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.
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!
January 2017 Thoughts
Start date: 12/12/2016
Finish date: 1/27/2017
Source: Friend (Katie A. Actually, she told me to just look up “The Five S’s” on Youtube)
Genre/Format: Parenting / Paperback
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.
Start date: 12/26/2016
Finish date: 1/15/2017
Source: Instagram (@becomingjolie) and Modern Mrs. Darcy blog
Genre/Format: Memoir / eBook
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.
Start date: 1/1/2017
Finish date: 1/19/2017
Source: Friend (Sommer W.)
Genre/Format: Mystery / Library book
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.
Start date: 1/14/2017
Finish date: 1/14/2017
Source: Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library
Genre/Format: Children’s Lit / Board book
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.
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.
Start date: 1/23/2017
Finish date: 1/31/2017
Source: Modern Mrs. Darcy 2017 Reading Challenge
Genre/Format: Fiction / Paperback
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.
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 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.
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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