Books I Read in December and January

by - Friday, February 05, 2016

I definitely took advantage of all my free time during winter break between grad school semesters to cram in a ton of reading. I know I recapped some of the books I read in December in my last book post, but I wanted to make sure I summed up the books I read between Christmas and New Years in this post with the stuff I read in January.

How I prepared for #snowmegeddon 2016 and being snowed in all weekend. #bookstagram

End of December Books

Devil's Bridge - Linda Fairstein

Really enjoyed this book and getting to spend time with some of my favorite characters. Especially liked that a large portion of the book was told from Mike Chapman's perspective, which was new.

The End of Marketing As We Know It - Sergio Zyman

I had to read this for one of my MBA classes, but since I work in the marketing field, I found it fairly interesting. It's definitely dated by this point, but some of the basic principles still hold true.

The Art of Fielding - Chad Harbach

My favorite book of 2015. I read it on a recommendation from a friend of mine from my reporter days and just instantly fell in love with the story and the characters. As the name implies, this book is about a college baseball player and all the people who circle in and out of his life. It’s 512 pages, and I tore through it in about two days over winter break.

Absolutely loving this book @SFMclernon let me borrow. One of the best books I've read this year. Highly, highly recommend. #bookstagram

Room - Emma Donoghue

Everyone totally raved about this book to me and the waitlist at the library was a mile long so I figured it was going to be OMG amazing. It wasn't. It took me a while to get into it and I actually found the child narrator pretty grating at times. I did appreciate that the story was different than anything I'd really read, and I'm glad I stuck it out to the end because the plot definitely picked up, but man the beginning was slow.

The Guilty - David Baldacci

Overall enjoyed this book. It was different than Baldacci's usual DC-based thrillers. This one was set in the south and in many ways reminded me of a Grisham book.


January Books

Orphan Train - Christina Baker Kline

This was a fast and good read. I really liked the two parallel stories from the 1930s and present day and how the two women's lives overlap.

Fates and Furies - Lauren Groff

I hated this book, and I think I might be the only person on the planet that feels that way. The first half of the book was so painfully slow. Both main characters were pretty much terrible people, and I just couldn't get invested in their stories. The only good thing I can say about it is that the second half of the book moved moderately faster so I was able to finish it more quickly. If this hadn't been a book club book, I wouldn't have finished it.

Snow day tea and reading. #bookstagram #blizzard2016

After You - Jojo Moyes

I wasn't sure if I'd like this book as much as Me Before You, but I found myself unable to put it down. I loved following along as Louisa tried to move on after Will and figure out what she was meant to do with her life. Definitely cried my way through the end.

The Nightingale - Kristin Hannah

I thought this book started off a little slow, but once it got going it was a really captivating story and I couldn't put it down. Also it was definitely a tearjerker.

The Yellow House - Patricia Falvey

I picked up this book because I'm super excited for my trip to Ireland in May, and I wanted to read some books set in Ireland or by Irish authors. I'm glad this was the one I started with. It was beautifully written and the story felt so real and also kind of heart-wrenching at times. I loved the main character and how strong she was through all the hard stuff her family went through being Catholic in Northern Ireland during the Troubles.

Perfect way to wrap up the weekend. Tea (decaf) and a good book. #bookstagram

This Town - Mark Leibovich

This book is basically an insider look at how the DC political class and media class are all caught up in themselves. After living here for this long and working for the government and having lots of friends in the media, I felt like this was one of those books I needed to read. It was weird how much I could recognize and relate to. If you're into politics and the media and how it shapes DC, then you'll probably find this book interesting. If not, I'd imagine you'd hate it.

I've got a stack of books sitting on the table waiting to be read, but with classes being a bit more time-consuming this semester, I'm sadly just staring at them most days. I don't think I'll get through many books in February, but I'm hoping I'll at least have time for a few good reads!

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  1. Fred and Tina1:45 PM

    Thanks much for all the reviews! Between grad classes and the books of choice you are doing an amazing amount of reading! Heard that Circle of Friends Paperback – May 29, 2007, by Maeve Binchy, was a great book to read before a trip to Ireland. The caption reads: it brings small town life in rural Ireland, especially for young women, in the 1950s alive. :)