Good Reads - January

Last year I read a pathetically low number of books.

I just could not get into any books. I read (most) of our book club picks, but they didn't leave me craving more so I didn't run out to get another book. When I stop reading for a week or so, it's super hard for me to start again.

Our book club is in its fourth year but last year was just off.

We lost a few members and gained a couple of new ones. People were busy so we rarely had everyone at the meetings.  We tried doing a round of Classics and while they were OK, it took some of the fun out it.

But our last meeting in December had the old feel good feeling that book club used to have and our first pick for 2013 was awesome so I'm thinking this will be a great year for our group.

After devouring our January pick for book club I felt like I had to find another book. 

Like immediately.

I finished five books this month that were all pretty good. Not sure I'll keep up that pace since I did basically zero housework and Josie may or may not have had to make breakfast and lunch on more then one occasion (Gone Girl was a page turner!).

I called it Home Ec.

So here's what I read this month:

Angry Housewives Eating Bon Bons by Lorena Lovick

This was the book amber and I read four years ago that gave us the push to start our own book club. It follows a group of women that live in the same neighborhood in Minnesota. They start a book club and the book spans about 40 years and is awesome. The women in the book all come from different backgrounds.  i spent the whole book trying to figure out who I was most like and decided I had parts of each character in my own personality.  It's one of those books that pulls you in. I loved it just as much the second time I read it and was sad when it was over. I highly recommend this one.

Belong To Me by Marisa de los Sanros

After I finished Angry Housewives I knew I had to start something else right away or I'd fall into the non reading slump again. I found Belong To Me for like a dollar on iBook and decided to give it a go. It was another story about a few women and how their friendship develops. It's about fitting in and making friends in new places.  This one had a few good twists that I hadn't seen coming. This would be a good beach read.  Good character development and a pretty quick read.

Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn

This one was almost the death of me.  Or more like the death of my kids since they were left to fend form themselves for about 4 days.  My aunt told me about this book back in November and I heard such mixed reviews about it I had to read it.  It seemed like people either loved it or hated it.  I fell into that first group.  It's a mystery type drama story about a husband and wife.  The wife goes missing on their fifth wedding anniversary and all the evidence points to him.  This book had a bunch of turns that I did not see coming.  The ending was a little weird, but it was still an awesome book.

Warning: the chapters are pretty short and are cliff hangers leading one to say, "OK, just one more chapter and I'll resume normal life" on repeat for four days straight.
Second Warning: there is some strong language in it.  If that bothers you, you probably don't want to read this one.

I had to follow up Gone Girl with something a little less intense.  It's also one of my goals to read a few non-fiction books this year.  I've started reading this book before but had never finished it.  It's a book on educating children and was really inspiring to me.  It covers a lot of Charlotte Mason's ideas on education, which I love.  It reminded me why I started homeschooling.  To teach the things that I think are important, not to keep up with the latest public school trends.  It inspired me to read more read alouds to the kids and to keep our lessons to the point so that they can spend the majority of their day outside learning in the real world.  I think this one needs to be read yearly to keep me focused.  If you have kids, homeschooled or not, I recommend reading this book.

The Language of Flowers by Vanessa Diffenbaugh

This one is our February pick for book club.  I wasn't sure I could squeeze in a fifth book, but I did!  It was another easy read that I finished in less then a week.  This story is about a girl who grows up in the foster care system being bounced from home to home.  It bounces between her at 18 and at around 10.  It really got me thinking about how our environment and attachments shape who we are.  It is a great story about overcoming obstacles and I felt that the foster care part was actually very true to life (which is sad).  It has a happy ending which I really loved.

And that's it!

I'm pretty impressed with myself.  I want to keep my trend going so send me over some good reads.


Nicole said...

I recently came upon the author Kate Morton. Her books are pretty long, but are SO GOOD! She is an excellent writer, leaving no loose ends (in fact, a day or say later I would think, "Huh!" So, that's why that happened.) I have read The Forgotten Garden (my favorite) and am just now finishing The Secret Keeper. I recommend her.

And I always recommend the Labybug Farm series by Donna Ball. By far my favorite reads EVER!

Anonymous said...

I just read The Ladies Auxiliary by Tova Mirvis. It's about moving to a new community, trying to fit in while keeping your own identity.

Tristan said...

Always looking for Good Reads!!
Thanks, added some to my wish list :)

Stephanie said...

Read Gone Girl, too and I can totally relate to being dead to the world until it was done. I didn't like the ending-- was hoping for a little more karma-- but it did keep me hooked all the way through.

Crystal Oh said...

I needed some new book suggestions! I haven't read anything yet this year and that's rare for me.

Little for a Little While said...

Did you know that Lorna Landvik is from the Mpls/St. Paul area, and was actually one of my Grandpa's 6th grade students? He is mentioned in two of her books, and I even got to meet her once. Pretty cool :)

Mo said...

My book club read Gone Girl and The Language of Flowers this fall. I liked both, though I hated the ending of Gone Girl. Thanks for the ideas for some more good reads.

Kaia said...

I've been trying to read some classics since they're supposed to be great but honestly even the ever popular Jane Austen wasn't that good to me. One that I did love however, was Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte! I'm ready to read it again but alas, I can't figure out who borrowed it last! :( Thanks for the strong language warning--not for me, and I hate when a book I've gotten into starts having it!

Cristi said...

I could have written the same thing about how I lose momentum when I stop reading for a week or so. I finished my last book on Friday, and I fear my motivation is already waning. Thanks for the recommendations.

kimmer said...

Good for you for getting so much reading in!!! I feel like I want to read more for fun, but now am trying to get back into my French studies....why cant there be more hours in a day!?! But bookclub is so awesome and I'm so happy you all have such a great group! Happy Reading!