Each month (or, lately, every other) we round up the best things we have read. In December, we mostly focused on spending time with family for the holidays. We also got engaged! January was full of wedding planning and hanging out with friends, including a weekend in Luray complete with dogs, board games and lawn games!
Blogs – Here are a few new blogs I’ve found and now read regularly.
- Etsy Find of the Day – There’s a lot of great stuff on Etsy, but it isn’t always easy to uncover the coolest stuff since there is too much to look at. This blog is there to help.
- Corporette – As I begin to grudgingly admit that what I wear to work matters, this blog is here to give me some good work fashion advice and finds.
- A Practical Wedding – APW is more than just a blog… it is a huge repository of great advice and how-tos to help you put together your wedding without the buy-this pressure of the mainstream wedding industry.
- The Knot – This one’s a bit different. It’s a wedding website that I use for their exhaustive planning checklists (fully customizable and give you a good place to start), their budgeting tool, and the free website creator. There are also forums but I find the info on APW more to my style.
Books – I read 7 books in December (plus one that I quit), and 9 books in January (plus one that I quit). I’m going to start adding my Goodreads star rating to these.
- All the Birds, Singing by Evie Wyld [quit] – This might be a great book for all I know. I started into it but then realized it was going to be too creepy for me.
- The Face of a Stranger by Anne Perry – 4 out of 5 stars. The first in the William Monk detective series which takes place in Victorian England. It starts in with a guy who lost his memory, thus introducing you to the world, which I find a bit of a cliché beginning, but was nonetheless done well. I liked it.
- The Slow Regard of Silent Things by Patrick Rothfuss – 3 out of 5 stars. Rothfuss still hasn’t finished Doors of Stone yet (Kingkiller Chronicle #3) but instead he came out with this, set in the same world. I do think he has every right to write what he wants but that doesn’t change the fact that this book was boring. You might like it if you were really intrigued by Auri or just want anything Kingkiller you can get your hands on (and maybe if you liked The Silmarillion?). At least it was short.
- Nobody is Ever Missing by Catherine Lacey – 3 out of 5 stars. This book allows you to immerse yourself in the mind of a depressed and troubled young woman. I recognized some of the thought processes from my own struggles with anxiety. Lyrically written, but not for everyone, and I didn’t love it.
- Firefight by Brandon Sanderson – 5 out of 5 stars. This is Reckoners Book 2 (sequel to Steelheart). More great adventures with David fighting Epics, finding his conscience, and learning some stuff. I won’t say more but, yeah, I loved it!
- A House in the Sky by Amanda Lindhout – 4 out of 5 stars. TRIGGER WARNING: this book covers kidnapping, violence, and rape. It’s a memoir by a young journalist who was kidnapped in Somalia and held for over a year. It’s a tough read but worthwhile, at least I thought so.
- Hellboy, Vol. 1 by Mike Mignola – 3 out of 5 stars. It’s been a while since I read a graphic novel. Hellboy is always rated really well. I did like this first one and will likely read more.
- Cat’s Eyewitness by Rita Mae Brown – 2 out of 5 stars. The Sneaky Pie Brown mysteries are a mixed bag. This one isn’t one of the good ones.
- Boy, Snow, Bird by Helen Oyeyemi – 2 out of 5 stars. This book was going to get a better rating from me. I ended up giving it 2 stars because at the very end, it is suddenly transphobic for no conceivable reason. I liked the bulk of the book with its interesting meditations on race, but I couldn’t forgive the author for the inexplicable ending.
- Magic Bites by Ilona Andrews – 4 out of 5 stars. This was a gift for Christmas from my future brother-in-law, Kevin. It’s a really intriguing world and I liked the characters.
- How to Flirt with a Naked Werewolf by Molly Harper (audio book) – 3 out of 5 stars. A cute, light romance novel about a woman who randomly moves to Alaska and falls in love with the town werewolf.
- The Enchanted by Rene Denfeld – 4 out of 5 stars. Lovely writing, intriguing subject matter. It’s about a death row inmate and the woman who looks into death row cases and tries to get the inmates off death row. Some things in it are disturbing.
- The Invisible Bridge by Julie Orringer – 5 out of 5 stars. This book made my best of 2014 list. It is a hugely epic war and love story that I found delightful.
- A Perfect Fit by Heather Tullis – 2 out of 5 stars. A crappy romance novel with no interest or substance.
- When You Reach Me by Rebecca Stead – 4 out of 5 stars. When I checked this out I realized it was written for middle schoolers. That didn’t stop me from reading and enjoying it though. It has an interesting story and is very quick to read.
- Seven Years in Tibet by Heinrich Harrer – 3 out of 5 stars. This is a classic travel memoir, which I really liked for the first half and then grew very bored with.
- The River’s Tale: A Year on the Mekong by Edward Gargan [quit] – I just really couldn’t get into this.
- The Thing Beneath the Bed by Patrick Rothfuss – 3 out of 5 stars. A picture book that’s not for children. Worth flipping through.
Books – I read 6 books these months.
- The Slow Regard of Silent Things by Patrick Rothfuss – If you really like Rothfuss and want some a tiny bit more world building on his Kingkiller Chronicles, read this I guess. The book is weird and nothing really happens in it, so probably not for everyone.
- Firefight by Brandon Sanderson – If you’ve read many this months in reading then you probably know that I absolutely love Brandon Sanderson. This book was awesome!
- Magic Bites by Ilona Andrews – I found this post-apocalyptic urban fantasy quite interesting. Magic and technology seem to be opposing and constantly fluctuating forces or nature. The characters are fine.
- How to Flirt with a Naked Werewolf by Molly Harper – There is not much that needs to be said about this book that is not conveyed by the title. There are a few tropes that are upended which is nice I suppose.
- The Thing Beneath the Bed by Patrick Rothfuss – This is a real(?) children’s book. It is not clear whether it is in the same world as the Kingkiller Chronicles.
- Wool by Hugh Howey – Another post-apocalyptic piece. This one is rather dark, but it certainly surprised me several times which can’t be said for too many books.
What did you read in December and January?