Hey, hey! I’m here with a few good books I read in January. I got sucked into episodes of Community on Hulu (I forgot how much I loved that show…) so I think my reading was a little lighter this month. But I liked everything I read! As always, I’ll be linking up with Modern Mrs. Darcy’s Quick Lit post in a few weeks. If you are ever looking for some reading inspiration her Quick Lit posts and link ups are always worth the perusal.
The Story of a New Name by Elena Ferrante
Sing, Unburied, Sing by Jesmyn Ward
We Need to Talk by Celeste Headlee
American Wife by Curtis Sittenfeld
I had two top my list this month:
Sing, Unburied, Sing won all kinds of awards last year and I was super excited to see it hit my library reserve list. This novel is beautiful, brutal and simple. It tackles all kinds of challenging topics and does it with the simplest story line. A woman and her two children drive across the state to pick up their father who is getting out of jail. By and large the story takes place over the course of 48 hours, but it’s got some flashback and even a supernatural element splashed in (which I’m not usually here for, but it was really effectively done). It was an incredible story, worth all the accolades and one I’d definitely recommend.
I picked up We Need to Talk: How to Have Conversations that Matter because I thought it would help me as I have all sorts of challenging conversations on my podcast. It definitely did, and the first half of the book is worth its price. The second half of the book had some almost too simple “how to” help with conversation, and it wasn’t as impactful as the first half, which really encourages and challenges people to start listening (really listening) to others, especially people you disagree with. There is a story about the power of simple conversations to fundamentally change people’s beliefs that will stick with me for a while. I’d definitely recommend it; its message is timely right now.
The Story of a New Name is the second of the Neapolitan novels. This books was easier to get into than the first and, like the first, it’s a captivating story. Also like its predecessor I spent most of the book trying to decide if I wanted to keep reading and got to the last page totally committed to the next one in the series. (Ferrante knows how to end a book on a cliffhanger!) American Wife is inspired by Laura Bush and her marriage to George W. It’s fiction and the author definitely took some liberties with Laura’s story. I really liked it for the most part, though she did something on the very last page that tainted the whole book for me in a way. Either way, I’d recommend it. Sittenfeld is coming out with a similar story inspired by the Clintons that I’m very curious about.
That’s what I’ve got this month! Any of you read anything great??