January Book Haul

book haul

I bought too many books in January. Way too many books. And a lot of them are very large books, too, so my TBR stacks have multiplied. My excuse is that I’ve been on a serious history-binge lately, and those books are crazy expensive, so I had to buy all the ones on Book Outlet because they were cheaper. But really I think my brain just misses college and I’ve decided to revert to my history major days. Because I just want to study everything right now, and it’s starting to become a problem.

Seriously, I bought a ton of history books this month. And since I know not all of you are into that, I’ve separated this haul into fiction and history/nonfiction (nonfiction’s at the bottom), so you don’t have to read all the way through if you don’t want to. It’s a long one.

Red Clocks by Leni Zumas. This book seems to be everywhere lately, and, I have to admit, I was drawn in by the cover. I ended up choosing it as my Book of the Month for January, and I’m looking forward to reading it.

The Woman in the Window by A. J. Finn. It’s been a while since I’ve read a book touted as the new Gone Girl, and I’m kind of in the mood for a thriller. This was a BOTM add-on, because I could not decide last month.

Iron Gold by Pierce Brown. Getting my hands on a copy of this book was kind of an ordeal. I ended up with two copies (plus an ebook), one of which was free (because Amazon is awesome), but I have no regrets. This was really great, and I’m looking forward to the rest of the series.

The Immortalists by Chloe Benjamin. This was one of the best books I read last year, and knew I had to own a physical copy. And I have no regrets, because it’s beautiful. You can never go wrong with a satin black dust jacket and gold foil. (See, this is why I buy too many books.)

Freshwater by Akwaeke Emezi. I had a digital ARC of this one, but it didn’t take me long to order a physical copy. I loved this book and needed it in my library. It’s not technically being released until February 13th, but Amazon shipped my copy super early.

The Zenith by Duong Thu Huog. (No, not that Zenith.) In my search for more diverse books, I’ve discovered that I kind of love Vietnamese literature. This one kept popping up and it was like $1 on Book Outlet, so how could I resist?

Wall of Storms by Ken Liu. I got the first book in this series, The Grace of Kings, for Christmas, and while I haven’t read it yet I’m positive I’m going to love it. Book Outlet had the second in the series, so I picked it up so I can binge-read them all.

StardustAnansi Boys, and Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman. Yes, I already have these books. (I think this is actually my third edition of Neverwhere.) But these copies completed my collection of the new retro covers. They are insanely good and I needed them.

Binti and Binti: Home by Nnedi Okorafor. Book Outlet had both, so why not? Luckily, I loved the first one, so I’m looking forward to reading the second soon.

The Tea Rose by Jennifer Donnelly. I really enjoyed Jennifer Donnelly’s YA novel, These Shallow Graves and wanted to read more of her work. I added this to my TBR a while ago, and picked up a copy when I saw it on Book Outlet.

The Wedding Date by Jasmine Guillory. I read a digital ARC of this earlier in the month and loved it. I like books like this because they’re fun, and great when you’re trying to get out of a slump, so I wanted to have a copy on my shelves.

The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid. I didn’t choose this as my BOTM a while back, and I’ve kind of been regretting it since. Everyone seems to love this, and I am all for a good historical fiction novel with a generous helping of the rich and famous. Also, Book Outlet. It’s a drug, I swear.

Wishful Drinking by Carrie Fisher. I’ve been meaning to read more of Carrie Fisher’s work ever since reading and loving The Princess Diarist early last year. Book Outlet had some more of her books so I picked up a couple.

The Best Awful by Carrie Fisher. I’m excited about this one because it’s fiction, and I’m so curious about Fisher’s novels.

Dusk or Dawn or Day by Seanan McGuire. Honestly, I have no idea what this is about, but I love Seanan McGuire so I picked it up.

Duel with the Devil: The True Story of How Alexander Hamilton and Aaron Burr Teamed Up to Take on America’s First Sensational Murder Mystery by Paul Collins. In the couple of months, I’ve been on a major Hamilton book buying spree. I’ve amassed a slightly obsessive collection of Hamilton-related nonfiction, and I had to add this one. As I write this, I’m about a third of the way through it (I’ll probably finish it by the time this post goes up), and really enjoying it.

Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln by Doris Kearns Goodwin. I feel like this is one of those must-read books if you’re into American history (which, clearly I am). It’s well-loved and looks really interesting, so I’m glad I finally picked up a copy.

Lincoln and the Power of the Press: The War for Public Opinion by Harold Holzer. I love history books that are relevant to current events, and this one seemed like it fit the bill. I’m really curious about the role the press played during Lincoln’s presidency, because that was a whole different time (the White House was open to the public 24/7).

The Intimate Lives of the Founding Fathers by Thomas J. Fleming. One of my favorite kinds of history books is the kind that feels like reading a gossip mag. I feel like this might be one of those books. But, either way, I’m always interested in the women behind powerful men, and I’m looking forward to reading this one.

Common Sense by Thomas Paine. Another book I already own but couldn’t resist a new edition of. This one looks cross-stitched and the blurb on the cover reads “★★★★★ – The Schuyler Sisters”. Tell me how I was supposed to resist that?

