Books

What I Read in January

Since my reading goal for the year (52 books!) is a top priority for me, I wanted to make sure that I’m sharing what I’m reading with you guys every month. (This is also going to help me stay on track and motivated and accountable.) I have monthly recaps penciled into my editorial calendar for the rest of the year. I also created an Instagram Story Highlight where I’m sharing a cursory review (stars) as I go, if that’s more your speed.

Ghosted

ONE DAY IN DECEMBER: 5/5 Stars

I listened to this on audiobook and absolutely loved it. It’s a very casual and cozy read. Even though it has December in the title, I think you could read this at any point in the year. The main character has a moment of “love at first sight” and then missed opportunity. The plot follows her as she goes through life looking for true love.

GHOSTED: 4.5/5 Stars

This is a book that was on my nightstand for months. I started it feeling pretty excited and had a totally different expectation going in. After a whirlwind weeklong romance, Eddie “ghosts” Sarah. The mystery of who he is and why he ghosted begins to unravel from there.

Warning though….. it was SO HARD for me to get into. I was reading a few pages at a time and just kept thinking, where on earth is this going? I have a hard time giving up books, even if I hate them. (I chugged my way through A Gentleman in Moscow for over four months.) I will say, once I got into this book, then I couldn’t put it down and kept trying to steal away an extra 10 minutes here and there to read more!!! It’s worth putting in the time to get through the first bit. Don’t do what I did and start-and-go through the first 10%. Had the beginning been better, it would have been a full 5 stars, but obviously, I loved it enough to still consider it higher than a 4!

THE LAST ANNIVERSARY: 3/5 Stars

I really have enjoyed many of Liane Moriarty’s books before so I was looking forward to this one. I thought it was very well-written and I liked the character development but thought the plot fell flat. There’s a family mystery around Scribbly Gum Island and the book goes through multiple family members and their own life challenges. Ultimately, I liked it… it was just a little predictable.

THE BULLET JOURNAL METHOD: 5/5 Stars

This came highly recommended to me by my friend Ryan (Ashley’s husband!). When I was in Tampa, we got together for lunch and started talking about organization and, well, the different ways our brains work. If you’re unfamiliar with Bullet Journaling, it’s a way to quickly and thoroughly record and track tasks, habits, and really whatever you need in life. I tried Bullet Journaling and it didn’t quite work for me. Ryan told me that I needed to read the book (written by the inventor of the Bullet Journal) because it spoke to his heart and he thought it might do the same for me.

It’s so much more than I was expecting. Beyond just how to set up a Bullet Journal (which you could learn from a brief Youtube video), it explains the methodology behind why it works. Even if Bullet Journaling itself isn’t for you, I can’t recommend this book highly enough. It made me want to be a more organized and thoughtful person. I loved how he explained everything and I think it gets to the root of why people are so enamored with Bullet Journaling and how/why it’s changed so many lives.

THE IMMORTAL LIFE OF HENRIETTA LACKS: 5/5

This. Was. Amazing. What an incredible story. HeLa cells have been widely used in scientific research– but the story about where the cells came from was not. Rebecca Skloot, the author, became obsessed with learning more about the person behind the cells: Henrietta Lacks. The book is a must-read. It’s about Henrietta, privacy, race, scientific research and advancement, faith, family, and friendship.

I had a general idea about what the book was about and it far exceeded my expectations, which were already pretty high. It’s also a very relevant story– with issues around data collection and privacy concerns (23 and Me, for example), it’s worth reading.

ELEANOR OLIPHANT IS COMPLETELY FINE: 5/5 Stars

Oh my gosh, this book. I think it’s going to be one of my favorites of the year. So many people have recommended it to me and I finally got off the waitlist for it at the library. (THANK YOU, by the way, to everyone who recommended that I download the Libby app!!) I didn’t know what it was about, at all, and found that it was so much deeper than what I originally thought. Not going to lie, I cried twice while listening to it.

Eleanor Oliphant is a quirky, straight-shooting young adult navigating the real world alone– until she unexpectedly makes a couple of new friends. From there, her world starts to open up more. Guys, I LOVED this book. I love Eleanor– she is one of my favorite literary characters. I laughed, I cried.

(Also, Reese Witherspoon is adapting it into a movie!!!!!)

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32 Comments

Audrey | Brunch at Audrey's

I read One Day in December in December and I loved it — I rated it five stars as well! I think it’s the perfect winter read, not just for December or the holiday season! // I feel like everyone who has read Eleanor Oliphant has loved it. I have yet to read it, but I do plan to get my hands on a copy! My Jan & Feb TBR are basically The Top Books of 2018 I Haven’t Read Yet haha. But there are so many new books that I want to read too ahhh! // In January I read The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden, The Paper Menagerie and Other Stories by Ken Liu, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (I’m working on rereading the series… for the first time!), Call Me By Your Name by Andre Aciman, and I Owe You One by Sophie Kinsella, which is scheduled to be published at the beginning of February! -Audrey | Brunch at Audrey’s

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Victoria

I finished that book on a plane not long ago and I started ugly crying in front of everyone! Ha ha It is so good!

