Life Books

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.

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

    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! 🙂


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