• Laura

January Reads

Updated: Jan 5, 2021

Any other bookworms out there? Reading has always been one of my favorite things, and I used to ALWAYS have my nose in a book, and a book in my purse just in case I had a free minute. Since having kids, the book in my bag has been replaced by diapers, wipes, extra changes of clothes, water bottles - all the things that come along with little ones, and my free time has dramatically decreased. I haven't read nearly as much as I used to for the past few years, but I realized I've really missed it, so I made it a goal to read at least 5 books a month this year!

In January, I read The Forgetting Time, The Interestings, Girl Last Seen, The Women in the Castle, and The Good Daughter.

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The Forgetting Time (Sharon Guskin)

This is one I quickly grabbed from the library shelf while there with my kids, and when I got home, I realized it actually had been on my (very long) Amazon book wish list.

Once I picked it up, I got into the story, and stayed up late to finish it. It was a pretty unique story line, I thought, and I found it to be thought-provoking, as well as keeping me engaged and guessing until the end. I found the characters easy to relate to (the mom in the story has a 4 year old, and so do I, so that was an easy connection point, but I found most of the characters relatable). It definitely made me think about how quickly life can change, and the cause and effect of different choices we make.

While the book talked about past lives, and that isn't a belief system I subscribe to, I still found it interesting, and though provoking. I always enjoy something that makes me think about a topic from a new perspective, even if I don't agree with it. I think this one is definitely worth a read!

Girl Last Seen (Nina Laurin)

I had a Barnes & Noble gift card burning a hole in my pocket after Christmas, and when I went to browse one day, I picked this up from a buy 2 get 1 free table (along with Lilac Girls and Winter Garden)

I also read this in one sitting, because I wanted to know what happened next, but it wasn't something that I absolutely couldn't tear myself away from. It was good, but not great, not a book I will keep thinking about for a long time.

It was billed as similar to Gone Girl or Girl on a Train, but it didn't grab me quite the way those did. This book was a little grittier in subject matter than I was in the mood for while I was reading, and while I was curious to see where it was going, I didn't feel a really strong connection with the characters.

It would make a good beach read or just to kill some time, but I wouldn't recommend it as a must read.

The Interestings (Meg Wolitzer)

I started reading this on my Kindle app a few months ago, and then life got busy and I forgot about it. An e-book I had on hold at the library became available and when I went to open that, I saw that I was in the middle of this book. I picked it back up to finish, and am glad that I did.

The characters stayed with me and I was able to jump right back in where I had left off. The book starts at a summer camp, which caught my interest, as a former camp counselor. It follows the lives of a group of friends from camp through adulthood and I thought it did a great job covering that time span, while allowing the character to grow and change.

The book also brought up some good questions around loyalty to family and friends, the way we see and react to situations, and the impact of money impacts on our lives and relationships. This is one I would definitely recommend.

The Women In the Castle (Jessica Shattuck)

Books that take place during World War II are some of my favorites - there are so many powerful stories to be told from this period in history. I think I had seen this recommended by theSkimm (if you don't get their morning email, you should - it is the best way to have all the important current events at your fingertips each morning) and I'd put the e-book on hold at the library months ago.

The book follows three women who are widowed during the war, as they navigate life and motherhood as widows in post-war Germany. It is a well-written, and moving book that explores values, integrity, friendship, patriotism, and the keeping of promises.

While it did take me a few chapters to really get into the book, I did really enjoy it and would recommend it - as I got further into the book, I had a hard time putting it down.

If you like WWII books, also be sure to check out the Nightingale, The Book Thief, and All the Light We Cannot See.

The Good Daughter (Karin Slaughter)

The book starts with two sisters, in their early teens, going through an incredibly traumatic experience. Then the story jumps to their lives as adults, and explores how the trauma and tragedy affected their lives, their relationship with each other, as well as with others. It is a great, fast moving read that will be hard to look away from until you finish.

If you like psychological thrillers and/or legal dramas, this is one I would add to your list. There were lots of twists and turns and I thought this book was very well done.

Have you read any of these? What did you think? Any books you've read recently I must add to my list?

#bookclub #WhatIread #books

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