January Book Review

So, you may or may not know that I set a very ambitious goal of reading 100 books this year (along with some other crazy goals). I’ve already had a lot of people asking me which books I’ve liked and disliked so far so I figured this will be the easiest way to update everyone. Here’s my January Book Review đŸ™‚

January Book Review | Enjoying the RunA few things to know about me and books:

  1. Literature has nothing to do with my profession. I just like to read. So the books I read may not be the newest releases and sometimes I don’t like the books that are on best-seller lists. I think that’s normal.
  2. I have a hard time putting down a story, even if it’s terrible. Non-fiction, I can pick through and read what I want or set the book down and walk away all together. With fiction it’s different. I keep thinking “they have a story to tell, it must get better…” and sometimes it does and sometimes it doesn’t. Either way, just because I finish a book does not mean I’d recommend it.
  3. At least half the time I read a book I really don’t know what it’s about when I open it up. If someone I trust recommend it, I just put it on my list. Case in point: The Handmaid’s Tale. (See below.)
  4. The numbers beside each book title denote what numbers they are on my personal list out of 100 books for the year and the books listed are the ones I’ve finished this month (so, not including the ones I’m in the middle of right now).

In case you are looking for recommendations for your own reading list, I’ve used a really basic 3-star system for this:

  • 1 star = I wouldn’t recommend spending your time on this.
  • 2 stars = I would read this if you’re just looking for something to pass the time or you’re on vacation and want to lay on the beach enjoying a book.
  • 3 stars = You should read this book. Even if it means staying up way past your bedtime and suffering at work the next day.

So, here you are…

1. The Woman in Cabin 10 by Ruth Ware (fiction) **

It was a quick mystery thriller; an easy read. I found it hard to put down at times and other parts were a little repetitive. Overall, I’d recommend it if you’re looking for something intriguing, but without any of the “feels”.

2. After You by Jojo Moyes (fiction) *

Meh. It was ok. It’s the sequel to Me Before You which I thoroughly enjoyed so I thought this could be good too. But it’s not. And it kind of ruined the feelings I had about the characters at the end of the first book. Skip this one.

3, 4, 5. Refiner’s Fire Series: Candle in the Darkness, Fire By Night, A Light to My Path (fiction) **

These were all three really great. They all take place during the Civil War so I did have to go back and review a little Civil War history, but that’s just because I wanted some context about what was going on in the rest of the country. You could easily read these without knowing anything about the history. I think the second one was my favorite, but they were all good. And it’s really cool how some characters from one book show up briefly in the others, but it’s not like the stories are actually intertwined. So you could read these in whatever order you want and it wouldn’t matter.

6. The Lying Game by Ruth Ware (fiction) **

Same as her other book I read (#1). An easy read, mildly thrilling, good enough to fill my time and make me want to finish the book.

7. The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood (fiction) ***

Whoa. I realize I’m behind the curve here and many people have already read the book/watched the series, but when I started this book I had no idea what it was about. I avoided the TV series on purpose and I didn’t even read a description of the book. And wow. This is one of those books where, at first, you’re thinking “there’s no way that would even happen”, but then she starts flashing back and describing how the society got where it is and you’re just like, “ummmmm…ok maybe that could happen…” Obviously, I don’t think this would really happen to us, but it’s a thought-provoking scenario for sure.

8. A Criminal Defense by William L. Myers (fiction) **

Did you know if you have Amazon Prime you can read books for free?? I think I knew that at one point, but I must have forgotten so I was pleasantly surprised to find out (again). This is one that’s currently available for Amazon Prime Reading. It’s another mystery book, but it’s after the crime so this is all about the lawyer and the case. I did not put all the pieces together until right before the author tells what happened so I consider that to be a good mystery.

DNF (Did Not Finish)

  • Ferocity by Nicola Lagioia – I got about 60 pages into it, but the writing was just blurry for me. It could be because it wasn’t originally written in English or because the story just took a long time to “take off” in my mind. I don’t know why, I just didn’t feel like continuing to read it.

That’s where I am so far! I’m almost done with Big Little Lies and I’ve just started The Whiskey Sea. Last year I read quite a few memoirs so I’m going to look into some more of those next month as well.

What have you read recently? Anything you’d recommend??

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