January Reads

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Whew, this was a busy month for reading! Between snow days, early releases, holidays, and zero desire to leave the house in the cold, I read a TON. Not only do I feel accomplished checking several books off of my list, I also am thrilled that I have so many fun reads to share with you guys! Because really, is there anything better than spending a winter night under the covers with a good book (and a glass of wine and a candle nearby)? I also read a good mix of fiction vs. nonfiction and powerful pieces vs. super lighthearted ones, so no matter what you’re in the mood for, below are several great recs.

PS- I wrote a book roundup for The Everygirl that ran a couple of weeks ago, and while it features books that I’ve either talked about on here already or mention below, be sure to take a look for some additional recs!

Alrighty, time for this month’s book recaps…

One Day in December: I knew I’d have to pick up this British romance after Katie enthusiastically recommended it to me (love getting book recs from her!). It’s one of those cozy winter rom-com reads that you’ll want to finish in a day. The main character, Laurie, falls in love with a guy who she spots at a bus stop, only to meet him in real life a few years later–but this time, her roommate/best friend is dating him. As you can guess, the story is focused on Laurie’s romantic journey–will she end up with Jack, the guy from the bus stop, or will their lives move in different directions? In the meantime, how will she act around her roommate, who has been working to help her find the “mystery guy” for years? I read this book super quickly and everyone else I’ve talked to about it seems to have really enjoyed it, too!

Love and Other Words: This is another one that Katie covered on her blog a few months ago, right around the time that I started reading some of the other Christina Lauren books. I immediately added this one to my list and really liked it! It tells the story of Macy and Elliot, who meet as teenagers, become close friends and date, and then lose touch only to reconnect 11 years later and realize that their relationship was truly something special and needs to be salvaged. That said, Macy is engaged to someone else and hasn’t told Elliot much about her past, making things complicated to say the least. Christina Lauren is actually the pen name for two friends, Christina and Lauren, who write together, and their books are all so well done and realistic!

Becoming: Basically, everyone needs to read this, regardless of political affiliation. Michelle Obama’s fascinating life story will move and inspire you, and I was super eager to read her book after hearing her speak in November. Michelle talks about the barriers she faced as a black woman, especially while working at a law firm in Chicago, reflects on her family life and upbringing on the South Side, and looks back on her journey to Princeton University and the relationships she formed there. I also loved learning more about the “behind-the-scences” aspect of life in the White House–it’s fun to read about the time her kids spent growing up in the spotlight and the comments they made when they learned their dad was running for president. Plus, who wouldn’t want to read about her relationship with Barack and how their story began?!

Maid: This nonfiction book had me captivated from the beginning, and I sped through it in a couple of days. Stephanie Land, now a journalist, writes about her struggle to provide for herself and her daughter after unexpectedly getting pregnant and subsequently postponing her education to work as a maid in Washington State. I’d recommend it to anyone who has read Nickel and Dimed, and the author of that book, Barbara Ehrenreich, actually writes the intro at the beginning. This book provides a similar glimpse into income inequality and one woman’s struggle to survive in a world that’s largely unsympathetic to her situation. It’s amazing to see how far Stephanie has come, and I’ve definitely thought a lot about her story.

Shrill: I had heard a lot about Lindy West’s book for the past several years and was glad to finally read her commentary on gender, appearances, and feminism. This is a fairly quick read but a powerful one, covering heavy topics but also incorporating humor. It was also interesting that she wrote this right after the 2016 election, and I’d love to read more of what she has to say given all of the issues that have emerged since.

The Kind Worth Killing: It wouldn’t be one of my reading roundups without a good thriller on the list! This book was so, so creepy and dark (more so than most of the other popular thrillers) but also so addictive. In summary, a man and woman meet at an airport bar and start talking casually, only for the man to confess that he wants to kill his wife (…casual). To his surprise, the woman offers to help–and so begins their journey. But does the woman know more about him than she claims? Is his wife really as innocent as she may seem? If you love a good husband/wife drama (which honestly seems to be the overall theme of most thrillers lately), this one is for you (and it’s gotten TONS of amazing reviews!).

The Proposal: I read Jasmine Guillory’s The Wedding Date over the summer and adored it, so I couldn’t wait to pick up her newest novel. After being proposed by a crummy boyfriend and having to reject him in front of a stadium of people, Nik is thrilled when a hot guy, Carlos, and his sister come to the rescue. Little does Nik know it at the time, but Carlos may be just who she was looking for after all. I loved all of the characters in this book–I think I actually liked it more than One Day in December, because all of their personalities were so well thought out–and would definitely recommend it!

Last but not least, I had to tear through P.S., I Still Love You and Always and Forever, Lara Jean. I don’t know why, but I just fell in love with this series after watching To All the Boys I Loved Before and reading the book over the summer. I don’t normally stay up-to-date on YA books, but I’ve made an exception for these (and trust me, I know tons of people my age who have adored them!). I just had to know how the story ended for Lara Jean and Peter and loved seeing the other characters–Margot, Kitty, Chris, Gen–continue to be a part of the plot. Sometimes light reads like these are just what the doctor ordered!

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