Cheers to 2019!!!!
It’s time for this month’s reading list. After a couple months of being just “meh” on a lot of books I read, this was a pretty good month of reading. Since I’m always very honest, The Other Woman was a little bit disappointing to me. It was good but not great and it got SO much buzz which makes me hold it to a higher standard. I still enjoyed it but it wasn’t as amazing as everyone says it was. I read a great book about writing, and two really fun brain candy sort of books and a super fun YA thriller.
So all in all, it was an awesome month of books and I would recommend everything I read (yes even The Other Woman, it just didn’t live up to all the hype!) Also! If you haven’t read it yet, definitely stop by my recap of everything I read in 2018. It’s a long post (I read 82 books, JFC!) but I spent a really long time working on it and ranking everything I read. I also share my top 3 books from the year.
If you’re new here and are looking for a book, don’t forget that you can always check out my Book Club Page.
Every month I update it, so it includes every.single.book I’ve read in the past few years. The best part is that you can filter + search by genre (memoir, light read, historical fiction, thriller, etc!) to find exactly what you’re looking for. I always add whatever it is that I’m currently reading in real time to my Amazon Shop.
Last order of business before my reviews! Please comment and tell me what you are reading… your suggestions are my THE BEST… I always shop off of your suggestions – you always have such good recommendations for me, which I really appreciate! (You guys convinced me to read One Day in December which was probably my favorite book from the whole month!)
If you want to be a better writer…
Nobody Wants to Read Your Shit, by Steven Pressfield.
As I’ve mentioned before one of my goals this year is to read more books that will make me better at my job. And I really want to become a better writer. I love Steven Pressfield’s style of writing. His books are always incredibly helpful and smartly written (he also wrote The War of Art), delivered in short, punchy “chapters.” I put chapters in parentheses as each chapter is only a few pages long… this book is just under 200 pages and contains 119 chapters.
Taking us through the different stages of his career (advertising, writing fiction, screenwriting, back to fiction, and self-help) he teaches us how to be a better writer: putting yourself in your reader’s shoes to create content that is interesting and inventive. This is described as developing empathy for your readers… switching back and forth as you write to put yourself in the shoes of the reader. For a business-y book this is a pretty short read but a valuable one and I cannot recommend it enough to anyone looking to become a better writer.
- Score: A
The Perfect Amount of Brain Candy
My Favorite Half-Night Stand, by Christina Lauren.
I became an instant super fan of Christina Lauren after reading Love and Other Words (see my review of it in October’s reading list– it’s an absolute must read and one of my favorite books from this past year). Christina just does a rom-com/brain candy type of book so well. Was it a little bit predictable? Yeah. Did it keep me up all night anyway? Absolutely.
It was the best kind of predictable, in that really satisfying sort of way where you know what’s coming but it takes a while to get there. Millie Morris has been one of the guys forever. She’s a little bit emotionally stunted and her and her four guy pals all work a lot. One night, her and her best friend Reid hook up. They immediately decide this was a bad idea, something that can never happen again. Meanwhile, with a big banquet coming up at work, the group decides they need to get dates so they all give online dating a try.
And of COURSE (true to real life) the guys are met with quality matches whereas Millie gets dick pics and asked for her weight and cup size. Frustrated, Millie creates a new persona under a different name ands up matching with Reid. You an only imagine what happens from there. I really enjoyed it. Though it was fluffy, it was the perfect kind of fluff where the character development is great and you can really identify with the characters. Oh BTW, in case you were curious (I was!), a “half-night stand” is when you have sex with someone and they only stay half the night/don’t sleep over.
- Score: A-
One Day in December, by Josie Silver.
I couldn’t wait to read this! There was a lot of hype about it over in the private Facebook group. I’m happy to report that it lives up to the hype and I absolutely LOVED it. I read it in a single day. I woke up and read for a bit and then spent an entire evening at home curled up with it. It was one of the sweetest love stories I’ve read in a while and I truly could not put it down. It’s such a realistic, relatable look at friendships, love, and loss. Laurie isn’t one to believe in love at first sight but spots Jack from the bus. They lock eyes and it’s that instant magical attraction – love at first sight.
She spends the next year looking for him until they accidentally reconnect – her best friend brings him to their Christmas party and is already head over heels in love with him. The novel spans about ten years. All of the characters endure dramatic heartbreaks and a lot transpires between each of them. I loved the friendship between Laurie and Sarah but the male characters were really wonderful too. Can’t recommend this one enough!
- Score: A
This month’s YA Pick (for the podcast!)
Little White Lies, by Jennifer Lynn Barnes.
I have made no secret about not always loving the YA books we pick for the pod, but that makes for good discussion. That’s not the case with this one, which I really loved. It’s totally my genre although it’s set in the South and not a dystopian society. Sawyer Taft grew up on the wrong side of the tracks when her estranged grandmother turns up out of nowhere offering her half a million dollars to participate in debutante season. I don’t want to give too much away (and we are talking about it on the podcast later this month so read it before 1/30!) but it is such a fun read.
There’s a big mystery with a juicy set-up, there’s the friendship between four debutantes, and there’s Sawyer’s quest to find her father. I couldn’t put it down and couldn’t recommend it enough if you are looking for a fun YA read that you can’t stop reading.
- Score: A-
A Creepy Thriller (Though I guessed the Ending)
The Other Woman, by Sandie Jones.
This one has gotten so much buzz. And while it definitely kept me up at night (I read it in under 24 hours while I was sick), I was kinda just meh on it!!! Being so meh is making me question everything. Have I read too many creepy thrillers? Am I just conditioned now to guess the endings? Emily thinks she’s met the perfect man in Adam, until she meets his mother Pammie. Pammie will do everything – absolutely everything – to ensure Emily and Adam don’t wind up together.
The book takes us through Adam and Emily meeting, through engagement and a baby, all while Pammie does everything she can to ruin their relationship. Meanwhile Adam is totally oblivious to his mother’s bad behavior. There’s a big juicy twist at the end (and while it was totally satisfying, I did guess it). I can’t give this one a great rating as it was a bit predictable and implausible all at once BUT I didn’t dislike it and wouldn’t tell you to not read it if you’re in the mood for a fun thriller that will keep you up all night reading to find out what happens.
- Score: B-
That’s it! What did you read this month? Tell me what you loved (or didn’t love) in the comments.