January was a pretty average reading month for me. I didn’t read as much as I would have liked, but that’s okay. I liked all of the books I read, which is great. I also read four nonfiction books, five diverse books, and exclusively female authors, which is kind of amazing. Even though I’m a bit behind on reading, I am happy with what I was able to accomplish this month.
What I Read:
Scrappy Little Nobody by Anna Kendrick – ★★★★☆. I love Anna Kendrick. So, when I saw this book, I knew I had to pick it up. I actually listened to the audiobook, which was so funny! I do think this book is mostly for Anna Kendrick fans, but if you do like her movies, you’ll probably like this.
Human Acts by Han Kang – ★★★★☆. I received a copy of this book from Penguin First Reads, because the translated version was being either released or rereleased (I’m still still not entirely sure which) in the US this month. It is a really moving portrait of the impact of political unrest, specifically, the Gwangju uprising in South Korea in 1980. (Review)
The Princess Diarist by Carrie Fisher – ★★★★☆. After Scrappy Little Nobody, all I wanted to listen to was celebrity memoirs, so I grabbed this one. It was so much fun to listen to, and I found myself actually looking forward to my commute to work. Again, if you’re a fan of Carrie Fisher, this is a must-read. I definitely want to read more of her books now!
Becoming Queen Victoria by Kate Williams – ★★★★★. This book was provided to me by Random House because it has actually been made into a show (on PBS), which premiered this month. I really loved this book, partly because I love Queen Victoria, and partly because it was written almost like a gossip magazine, which made it so fun to read. (Review)
The Sun is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon – ★★★★☆. I hit a reading slump after finishing my thesis, and tried to combat it (somewhat successfully) with cute, young adult novels. This one was brilliant and moving and I highly recommend it! (Review)
Everything Leads to You by Nina LaCour – ★★★★☆. After The Sun is Also a Star, I moved on to another cute young adult novel with a diverse cast of characters. I really enjoyed this one, too, and highly recommend it if you’re looking to read more diverse books. (Review)
Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng – ★★★★★. This book was recommended to me, and I absolutely loved it! I started reading it a few months ago, and a lot of other stuff was happening, so I had to put it down. But I saw that it was one of the free audiobooks on Audible that come with Amazon Prime. So I gave it another shot and I’m so glad I did! The audiobook was really good, so if you’re looking for one, this is a great pick! (Review coming soon)
The Animators by Kayla Rae Whitaker – ★★★☆☆. I had an ARC of this book, and was looking forward to it, but for some reason I just couldn’t connect. I still think it’s a good book and other people might enjoy it more than I did. It just wasn’t really for me. (Review)
The Happiness Effect by Donna Freitas – ★★★☆☆. (Moved up from Currently Reading, since I just finished it!) This is a nonfiction book about the impact that social media has on the happiness of those who use it, particularly young people. There is a drive to show only your happy self, so people are sharing less of themselves, even though they’re “connecting” more than ever. It’s a topic I’m interested in, so I was excited to see this book! (Review will be up tomorrow)
What I’m Currently Reading:
A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman. I’ve had this audiobook for a while – it was probably in a sale on Audible – and I just finally started listening to it. It’s a little slow so far, but I am really enjoying it! The characters are so distinct and fascinating, and I love the small neighborhood feel.
Lillian Boxfish Takes a Walk by Kathleen Rooney. I’m not very far into this one (I have some ARCs to get to before I finish it), but I love it so far. It’s such a great story about a woman looking back on her life at 85. I fell in love with the main character almost immediately, and I don’t see that changing anytime soon.
What I Watched:
The OA (Netflix). I loved this series until the very end. Then it got kind of weird. I thought the ending was super anticlimactic, and somewhat confusing. But I do still think it’s worth watching. Even if it’s only so you can talk about it with your friends. Because this is definitely a show you’ll need to talk about.
A Series of Unfortunate Events (Netflix). It’s been a while since I’ve read the books, but I think they did an incredible job with this series. I watched it all in about three days, and I liked every episode. It was appropriately dark, but still funny, and the casting is amazing. I want to reread the books now.
Downton Abbey. This is my third attempt at watching this series. I don’t know what it is, but I’m just not that into it. On the surface, it’s everything I should like: history, scandal, drama, and Maggie Smith. I want to like it. But I just have such a hard time paying attention to it. I’m watching with my cousins, which is fun, but I don’t think this is a series I’d continue on my own.
Black Mirror (Netflix). I’ve been watching the episodes out of order (they’re not connected, so it’s totally okay to do this), and I’m just so intrigued by it! I love that it puts a mirror in front of our own society (which I think is the point of the whole show), because every episode is horrifying, but I can totally imagine it happening in a few years.
Hidden Figures. I finally saw this last night, and absolutely loved it! It’s such a great story, and a brilliant film. (I definitely didn’t happy-cry through the entire thing. Nope.)
What I Did:
FINISHED GRAD SCHOOL. As of January 8, I am officially done with my masters! I have to wait until February to be approved (which I should be, because I got straight As, save for one B – stupid literary theory), but I have no more classes or papers or assigned reading. And it took me all of two weeks to miss it. If it wasn’t for this blog, I think I’d be super restless. And writing random research papers for no reason. Why do I love school so much when I’m not in it?
The Book Community on Twitter. (Includes writers, publishers, readers, and fellow bloggers.) This has been a hard month for a lot of people. But what makes me happy is seeing that so many people I look up to are standing up for what is right on a daily basis. The support is incredible, and I honestly don’t know what I’d do without them.
Discussion | Why Read Nonfiction? I want to write more discussion posts this year, and I started out with this one. I’ve really loved reading more nonfiction lately, and thought I’d share some of the ways it’s benefited me.
2017 Reading Resolutions. This year, I’m keeping my reading goals a bit simple, because I just want to relax and read books that I want to read. I am definitely pretty excited about it.