January 2020 Reading Wrap-up

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At the beginning of January, I set some lofty goals to try to get through some of the #unreadbooks already on my shelves. I FAILED MASSIVELY…but more on that later!

January By the Numbers:

  • Total Books Read: 11
  • Audiobooks: 0
  • Five Star Reads: 2
  • Unread Shelf: 8 (2 DNFs)
  • Books Aquired: 52
  • By Women Authors: 10 (3 DNFs)
  • By Authors of Color: 1
  • By Queer Authors: 1
  • Nonfiction Reads: 2 (1 DNF)
  • Debuts: 7
  • Published in 2020: 7 (1 DNF)

Favorite Books of January: Me, A Curse So Dark and Lonely, and The Sun Down Motel

Here is a look at the TBR I set:

  • A Nonfiction Title – 📖 The Library Book by: Susan Orlean
    • ⭐️⭐️⭐️💫 For most of the book I was fascinated by the history, not only of the Los Angeles Public Library, but libraries in general. It got a little long, but I think librarians and book readers that have a special spot for Los Angeles would really enjoy this one!
  • A NetGalley/Edelweiss Title  – 📱 Such A Fun Age by: Kiley Reid
    • ⭐️⭐️⭐️ I know I’m in the #unpopularopinion category with this one, but I feel like Reid was trying to accomplish too much. There were a lot of aspects explored throughout the book, but none of them executed well (in my opinion).
  • A Memoir – 📖 Me by: Elton John
    • ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ Thank goodness for Elton John or this entire month may have been a bust! I loved this honest and raw look into Elton John’s life…and it just reaffirmed my love for him!

I also read the following books:

  • 📖 *** Saint X by: Alexis Schaitkin
    • ⭐️⭐️⭐️ This one started off strong but lost its steam about halfway through. It could have been so good!
  • 📖 *** Followers by: Megan Angelo
    • ⭐️⭐️⭐️ I’m sorry to say that I completely missed the whole point of this book (The Spill) and had to have a reader DM me to explain. I KNOW it wasn’t the fault of the book as much as it was my own headspace (I read it during an emotional week). I would absolutely seek out others’ reviews before making a decision on this one…what I read was engaging, I just couldn’t concentrate enough to grab the jist.
  • 📖 *** The Wolf Wants In by: Laura McHugh
    • ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ A deeply nuanced, dark, and gritty literary mystery that explores themes of poverty, drugs, and grief. It’s not a long book – under 300 pages – but it certainly left an impression on me!
  • 📖 A Curse So Dark and Lonely (Cursebreakers, #1) by: Brigid Kemmerer
    • ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️💫 I really enjoyed this fantasy/fairytale world and it may have just pulled me out of the month long reading slump I’ve been in!
  • 📖 *** The Sun Down Motel by: Simone St. James
    • ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ I LOVED this book! The perfect amount of mystery and spookiness and pacing. I read this book in less than 24 hours because I couldn’t put it down! St. James is now on my autobuy author list, as I also loved her first book, The Broken Girls!

I tried, but wasn’t feeling:

  • 📖 The Garden of Small Beginnings by: Abbi Waxman
    • I believe Abby Waxman’s writing style just isn’t for me. It is just too sweet and tidy…maybe it’s the place I’m at in my reading life, but this one just wasn’t holding my attention.

Unread Shelf Update:

After just one month of participation in the #unreadshelf project, I now understand why I have a plethora of books! (Also, here is where I failed for the first month…but with awareness comes the ability to figure out solutions!)

I acquired 52 books this month! Yes, you read that right…52! Tracking these numbers cleared up why I feel overwhelmed in my reading life – there’s just no way I can ever read enough to get caught up! It also reinforces the fact that I need to be more conscious of the books I bring into my home. No matter what I say, massive amounts of books on my shelves overwhelms me, makes me feel like I need to read (hello, this is a hobby, not a job!), and stresses me out.

Today, I’m going to recount the books on my shelves. (Unfortunately, I took several boxes of books to my local library to donate and forget to count them! I definitely need a better system moving forward to more accurately track the books coming in and out of my house!) I also can’t remember if I counted books on my kindle – both ARCs and purchased books – so I need to be sure I have those included.

For now,

I acquired 52 books in January (I only purchased 7 of these! 😳)

I donated/unloaded 25 books

I gained 27 books for a new total of 444 books on my shelves!

(I started with 417, so I’m clearly headed in the wrong direction! 🤦🏼‍♀️)

There are so many things I need to do differently, but I’m grateful to this challenge and the month of January for showing me where I need to make some progress!

4 thoughts on “January 2020 Reading Wrap-up

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