This is book week here on the blog! (Cheers, applause, boos?!) Today I am sharing all the books I read in January and, on Wednesday, I will share all the books I read for the #24in48 readathon this past weekend. If you don't like books, come back on Friday when I'll be sharing my "10 on the 10th" for February and it will (probably) have fewer books featured :)
I've never been great at tracking my reading. For awhile I was posting every book I had read on Instagram under the hashtag natashareadsonfridays. However, once the pandemic hit, I found my reading suffered. I mean, I was still reading, but mostly I was reading quick comfort reads and not anything I was particularly proud of sharing -- think lots of Nora Roberts.
For 2021, I am going to try and post every book I read (with a mini review) here on the blog. I am hoping this will help keep me accountable, and that I will rediscover my love of reading a wide variety of books and not just turning to comfort reads. After all, we've been in this pandemic for eleven months now (ugh), and I need to adjust to our new normal.
Normally, I will share my
books twice a month (mid-month and end of the month) because I usually
read a lot of books and I find blog posts with twenty book reviews
overwhelming. However, for January, I am just writing one post because I'd only read two books by mid-January. (I was in the middle of a few more in mid-January but hadn't yet finished them.)
First of all, my friend Allena introduced me to Lisa Kleypas last spring and I have been devouring all of her late 19th century, British romances. I'm currently working my way through The Ravenels series and I also discovered her Bow Street Runners trilogy in January and read those too. These books are fun, slightly steamy, and somewhat predictable but I'm still enjoying them :)
Also, this is totally frivolous but could I please have one of those ballgowns and an excuse to wear it somewhere please???
I don't even know how I discovered this next author (maybe a What's Up Wednesday post?) but I have really been enjoying the mysteries of Jenn McKinlay. She has a library series (which I've read a few of) and a cupcake baker series. These two are from the cupcake series and they're just fun, light, mysteries. If you read them in order, you get a better sense of the community the main characters have built around themselves.
Then I read one non-fiction book, The Paris Letters by Janice MacLeod. This is a book about a woman who sells everything she owns, quits her job to travel, and ends up falling in love and moving to Paris. She makes it sound really easy except for two things: 1) She has a marketable (moveable) skill in her art and 2) I already do most of the things she recommends to "save money." I always find those "100 ways to save money" lists annoying and hers was no different. However, reading this book did make me want to go to Paris so there is that.
So quite a few friends, whose opinions I really trust, told me to let go of my weird feeling about reading a novel about Jesus' wife and to read it anyways. And I shouldn't have waited so long because, as usual, they were right, and I LOVED The Book of Longings by Sue Monk Kidd. I basically read it in one glorious Saturday and it was the best day I've spent in a long time. If you haven't read it, pick it up and enjoy!
The last two books I read in January (and no, none of these books are listed in the order I read them) were anti-racism books. The first one was I'm Still Here: Black Dignity in a World Made for Whiteness by Austin Channing Brown. I read this book in one night and wondered how many microaggressions I have committed against people of colour.
I'd been wanting to read Why Are All The Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria and Other Conversations About Race by Beverly Daniel Tatum for awhile so I was really glad when Emily chose it (or we coerced her into choosing it!) for our January book club. I found that parts of this book were very academic and detailed but I really appreciated the introduction and the first half of the book. The last half was full of statistics and I didn't think I'd enjoyed it that much but then I spent half an hour talking to Dave about a bunch of thoughts going through my head when I'd finished it. It broke my heart that this book is twenty years old and things haven't "gotten better" when it comes to racism and how people of colour are treated.
I think I normally read more than twelve books in a month but January was a bit of a slower month for me. Have you read any of these books? Do you have suggestions as to what I should read next based on any of these books? Are you skipping my blog for the rest of the week?!?!
See you back here on Wednesday when I'll document my weekend of reading. Spoiler alert: I read seven entire books, finished one I'd already started, and started a ninth book :)