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.
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.
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!!!!!)