Valiant Ambition: George Washington, Benedict Arnold, and the Fate of the American Revolution by Nathaniel Philbrick. More American history, this time by an author I’m already familiar with. I read and really enjoyed Philbrick’s Mayflower in college (I took a class on the history of Plymouth), and have been wanting to read more since then.

Impeached: The Trial of Andrew Johnson and the Fight for Lincoln’s Legacy by David O. Stewart. Honestly, I have been pretty interested in historical impeachments lately – nothing to do with current events – and wanted to read more. This story seems especially interesting since Johnson’s impeachment had a lot to do with the anger over Lincoln abolishing slavery.

American Emperor by David O. Stewart. This is actually a biography of Aaron Burr, and I needed one. And it was only $1 on Book Outlet, so it was an easy decision.

Madison’s Gift: Five Partnerships that Built America by David O. Stewart. I didn’t realize until I started writing this post that I’d picked up three books by David O. Stewart this month. I hope I enjoy his writing! This one caught my eye because Madison was involved in so much in the early days of America, and I want to know more about him.

Sisters in Law: How Sandra Day O’Connor and Ruth Bader Ginsburg Went to the Supreme Court and Changed the World by Linda Hirshman. I adore (the notorious) RBG, and felt the urge to pick this up. I think it might make a perfect addition to my women’s history month reading list.

The Pirate Queen: Queen Elizabeth I, Her Pirate Adventurers, and the Dawn of an Empire by Susan Ronald. In college, I also took a class on the history of piracy, and, while it was one of my favorites, it’s been a while since I’ve read anything about pirates. One of my favorite things to learn about was Elizabeth I’s role in piracy, so I think I’m going to like this book.

She-Wolves: The Women Who Ruled England Before Elizabeth by Helen Castor. I love reading about powerful women in history. And, I have to admit, the title got me on this one.

Joan of Arc: A History by Helen Castor. As much as I studied her in my twelve years of Catholic school, I’ve never read a biography of Joan of Arc. There are so many differing stories out there, and I’m curious as to what this one says.

The Innovators by Walter Isaacson. I think I’m just collecting Walter Isaacson’s books so they can sit on my shelves forever. Seriously, this is my fourth book by him and I still haven’t read any of them. It needs to happen.

Napoleon: A Life by Andrew Roberts. In all my years of studying history, I learned surprisingly little about Napoleon. There are tons of biographies about him, but this one has some of the best reviews, so, when I saw it on Book Outlet, I grabbed a copy.

The Age of Genius: The Seventeenth Century and the Birth of the Modern Mind by A. C. Grayling. I’ve said this like fifteen times already in this post, but I really enjoy reading about the history of knowledge – where it came from, how it traveled. The seventeenth century was pretty big in terms of learning, and I’m excited to have an actual book I can read about it.

The Intimate Bond: How Animals Shaped Human History by Brian Fagan. Unless you’ve studied it, you probably don’t realize how much animals have shaped the way we live our lives, and how civilization and societies were formed. I’m curious to learn more, and this seems like a great way to do it.

The Gene: An Intimate History by Siddhartha Mukherjee. Onto the medical history! Now that I work at a medical center, my interest in medicine has definitely increased. I’m definitely never going to be a doctor or anything like that, but I do enjoy reading about medicine from a historical perspective.

Get Well Soon: History’s Worst Plagues and the Heroes Who Fought Them by Jennifer Wright. This might not sound great, but I’ve always loved studying plagues. They’re just really interesting and so complex. (Fun Fact: of the main reasons the Black Plague was so devastating was because the Pope declared cats minions of the devil, so people killed a lot of the cats – lest they be tempted by the cats’ wily ways – and there were not enough cats to kill the rats carrying the plague. Okay, maybe not a fun fact, but I think it’s interesting.)


Are we done? We’re done. You made it to the end! Go reward yourself with a book, you deserve it.

I think my inner history nerd came out in full force this month, and I am definitely not mad about it. (My bookshelves might be, though.) I just have a really strong craving for history books, and I’m happy that’s where my reading mood has taken me, because it’s been too long. Are there any history books you think I should add to my library? Let me know in the comments!

15 thoughts on “January Book Haul

  1. Yay, history books! I went on a history binge last fall (all I did was YouTube a scene from John Adams and then I discovered Turn and then I started listening to Hamilton and I’ve been lost ever since.) 🤷🏼‍♀️🤦🏼‍♀️

    I haven’t read any of the ones you bought (although Get Well Soon is on my TBR because I also love plagues!) Let’s see, what did I enjoy…I loved Chernow’s Washington: A Life; David McCullough’s John Adams; The Drillmaster Of Valley Forge by Paul Lockhart; A Narrative Of a Revolutionary Soldier by Joseph Plumb Martin. The last one is the memoir of Joseph Plumb Martin, originally published around 1830, who fought for almost the duration of the American Revolution from the time he was 16 or 17. It was both moving and actually hilarious at times. While under fire at Kip’s Bay, he dove into a trench and said something along the lines of, “I began to wonder which part of my carcass was to go first.” Very poignant, yet funny. 😆

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for the recommendations! I have the first two (I just need to read them). I loved Chernow’s bio of Hamilton, so I think I’ll definitely like Washington. The other two you recommended sound really great, I’ll have to look into them. Thanks!

      Liked by 1 person

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