Book Chat

Reading Life: January 2020

January kicked off a great start to my reading life in 2020! It’s always nice to have a fresh start – of course there are the usual goals like moving more, drinking more water, cooking more often, etc. – but of all the healthy habits, making intentional time for myself is one of the most important that I’m trying to focus on this year, and these days that means more reading or crafting (instead of mindless scrolling). So I may not have exercised or cooked the majority of days in January, but I did read every day!

This year I’m continuing to keep a physical journal chronicling my reads, and you can check out more photos on my Instagram account @ladykatiestitchery


January 2020 Thoughts


Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking, by Susan Cain

Start date: 12/22/2019
Finish date: 1/15/2020

Genre: Nonfiction
Source: Library
4 stars

Sometimes being an introvert in a world geared toward extroverts feels like an uphill battle, but this book delves into the inherent strengths of introversion. During my current season of reading in snatches of five minute increments (which is very frustrating as a classic introvert who needs chunks of time to unwind and focus!), nonfiction can be difficult to keep starting and stopping, but the studies and anecdotes were fascinating. The last few chapters were my favorite, offering practical advice on living, working, and parenting as an introvert.

Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine, by Gail Honeyman

Start date: 1/1/2020
Finish date: 1/11/2020
Genre: Fiction
Source: Shelley Clair
4 stars

Slow burn but halfway through I got so attached to the characters that the second half just gutted me. It’s one of those novels that the less you know going in, the better: you just have to let the enigma of Eleanor engulf you.

Things in Jars, by Jess Kidd

Start date: 1/17/2020
Finish date: 1/30/2020
Genre: Fiction
Source: Book of the Month Club
4 stars

Quite the mashup of my favorite things: a Victorian lady detective, an evocative atmosphere with gritty historical details, a mysterious mermaid(!), and a dash of fantasy. I loved the detective Bridie and her offbeat companions, although the bad guys fell a bit flat in the end, especially after several flashbacks built up the suspense. Also, I have to say it: the writing style was so distinctive that it verged on pretentious. But overall, witty and compelling!

Side note: this is the first book that I read with my friend as part of a long-distance two-person book club, and it was so much fun to discuss at the end of the month! Even if we had to text because phone calls are hard to schedule, it was so worth it! We did the rose, bud, and thorn (what you liked, what could be better, and what you didn’t like) to add some structure to our conversation while keeping it super simple. A book club adds an extra layer of motivation to keep reading this year, and it’s something I’ve been missing!

Currently Reading:

Furious Hours: Murder, Fraud, and the Last Trial of Harper Lee, by Casey Cep

Start date: 1/12/2020
Genre: Nonfiction
Source: Instagram @barackobama

Barack Obama recommended this book as one of his favorites from 2019, and when I found out it takes place near Auburn, AL, where I grew up, and involves Harper Lee, I had to start reading it immediately.

A new addition for 2020:

Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library

Dolly Parton has an amazing program that sends a free book to every child in Tennessee every month from birth to five years old. It’s such an incredible concept, and we’ve been enjoying Amelia’s books for three years. So many of our new favorite stories have come from this program, and now that Jon has joined too, I want to highlight the books we receive this year so I can remember the new books added to our library. Three cheers for Dolly Parton!

Baby Talk!, by Penny Gentieu

Cute photos of cute babies!

Pup and Bear, written by Kate Banks and illustrated by Naoko Stoop

Very sweet tale of a polar bear that adopts a baby wolf; the illustrations are gorgeous!

Books read in January: 3
Books read in 2020: 3
Currently reading: 1

So that’s what I’ve been reading during the first month of 2020!


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One thought on “Reading Life: January 2020

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