Reading in January 2020

07 February 2020

As the first month of the year, January has set a good tone for the rest of 2020. If the rest of the year goes as well, I'll be content! I'm really happy with the start of this reading year and the books I was able to finish this month. I didn't read a ridiculous amount, but the books I did read were all amazing in different ways!

I finished a total of six books, with two of them being five-star reads! It usually takes me several weeks to find my first five-star book of the year, so I'm more enthusiastic than ever to discover other new favorites in 2020. I'm in an amazing reading mood right now and just want to read all of the books all of the time!

The Luminaries - Eleanor Catton
Read my full review

The Luminaries was the perfect book to start my year with. This is a deeply layered mystery set during the gold rush in New Zealand. It's long and detailed with an extremely large cast of characters. I allowed myself to read this one slowly at my own pace. I just let the words, characters, and plot completely envelope me. I absolutely loved it! I went more in detail in my full review, but while I totally understand why some people might night like this book, it was perfect for me! This is definitely a book that will stick with me for a long long time! I already want to give it a reread to get more out of it!
Rating: ★ 

*I received a free ARC from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review* 

I'm always drawn to novels that imagine the life of a fictional character, but so far I have been extremely underwhelmed by them. This book follows the life of Emily Warren Roebling, the wife of the man who oversaw the construction of the Brooklyn Bridge. The writing and structure of this book is fine. However, I found the characterization to be bland, which made it hard for me to really connect with Emily and Wash as real people. Emily was portrayed as a basic Mary Sue heroine. Even though this book is told in first person, I never felt like I understood her. The pacing was strange to me as well. Important Events were rushed through, while at the same time the building of the bridge was very long and drawn out. The author also took several liberties to the actual historical story, and while I understand some of these changes for the sake of dramatization, I didn't really care for some of them. For example, the main conflict of the book is based around a fictitious affair involving Emily with another historical figure, which was my least favorite part of the book. I did learn from the history behind this story, I just had too many problems with the execution.
Rating: ★

I'm still working through the Series of Unfortunate Events, and I'm loving it so much! This is such a fun series following the Baudelaire orphans and the mysteries and ridiculous events that surround their lives. The writing is so clever. I find myself laughing out loud several times while reading through these books. This series suspenseful, funny, and doesn't take itself too seriously. This installment was just as enjoyable as the others in the series. This book is a culmination of all the events of the book, with all the villains, friends, and former guardians jumping in and out of the story. All of the mysteries are laid out to think about before the final book. This series is such a nice, fun read I can always turn to when I need some stress relief. I'm sad that it's almost over!

This is the first book in a fantasy series that has been on my TBR for forever. It's one of the cases of a book that I just knew I would love, so I put it off for a long time before finally picking it up. I was deeply craving a solid fantasy book, and this one delivered! I loved it so much! It has a fast paced, detailed plot with exciting heists. The world is condensed, but detailed and unique from any other fantasy series I've ever read. The aspect that makes this book so special are the characters. The relationships in this book are so well developed, and I care so hard for all the characters in this book. I am dying to continue on in this series and immerse myself more in this world.

I've really been wanting to read through series faster than I normally do, so I decided to pick up the second book in the Armand Gamache mystery series. This was the perfect time of year to pick this one up since it's set during the winter time. The town of Three Pines is so atmospheric, and I desperately want to live there, despite the murders that seem to happen all the time. This is another solid murder mystery that kept up the suspense. I was shocked by the ending as all the pieces of the mystery came together. I'm ready to read all the Armand Gamache mysteries and become more invested in Three Pines.

What Did You Expect?: Redeeming the Realities of Marriage - Paul David Tripp

Since I'm getting married later this year, I've been on the hunt for good marriage advise books to read. This is the first one I've picked up, and I feel like it was helpful. I agreed with pretty much everything the author was trying to say, but I felt like I couldn't really apply his advise to my situation at this point in my life. A lot of this book was geared towards couples who have already been married to their spouse for a good amount of time. It focuses on how to fix marriage problems by turning to scripture instead of looking to the other person to change. I feel like this would be a book that would be even more helpful to me and my future husband after we've been able to experience what it's really like to be married, once we know what we as a couple struggle with and need help in. This is one I would need to return to to get the most out of it.

What did you read in January?


  1. I'm so glad that January was a good reading month for you, Hannah!! I also read 6 books this month, and found a few five star reads as well. I hope you have an even better February! <333

  2. Maybe it’s left over excitement from the New Year, but it seems that everyone is having good reading this month. I know I did!
    Have you heard of Boundaries? I know they have a sub-book on marriage (which I haven’t read, but I read Boundaries and it was SO GOOD and helpful). I highly recommend it.

    Hope your Feb. is wonderful, Hannah.

    1. I'm glad you've been able to read a lot too!
      I haven't heard of those books, but they sound great and I'll have to look into them!