MM Reads Again | What I Read In January 2019
Motivated by my “to be read” [TBR] shelf at home I’ve made a very loose commitment to myself to not impulsively click purchase on books I want to read and instead add to my want to read shelf on GoodReads. If you want to see what I’m reading / listening to in real time be sure to connect with over on GoodReads.
January was a very good reading month for me.
Wins // I read off my TBR shelf and read 2 out of 3 books from my January Book of the Month [BOTM] box.
I prefer books in hand but I go Audible on my commute downtown. I’ve picked back up my needlepoint project from last year and with my wireless headphones from Christmas hope to do more listening at home too. We will see.
The only book club I participate in is a very small group at work. Book clubs are not my jam because I like to read what I want to read when I want to read it and obligation is a buzz kill. But, I like this little group. I’ve decided to go Audible on these books in an effort to not accumulate more than I’m comfortable with.
Here’s a look at what I held in my hand in January :
Sing Unburied Sing // My first finish of 2019 only because I labored with this book most of 2018. I so very much wanted to love this book because so many others did and that is why I didn't give up on it. But in the end I wasn’t able to connect with JoJo because we kept jumping around between all the unlikeable characters. This was disappointing because he was the only character of substance there was even hope of connecting with. I am not a reader that needs happy endings or a bow but it felt like there was no lesson learned, no resolution. Sorry to say it just wasn’t for me. I am glad to have seen it through to the end though so I can be certain in my opinion.
Circe [BOTM] // This came from my “to be read” shelf accumulated through BOTM “Add On” purchases in 2018. It wasn’t until I was more than half way done that I felt like I connected with the story. I think part of my block was trying to process all the Gods and their connections. I am not a mythology person so I just found this cumbersome. I thought it was a fine read but I’m not sure I would recommend this unless the reader enjoys mythology. I was disappointed this beat out The Woman In The Window for the Book of the Month, Book of the Year. With that kind of acclaim I just expected more.
Maid [BOTM] // This was my January 2019 pick for BOTM. I was ready for something different from 2018 and was glad I went with this memoir. I was throughly invested in Stephanie’s story from the beginning and I felt that it did an exceptional job of pulling back the curtain on not only a category of workers that I myself employee [this had me examining my very personal interactions] but also provided valuable insight to a way several Americans live [which most certainly will stay with me]. However, I felt the end of the book was rushed and we didn’t get to share in Stephanie’s triumphs as much as we had her hardship and that felt unbalanced. I would have loved to experience her story through to the making of this book. If not in the body of the story then as an afterward.
The Proposal [BOTM] // This came from my “to be read” shelf accumulated through BOTM “Add On” purchases in 2018. This was a quick, fun, easy, read. You know going in its going to be a love story but the interesting start and resistance of the characters kept it interesting. It had just the right amount of passion mixed with good dialogue, a good number of laughs and a few heartwarming side stories. These characters are STILL rattling around in my head and I think I’m going to listen to this author’s first book, which is loosely related to this one through Audible.
The Night Tiger [BOTM] // This was a January 2019 add on for BOTM and I am totally cheating here. This is technically a February finish but it was really read in January and I HAVE to share this book. So, I’m cheating. I loved this book. Truth be told the smaller print turned me off at the beginning and it was a slow start for me. BUT I am all about giving a book time and boy am I glad I did. Before I reached the halfway point I caught myself thinking of the characters throughout my day. Towards the end I was panicked in how was this going to wrap up in a satisfying way in such a small number of pages left and was chastising the author for taking so long to get there because I knew I wanted to read more and more about the resolution. However, it was all perfectly done. I was so very satisfied with the outcome and how there was just enough closure without ending the characters stories. Ji Lin will easily be a forever favorite female character. She was a fabulous strong heroine and so well written. This was endearing, heart racing and suspense in all the right doses. So far this is my favorite book of the year.
Here’s a look at what I listened to in January :
The Lilac Girls [Book Club] // This is a tough one. The story was so well done and the afterward was so very satisfying. This is my 4th historical fiction on World War II and I still cannot believe there was a time in our history this occurred. Close to the end I felt the weight of this story. I usually listen only during my commute but found myself making time to finish this at home. It was more than wanting to hear the characters ending, it was that I needed to say goodbye because my heart was weary. I highly recommend this for those so inclined to walk the journey of the Rabbits because I think its important to understand. However, I recommend with full disclosure that this is not an easy read. I did enjoy the audible version as each main character was read by a different person and gave so much life to the story.
This is Marketing // As always, I enjoyed listening to Seth. What I appreciate is how he keeps the focus on how you do your best work and not get rich quick or any other instant result. I came away with two big affirmations. First, look for your smallest viable market. And two, it's that your [product/service] is not for everyone. I operate a photography business outside of my day job and these two messages affirmed how I've grown my business. I listened to this on Audible and will likely purchase and re read in hard copy because I feel I may have missed small nuances by listening. His message can seem so common sense that I only find a few takeaways and end up wanting to read the print because I feel I missed something. But maybe, it really does just boil down to a few key points.
Looking forward to February :
I hope to finish up Calypso but I’m kind of not loving it right now.
I’ve started listening to Becoming for my Book Club
I have committed to listening to A New Earth : Awakening Your Life’s Purpose with my fabulous local scrapbooking ladies who are truly so much more than that.
My February BOTM pick is : The Winter Sister , I’m ready for a thriller.
I couldn’t resist choosing Early Riser as an Add On. I remember reading Station Eleven and loved it so hoping this is the same. No, not the same author but somehow felt like the same vibe. At the very least the same dystopian genre. And the draw of Add Ons with BOTM is that they are only $10. I justified it since I had such a good reading month. :)