Book Chat

Reading Log: January 2015

If December is the month of half-finished books because there’s no time to read, January is the month of half-finished books because there are so many new books to read! I’ve been having fun picking up new books that I gave myself for Christmas, old books that have been sitting in my TBR pile for ages, and jumping around quite a lot. I dove back into the Newbery challenge again… my count is up to 23, and the 2015 title was just announced on Monday (The Crossover by Kwame Alexander). So only 71 titles to go, ha!

Below is my Reading Log for January 2015, with my thoughts about each book to help me remember what I read.  I’ve included all the books that I’ve read or finished during the month (even if I started some of them outside of the month).  And of course I keep track of my rating on the grade system, the binding, genre, etc… just for fun!

January 2015

HB = Hardback, PB = Paperback, AB = Audio book, K = Kindle.
F = Fiction, HF = Historical Fiction, NF = NonFiction, YA = Young Adult,
CL = Children’s Lit, B/M = Bio/Memoir, SFF = Sci-Fi/Fantasy, C = Craft

Title

Start

Finish

Grade/

Format

Genre

Journey to the Heart: Daily Meditations on the Path to Freeing Your Soul,
by Melody Beattie

1/1/14

1/31/15

A+
PB

SH

Here is Where: Discovering America’s Forgotten History,
by Andrew Carroll

9/29/14

Still Reading

TBD
PB

NF

Percy Jackson’s Greek Gods,
written by Rick Riordan and illustrated by John Rocco

10/26/14

Still Reading

TBD
HB

CL

Fingersmith,
by Sarah Waters

12/8/14

1/13/15

A+
K

F

Herland,
by Charlotte Perkins Gilman

12/16/14

Still Reading

TBD
AB

F

A Fatal Grace (Chief Inspector Armand Gamache #2),
by Louise Penny

12/17/14

Still Reading

TBD
K

Mystery

Twelve Recipes,
by Cal Peternell

12/23/14

Still Reading

TBD
HB

NF

The View from Saturday,
by E.L. Konigsburg

1/5/15

1/18/15

A
PB

CL

Pixel Play,
by Emily Cier

1/10/15

1/10/15

B
PB

C

A Month of Sundays,
by Cheryl Arkison

1/14/15

1/22/15

B+
PB

C

Number the Stars,
by Lois Lowry

1/15/15

1/23/15

A+
K

CL

Craft-a-Doodle: 75 Creative Exercises from 18 Artists,
by Jenny Doh

1/20/15

Still Reading

TBD
PB

C

In Cold Blood,
by Truman Capote

1/25/15

Still Reading

TBD
PB

NF

Thoughts:

Journey to the Heart: Daily Meditations on the Path to Freeing Your Soul, by Melodie Beattie – A+

The Amateur Librarian // January 2014 Reading Log

One of my new year’s resolutions for 2014 was to actively seek peace. With a cross country move, a chronic health condition, and the normal ups and downs of life, I really wanted to focus on cultivating a peaceful state of mind in 2014 through daily habits… like reading this book! My mom gave me Journey to the Heart in May 2010, after I was diagnosed with thyroid cancer and Crohn’s Disease was imminent. I read it daily for quite a while – I have the highlighted pages to prove it – but eventually I fell out of the habit. But the great thing about this kind of book is that it’s forgiving – infinitely re-readable and it doesn’t matter if/when you start and stop. There were a lot of stops and starts last year, and I didn’t check in every single night, but it was a great companion when I needed some gentle words to think on before sleep. I think the biggest takeaways for me personally are to “feel your feelings” and “lighten up”… words to live by!

Here is Where: Discovering America’s Great Forgotten History, by Andrew Carroll – TBD

The Amateur Librarian // September 2014 Reading Log

Picked this up again this month, I’m determined to finish it in 2015!

Percy Jackson’s Greek Gods, written by Rick Riordan and illustrated by John Rocco – TBD

 The Amateur Librarian // October 2014 Reading Log

Still sitting on the coffee table… staring at me… one of these days I’ll get back to it!

Fingersmith, by Sarah Waters – A+

The Amateur Librarian // December 2014 Reading Log

A bit of a slow start (in fact, I had to return the library book because I couldn’t get into it), but it quickly became so engrossing that I thought about it all the time. It’s hard to describe the plot, because there are so many twists and turns… but for comparison, it reminded me of a Victorian Gone Girl, full of mesmerizing characters and dark schemes. There were definitely some harrowing scenes in the madhouse (oh yes, there’s a madhouse of lady lunatics!), but nothing too graphic. And throw in a bit of lesbian romance, which is not in my normal wheelhouse, but it was really well done. I had no idea how it would end, but it was entirely satisfying. Her latest novel The Paying Guests has gotten lots of buzz too… must seek out more by this author!

