Friday, January 29, 2016

What I Actually Read in January

I only planned on reading four books, but January offered more good reads than I could resist.  Plus, everything on my library holds' list came in at once.

Bread and Wine by Shauna Niequist:  This book was on my list for January, but I finished it at the end of December.  It was too good to put down.  Niequist pretty much nailed everything from food to community to loss to hope.  The recipes she included were either gluten-free or could be made that way easily.  This book made me gain five pounds, but it was worth it.

Best Boy by Eli Gottlieb:  This novel about an autistic adult longing for home took me through every possible emotion.  Hopeful, funny, heartbreaking.  The topic is relevant and the tone was perfect.

The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon by Stephen King:  As D promised, this book did not give me nightmares.  King offered suspense and possibly supernatural happenings, and it was enjoyable.  It wasn't It, thank God for small favors.

Blackout: Remembering the Things I Drank to Forget by Sarah Hepola:  Hepola takes readers through her many years of heavy drinking that led to blackouts, hours of her life she cannot remember.  Despite the subject matter, there are moments of absolute hilarity.  They are needed because many things that were done by Hepola and to her are breathtakingly awful.  As our society stumbles through what it means to exist within rape culture, while toying with the idea that empowerment equals the right to give up all control, Hepola's book is a thought provoking read about the hefty costs of our choices, as well as an ode to all the good people out there who try to save us from ourselves.

City on Fire by Garth Risk Hallberg:  Oh, Garth Risk Hallberg.  I will say it is not a good idea if you are attempting to finish writing your first novel to pick up Hallberg's first book.  The urge to set all my words on fire and then eat tubs of ice cream was strong as I read Hallberg's novel about New York around the blackout of 1977.  It's a robust 900 pages, but worth the time.

Dear Mr. You by Mary-Louise Parker:  Actress Mary-Louise Parker is one of those rare talents who is up to almost any artistic task, including writing.  This memoir written as letters was beautiful.  Her words are lyrical, her stories memorable, and her voice unique.  I hugged this book before returning it to the library.  Warning:  if you are weirded out reading about sex or nudist hippies who wear loin cloths, get ready to clutch your pearls.  It's worth it to get to the meat, excuse the pun, if I made one.  I'm not sure.  I've never really come up with witty sex jokes.  Moving on.

Eileen by Ottessa Moshfegh:  For sure a book I would have never picked up if it hadn't been on my BookPage list.  The author did a great job of offering a first person fictitious account of a young woman with some issues.  It was freaky.  I can't say I don't recommend it and I can't say I do.  Great writing, not particularly my preferred subject matter.  About halfway in I was actually scared to leave my house so sure was I that every person I would meet would be a sociopath.  So there's that to help make your decision easier.

Spark Joy by Marie Kondo:  This is the follow up to The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up, and it could not have come at a more perfect time.  I'm in the middle of the purging part of my tidying process, and it's intense and easy to burn out.  This book reminded me about choosing joy and gives some great tips on how to organize and store when the time comes for that.

I planned on reading The Twelve, the sequel to the popular vampire novel, The Passage, but I decided not to.  The last book in the trilogy comes out in May, so I am going to read The Twelve closer to then so I will be fresh on all my details.

February is a short month, but I already have at least five books on the list.  Plus, I have started a board on Pinterest simply titled books.  I think this is what's called obsession.

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