Reading Diary: January 2020

11 books down, 109 to go

I’ve been extremely lucky the last couple of years to increase my reading. (It helps to not have a regular job . . . and to have a husband who is often happy to make dinner.)

After crushing my 100-books-in-2019 challenge, I’ve bumped up my goal to read 120 books in 2020. And that, of course, starts with January. Here’s what I read last month.

January 2020 reading stats: Number of Books Read: 11 Number of Pages Read: 3,379 Longest Book: The Starless Sea (512 pages) Shortest Book: On Tyranny (126 pages) Highest Rated: Unfollow (5 stars) Lowest Rated: Emma (2 stars)

Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens

This was one of those books that I kept seeing on best-of and must-read lists, but actually knew very little about when I started. It turned out to be a very engaging read and a clever story.

Twenty-one Truths about Love by Matthew Dicks

As a lifelong list-maker myself, a novel written in lists was immediately intriguing. And it didn’t disappoint! This was a sweet and funny book about love, among other things.

The Starless Sea by Erin Morgenstern

Erin Morgenstern is magical and so is her writing. This one seemed to wander a little too far afield at times, but I appreciated the chance to get lost in another of her beautiful worlds.

Men Explain Things to Me by Rebecca Solnit

An exploration of the silencing and the doubting of women, many of her anecdotes felt very familiar and it made me sad to think about how often this is still happening in our world.

Indistractable: How to Control Your Awareness and Choose Your Life by Nir Eyal

I appreciate any opportunity to read more thoughts on the attention economy . . . and how to ensure that we are mindful, both when we’re consuming and when we’re producing.

On Tyranny: Twenty Lessons from the Twentieth Century by Timothy Snyder

History does seem to repeat itself, and this was a fascinating and horrifying reminder of the past—and the dangers of authoritarianism.

American Predator: The Hunt for the Most Meticulous Serial Killer of the 21st Century by Maureen Callahan

I’ve been going through (another) true crime phase, mostly spurred by a slew of Netflix docuseries and my recent discovery of the My Favorite Murder podcast. I’d never heard of Israel Keyes before, but I won’t forget that name now.

Unfollow: A Memoir of Loving and Leaving the Westboro Baptist Church by Megan Phelps-Roper

Westboro is only about 60 miles from where I live, so I have long been familiar with their picketing and hate speech—and with the tweeting of Megan Phelps-Roper. I found her memoir both beautiful and heartbreaking, a captivating look into the WBC and the necessity of questioning our own beliefs.

Persepolis: The Story of a Childhood by Marjane Satrapi

This graphic novel has been on my to-be-read list for years, and I’m so glad to have finally gotten to it. A memoir of growing up in Iran during the Islamic Revolution, it made me both laugh and cry—and it made me want to read more.

The Conference of the Birds: The Fifth Novel of Miss Peregrine’s Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs

I have loved this entire series, but admit that I haven’t found this second trilogy quite as engaging as the first. Still, I’m looking forward to the conclusion in the sixth book about Miss P and peculiardom!

Emma by Jane Austen

This was my book club’s pick for January and while I appreciate the brilliance of Jane Austen and the character of Emma, this was not my favorite book to read. If it weren’t for peer pressure, I likely would’ve marked it as did-not-finish and moved on.

109 books to go! What have you read recently that you loved?

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