What I Read in January

Friday, February 1, 2019


Whatcha readin', friends? I had a pretty good reading month in January, finishing 10 books - all of them good ones. Seems like my reading year is off to a pretty good start! 

Sometimes I Lie by Alice Feeney

This book begins inside Amber's head; she's in a coma & can't recall how she got there, but she suspects her husband had something to do with it. While I'm annoyed that female-driven psychological thrillers always seem to feature unreliable female narrators, I really enjoyed this story, & I couldn't figure out what was going to happen next. Sure, it was far-fetched - but it kept me hanging on until the end. ★★★★☆

Pointe by Brandy Colbert

I loved Colbert's other two books, Little & Lion & Finding Yvonne, so it's no surprise that I loved this one, too. Theo is an accomplished, up-and-coming ballerina, but she's also a recovering anorexic - & now she's dealing with the shocking return of her best friend, who was presumed dead four years ago. As she comes to terms with what happened to him while he was away, she also has to come to terms with what happened to her before he left - & try to make things right for them both. ★★★★☆

My Not-So-Perfect Life by Sophie Kinsella

This was my first Kinsella novel, as the popular Shopaholic series never appealed to me, but this one-off read was exactly the sort of frivolous read I'd been looking for. Katie has moved from her family's farm to the big city, working a low-level job at a big-time branding firm in London. Her boss is a nightmare - & when said boss fires her, she has to return to the farm to figure things out. So what happens when former Nightmare Boss unexpectedly shows up at the farm?! ★★★★☆

The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky

I can't remember when I first read this book, but it had been long enough that I knew I wanted to read it again. Charlie is a freshman, an oddball, a quiet kid whose only real friend committed suicide. He becomes close with Sam & Patrick, upperclassmen who introduce him to drugs, sex, & true, meaningful friendships. - & ultimately help him uncover some vital truths about life & about himself. I remembered most of this story, but it still had the same magic I'd remembered - & now I love it more than ever. ★★★★

Barracoon: The Last "Black Cargo" by Zora Neale Hurston

This book will stay with me for a long time. Hurston spent time interviewing Cudjo Lewis, the last known survivor of the Atlantic slave trade between Africa and the U.S. Taken from his home in West Africa, Cudjo (originally Oluale Kossula) was a slave in Alabama until he was freed at the end of the Civil War & went on to help found Africatown, AL. The story was fascinating, & Hurston transcribed Lewis's words in his own dialect, which I had to read very slowly to be sure it sunk in. Take your time with this one & give it the attention it deserves. ★★★★

No Exit by Taylor Adams

So many folks raved about this one that I had to get my hands on it. Five people are stranded at a rest stop during a snowstorm (& I, coincidentally, read it while snowed in - at home, fortunately). Darby discovers that one of the others is a kidnapper, but with no access to weapons, law enforcement, or cell service, she has no idea what to do. Still, a little girl's life depends on her ability to do something. This book was way over-the-top & some parts made me really uncomfortable, but it was a solid read. ★★★★☆

To Be Honest by Maggie Ann Martin

This book was a recommendation on a list of body-positive YA books, & it was an easy, enjoyable read. Savannah's big sister & best friend has just left for college, leaving Savannah alone with her newly body-obsessed mom. Fresh off a stint on a weight-loss TV show, her mom takes her body issues out on overweight Savannah, destroying their relationship - & her own health - in the process. It also involves a very cute, believable teenage love story along the way. ★★★★☆

You Have the Right to Remain Fat by Virgie Tovar

I expected this one, written by a noted & fat activist, to be more memoir than nonfiction commentary on the world at large, but given Tovar's background as a researcher & academic, I suppose I shouldn't have been surprised. It was still a great read, delving deep into the ways society demonizes fat & just how entrenched those beliefs are, both in our culture & in ourselves. This one definitely got me thinking - & even if the book doens't interest you, I'd encourage you to watch Tovar's TEDx Talk on the topic. ★★★★☆

The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot 

This book had never appealed to me in the past, but when my book club chose it, I started in... & was surprised by how rapt I was the entire way through. Skloot did an incredible job reporting Lacks' story while making it accessible & human, digging in deep with Lacks's daughter, Deborah, who had historically not trusted reporters, Johns Hopkins, or anyone else looking into her mother's medical history. The story is fascinating, important, & ongoing. ★★★★★

The Undertaker's Daughter by Sara Blaedel

My favorite Nordic noir author is back with a brand new series, & I'm so excited about it. This one features Ilka, a fortysomething Danish photographer whose estranged father has died & left to her his funeral home business... in Wisconsin. She travels to the U.S. to try to offload the practice, but instead becomes both attached to the job & part of an ongoing murder investigation. A great, smooth read for Blaedel, as always. ★★★★★

Tell me what you're reading, then add me on Goodreads to keep in touch & see what I've read in months past. You can also follow my bookstagram account!

My "What I Read in..." posts include Amazon affiliate links to the titles I discuss. If you buy a book using one of these links, I will receive a small percentage of commission. Please don't feel any obligation to use these links, but if you do, it will help me buy more books.

1 comment:

Katelin said...

Definitely one of my favorite Sophie books (I've admittedly read all of hers, they're my go-to brain sorbet) & Perks of Being a Wallflower is just so good, one of my favorites too. Hurray reading, love when you share these posts, I get so many great ideas.

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