Books I Read January 2019

by - Friday, February 01, 2019

I found myself with lots of time on my hands in the month of January given that I was furloughed because of the government shutdown.

I didn't feel like I actually read all that much though since I spent so much of my time watching random TV shows and not actually picking up books.

But according to GoodReads, I read eight books in January, which is definitely more than I typically read in a month.

Starting this year, I'm going to try to divide my book recaps up by the number of starts I gave things on Goodreads. I can't promise I'll always remember to do it, but it might help if you're pulling from this list for recommendations.

5 Star Books

Bad Blood: Secrets and Lies in a Silicon Valley Startup by John Carreyrou
I originally gave this four stars, but the number of times I've talked about it since finishing it and recommended it to others means I've retroactively bumped it up another star. I can't tell if the reason I keep telling everyone to read this book is because the book itself is excellent or because the whole story of Theranos is such a complete disaster it's hard to believe it's real. Honestly, it's probably some combination of both. I knew only the most surface level details of the Theranos mess before reading this book. I found the lengths at which the company would go to protect itself from outside questioning terrifying and fascinating all at the same time. Excellent reporting by Carreyrou. This was quite the page-turner.

4 Star Books

This Will Only Hurt a Little by Busy Philipps
I remember Busy Philipps from her Dawson's Creek days, and will be honest, I'm not sure I've watched any of the other things she's been in since. I also don't follow her on Instagram, which was the reason she got this book deal, so I didn't know what to expect. But I found this to be a pretty good read. I enjoyed her tell-it-like-it is style, especially when it came to Hollywood and its opinion about her weight.

China Rich Girlfriend by Kevin Kwan
I think I may have liked this book a touch more than the first one, solely because I had an easier time keeping all the characters straight than I did the first time around. I'm still stunned by the crazy, lavishness in these books, but they are fun and fast reads.

3 Star Books

Hey Ladies!: The Story of 8 Best Friends, 1 Year, and Way, Way Too Many Emails by Michelle Markowitz and Caroline Moss
This book was a completely ridiculous, satirical look at female friendships as told through email and text messages. Parts made me cringe. Parts made me laugh. All of it made me glad that I have the friends that I have.

Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan
This book was crazy. Literally crazy. First it took me a long time to figure out who was who, there were so many characters and I couldn't keep track of how they were all connected. (Granted, I realize that might be intentional since that's probably what Rachel, one of the main characters was feeling during her trip to Singapore, but I really would have appreciated a family tree somewhere in the beginning of the book to help make it easier to follow). Aside from that, I enjoyed reading about that lavish lifestyles of Nick and his family as well as the insane measures his mom went through because she didn't think his girlfriend was from an appropriate social class.

Small Great Things by Jodi Picoult
This was a good book, but also incredibly hard to read. The book is about a black nurse working in a labor and delivery ward when a white supremacist family comes in to give birth to their first child. There are complications with the birth, and the book covers the fall out from that, tackling the topics of subtle and overt racism. The chapters told from the white supremacist's point of view are especially hard to read.

Nine Perfect Strangers by Liane Moriarty
This was a good fast read. If you like Liane Moriarty's books, then you'll probably like this one. It follows nine people as they enter a health and wellness retreat to try to improve their lives. Each one has gone to the retreat for a different reason, and each has different experiences with the eccentric owner. Brace yourself for some weird stuff to happen.

2 Star Books

Less by Andrew Sean Greer
Everyone gave this book such high praise, but I kind of only felt meh about it -- especially at the start. The beginning was a little too all over the place for me. I actually set this book down for a bit, unsure if I'd come back to it. I eventually did, and the book eventually settled in to a rhythm that I had an easier time following. But I never really felt like I cared much about the main character or what happened to him. So eh, two stars it is.

As alway, if you have recommendations for books I should read, leave them in the comments!

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