A fresh year, a fresh start of reading! My big goal for right now has been to read a book every night. I very frequently listen to an audiobook at some point throughout the day, but I had been falling off the wagon of committing to sitting down to read every night. It’s not even to hit “reading goals” too. It’s that I know I sleep better (and I’m better overall) when I end each night reading. So I set up my Hatch alarm again for a reading wind-down period and every night I’ve been sticking to it. And yes, I can confirm, I feel better!
Overall it was a solid month of reading! Here’s what I read in January 2024:
I really liked Kiley Reid’s Such a Fun Age and was looking forward to reading her latest book Come and Get It. Unfortunately, it just didn’t do it for me overall. There were parts I was super into, but I just didn’t fully get where the book was going at any given point. It’s very character driven– following a group of college students, resident advisors, and a professor who is on campus researching for an upcoming book– and you get a peek into everyone’s motivations around money, friendship, and relationships… the good and bad and ugly. This is a random description, but I could totally see this being developed into a limited series for, like, Freeform.
Wow, this book was an emotional ride. The writing style took a little bit of getting used to for me, but I was hooked by the first 25% and couldn’t put it down. It’s a devastating, beautifully written book about young love and trauma that follows us. Lots of content warnings for this: Islamophobia, racism, drug abuse, alcoholism, etc. I wouldn’t wade into All My Rage if you’re not in a good mindset to really feel, too– it’ll gut you!!
All I have to really say about The Rachel Incident is that it’s my kind of book. I absolutely loved this and could not put it down. It’s about young people in Ireland making mistakes, finding their place in life, and falling in love. I just loved this story because it was messy and real and made me relive a lot of those discombobulating feelings of graduating college and feeling unsure of where I belonged. A brilliant book!
If you liked Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine, I think you’ll like Strange Sally Diamond. It’s a bit of a psychological thriller with layers and layers of family secrets that begin to become uncovered after Sally Diamond’s father passes away. The family secrets are a bit disturbing, so if you’re not in the mood for that, maybe skip this read.
A friend recommended that I read this and it’s a feel good romance with a reassuring message about what it means to get to “the good part” of one’s life. There is a touch of magical realism (think: time travel), which sometimes drives me crazy in a book, but it was done as perfectly as could be (in my opinion). I loved the characters, the glimpses into the “future,” the elements of family, and all the thoughts around growing older. If you’re in a book club, this would be a great choice for your next read because 1) it’s well-written and I think it would be universally well-liked and 2) it would lead to great discussions no matter what age group your book club is!!