January Books of the Month

It’s already that time again…I get to share some of my favorite reads from the month!  I was thinking that I read a lot more in winter, cozied up with a cup of tea and a blanket in front of the fireplace, but then I realized I spend a lot of time in the summer sitting on the deck with iced tea, reading, as well. And then in the fall…and in the spring. I should just admit I’m addicted to reading and accept it!  There are worse habits, right?  And my family generally gets fed, clothed, and a reasonably clean house, so no harm done.

Anyway, on with my picks this month, in no particular order.

1. World Without End by Ken Follett

World Without End-Ken Follet Cover World Wide Edition 2007.jpg

This is billed as a sequel to Pillars of the Earth, but it’s only tenuously so, set several hundred years later and the only connections being ancestors of the characters.

I tried to read World Without End when it was released a couple of years ago, and I honestly couldn’t get through it. This time, I had a much easier time sticking with it, all 1032 pages of it. With the bustle of the holiday over, I wanted something to immerse myself in, and this was a good fit.

I’ve long remembered Pillars of the Earth as an amazing book, but, then again, I was in college when I first read it. Perhaps my literary tastes have changed, perhaps this semi-sequel is just not as riveting. Whichever the case, this seemed more a soap opera than Pillars, and I was reminded of reading the “Clan of the Cave Bear” series…so many instances of the heroine being an inventor of modern society, I fully expected the microwave to be developed by the end of the book.

Verdict: Worth reading, especially since my kids were completely in awe that I could read that ginormous book so quickly.

2. The Paris Wife by Paula McClain

The Paris WifeThis book is a novel based on the first marriage of Ernest Hemingway. I’m no huge fan of Hemingway’s style, and the biographical info I’ve read about him has never endeared him to me. But I was intrigued by the premise and the opportunity to him in a different light (a fictionalized one, of course).

I found the story to be fast-paced and fairly engrossing.  As I read, I so wanted to warn the wife, knowing how her relationship with Hemingway would end, and found her perspective on his character an interesting twist.  I also appreciated the mini history lesson of that era in the Arts, as well as the effects of world events.  And I did come away with a better understanding of the events that shaped Hemingway’s character and personality.

Verdict:  Definitely worthwhile and entertaining

3. Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn

Gone Girl  My book club is reading this for February, so I don’t want to give anything away.  I advocated for its selection, and, while not regretting it, I was a bit disappointed in the ending of this book.

A short premise: On their fifth wedding anniversary, wife Amy disappears and husband Nick doesn’t act as society would expect. It’s a look at a marriage imploding (or not?).

I had looked forward to reading it for months (but was too cheap to buy it and had to wait for it at the library), and the first two-thirds of the book (maybe even three-fourths) lived up to my expectations.  I could not put this book down.  I’ll just say this: it’s suspenseful, twisted, and clever.

Verdict: A must read. Really.

So, spill it…what have you been reading this month?  I can’t wait to hear!


4 thoughts on “January Books of the Month

  1. 1032 pages? Really?
    I just finished reading The Age of Innocence by Edith Wharton. Our book club tries to read a classic every year. A great love story without all the trite bedroom scenes.
    For January at my request we read Steve Jobs by Walter Issacson. What a fascinating individual he was.
    I also recently finished Left Neglected by Lisa Genova which I liked but not as well as Still Alice.
    For those who love to read The End of Your Life Book Club by Will Schaibe is a must. I was amazed at how many of the books they read and talked about that I had also read.

    • See, how well read you are! I’ve not read any of those except The Age of Innocence…I went on a big Edith Wharton kick for awhile! I’ve wondered about The End of Your Life Book Club…good to hear a personal recommendation!

  2. I recently read Rules of Civility by Amor Towles which I thought was good. Also loved Have a Little Faith by Mitch Albom ( Tuesdays with Morrie). If you haven’t read Cutting for Stone, it is also a must! That is all I can think of for now, but I will be checking back for more recommendations!

  3. What I Talk about when I Talk About Running by Haruki Murakami. Non fiction written by an author who is also a long distance runner & how both affect the other. I loved it for the self awareness. Hope you try it.

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