January Reading List.

I read a lot this month. Blame it on being home for the holidays. But also, there was an unfortunate little incident with Apple, where I was locked out of my account and couldn’t watch any TV (I don’t have cable – I watch everything on my Apple TV!) Lots of good books this month. My favorite was The Perfume Collector but I also really loved Small Great Things and Faithful! I mean, they were all great, but those would be my favorites. I’ve added these all to the new book club page where you can filter and sort to find the perfect book based on what you are looking for!

* I read Small Great Things by Jodi Picoult while I was home at my parents’ house over Christmas. It’s a longer book (467 pages) but still, I read it in just a few days. My family teased me the whole time as I could not put it down. I have been a fan of Jodi Picoult’s work for a long time now (she also wrote two of my favorite books – My Sister’s Keeper and Leaving Time – amongst countless others) and I’m always amazed by how well researched her books are. This one deals with race and does so in an incredibly graceful manner. The plot starts out in a hospital and centers around Ruth, a black nurse; and white supremacist parents. The parents don’t want Ruth to touch their child and so she’s reassigned. Something terrible happens, and before you know it, Ruth is charged with a terrible crime. Picoult writes (believably) from the perspectives of Ruth, the supremacist father, and Kennedy (Ruth’s white lawyer). It’s beautifully written, a page turner, but most importantly, it will make you think a lot about race and privilege.

* Alice Hoffman is one of my mother’s favorite authors and by extension has become one of my favorites. Over the holidays she suggested that I read Faithful, and I finished it within a day. I (literally) could not put it down. It’s a coming of age tale in a weird sense – the main character Shelby is in a terrible car crash (she is the driver) that destroys her best friend Helene. She blames herself for the accident, wishes it were the other way around, and is completely and utterly emotionally devastated by it. Gradually pulls herself together… moving to New York City, getting a job, going back to school, and finding love (a few different times). The realness and rawness of the characters is incredible, and with all of Alice Hoffman’s book, a little magic is involved. You won’t be able to put it down! You’ll laugh and cry but the ending leaves you feeling good.

* Okay, I am embarrassed to admit that I read Mr. President by Katy Evans but you know what? It was a fun read. I was going through a little bit of a rough time at the end of December and I wanted something totally mindless and silly to read. It’s sort of like, Scandal/West Wing meet 50 Shades of Gray. Yeah. I know. Not exactly highbrow and yes, a little bit (scratch that – quite!!) smutty. But it was fun, and sometimes you just need a fun book. If you’re looking for a mindless but steamy romance, pick this up.

* The Perfume Collector, by Kathleen Tessaro was probably the best book I read all month. It was a Christmas gift from my mom, and she has the best taste in books. It follows Grace Munroe as she mysteriously inherits an apartment and a large sum of money from a stranger. The tale weaves through London, New York, Monte Carlo + Paris over several decades. It starts out very slow (albeit mysterious so you are still drawn in) but before you know it, you’re taken on all sorts of twists and turns. Perfume plays a big part of the story, which I loved as I spent the first half of my career working in the perfume business!

Watching Edie by Camilla Way is in a single word, very creepy. I had a lot of anxiety reading it and felt a little sick to my stomach at times. It explores the darker side of female friendships and is also pretty upsetting, but I would still recommend it. It alternate between the stories of two girls (at age 17 and then in their early thirties). You’ll find yourself nervous and a little disturbed but you also won’t be able to put it down.

* Last but not least, I read Local Girls by Caroline Zancan this week. This one took me about 30-40 pages to get into. It starts out slowly, and I actually had the thought, “Do I want to continue this?” several times before I really got into it. But once I did, I was glad I did as it is really well written and fun to read. The book is the story of four close friends, living in Central Florida. They’re working dead-end jobs, unmotivated, and mostly unhappy. The story alternates between a chance encounter with their favorite movie star (on the last night of his life) and a past incident that broke up their group of friends. What I enjoyed most about it was the accurate depiction of friendships at that age (they were 19) and the nostalgia it made me feel (my childhood wasn’t anything like theirs but I had similar situations in my friendships).

