I love sharing what I read here, but I haven’t made it a habit of keeping track of my reviews monthly, so here are my January reads all in one place! I read five books in January, some listened to via audio, and the rest read on my plane ride to and from Disney World.
Reunion by Karen Kingsbury – 5 Stars
If you’re a fan of Karen Kingsbury, you know. I spent so many years putting off reading these books because my mom and all of her friends read them, and I just didn’t think I would enjoy them. I was so so wrong. The Baxter Family Series, which follows a set of parents and their adult children through life’s hardships and wins, is so heartbreaking and heartwarming at the same time – I cried on an airplane while finishing the finale. I love the Baxter family like I’ve known them all my life! Totally wholesome and totally worth the read if you’re interested at all in religious fiction.
The Couple Next Door by Shari Lapena – 3 Stars
I can predict the ending of most thrillers from the very beginning – they’ve just become formulaic and predictable – but I did not know what was going to be the outcome of this domestic thriller. The story starts out with a couple at a dinner party at their next door neighbor’s house, taking turns checking on the baby that they left in their flat next door. The story takes a turn when they get home at the end of the night and their 6 month old daughter is no longer in the house. I devoured this book in about a day because I couldn’t wait to get to the end.
The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg – 2 Stars
I was disappointed by this book, but I think it was because of my own high expectations. After reading Atomic Habits late last year (which I loved), I was expecting this book to be of the same caliber, and it just wasn’t in my opinion. Where Atomic Habits was very practical with tangible takeaways, The Power of Habit was all about brain chemistry and science. I’m very much in a personal development – self help phase of my life (lol), so this just isn’t the book that I needed, but it was very well done if you’re interested in the scientific side of habits.
The Dutch House by Ann Patchett – 4 Stars
If you take one thing away from this blog post, let it be this: LISTEN TO THIS BOOK. The narration of The Dutch House is done by Tom Hanks and he made the listening experience 100x more enjoyable. Ann Patchett has a very unique way of writing in which the characters drive the stories from beginning to end. There is no plot to be followed, rather just sporadic stories over many years tying each character to the other in unique ways. I loved this story and felt that it was very different from anything else I’ve ever read. The book itself is also gorgeous, so listen, and then buy the book!
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by J.K. Rowling – 5 Stars
I will never stop reading Harry Potter as long as I live, so expect it to show up on reading lists forever. This is my first time listening to the series, which has been an interesting experience, especially when it comes to words that I’m realizing I’ve pronounced incorrectly forever. If you’re intimidated by the size of this series, I recommend listening instead!
What books did you read in January?