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Lindsay

I also had to read it in grad school for an adolescent lit class and it blew my mind as well, I was hooked. I’ve never had a non fiction book fill me with such emotion. It was an amazing class.

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Victoria

I had to read it in graduate school and it has still stuck with me a couple of years later. I couldn’t believe how much I loved it.

Also, hello from Tennessee! 😊

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kristan

I always wondered if people included listening to books in their good reads total. I listen to certain types of books (non fiction). However, I feel like its cheating to count that in my reading goal for the year… do you count audiobooks?

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sonya

I agree! I count it as consuming the book for sure, but listening to it can be done when you’re not fully paying attention and are multi-tasking. If I were keeping track of my reads for the year, I would not include audiobooks but only physical books and books read on my tablet.

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carly

I count it towards my reading goals 😊 I think you can be distracted reading no matter how you read it and for me, the point is to enjoy a story, which I do both from reading physical books and listening to it.

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Brittany

I agree! You use different parts of your brain when you listen v when you read so for me it doesn’t count.

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Lauren G

Got so excited seeing your review of Eleanor Oliphant!! Just checked my local library for it… 95 holds on 4 copies! Ordered a copy online so I don’t have to wait a year to read it. If you haven’t read it yet, add “Where’d You Go, Bernadette” to your list! They’re also making it into a movie and it’s one of my new favorites. I’ve gotten two other friends to read it who also couldn’t put it down!

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Rochelle

WOW you had a productive reading month for sure. I’m an English Student at University so I have little to no time to read my own material. My goal is just 10 books this year because of that. I managed to read 8 last year and want to slowly but surely increase it. I read one book this month and then started my second half way through but it’s definitely going to be extended to Feb. Here is a review of my January read:
https://chellebelle2016.blogspot.com/2019/01/one-of-us-is-lying-book-review-no.html

And my TBR for the year:
https://chellebelle2016.blogspot.com/2019/01/books-i-want-to-read-in-2019.html
Check them out if you’re interested 🙂

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Marina

I read the Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks a few years ago and LOVED it, such a powerful story. I just read Radium Girls by Kate Moore and it has a very similar feel. It’s so good, I recommend it to anyone but especially those who liked the Henrietta Lacks book!

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Laura

You should consider Circe by Madeline Miller. I just finished it and absolutely loved how she weaved together known greek myths into the story of a single goddess’ life.

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Kim

Yeah! I love your book posts and am excited that they’ll be a monthly feature. I love to read, and you’ve recently inspired me to read more often. I loved Eleanor, and have One Day in December in my to-be-read pile. Good luck with your annual goal!

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Iyetunde

I think I am going to start reading again. The last book I read was in audio and I really learnt something and enjoyed the book. Your post has ignited my passion. Thanks

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A Girl, A Style

Ooh yay, as a fellow bookworm I’m excited to read your monthly posts and recommendations! Thank you so much for these; definitely adding a couple of new reads to my list.

Briony xx

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Emily V

I read Henrietta Lacks years ago (it was Auburn’s school wide book one summer). SO amazing and the first step for me into being more intentional about seeking books that share the important and often overlooked contributions on people of color.

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Lindsay

From a librarian’s perspective- I always count my audiobooks in my yearly goal. Still counts as reading in my book!

My co-worker told me about Ghosted about five minutes before I read this post, so I think it’s a sign it should be added to my “to read” list! 🙂

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Becca

Have you read Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng? It’s my favorite book I’ve read in a very very long time and I highly recommend it.

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Heather

What glasses are you wearing here? I went back to your Thanksgiving post and the link didn’t work. 🙁

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Hayley

This year my goal is to read 36 books, or one book every 10 days – In January I conquered the three novels that make up the Crazy Rich Asians trilogy – absolutely loved all three novels. I also just finished Sounds Like Me – Sara Bareilles’ autobiography. This month I’m starting out with What Happened by Hilary Clinton

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Julianne

Thank you so much for mentioning the Libby app! This is embarrassing, but I’ve never read Harry Potter (I know, I know) and I’ve wanted to try getting into them via audiobook, so thank you! One of my favorite books that I recommend to everyone (though it is a little older) is The Namesake by Jhumpa Lahiri. It’s a coming-of-age story about an Indian-American family as they try to make sense of the two conflicting cultures.

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Kelsey Hargens

I have had Ghosted on my nightstand forever and agree that the beginning has been a struggle! I was so excited to see your picture with it because I wanted to know what you thought. Sounds like I will get it another go and know that I simply have to get through the beginning!

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Biweekly Need To Know Vo. 3

[…] Ghosted: So Carly from Carly the Prepster posted about this book a long time ago but I saw it at a book store a few weeks ago and remembered how much she raved about it! Super interesting concept that I have definitely thought about before so this is gonna be a good read. […]

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