Don’t forget to check out our new Book Club page to find the perfect book… and check out last month’s reading list for more inspiration! And I’d love to hear your recommendations in the comments… I’m always looking for new books to read!! 🙂

Leave a Comment


  1. Might read some of these for my 2017 resolution to read more books!

    Charmaine Ng | Architecture & Lifestyle Blog

    • graceatwood says 1.12.17

      Yay! (And great resolution!!)

  2. Km says 1.12.17

    This is kind of off topic, but if you don’t have cable, how do you get your internet? I’d love to cut off Time Warner, I just haven’t found a good solution yet for wifi or internet access. Would love any advice.

    • graceatwood says 1.12.17

      Haha, I just use Time Warner Internet. It’s around $80 a month, I just did Internet only as I like watching TV on my Apple TV and/or computer when I’m traveling. (I’ll buy season passes and I travel so much it’s nice being able to just download my fav shows onto my laptop and watch on the plane). Someone I was chatting with was saying this… no one seems to have cable these days.

  3. Katrina says 1.12.17

    I’m so glad you recommended the Alice Hoffman! She’s my mom’s favorite author too, and we’ve had Faithful sitting on our Kindles for awhile and haven’t read it yet because we’ve felt wishy-washy about her last few books. This one sounds like something we’d both love, excited to read it next!

    • graceatwood says 1.12.17

      Aw yay!!! My mom said the exact same thing – she didn’t love the last few (I didn’t read them). We both LOVED this one. 🙂 xx

  4. Kellie says 1.12.17

    Your book recommendations are always some of my favorite posts! Also love your book club tab – it’s the first place I go when I’m struggling to figure out which new book to read 🙂

    • graceatwood says 1.12.17

      That makes me so happy, Kellie!!! I love reading and it’s fun to share my book lists here. Also happy to hear you are using the book club page. It was a bit of work and $$ to get it made, but so worth it if you guys are finding it helpful. 🙂

  5. Natali says 1.12.17

    Oh yes, “Perfume collector” is a book that intrigued me just by it’s title and I had to click it home. 😀 Can’t wait to receive it and read it.


    • graceatwood says 1.12.17

      So happy you ordered it Natali! One of my favorit ebooks from the month!!!

  6. Jill says 1.12.17

    Just added Faithful and Perfume Collector to my To-Be-Read list! I always love your book suggestions!

    • graceatwood says 1.12.17

      I am so glad to hear that, Jill! I hope you enjoy them both – I really loved both books!!

  7. Angela says 1.12.17

    Definitely adding The Perfume Collector to my list! It sounds so interesting! I’m about to start reading The Hamilton Affair (I’m a huge historical fiction nerd). I’ve heard good things about it so I’m excited to start.


    • graceatwood says 1.12.17

      It was one of my favorite books of the month! I think you will love it as I am a fellow historical fiction nerd (Off to check out The Hamilton Affair right now!!!) Thanks for stopping by and the recommendation, Angela! xoxo

  8. Sam says 1.12.17

    So glad you loved The Perfume Collector! I really liked it too. If you haven’t read The Dollhouse, I think you would like it. Such an interesting story and it’s based in old New York City. Adding Faithful to my list. It sounds super interesting!


    • graceatwood says 1.12.17

      Okay you were like the hundredth person to tell me to read The Dollhouse!!! I am going to order it now. Thank you for stopping by Sam! xoxo

  9. Kate says 1.12.17

    I love browsing other people’s reading lists! I’ve started writing once-a-month recaps of what I read the month before, too, which is sort of a fun way to keep me motivated to keep track of my reading – & God bless Goodreads! “Local Girls,” while slow to start, was one of my top 10 favorite books read in 2016.

