Book Chat

January 2017 Reading Log

Happy Valentine’s Day! Today I’m sharing my reading log from January because… I love books? Actually, more like I got off track after a week out of town and other life stuff, so I’m finally getting this post done… halfway through February.

Moving on!

After the busy-ness of the holidays and the glow of New Year resolutions wear off, January always feels like a slog to me. 2017 has started out much differently than any other year so far, and I’m slowly getting a routine with Amelia in place that makes the days (somewhat) more predictable. We visited my parents the last week of January which gave me two long car rides and several naps to read – a true indulgence! I’ll take what I can get.

So we begin another year of tracking my reading life! One new thing I’m adding this year is to start taking note of the source that recommended each book. This idea comes straight from Modern Mrs. Darcy’s recent podcast episode about different ways to track your reading. I think it will be interesting data to look back on at the end of the year!

The Amateur Librarian // Reading Log

January 2017 Thoughts


The Happiest Baby on the Block: The New Way to Calm Crying and Help Your Newborn Baby Sleep Longer, by Harvey Karp

The Amateur Librarian // December 2016 Reading Log

Start date: 12/12/2016
Finish date: 1/27/2017
Friend (Katie A. Actually, she told me to just look up “The Five S’s” on Youtube)
Genre/Format: Parenting / Paperback
Grade: B+

Great content, but my main beef is that the first half could’ve easily been condensed to one chapter. Way too much space is dedicated to convincing you that the first three months of a baby’s life are the missing fourth trimester, a concept that I readily accepted after a couple paragraphs of explanation. Plus, goofy references to “cave moms” didn’t help the credibility even though it’s written by an experienced pediatrician. But the second half was very helpful and practical; in fact, I wish there was more, especially about sleeping habits. Even more helpful than the soothing techniques is how it helped me relax and trust that my parenting instincts are on the right track, despite so much confliction advice online and in other parenting books. In hindsight, I wish I read this during pregnancy; I might have done some things differently from the start, but even implementing some suggestions at three months helped a lot.

You’ll Grow Out of It, by Jessi Klein

The Amateur Librarian // December 2016 Reading Log

Start date: 12/26/2016
Finish date: 1/15/2017
Source: Instagram (@becomingjolie) and Modern Mrs. Darcy blog
Genre/Format: Memoir / eBook
Grade: A

I picked this book for the “Juicy Memoir” category in Modern Mrs. Darcy’s 2017 Reading Challenge, and it was a winner! I love comedian’s memoirs, because they actually have something to say and they can actually write… plus, they’re funny of course! This is a great collection of pithy essays not just about her life story, but being a modern woman in general. A few chapters were less stellar than others, but I liked most of them, and it passed the is-this-funny test: I laughed out loud more than once. Klein is especially good with a high-impact one-liner at the very end that gives a light subject more depth.

In the Woods (Dublin Murder Squad #1), by Tana French

The Amateur Librarian // January 2017 Reading Log

Start date: 1/1/2017
Finish date: 1/19/2017
Source: Friend (Sommer W.)
Genre/Format: Mystery / Library book
Grade: B-

I’ve been wanting to read a new mystery series (especially after being sucked into Cormoran Strike series), and this one takes place in Dublin, so I decided to read it for the “book set somewhere you’ve never been but would love to visit” category of the MMD Reading Challenge. There were lots of fun Irish tidbits and the atmosphere was suitably creepy, so it fulfilled the challenge nicely. The Good: I loved the writing style, the mystery, the characters. BUT: I found the ending incredibly frustrating. Let me count the ways: (1) there was too much buildup of relationships that then fell apart inexplicably; (2) one of the two main mysteries is never explained and there are vague hints that it might be some sort of supernatural occurrence which is totally out of left field (I thought that maybe it would be explained in the sequel, but then a friend confirmed that it isn’t); (3) the bad guy wasn’t convincing and turned out to be your run-of-the-mill soulless evil sociopath. All that said, I really enjoyed the first half of the book; enough that I’m willing to keep going with the series. The next one follows the female partner that I really loved, so I’m crossing my fingers.

Corduroy’s Shapes, written by MaryJo Scott and illustrated by Lisa McCue

The Amateur Librarian // January 2017 Reading Log

Start date: 1/14/2017
Finish date: 1/14/2017
Source: Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library
Genre/Format: Children’s Lit / Board book
Grade: B-

Another free book from Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library. I wasn’t a huge fan of this one; it’s not exactly quality literature but I suppose shapes are necessary concepts so a lack of plot can be forgiven.

Night-Night Forest Friends, written and illustrated by Annie Bach

The Amateur Librarian // January 2017 Reading Log
Start date: 1/21/2017
Finish date: 1/21/2017
Source: Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library
Genre/Format: Children’s Lit / Board book
Grade: A

For some reason we got two books from the Imagination Library in one month; I’m not complaining! (For the record, Dolly Parton is super cool and I love her idea to send free books to the children of Tennessee!) I love this sweet good night story for the cozy illustrations and gentle rhymes. Bonus: identifying animals and habitats.

The Hypnotist’s Love Story, by Liane Moriarty

The Amateur Librarian // January 2017 Reading Log

Start date: 1/23/2017
Finish date: 1/31/2017
Source: Modern Mrs. Darcy 2017 Reading Challenge
Genre/Format: Fiction / Paperback
Grade: B+

This one has been on my list for quite a while now because it’s the only title from Liane Moriarty’s backlist that I haven’t read yet, so it fit perfectly into the “book in the backlist of a new favorite author” category of the MMD Reading Challenge. The basic summary: a hypnotherapist’s well-ordered life starts to get increasingly messy as she begins a relationship with a man who has a son… and a stalker. As usual, Moriarty deftly manages to weave darker subjects like stalking and grief into a light-hearted romance with depth. I always love her characters and their internal monologues, and this was no exception. The POV chapters switched between the hypnotist and the stalker, which was a fun balancing act, and there was a nice tidy ending. Probably not my favorite of Moriarty’s (still reserved for What Alice Forgot and Big Little Lies) but the completist in me is super pleased to have finally read the entire backlist.

Still Reading:

When You Reach Me, by Rebecca Stead

The Amateur Librarian // January 2017 Reading Log
Start date: 1/16/2017
Source: Newbery Challenge
Genre/Format: Young Adult / eBook

Couldn’t pass up a deal on this eBook, but then a library eBook became available so I had to put it on hold.

The Professor and the Madman: A Tale of Murder, Insanity, and the Making of the Oxford English Dictionary, by Simon Winchester

The Amateur Librarian // January 2017 Reading Log
Start date: 1/19/2017
Source: Modern Mrs. Darcy
Genre/Format: Nonfiction / Audiobook

The subtitle says it all! My dad kindly shared his (extensive) Audible account with me, and when I mentioned that this was on sale and sounded interesting, he bought it! Fun nonfiction to listen to while cross stitching during naptime, and fits into the “book about books or reading” category of the MMD Reading Challenge.

The Likeness (Dublin Murder Squad #2), by Tana French

The Amateur Librarian // January 2017 Reading Log
Start date: 1/20/2017
Source: Friend (Sommer W.)
Genre/Format: Mystery / Library book

Like I said, I’m willing to give the sequel a chance even though the first book in the series was disappointing… we shall see, but so far so good.

Books read in January: 6
Books read in 2017: 6
Still reading: 3

So that’s what I’ve been reading during the month of January, the first month of 2017! I’m always looking for more book recommendations – are you reading any good books?

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6 thoughts on “January 2017 Reading Log

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