Reading in January

03 February 2024

I read this book in one sitting on the first day of the year. I wanted to start my reading year strong with a quick, easy book on my kindle, and this one is exactly what I was looking for. It probably would have been better if I had read it during the week of Christmas since the story is set during Christmastime in Ireland, but I still loved the coziness of the atmosphere. The writing is simple, yet beautiful as the main character's past becomes entwined with his present. My main compliant with this book is that it's a bit too short. For some people, the abrupt nature of this book will be effective and add to the impact of the ending, but I personally just wanted an extra 50 or 100 pages. I usually appreciate an open ending, but I wanted this one to wrap up a little more. It deals with some dark parts of Irish history and I felt like it could've gone a bit deeper. I still appreciate what Claire Keegan did with this book and will definitely pick up more from her in the future.


The Golem and the Jinni - Helene Wecker

This is a book I picked up partially because I love the cover so much, but I'm glad to say I really enjoyed the story. It's the type of fantasy book that reads like a dream or a fairytale. The writing is whimsical and soft, similar to the style of The Night Circus or The Snow Child. It weaves together the alternating stories of a Golem, a mythical creature of Jewish traditions, and a Jinni, an Arab legend, as their worlds collide in a turn-of-the-century New York City. It's a very original story that explores themes of immigration and tradition. While there were parts of the plot that dragged along, and some character choices I didn't quite understand, the ending brought it all together beautifully. I was on the edge of my seat for the last 50 pages or so, which is always a great experience.


The Phantom of the Opera - Gaston Leroux

I wrote a full review about my experience rereading this book, so I won't go into a huge amount of detail here. But I'm happy to say that this book lived up to all the hype I have built up for it in my mind since the first time I read it in middle school. It's propulsive, suspenseful, and a perfect amount of unsettling. For a classic, this book is incredibly readable. Definitely an all time favorite for me that I will recommend forever!


Read my full review

Mama Bear Apologetics - Hillary Morgan Ferrer (Editor)

This book wasn't entirely what I was expecting. I didn't necessarily have a problem with the actual content of it or what the authors were trying to say. I just felt like the branding of it is a little misleading. I was expecting advice and guidance for how to instill a solid foundation of our beliefs for our children. I was looking for tools for how to explain why I believe what I believe with evidence and apologetics in a way children can understand. However, this book focused more on how to respond biblically to popular cultural lies our children may hear. Again, this is fine and I didn't disagree with anything the authors said. If you're looking for something like this I would recommend it. I was just personally wanting something similar to More Than a Carpenter.


The Sound of a Wild Snail Eating - Elisabeth Tova Bailey

This is a short, quick, reflective read I picked up on my phone to read in the spare moments I could grasp during a busy week. It's a memoir following a woman who contracts a chronic, autoimmune disease while traveling, and becomes enraptured in the life of a wild snail. I never expected to become so fascinated in the science and life of a snail, but I loved it. The way the author was able to weave together the deep reflections on life and illness with the research she shares on snails was truly incredible. It made me think and I learned so much. I also thought it was the perfect length. It was meandering or boring, which is so easily could have been. This is a book I will be thinking about for awhile.


Legacy (Keeper of the Lost Cities #8) - Shannon Messenger

I've been reading through the Keeper of the Lost Cities series over the past couple years, and somehow these books just keep getting better and better with each installment. The worldbuilding is so well done. I can't get over how thought out every detail feels and how everything builds up upon the foundation Shannon Messenger has built. I'm glad so say that even though this is book 8 in the series, I'm not bored at all. I have absolutely no idea how this series will ever wrap up because there is so much going on, but I am fully invested and here for the ride! I also just absolutely adore the characters. Their dialogue and banter is so fun. I find myself laughing out loud while reading their interactions. The ending was so suspenseful, and I'm excited to continue on soon.



What did you read in January?

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