I’m a bit late to the game on this round-up. The lateness is because I didn’t think to even do such a thing. However, I have been on a roll with my reading this year, as of the last three months it has been a downward roll.
At the beginning of January, I had surgery, which led to a few months off work and not being able to do much work at home either. Thankfully, I love to read, so I planned ahead and lined up a bunch of books from the library and a few from Amazon.
As the months progressed, my reading ebbed and flowed. January and February were great months. March was still good, but I read considerably fewer books. April was the month of mostly short stories. May was back to full-length books and the past few months have tapped out at only three books in June and July. August is currently looking like a three, possibly four book month.
January Non-Fiction Books Read
In total I read 9 non-fiction books. I’ll rank them from the lowest rated to the highest rated with a quick synopsis.
Grit by Angela Duckworth – Simply put, if you want to succeed, you need grit. I wanted to get into this book, but it seemed repetitive to me. And for whatever reason, I struggled to finish. It wasn’t bad, but it didn’t hold my attention.
Set Boundaries, Find Peace by Nedra Glover Tawwab – If you set boundaries for yourself, you can find peace. And this book, too, fell under the repetitive area for me.
3- Star Reads
For Such a Time as This by Kayleigh McEneny – A memoir of her path to the White House. I’m not sure what I was expecting from this book. I drooled over her binder; I want that kind of organization in my planner, in my life. Maybe I held out hope for the recipe to that kind of organization.
High Conflict by Amanda Ripley – When people stretch to a more volatile communication rather than trying to understand or come to some middle ground. I think the book was a good start. I plan to reread it in a year or so, just to see if I missed a few key points on how to defuse the situation or how to avoid being caught up in high conflict situations.
Workbook: Virtue and The Fruit of the Spirit by Dunnam & Reisman – this is a 7-week (8-week?) workbook on working through virtue in your life. I like most of the workbook, there were a few spots that I felt lost on, but for the most part, I think it was a good exercise.
Devotional Stories for Women by Susan Heim and Karen Talcott – The title is self-explanatory. Nice little booklet. Easy little reads that gave me a little comfort.
Fatal Friends, Deadly Neighbors by Ann Rule – This was one of Ann Rule’s compilation books, where one story takes up the bulk of the book and then there are four to five other shorter stories along the same vein. This is true crime.
30-Days, Change Your Habits, Change Your Life by Marc Reklau – Little tips that will help you improve your life. I really enjoyed this book, the tips are simplified and easy to implement and understand. Some we’ve heard before, some give a better explanation, some I’ve never considered. My only problem (and this might be a formatting issue on my Kindle version) was that it didn’t make sense on the 30-Days.
I don’t know if I missed something at the beginning of the book, but it has 90 or 100 tips. I’m not sure how that relates to 30-days of change. Just seemed weird.
Midnight in Chernobyl by Adam Higginbotham – Phenomenal breakdown of the Chernobyl disaster. I was 15 when Chernobyl blew and it has always been something I’ve been drawn to learn about. I’ve read many books (wait until I release my March Roundup) on Chernobyl, but this one explained the whole story fabulously. With the exception of Chapter Two (I believe that was the chapter about Alpha, Beta, Gamma), that hurt my brain. It was done as well as he could have done to make someone like me understand. One Hundred Percent recommend this book.
January Fiction Reads
I read five fiction books this month, two of which were short stories.
No Exit by Taylor Adams – A young girl stuck at a rest stop in a blizzard. A child locked in a crate in a van. Action-packed. This was a quick read, it was good, but after a while all the action lost its punch, because there was so much of it.
Twelve Nights at Rotter House by J.W. Ocker – Guy stays in an abandoned haunted house for a week and is joined by his best friend. I’m torn on the rating I gave this, there is one part I can’t mention that I still think about. A small slice of life, slipped in so quietly and then at the end becomes a “Damn, that was a good approach.” But, the middle of the story didn’t fully grasp me. It was good, but I didn’t mind setting the book down to tend to things like feeding people. In a really good book, I will stare down my family members – they are fully capable of fixing themselves food.
The Columbus School for Girls by Liza Wieland – A teacher takes his wife and students on a field trip. This was a good short story. I figured out what was going on pretty quick, but it was a fun little read.
The Family Upstairs by Lisa Jewell – A well-intentioned act to bring a friend into the home goes spiraling down. People aren’t always what you assume. Twisted and intriguing.
The Grownup by Gillian Flynn – A haunted house, a working girl, and a devilish child. I read Gone Girl when it came out and it was okay. Wasn’t my favorite but I also wasn’t in the “it’s amazing” group either.
A few or six years ago, when I was in the Book of the Month Club, I got a freebie of this short story. When I read the first page, I almost put it down and wrote it off. It starts out with a girl working in the back of a fortune teller’s business and she’s not exactly reading fortunes (we’ll just say that). Thankfully, I decided to read it anyway since it was so short. It was awesome. It’s everything I like, a little creepy, a little off. And I absolutely love the ending. The last page still sticks with me to this day.
Do you have any book recommendations you think I should check out? Let me know, I will read it.