January Reads 2014

When I first started Writing Whimsy I used to include the occasional book review. I don’t do that any more and keep them to my separate, very inactive, book blog but I wanted to bring a bit more of something I love– and let’s face it, a bit more of virtual accountability–to Writing Whimsy. As a result, I’m going to be doing monthly book recaps. I’ll share what I read, maybe a line or two about how I felt about it, and what I’m hoping to read next month. Then, the following month I can return to see which books I managed to read and to make more plans.

I used to do almost this exact same thing weekly on my book blog, back when I was reading this number of books in a week instead of a month. Now it’ll be a monthly feature– easy to skip if you’re not interested, but hopefully there are a few people out there who, like me, love knowing what people are reading and adding books to your never-ending TBR (to be read) list. So since it’s the beginning of 2014, time to start of this feature with my January Reads.

January Books:
jan books read Collage

After I’m Gone by  Laura Lippman*:  a well-written mystery with a few too many characters that meant I wasn’t quite turning the page as quickly as I usually do with a Lippman book, however she’s definitely an author I like reading and I will be picking up more books from her in the future (especially since the publisher is always sending me her latest releases!)

Salvage by Alexandra Duncan*: A friend of mine I met through book blogging, Ambur (check out her blog here), and I are doing a year-long readalong of books we both want to read, and this was an easy first pick. It’s science fiction, which is a bit unusual for me, but incredibly well-written with a very strong narrator and a complete story in one book (not a series! As far as I know, which is a bit rare for sci-fi).

Why Be Happy When You Could Be Normal? by Jeanette Winterson*: I adore Winterson and I don’t understand why I haven’t read everything she’s written but how could I have this sitting around unread? When I went to pick it up I realized it made more sense if I read Oranges Are Not The Only Fruit first, so I did that in December and then finished this memoir up in January. So beautifully written and emotional, highly recommended.

17 & Gone by Nova Ren Suma: I loved the last book by Nova Ren Suma, Imaginary Girls, so I was surprised it took me a little while to get to her most recent release. As expected, her writing is so incredibly beautiful and haunting, but the characters and story in this one didn’t resonate with me quite as strongly. Finishing this really makes me want to reread Imaginary Girls though, and I do have her first book, Fade Out, at my apartment as well, so I’m thinking I should pick that one up soon too.

February Reading Plans:

jan reads PicMonkey CollageAll Our Names by Dinaw Mengestu*: I started this in January and fell in love, so it’s time to finish it up so I can review it and make the romance official. Very powerful so far.

Cruel Beauty by Rosamund Hodge*: I have heard only incredible things about this and it’s the next book Ambur and I picked to read together. She may have already devoured it by the time I’m writing this post, but I haven’t and once I finish one of the books I’m already reading, it’s next!

Sunshine Sketches of a Little Town by Stephen Leacock*: This one… I just can’t finish. But I want to, because Canadian classic and all that. But I’m having a difficult time getting through it, not because it’s difficult or bad, but because it just doesn’t keep my attention. Still, I want to finish it… and then probably never read another Leacock book again. Sorry!

books PicMonkey Collage

The Bear By Claire Cameron*: I’m unsure about books written from a child’s perspective but this is a) Canadian (I try to read Canadian books for my newspaper reviews when possible) and b) supposed to be incredible. It’s about kids whose parents are eaten by bears. Yeah. Check back in February for my thoughts!

The Winter People by Jennifer McMahon*: This is an “autoread” author for me because her mysteries are just so well written and fun to read, so I honestly don’t even really know what this is about, but I’m excited to devour it.

Arise by Tara Hudson*: Well, I didn’t love the first book in this trilogy, Hereafter, but it was okay, and one of my 2014 goals is to finish series I’ve started so I figured I’d start here and see how it goes now that the third book is released. It’s about a girl who is a ghost and her relationship with a living boy and some other drama that happens. So far, the writing is easy to read and it’s fun, so when I have some time to focus on it I can imagine finishing it in a day or two.

Well then, there’s my January Reads!

Let me know what you think of this feature? If everyone really hates it maybe I’ll consider moving it back to my book blog, but I thought it would be fun to have more variety on Writing Whimsy and I love knowing what people are reading, watching, etc. If you don’t read, I think a feature like this for movies would also be fun!