January Reading List

Books I have read in January – okay, this is going to be an extraordinarily long post, so if you are busy, then I would save this for later. These are the books I have read this month and my recommendations regarding them.

Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief, Percy Jackson and the Sea of Monsters, Percy Jackson and the Titan’s Curse.

I knew before I started reading these books that Percy Jackson had all the hallmarks of a series I could get obsessed with. Fictional hero stuff? Check. Tons of allusions that could draw me into the world of wikipedia and obsessive googling? Check. A SERIES of these types of books? Double check. Let’s add that author Rick Riordan actually lives RIGHT here in my city and the obsession meter clearly goes off the chart. These books are excellent – quick reads, obviously, because they’re kids’ books, but they have some funny inside-type jokes for people who know a bit more about mythology — like when Apollo makes a comment about how he hates when girls turn into trees…which of course, is one of my favorite scultures of all time.

Salem Falls, Plain Truth

The first Jodi Picoult book I ever read was My Sister’s Keeper. I bought it about four years ago, read it, cried my eyes out, threw the book across the room and vowed to never read another word this depraved woman wrote. My friend K-Sizzle changed that by obsessing over her. After hearing K-Sizzle sing her praises unceasingly, I decided to read Plain Truth, because I am also tremendously interested in the Amish. And, then, I was hooked. So, my recommendation here is: read Jodi Picoult. Expect a twist at the end (I am proud to say I figured out both of these books before the ending). And FOR THE LOVE OF ALL THAT IS HOLY, do not read My Sister’s Keeper. That book does not deserve to be read. Bleh.

Daisy Miller, Washington Square

I read Daisy Miller in a college English class, but even with my love of reading, far more of my time in college was spent either sipping margaritas or hanging out with my cute boyfriend, so I really just skimmed everything I read back then. These books…well, they are what they are. Beautifully written, gloomy stories that show how little choice women had in the past and how constricted society was. But, wow, they are beautifully written. Recommendation: read. Daisy Miller in particular is a must-read if only to get a better grasp of our literary heritage.

Mine are Spectacular!

Just the cover of this book should be enough to tell you, don’t read. I liked the authors’ book “The Men I Didn’t Marry.” So, when I saw this book at the library book sale for 25 cents, I bought it. It was fluff, obviously, but the thing I most have against Kaplan and Schumberger is that their “jokes” or their humor in their books feels completely inserted. Like they have a formula. Three paragraphs, then insert pop culture reference. Four pages, then joke about how men are not dependable. Etc, etc, etc.

Wideacre

Oh, man…..Wideacre. Philippa Gregory is another of my obsessions. I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE historical fiction, especially all her Tudor books. Wideacre is a different type of historical fiction. Imagine an English, super-crazier Scarlett O’Hara. One who’s not opposed to anything. And, let’s just say, what she does to her sister-in-law Celia is MUCH worse than Scarlett stealing Frank Kennedy. Recommendation: Read, read, read. Prepare to be creeped out tremendously, but to not be able to put it down.

The Memoirs of Cleopatra

This is a LONG book. Really long. I just googled it and it says it’s almost 1,000 pages long. But it is tremendously interesting, especially if (as I have said about 12 times in this post alone) you’re the kind of person who gets obsessive about things rooted in history. It has tons of detail and provides for much wikipedia-ing during and after reading. One caveat: there are a lot of battles in this book — I mean, what can you expect from a books that features a lot of Julius Caesar and Marc Antony — so those parts can get a little wearisome. Read, but expect it to take you a while.

The Three Weissmans of Westport

Meh. I was attracted to the cover of this book, but I really didn’t like it that much. I felt this was unusual for me, because I’, usually a fan of anything that riffs off Jane Austen, but I just wasn’t feeling the whole love stories of the geriatric sluts vibe (and there are both male and female 50+ sluts in this book). I give it a pass.