    • graceatwood says 1.12.17

      I know I love it too! I don’t use it to post reviews as I post them here but I use it to keep track of what I want to read next! Happy you enjoyed Local Girls – I really loved it too! xx

  10. Cy says 1.12.17

    I just finished Eligible, which was very fun. Before that it was “Everything I never told you”. Heartbreaking, but very beautiful. I didn’t see it on your list. I have Devil in the white city ” on my library waiting list. Can’t wait for that. Since you are a ” foodie” like me, I also highly recommend ” An everlasting meal”. I love to read, I look forward to your monthly reading

    • graceatwood says 1.12.17

      Ahhhh Eligible was one of my favorite books from last year!!! I loved it so much!

      Will look into Everything I Never Told You – thank you for the recommendation.

      Devil in the White City is one of my all time favorite books – I hope you enjoy it!!!

  11. jen says 1.12.17

    Timely post..I just wrote about what I’ve been reading lately too! I had “Faithful” and “Small Great Things” on my list also. If you like those, definitely read “Commonwealth” by Ann Patchett, “The Book That Matters Most” by Ann Hood and “The Bookshop on the Corner.” All great reads.

    • graceatwood says 1.13.17

      Amazing – thank you so much for the recommendations! xx

  12. Sophie says 1.12.17

    I heard so many great reviews about the Perfume Collector. I want to read Local Girls.

    • graceatwood says 1.13.17

      They are both so good! Hope you read ’em! 🙂 x

  13. Emily says 1.13.17

    Thanks for the suggestions, Grace! Your book suggestions in the past have been on point so I just ordered The Perfume Collector for an upcoming vacation! Happy reading 🙂

    • graceatwood says 1.13.17

      Yay! Hope you love it as much as I did. 🙂

  14. Susan says 1.13.17

    Ooh okay I’m going to try Alice Hoffman, I’m intrigued. Also, this blog is BEAUTIFUL <3 My new discovery today 🙂
    What Susan Read

    • graceatwood says 1.13.17

      Aw that is so sweet of you to say! Thanks!!! Hope you love Alice Hoffman, she has become one of my favorites through the years because of my mom! xx

  15. Jess says 1.13.17

    Have you read anything by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie? I read Americanah late last year and loved it. Hands down one of my favorites.

    • graceatwood says 1.13.17

      I have not! I will check her out!!! Thank you for the suggestion.

  16. Melissa says 1.13.17

    Love your list! I just finished The Long and Faraway Gone, and it was so good. Kept me guessing until the end, and the way the story came together was really well done.

    • graceatwood says 1.13.17

      Thank you for the recommendations Melissa! xx

  17. Hitha Palepu says 1.13.17

    I’m embarrassed (but not) at how much I liked Mr. President. And the sequel. Thanks for the recommendation, and I’ll be delving into the Perfume Collector next!

    • graceatwood says 1.13.17

      HA – glad you liked it too, I feel less bad about myself. The sequel is currently on its way to me… I can’t wait to read it!

  18. Erin says 1.13.17

    Ok – these reading list posts are my favorite of yours! I’m completely addicted to the Goodreads app where I keep my own book lists. I have really gotten into nonfiction books/audiobooks lately, and have been listening to Carrie Fisher’s The Princess Diarist this week. It’s so sad to know that she has since passed, but she details Star Wars and her affair with Harrison Ford in her own sassy way; I love it!

    • graceatwood says 1.13.17

      Aw I am so happy you enjoy these – I love writing them!!! Dying to read Carrie Fisher’s book – it is on my list as well! Have a great weekend, Erin!

  19. Zen says 1.15.17

    I’ve been doing a lot of reading in the NY too 🙂 Hope we both keep it up 🙂 PS I LOVE that pillow! Did you DIY it??

  20. Emily says 2.26.17

    I just read Small Admissions and loved it. Check it out if you haven’t!

    Emily | socialdearest.blogspot.com

    • graceatwood says 2.27.17

      Thank you so much for the suggestion – I absolutely will!!!