Books Life

January Reads

My only resolution for this year is to live life more creatively. So far this has included reading more. I started with a low goal of reading 12 books in 2016 then decided to up the ante to 52 books. Go big or go home, I say. I managed to read four (!!) books in January, even though I didn’t pick up my first book until almost two weeks into the year. That’s already four more books than I read in 2015 so I’d say I’m making pretty good progress on hitting my #Read52in16 goal.

You can follow my reading progress and bookish thoughts on Goodreads. (I’m erinwiggle there as well.) I have been really excited to utilize this social media site to discover new books and keep track of the ones I’ve read and want to read. I am trying to read through all the books that I currently own and have not read but I’ll admit that I’ve added a handful of new books to my collection.

I’ve also joined the “Around the Year in 52 Books” group on Goodreads which has a list of book prompts to guide you through the year. For example, this week’s prompt is “a book with a title beginning with the 1st letter of your name.” (Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell is what I’ve chosen for this prompt.)

Also (also!), did you know there’s a whole community of book lovers on Instagram? Bookstagrammers take wonderfully creative photos of books and their shelves (also known as a #shelfie, get it?) and I can’t get enough of their feeds.

Without further ado, here are my January reads and my thoughts on each of them.

The Choice by Nicholas Sparks – ★★☆☆☆

Nicholas Sparks books are known for being predictable. Sparks has a standard writing formula but that’s probably why a lot of people continue to read his books. I’ll be honest: I only read this book because I plan on seeing the move with my BFF. (A tradition of ours.) And even though I sort of knew what to expect – boy meets girl, they fall in love, some sort of catastrophic tragedy happens, sometimes they live happily ever after and sometimes one of them dies – I have to say that this particular book was pretty… boring. I didn’t get the kind of feelings that I usually get from Nick Sparks. I was frankly glad the book was over and bummed that I kicked off the year with such a drab read. (I couldn’t even come up with a good quote to put in this review because nothing really stood out.)

Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell – ★★★★☆

“Tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow.” – Levi, Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell

I tried reading Eleanor & Park, another Rainbow Rowell novel, last year after many people recommended it and I lost interest. I was apprehensive starting Fangirl but after reading some good reviews and ratings, I decided to give it a go. And I’m glad I did.

I really, really enjoyed Fangirl. As far as I’m concerned, this book really kicked off my reading year and was a good follow up to lackluster The Choice. I related so much to Cath and really enjoyed the development of her character. Levi reminds me of a friend I had in college so I had a really easy time imagining him in my head. I could have done with less Simon + Baz. I actually skipped over most of the fanfiction excerpts. But all in all,  it was a quick, lighthearted-without-being-too-fluffy read.

Me Before You by Jojo Moyes – ★★★★★

“Just live well. Just live.” – Will, Me Before You by Jojo Moyes

Grab your tissues, ladies and gents! This book was a tearjerker. After attempting to read this book in 2015, I gave it another go. (For the record, I didn’t have a hard time getting into the book the first try. I just put it down for too long and forgot what was going on, ha!) I had a handful of chapters left in this book and couldn’t put it down one night. Needless to say I finally finished at 1:30am and was left in a puddle of tears. I’d forgotten how it feels to read a really great novel. This book was wonderfully written with relatable characters and a different kind of love story without the cheesy romance. Well done, Jojo.

Nowhere But Here by Katie McGarry -★★★★☆

“To be honest, I’m hoping I can find a good girl with a bad side to marry me one day…” – Oz, Nowhere But Here by Katie McGarry

I have to admit that I was only interested in reading this book because it’s a teenage love story involving a motorcycle club. (Think West Side Story meets Sons of Anarchy.) As the “old lady” of a man in a motorcycle club, I was interested to see how factual the book would be. Come to find out McGarry actually spent time with a real MC as research for the book so for the most part, the motorcycle club information was factual. I thought the book was pretty good overall. A little bit cheesy and dramatic but a good read. I probably got into more than the normal person because I’m familiar with the lifestyle. Also, there’s a playlist in the back of the book for certain parts of the book. I wish I would have seen this before finishing the book because it would have been fun to listen and read. I’ll definitely check out the second book in the series – Walk The Edge – which is expected to publish in March.

I’m hoping to read at least four books in February, starting with Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell and hopefully including Hey Sunshine by Tia Giacalone, who is actually the author behind the very first blog I ever read religiously.

What have you been reading lately? 

10 thoughts on “January Reads

  1. I stumbled upon this Alice in Wonderland spinoff series near the end of last year and have been reading those as fast as they are published. *Please note, I LOVE Alice and I LOVE fairy tale spinoffs. Think: Wicked & anything else Gregory Maguire pens* So, I’m like 5 books into the Insanity series and I can’t wait for the next one. They are quick reads because I think they are YA.
    http://www.amazon.com/Insanity-Mad-Wonderland-Cameron-Jace-ebook/dp/B00HFE668Y

    I also found a Savannah witch series, so that’ll be interesting.

    http://www.amazon.com/Witching-Savannah-4-Book-Series/dp/B019BZ91H2/ref=sr_1_1_ha?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1454339254&sr=1-1&keywords=savannah+witch+book

    1. I’ll let you know my thoughts on Cinder. That series sounds like something that would be up your alley since it’s the retelling of a fairy tale. And I’ll have to look into the books you suggested!

  2. I’ve heard of Fangirl before but never looked into it – I’ll have to check it out. I also started reading more time year and posted about my books in January too! 🙂

  3. Me Before You is the best book I’ve ever read. I’m so glad you enjoyed it! Really tugs at the heartstrings.

    I just finished a steamy erotic romance, haha. And now I’m reading Girl Through Glass for a book review. Haunting & sad, but I’m really into it so far!

    1. Yes, it was so good. I really, really enjoyed it. But like, hated it at the same time, haha.

      I’m hoping to read something a little darker (or at least more advanced) this month. I’m just always really drawn to YA Fiction. I have a ton of books on my shelves that I’ve never read so I have plenty of reading to keep me occupied this year.

  4. You go girl! First of all, great minds think alike. I was just thinking that I would dust off the blog and post about what I’ve been reading, buuuuut I haven’t done it yet. Second, four books in January is awesome! I set my first reading challenge goal at 14 for the year and started out strong, but I’m a pansy so I didn’t change it and just let myself have the satisfaction of crushing it at the end of the year. lol. Right now I’m reading “Tell the Wolves I’m Home” and I just finished, One plus One equals Blue. It was a YA book my teen wanted me to read like 2 yrs ago and I finally read it so I could move it from my nightstand. 😛 It was cute, but nothing extraordinary. One of my favorites from last year was Calling Me Home by Julie Kibler. Historical fiction, but there’s romance too.

    We should get together soon! 🙂

    Katie

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