Books I Read in January 2022
At the beginning of January, we sailed across the Gulf Stream from Florida to The Bahamas. We spent most of the month cruising around the islands, traveling from Bimini to The Berrys to Nassau and, eventually, the breathtaking Exumas. Our month was filled with long sailing days, lazy afternoons on the beach, and quiet evenings on the boat, meaning there was plenty of time for reading.
I sped through a number of excellent books this month, all rented through my public library using the Libby app. If you’re not familiar with Libby, I highly recommend you download it. To get started, you enter your public library card number and - tada! - you have access to all the e-books available through your local library. You can browse by category or search for specific books by title. If a book you want to read is on loan to another reader, simply place a hold and you’ll get access as soon as it becomes available. Once it’s delivered to you, you’ll have 21 days to finish reading. I like to place holds on a number of different books to ensure that I always have something in my queue; if a book becomes available and you’re not quite ready to read it, you can instruct the app to deliver the book at a later date.
Having access to a steady stream of library e-books has been an absolute life-saver on the boat - they take up no space! And, although the carbon footprint of e-readers is not to be ignored, research suggests that heavy readers are better off using e-books as opposed to paperbacks, so I can feel a bit better about the long-term climate impact of my reading. Here’s a look at what I read in January and what I loved.
The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid
My Rating: ☆☆☆☆
My Take: This story keeps you turning pages until the very end. I found the main characters to be fascinating and generally likable, which always makes me feel far more invested in the outcome of the story. Evelyn’s life is one of glamour, drama, love, loss, tragedy, and growth. Hers is also a tantalizing world of old Hollywood glamour and I loved stepping back in time through her stories. All in all, this book was alternatingly fun and poignant, a balance that can be rather hard to strike.
Mexican Gothic by Silvia Morena-Garcia
My Rating: ☆☆☆☆
My Take: I love when a story surprises you and surprise me this did! Set against a deeply mysterious and eerie setting that turns increasingly foreboding as the story progresses, this book follows an appealing young woman as she gets caught up in the strange world of her cousin’s husband’s family. It is creepy and bizarre and utterly addicting. I read it in a day and a half…you won’t be able to put it down.
The Girl with the Louding Voice by Abi Baré
My Rating: ☆☆☆☆☆
My Take: This is a spectacular book, full of heart-wrenching suffering and unwavering hope. You are bound to fall in love with the main character, Adunni, a young girl from a rural Nigerian village who exudes strength, determination, and goodness even in the face of terrible wrongs. She is surrounded by a vivid cast of characters, some who you’ll come to despise and some who you’ll adore, but your heart will no doubt be taken by Adunni. You’ll be cheering her on until the very end.
The Honey-Don’t List by Christina Lauren
My Rating: ☆☆
My Take: While I really liked the idea of a love story set against the backdrop of a fabulous home renovation empire, this book fell a bit flat. There were some fun moments but overall it lacked the substance to keep me engaged. If you’re looking for a quick and easy vacation read, this book will fit the bill…just don’t expect too much from it.
The Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane by Lisa See
My Rating: ☆☆☆☆
My Take: This book takes you on an epic ride as it follows the life of Li-yan, an Akha girl from a village of tea farmers. See takes you deep into Li-yan’s world, immersing you in the customs, sites, sounds, and tastes of her life. The story takes many remarkable turns, some so remarkable they seem the slightest bit far-fetched. Despite this, it is a beautiful story, full of many tender, human moments.
Maybe in Another Life by Taylor Jenkins Reid
My Rating: ☆☆☆
My Take: The premise of this book - two parallel universes in which the main character lives out two different lives - is totally fun. It’s an easy read with enjoyable characters and it gives you plenty to ponder about life, fate, and the choices we make.
What You Wish For: A Novel by Katherine Center
My Rating: ☆☆
My Take: There was a lot to like about this love story but it just never quite settled into itself. It was a bit too repetitive and the characters were just a tad too overdone to allow me to really lose myself in the story. That said, it had its moments and offered a good reminder to choose joy, not fear, in life. If you’re looking for a quirky read with some sweet moments, you'll like this book.
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