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January 2018 Book Report and a Look to February

Did January feel like the longest month ever? Between the snow and the dark and the cold, it just felt like the calendar would never turn over. And yet it did, and now we’re in February. Whew.

January was an interesting reading month. Other than a little planning for my first two books of the year, I think I just sort of read where I wanted to read, which was a nice mix of new books, old books, and books I picked up on a whim from my library. I also finished three tasks for the Read Harder challenge, and one audiobook, which is an excellent start to my reading goals for the year! Here’s what I finished:

  • Future Home of the Living God by Louise Erdrich (fiction)
  • Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert (nonfiction)
  • The School for Good and Evil by Soman Chainani (middle grade fiction)
  • The Immortalists by Chloe Benjamin (fiction)
  • A Perilous Undertaking by Deanna Raybourn (audiobook, mystery)
  • The Milk Lady of Bangalore by Shoba Narayan (nonfiction)
  • Murder on the Red River by Marcie Rendon (mystery)

I absolutely adored The Immortalists, which broke my heart in the best way possible. I’m still trying to figure out how to write about it. Big Magic and The Milk Lady of Bangalore were excellent nonfiction reads – I hope I end up reading more nonfiction in February. If all goes as planned, I’ll have quick reviews of my three Read Harder titles – The Milk Lady of Bangalore, The School for Good and Evil, and Murder on the Red River – up next week.

A Look to February

I don’t have a ton of specific plans for February, other than a couple of ARCs I’d love to get through and a couple other books that are calling me at the moment.

The two February releases at the top of my list are The Line Becomes a River by Francisco Cantú, a memoir about a Border Patrol agent who is also the grandson of a Mexican immigrant, and I’ll Be Gone in the Dark by Michelle McNamara, a work of true crime that’s gotten a lot of buzz because the author is the deceased wife of comedian Patton Oswalt. Reviews of the book have been good too, so I’m curious about the buzz.

Because the Olympics are coming up in February, I’m itching to pick up a book from a couple years ago, Speed Kings by Andy Bull, an account of bobsledding at the 1932 Winter Olympics. I also just bought Tell Me More by Kelly Corrigan, an essay collection about the words and phrases we use to sustain and nurture the important relationships in our lives. When I read the summary, it felt like one of those books that would be important to me this year.

But we’ll see what the month brings! February is short, but I don’t have a ton of weekend plans, so I’m hoping I can dig in and read all the books.

What was your favorite book of January? What are you hoping to read in February?

{ 16 comments… add one }
  • Nupur February 1, 2018, 7:50 am

    The House of Sand and Fog was my favorite read of Jan- a bleak book but a page turner. I don’t know what I will be reading in Feb- I do have lots of New Yorker issues that I want to catch up on!

    • Kim February 6, 2018, 8:43 pm

      Bleak page-turner sounds perfect for January 🙂

  • Michelle February 1, 2018, 7:55 am

    If you have not yet added it to your list, I highly, highly recommend An American Marriage. I would also recommend Only Child by Rhiannon Navin. Both are February releases that knocked my socks off and are books I cannot recommend highly enough!

    • Kim February 6, 2018, 8:44 pm

      An American Marriage was my pick for Book of the Month, and is high on my list once it arrives. Thanks for both recommendations!

  • Sarah's Book Shelves February 1, 2018, 11:39 am

    Great month and like your mix of books!
    A couple things:
    1) I absolutely loved Tell Me More – laughed and cried, she’s a new favorite & I must now read her backlist
    2) I’ll be starting I’ll Be Gone in the Dark soon
    3) I love the Olympics…but Speed Kings was kind of boring for me. DNF’d around 30 or 40%.
    The Secret Olympian by Anonymous is fun in a gossipy way (behind the scenes dirt from an athlete) and One Day in September by Simon Reeve is pretty powerful (about the Munich terrorist attack)

    • Kim February 6, 2018, 8:47 pm

      I love the feeling of finding a new author to love with a big backlist. And thanks for the note on Speed Kings and the other recommendations — I guess I’ll have to see what the library has available!

  • Christina February 2, 2018, 9:21 am

    The Immortalists is currently in the lead for my book club’s April selection poll. Fingers crossed it is the winner. It wasn’t my favorite book of the ones I’ve read in January, but All the Ugly and Wonderful Things by Bryn Greenwood is definitely the one I’m still thinking about.

    • Kim February 6, 2018, 8:48 pm

      I think The Immortalists would be a great book club pick, there’s a lot to talk about in that one.

  • Jenny @ Reading the End February 2, 2018, 7:54 pm

    I’ll be very interested to hear what you think of The Line Becomes a River. It’s on my list too, although I probably won’t get to it in February. I definitely have some ARCs that I need to get to this month, too — I should add a note to my goals board!

    • Kim February 6, 2018, 8:50 pm

      I feel like my ARCs and stuff are super disorganized already… I need a board!

  • iliana February 2, 2018, 10:28 pm

    What a great way to start the year – lots of good books! I can’t wait for your review of The Milk Lady of Bangalore. An intriguing title for sure. I had a great reading month and am hoping February brings lots of good reads too. I just started a collection of short stories and so far so good.

    • Kim February 6, 2018, 8:50 pm

      Is it a good title. I love the cover too, even if it’s kind of insane looking. I hope February is great too!

  • Katie @ Doing Dewey February 4, 2018, 3:22 pm

    I’ve heard really good things about Tell Me More! I look forward to hearing what you think of it 🙂

    • Kim February 6, 2018, 8:52 pm

      I’m looking forward to that one a lot.

  • susan February 6, 2018, 4:59 pm

    January did feel long! But I think February will feel short. I’m looking forward to the Olympics — I’m sure I’ll get sucked into the coverage. So much for a lot of reading. For me, A Voyage for Madmen by Peter Nichols was a good nonfiction read for January. Enjoy your reads in February.

    • Kim February 6, 2018, 8:53 pm

      Yes, February is going to fly by quickly. I have a lot of fun events planned, plus the Olympics. Exciting!

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