Tuesday, January 31, 2023

January 2023 reads

Lots of reading time this month. I probably won't finish what I'm reading now today, so no reason to delay. Here we go, January reads:

Engrossing Reads

Maame by Jessica George - I really loved this - the writing was wonderful, loved Maddie and watching her grow out of and also into herself. She was a real combo of strong and vulnerable and ugh I just loved the whole reading experience and put the book down feeling warm. ARC paperback from St Martins Press & digital ARC from Netgalley  - I read the paperback

Signal Fires by Dani Shapiro - I don't even recall putting this on hold at the library, or where I heard about it? But I picked it up when I got the notice it was in and devoured it. I loved this book. It's so tender and terrible and great. OCNJ library hard cover

The Last Beekeeper by Julie Carrick Dalton - I loved this even though I not read up on it and was not expecting a whirlwind dystopian novel. Really good. I stayed up until 2 to finish this in one shot. Free copy from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review, book comes out March 7

Weyward by Emilia Hart - Every time I'd start a section I'd say okay this is my favorite of the three, and every time I ended it I was sure of it, then started the next and the cycle began again. Hart did a good job weaving things together and making the Weyward women real and related despite the years between. Love the play of wayward Weyward. Free copy from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review, book publishes February 2

All That is Mine I Carry With Me by William Landay - When I started this I thought I was reading a forward, so I started out disoriented. This was brilliantly pieced together. The second part was the best. I loved the writing and idea behind this. Story-wise it's more of a three for me, but the work as a whole is a 4.5-5 Free copy from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review, book comes out March 7

On the Savage Side by Tiffany McDaniel - I barely know how to describe this book. I didn’t want to put it down but had to. I could read the lyrical writing forever and not for another minute because of what it was describing. A searing look at being a woman in this world, and at addiction, abuse, mental illness, violence, and poverty…and cutting holes in all of those terrible things to let the light in and grasp at life in the face of a deeply disturbing present. A masterful tangled web. A harrowing, heavy, and powerful read. I hope readers who see this billed as a thriller don't expect the surface thrillers we typically get, and that people who read (versus readers) don't read this book because it's being talked about and pan it because it's too much. The world is too much, and that reflects in literature. This is serious shit. Free copy from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review, book comes out February 14

Passed the Time Just Fine
The Love Story of Missy Carmichael by Beth Morrey - Welp I got this from Netgalley at the end of 2020 and just fucking read it now. I don't know why I was avoiding it. It turned out to be a completely different book than the title led me to believe.  loved this band of characters. Some serious themes in this book, and I liked how they were integrated into Missy’s awakening. Thanks to Netgalley for a free copy in exchange for an honest review

Two Old Women: An Alaskan Legend of Betrayal, Courage and Survival by Velma Wallis - This reminded me so much of parables from when I was little. I loved it. Super quick read. Paperback, own

A Burning Obsession (Abby Mullen #3) by Mike Omer - I standardly like Omer novels, and though I prefer Zoe Bentley over Abby Mullen, I was happy to read the end of this trilogy especially with Zoe making a crossover. Kindle, own

Spare by Prince Harry - I am not a Royal lover (although I so enjoyed the Royal Wedding Party we had for Will & Kate's wedding, that was a fun day) but I had to read this so I asked for it for Christmas. If you are not a fast reader I cannot imagine how interminable this book would feel. I get a lot of what he's saying, and the way the tabs have gone after Meghan is awful, but Harry is not anti-monarchy and while I also get that as that's how he grew up and what he knew, I sort of don't, if we're approaching this from a societal advancement scenario. Aside from the glaring imperialist racist colonialist history they have as a family...I do not understand how they function in modern society as they are. It's quite sad to me. Hardcover, own and passed on

The Angel Maker by Alex North - High creep factor, but lessened because the parts of this story felt too disjointed even though the plan for them to come together was definitely a unique and good one. It felt fully like reading and trying to follow more than five separate stories Thanks to Netgalley for the free copy in exchange for an honest review, book publishes February 28

The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry (Harold Fry #1) by Rachel Joyce - I didn't know if I'd have the patience for this book when I started it, but by the time I finished it I felt warm inside. Looking back on it after I read the other two books, it is my least favorite of the three but still solid. OCNJ library hardcover

The Love Song of Miss Queenie Hennessy (Harold Fry #2) by Rachel Joyce - I loved this character fiercely, first in glimpses of her in the first novel then as the star of her own here, which I liked more than the original impetus novel. I'll remember her for a long time in reading-years. OCNJ library hard cover

Maureen (Harold Fry #3) by Rachel Joyce - Getting this book from Netgalley was the inspiration for me to start the series from the beginning, and out of the three books, it ranks second in my preference. A nice wrap up to the Harold Fry series. It’s always nice to read people come around to who and where they are in life and love themselves. Free copy from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review

The Writing Retreat by Julia Bartz -This was a wild ride, not in a great way? In an attempt to be edgy it gets weird. LOL, I'm still unsure. I'm not sure I've read anything like this before. Free copy from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review, book publishes February 21

Hide (Detective Harriet Foster #1) by Tracy Clark - I quite liked Harriet Foster and Li and will read the next. Thanks to Netgalley for the free copy in exchange for an honest review

Not For Me/Did Not Finish
Just the Nicest Couple by Mary Kubica - I have a checkered past with Mary Kubica books...After four or five of her books, I'd sworn her off because I did not get the draw. I had her last book sent to me unasked for, read it and enjoyed it. This...as I stated in an IG share, the story is held together by Dollar Store brand scotch tape. We are back on a break. NFM OCNJ library hard cover

At Sea by Emma Fedor - One of the least likable characters I've read in a while coupled with a hmm, really story. Loved the cover, title, and the premise was promising but this is a hot mess. NFM Free copy from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review, book publishes March 7

Hello Beautiful by Ann Napolitano - I might be an outlier here given the high ratings on Goodreads. This was very slow moving and it felt like Walter’s parts almost moved backwards. I loved Sylvie, the writing, and some of the family relation stuff but this largely did not hold my attention. NFM Thanks to Netgalley for the free copy in exchange for an honest review , book publishes March 14

We're All Lying by Marie Still -  I thought Cass was ridiculous and was very WTF about how it all went down with the husband and business and it was frankly ridiculous. NFM ebook

Pieces of Her by Karin Slaughter - DNF OCNJ library hard cover

Kismet by Amina Akhtar - DNF, Amazon First Reads

What have you been reading?

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