Mini Shopaholic

I always am lured into reading any new Sophie Kinsella (or Madeleine Wickham) book that comes out. This is typical Shopaholic fare — funny scenes with Becky, feeling a little sorry for Luke, etc. But I found myself feeling very concerned for Becky’s poor little girl. Eeek. Recommendation: read, if you’re looking for something light and fun. However, if you’re not already a Kinsella reader, I say bypass this one for now and go read her “Remember Me?” instead as it is fantastic.

So, there you are: my January book list. I warned you it would be long. Let me know if you’ve read any of these, have any different opinions, want any additional detail on the books or have any suggestions for my next month’s list. 😉

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15 responses to “January Reading List

  1. Nice roundup. I heard about and was interested in “Cleopatra” – good thing I’m ok with battle scenes!

  2. WHOW! You read a lot! I am jealous. Oddly, I have not read a single one of these! I will have to remedy that and put your favs on my to-read list.

  3. Melissa (domesticnovice)

    Hey girlie!

    I saw your list and wanted to give my recommendations! I LOVE chick-lit (I know it’s bubble gum reading, but it’s so satisfying to read something easy and fun and engaging) and have read all the Sophie Kinsella books, and have also found a couple other authors that I like who are similar to her:

    Emily Giffin – She wrote Something Borrowed and Something Blue, which are two books around the same time period/events from two points of view. Very fun reading. Her other books are good, too.

    Also, Marian Keyes is kind of a powerhouse in the chick-lit world, so you’ve probably heard of her but if you haven’t you should! I like all of her novels (not so much her short story collections, though).

    So, if you have time for more chick-lit, check those out if you haven’t.

    And thanks for the recs here – Wideacre sounds terrific. I used to be in love with historical fiction when I was younger, but haven’t thought about anything in that genre for so long. Will check it out.

    (p.s. one of my Christmas gifts this year was a Kindle – I cannot tell you how much I love it, because I can read trashy novels on the metro without giving it away with a pink cover with shoes all over it or something…)

    • I LOVE MARIAN KEYES! I think she is such a funny writer. Do you have to buy all your books for the Kindle, or how does it work? Thanks for the recs. 😉

      • Melissa (domesticnovice)

        I have to buy them on the Kindle – it kind of sucks, since most of them I’ve already bought in hard-copy. So I don’t re-purchase them, I just buy new ones when they come out. Right now I’m re-reading all of the Wizard of Oz books on Kindle, since they’re public domain now and free and I’m too poor for new books this semester!

        Getting a novel on Kindle is sometimes cheaper than it would normally be to get a paper copy… but one of my favorite things to do is use the library, and the Kindle doesn’t support DC’s digital library books. (If you’re looking to use digital library books, make sure that the device you get uses the files that the library has available – I kind of wish I’d gotten a Nook for this reason.)

  4. WOW! You read more page-for-page for pleasure than I have for… law school 😦 I second the Emily Giffin recommendation. She’s pretty fun! Especially Love the One You’re With.

    • If only I spent all my reading time working on WRITING my novels, I would be finished with both by now, no doubt. :-/

      I got Emily Giffin’s Heart of the Matter for Christmas – I’ll have to check out her others.

  5. You have been a reading fiend while I have been a book club failure. I need more free time I have decided.

  6. LOVE this post. Jodi Picoult rocks! For anyone near Austin, she’ll be visiting in March. Here is the link: http://bookpeople.indiebound.com/event/offsite-jody-picoult-alamo-drafthouse-lake-creek

  7. I LOVE reading! I’m going to look at a few of these and grab one to add to my list of “to-do’s”. Have you ever read Anita Shreve? I LOVE her books! A Wedding in December really drew me in and I felt like I was watching it unfold as I was perched on a bar stool in the lounge, or even as an unsuspecting piano player that you never think would pay attention to so much around him, because he’d be too distracted by the notes in front of him, yet he watches the people dance in and out of the room, remembering every detail… this would be me if I was a nosy bird in the room 😉

    • Oooh, yes, I have read that one. I picked it up on sale at Barnes and Noble, but it’s the only one of her books that I have read. I’ll have to look into some more of hers since you recommend them! Thanks! 🙂

  8. Pingback: February Reading List | Legally Married

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