January Wrap-Up

January has been a pretty good month for reading. Between the library magically having what I want to read, Christmas presents, and weird thrift store finds, I’ve enjoyed almost every book I’ve read this month. I might get one more book in before the month is over, but since I have a review ready to go for Monday, I figured I’d go ahead and share this now!

  1. Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard by Rick Riordan – I still haven’t written my review for this one, although I planned to. I’ll get to it eventually, but this didn’t disappoint me.
  2. Austenland by Shannon Hale – This book was a re-read. I’ve read Austenland three or four times, but my sister found a copy with the movie cover in our favorite thrift store and picked it up thinking it was something I’d like. She was right! Also, if you like this book and haven’t seen the movie, I highly recommend it. There were some changes, but it kept to the spirit of Shannon Hale’s original story.
  3. Passenger by Alexandra Bracken – I actually did review Passenger. You can find that review here if you want more information. I read this as part of the #readwomen Goodreads group that I’m in, and I really enjoyed it. I hadn’t read anything by Bracken before, so I was pleased that it was fun.
  4. The Drunken Botanist by Amy Stewart – I was actually disappointed by this book. It was really informative, and the recipes looked like they might be fun. However, the graphic design made it incredibly difficult to read for me. There were several times throughout the book that an inserted section would stop something else in the middle of a paragraph (occasionally in the middle of a sentence!), and not pick  up until after the insertion’s story was over. This was really hard for my ADHD brain to keep up with what Stewart was trying to tell me.
  5. Home to Cedar Branch by Brenda Bevan Remmes – I reviewed this one, too, since it is an ARC. It was officially published on January 19, 2015. Home to Cedar Branch really just didn’t hit the mark for me. I did giggle about the newspaper I work for was mentioned, given that the town is about a two hour drive from me. It had its good parts, but overall, I didn’t love it.
  6. The Alphabet of Manliness by Maddox  – I can hear what you’re thinking, dear reader. “That sounds terrible, and you wouldn’t want to read it! Why did you read it?” Well, reader, you are correct that it was terrible. My sister bought this at Mom’s urging, because she thought it might be funny. We found out that Maddox is the pen name of George Ouzounian, a satirist who is also a Youtube comedian, so maybe it would be funny, right? We were wrong. It was terrible and sexist, dedicating an entire letter to copping a feel, as well as other just gross comments throughout. The rest of the content really wasn’t funny, either. I could tell that Maddox thought it would be funny, but it really wasn’t.
  7. Alexander Hamilton by Ron Chernow – And we’re back to the good books! Since the last several books I read had disappointed me, I went back to the biography I started in November. I’d had to return it to the library, but I had  it before then. This is the biography that led Lin-Manuel Miranda to write Hamilton, the hit Broadway musical. If you’ve seen me in person, I’ve told you to listen to it. I’ve told everyone to listen to it. It’s amazing, but I can see the inspiration that he pulled from this biography. Alexander Hamilton will get its own review as well, in the near future.
  8. Dear Thing by Julie Cohen – This review will be posted on February 1, which is Dear Thing got off to a slow start, but I thought it was really good. I didn’t know much about surrogacy, so it was an interesting read. Check out the full review on Monday!
  9. Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie – I put my name in the queue for this book at my library last month, since it was the only one of hers that they had a copy of, and I’m not sorry I did. Most of the things that Ifemelu noticed throughout the novel were so very different from my experience as a white American woman, and she was so honest that I liked her. I highly recommend both this book, and her TED talk, which I’ve embedded below!
  10. The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova – I just started this one last night, but it’s been staring at me from the corner of my bookshelf for about a year. I’ll let you know what I think of this one when I read it!

That’s all that I read this month, but I’m looking forward to next month’s reading list!

My planned reads are Nimona by Noelle Stevenson, Longbourn by Jo Baker, Stars Above by Marissa Meyer, and 1776 by David McCullough! Who knows what other books might happen into my path this month?

What was your favorite book this month, and what are you most looking forward to next month?

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