Herland, by Charlotte Perkins Gilman – TBD

The Amateur Librarian // December 2014 Reading Log

Still listening to this audiobook along with the Craftlit podcast. We’re up to chapter 8 and I’m chomping at the bit to find out how it ends!

A Fatal Grace (Chief Inspector Armand Gamache #2), by Louise Penny – TBD

The Amateur Librarian // December 2014 Reading Log

Still reading. I haven’t had as much time to read ebooks lately, so this one has been neglected.

Twelve Recipes, by Cal Peternell – TBD

The Amateur Librarian // December 2014 Reading Log

Another book I got for Christmas that I’ve dipped into over the past month, but haven’t quite finished. I love the chef’s homey family kitchen and homage to basic ingredients and recipes.

 …

The View from Saturday, by E.L. Konigsburg – A

The Amateur Librarian // January 2015 Reading Log

I clearly remember this cover from my elementary school library, but somehow I never picked it up. Four sixth graders’ stories converge and as they become friends, they compete in their school’s quiz bowl, eventually making it to the state competition. This one didn’t have a huge impact on me, but I liked it a lot and I especially liked the teacher, who was returning to work for the first time in a wheelchair. It felt much more modern than From the Mixed Up Files (E.L. Konigsburg’s other Newbery winner) but the dialogue was still super stilted. I guess that’s just her style, and maybe one reason why I didn’t fall in love with this story.

Pixel Play, by Emily Cier – B

The Amateur Librarian // January 2015 Reading Log

I bought this on a whim when it was on super-sale (like $2.99!) and I love the look of pixelated quilts… but that was before I made pixelated reindeer from the Fair Isle quilt pattern. Never again! Strip piecing while trying to match everything up meticulously… not to mention pressing the 1/4-inch seams open… was not fun at all. And that was just for four measly blocks, not an entire quilt! I much prefer patterns that are more forgiving, I’m just not that precise! So it was fun to look through this book, and there are great patterns (I especially like that there are variations for lap or twin sizes, since it would take a lot of math to figure it out on your own), but I now know that I will most likely never attempt any of these projects.

A Month of Sundays, by Cheryl Arkison – B+

The Amateur Librarian // January 2015 Reading Log

I usually favor more projects over more chitchat when it comes to crafty books, and I love the idea of a mix of simple recipes, stories, and non-quilting projects related to relaxing, eating, shopping, and exploring… but maybe the promise of this book sounded better in theory than in execution. I liked all the quilt and sewing projects, but I found the other content lacking. Do I really need to be told to throw rocks or look at the clouds as a way to relax? The ideas are nice, and a couple stories were pretty cute, but the lack of depth made the extra bits feel more like filler than a meaningful addition to the book. Not sure I’ll refer to this one often, but I definitely intend to try at least one or two projects.

Number the Stars, by Lois Lowry – A+

The Amateur Librarian // January 2015 Reading Log

I remember reading this book with my fourth grade class so clearly, and it must have been the genesis of my fascination with World War II. I guess ten is the perfect age for most Newbery books, since we read so many that year. The beginning seemed a bit heavy handed, but the action picks up quickly and became increasingly powerful. I’d forgotten most of the details of Anne Marie and her family, who helped smuggle Jewish families from Nazi-occupied Denmark to Sweden during WWII. I never realized it was based on a true story, so that was a neat revelation. It’s amazing to read it again as an adult, to feel the worry of the parents and realize they were revolutionaries in their own right.

Craft-a-Doodle: 75 Creative Exercises from 18 Artists, by Jenny Doh – TBD

The Amateur Librarian // January 2015 Reading Log

This fun book is right up my alley… 18 different artists are featured, and each one offers 2-4 doodle prompts with step-by-step ideas. Some are more my style than others, but it’s been fun to dabble.

In Cold Blood, by Truman Capote – TBD

The Amateur Librarian // January 2015 Reading Log

I’ve had this book on my TBR pile for a long, long time and after reading a bio of Truman Capote and a few of his short stories, it seemed timely to dive into his most famous work.  Good stuff so far!

So that’s what I’ve been reading during the month of January.  Anyone reading a good book?

Advertisements

3 thoughts on “Reading Log: January 2015

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.