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January 2015 Wrap-Up and a Look to February

january 2015 reading wrap up

Unintentionally, I spent most of January focusing on books by and about strong women. Other than my first book of the year, all of the authors I read this month were female — an unusual occurrence! Here’s what I read in January:

  1. Crummey, Michael: Sweetland (fiction)
  2. Rappaport, Helen: The Romanov Sisters (nonfiction)
  3. Adichie, Chimamanda Ngozi: We Should All Be Feminists (essay)
  4. Bergman, Megan Mayhew: Almost Famous Women (short stories)
  5. Mackrell, Judith: Flappers (nonfiction)
  6. Durrow, Heidi: The Girl Who Fell From the Sky (fiction)
  7. Rubin, Gretchen: Better Than Before (nonfiction)

My favorite fiction read of the month was, hands down, Sweetland by Michael Crummey. It was nostalgic and hopeful and sad and funny and just honestly wonderful. It was my first book of the year and was such a good start. I’m more split on nonfiction — I loved both Flappers and The Romanov Sisters pretty equally.

A Look to February

I’ve got three review copies that are calling for my attention this month:

  • I Am Not a Slut by Lenora Tanenbaum (Feb. 3 from Harper Perennial) — A look at “slut shaming” and the harmful effects the word “slut” has on all women.
  • Single, Carefree, Mellow by Katherine Heiny (Feb. 3 from Knopf) — A debut short story collection that “chronicles the ways in which we are unfaithful to each other, both willfully and unwittingly.”
  • Eye on the Struggle by James McGrath Morris (Feb. 17 from Harper) — A biography of journalist Ethel Payne, the “First Lady of the Black Press.”

In addition, The Estella Society is hosting a Valentine’s Day readalong of Geek Love by Katherine Dunn. I borrowed this book from a friend in town two years ago, at least, and so I need to just read it or return it before it gets lost in my stacks. I’m hoping this will be the push I need to pick it up!

Other than that, I’m hoping to keep reading what I want and what I’m in the mood for. I have a few library books out, including All Our Names by Dinaw Mengestu (fiction) and The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo (nonfiction), so we’ll see what happens.

What books are you looking forward to reading this month?

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • tanya (52 books or bust) February 3, 2015, 6:54 am

    I didn’t realize that Rubin has a new book coming out. Can’t wait to see how you review it. I never expected to like her books, and really have.

    • Kim February 3, 2015, 8:07 pm

      I liked her previous books, but was much less impressed with this one. Her style just didn’t work. I have to mull a bit before writing more about it though.

  • BermudaOnion(Kathy) February 3, 2015, 8:39 am

    I wish I planned ahead like that. The only book I know for sure I’ll read is my book club’s pick – The Miracles of Prato.

  • Andi (@estellasrevenge) February 3, 2015, 2:06 pm

    I HAVE to read Sweetland! Between you and Shannon, I really really have to. lol

  • Leah @ Books Speak Volumes February 3, 2015, 5:10 pm

    Woo, girl power! I’ll be interested to hear your thoughts on I Am Not a Slut. It’s not perfect, but I thought it was really thought-provoking.

    • Kim February 3, 2015, 8:08 pm

      I picked it up a couple weeks ago, but wasn’t quite in the right headspace. I’m hope I’ll find the brain power this month.

  • Belle Wong February 3, 2015, 5:37 pm

    I have The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up in my to-read pile too. It looks interesting, although I’m not very tidy so I wonder if it will change my life or not 🙂

    • Kim February 3, 2015, 8:09 pm

      Yeah… I am not very tidy either. But I like to read about strategies for being neater 🙂

  • Kailana February 3, 2015, 8:22 pm

    You read a lot of really good sounding books in January! I will be checking them out for sure. 🙂

  • Jenny @ Reading the End February 4, 2015, 9:41 pm

    Oh, yay, Ethel Payne! I don’t know anything about her life — just her work. Will be v. interested to see what you make of her biography.

    • Kim February 7, 2015, 2:51 pm

      I’d never heard of her until I saw this biography — I love finding new historical figures to learn about.

  • Trisha February 6, 2015, 7:56 pm

    I can still remember the feeling I had while reading Crummey’s Galore; I clearly need to read more by him.

  • susan February 10, 2015, 4:15 pm

    I have a copy of Sweetland which I’m looking forward to. So glad you & others liked it. Enjoy your Feb. reading. http://www.thecuecard.com