. What are you reading currently?

If you haven’t already, give my other recent posts some love –

PS: Some of the links in this post are affiliate links meaning I earn a small commission if you shop using them but at no extra cost to you.

15 Comments Add yours

  1. Great share
    Kudos 🙇🏻‍♂️

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Celestine Prophecy is still on my list! I don’t read nearly as much as you girl, but working my way through an amazing book now, The Mists of Avalon! And after that, I may just tackle CP! 📚 xoxox

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Happy Panda says:

      CP is a very heavy book – took me the entire month to get through, even though it’s a tiny book. But definitely love the insights shared.
      Sounds like an interesting book (I googled) – I’ll definitely read about it and add to my TBR.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes it’s very female goddess forward, I think you’ll love!

        Like

  3. Those sound like amazing reads! I’m actually taking a different approach to reading this year and reading books by author

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Happy Panda says:

      You mean reading all books by an author in a go? Or picking books based on authors you like?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Reading all books by an author, or almost all of them. I don’t rush it either. I like to really get to know an author’s writing style

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Happy Panda says:

        That’s an interesting style!! Which author are you currently reading?

        Liked by 1 person

      3. I’m reading Ryan Holiday!

        Like

  4. petespringerauthor says:

    Your review about The Stalker got me thinking about books or movies that started so good and fizzled out. It’s more of a disappointment than one that is just kind of meh throughout. When there is a great buildup, we expect a strong finish. Anything less is so disappointing.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Happy Panda says:

      Yesss!! I’ve seen this happen a lot in the thriller genre – an amazing build up followed by an abysmal reveal. You’re so chuffed expecting this huge jaw dropping reveal but are left trying to put the pieces together.

      Like

  5. bosssybabe says:

    oohh I’m putting “the Stalker” on my list! I love suspense thrillers… this genre usually gets me out of my hole (of non-reading) lol

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Happy Panda says:

      Samee! A good thriller always helps me get out of a reading slump. If you haven’t already, you should read ‘The Guest List’ by Lucy Foley. Definitely one of my favourite suspense thrillers after the Millennium trilogy by Stieg Larsson.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. bosssybabe says:

        Ok yes, The Guest List is on my book shelf! I will try to get to that soon! 🙂 Thx!!

        Like

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