What I Read In January 2021.
January was a HUGE reading month. I read constantly. And I read so many good books!
I get the question of how I read so much (especially with kids) very often, and I really thought about it this month so I could go into detail. I always answer it in the comments, but figured I’d put it here for future reference. For me, the bulk of my reading right now happens on the weekends. This is especially true with covid – we don’t go anywhere Friday and Saturday night at the moment, so it’s not unusual for me to read an entire book once the kids go to bed. It’s a nice way to keep from scrolling my phone endlessly late at night. I still work quite a bit on the weekends, but never late at night like I do on weeknights. And it’s not like I’m reading war and peace – most of my reads are light and easy that can be read in 5 or 6 hours on my kindle. This month especially, I read mostly super fast, light reads.
So for instance, I’ll read a book Friday night once the kids go to bed. I start it at 8, maybe finish it at 1. I don’t plan this – I only read late if I’m reeeeally into a story. Sometimes I read on the couch while Eddie watches a show! Sometimes I get in bed and read the whole thing there. If I finish, I start another Saturday night (or I maybe get like an hour total of reading in on Saturday morn/afternoon since Eddie is home, it just depends!) and I may even finish that one that night too. It depends on if Eddie and I watch a movie or something, how long the book is, etc. I then may start a new book Sunday, continue to read it throughout the week (an hour or two before bed) and then finish by Thursday or Friday and repeat the process. Of course, some weekends I don’t read at all! It just totally depends. Right now, in a pandemic ridden freezing cold PA winter, I’m reading a ton.
Also, right now I am working alone because my cousin, who works with me full time, is on maternity leave! So I sometimes listen to audio books when I’m cooking and photographing.
Other than that, I don’t get much reading done during the week at all. I do fit it in when I can (when I sit in the carpool line for Max, I may read, so that’s like ~30ish minutes, but sometimes I also do phone calls) and I do tend to read everyday. Honestly this isn’t something I need to work at – I’ve just done this since I was a kid! I don’t look at reading as a part of my job, though yes, I do still want to write fiction. Reading isn’t a chore for me and I find it to be a fun escape. It’s just a part of my life. Of course some months I only read four books. Right now, I find that with the lack of new TV (Eddie and I love to binge a good show), my best choice is to read. Last month, I also shared that I’ve been reading a ton since I’m pregnant, because doing much of anything else makes me feel like crap and I have major pregnancy insomnia. Ha!
I hope this helps explain it!
While I’m keeping my reviews here on the blog, remember that you can follow the goodreads account with what I’m reading, so you can see what I read in real time.
You can also join the book club! We have the instagram and secret facebook group here. All of the book club interactions have really been taking place in the FB group!
You can find my reading lists here and previous What I Read posts here. I’d love to hear below what you read this month!
WHAT I READ IN January 2021
The Wife Upstairs – 5 stars
I REALLY loved this one. I have a hard time reading thrillers – well, reading/watching/listening to anything scary since having kids. But I love a good thriller when there are no kids involved, and this is one of them! The story follows Jane who is a dog walker in an upscale neighborhood. She has a shady past and ends up falling in love with a man in the neighborhood who is recently widowed. He also may or may not be a little shady. It was a little predictable but still so, so good and I couldn’t put it down! Absolutely loved it.
Pretty Life Wife – 3 stars
Continuing my thriller journey, I read this next! I guess I wasn’t finished with thrillers yet. The story follows Lila, whose husband is missing. There has also been a string of missing women over the last few years. Lila seems a little odd herself, so you just don’t know where this story is going. I wanted to love this one, but there was almost so much weird detail in the first half of the book that I had a hard time getting into it. The detective scenes (without Lila) were also pretty long winded and I had a hard time sticking to those too, probably because I’m not super into true crime stuff. I did like the ending and didn’t think it was totally out of the blue. Still a fairly good read if you want a thriller!
Dear Emmie Blue – 3.5 stars
This was our January book club pick and I thought it would be SO good. The story follows Emmie who has had a best friend for 14 years that she is secretly in love with, and now he’s getting married. The truth is that it dragged a bit for me at first. I felt like there were details left out of the beginning that could have been helpful. I did ultimately end up liking this and it finished strong for me. It just wasn’t as quick to get through as I hoped!
How To Fail At Flirting – 5 stars
I LOVED this one. Oh my gosh. The name does NOT do this justice. The story follows Naya, who may be losing her job and gets some advice from a friend to spend a night out on the town. She ends up meeting a guy and thinks it may be a one night stand… but it’s not. This book was so good! There were a lot of real world issues in here as well, and I just didn’t think the title depicts what happens in the book. It also had me laugh out loud a few times, and the ending is great. I really, really loved it. This is our February book pick!
The Cousins – 3 stars
This was the first book I read in the new year. I had high hopes, but I also don’t love YA stories. The story follows three cousins who don’t really know each other, and are brought to an island where their grandmother (who they have never met!) lives. The ending is a bit of a surprising twist (I hadn’t really figured it out fully) and that redeemed it quite a bit for me. But ultimately it still felt really YA and it wasn’t my favorite. Pretty quick read and I guess would be considered a mild suspenseful thriller.
The Ex Talk – 4.5 stars
I just finished this yesterday and I really loved it. The start was a little slow for me because I just don’t have an interest in public radio and what it entails, but I got into it quickly. It also has the hate-to-love trope that I adore. The story follows Shay who has a coworker she hates. They end up working closely together and, of course, falling for each other. The only part I had a hard time believing was the reveal of Dominic’s age. Some of the story felt like he was just so young and had already been in a long term relationship, that it wasn’t all believable. (Which again, is just me talking about a dumb stereotype, haha!). However, I really loved it and enjoyed the ending too! It’s a super fast, light read.
Musical Chairs – 4 stars
I read this on a whim after seeing it in my kindle recommendations. I was hooked from the start – even though it also had subject matter that I’m not especially interested in. I found the writing in this to be SO GOOD. The story follows a man and a woman who are best friends, not ever having a romantic relationship. It details some conflict with them but is really the story of one summer of their lives. I wasn’t as invested in some of the other characters that they talked about a lot, and found the father’s story a little boring for me, but still heartwarming. I will say that I did not love the ending of this one, but that’s just because I’m a hopeless romantic who always wants the ending that I personally want.
Shipped – 4 stars
I had been waiting for this book to release and was so excited to read it! This is another hate-to-love trope, so of course, I was in. The story follows Henley, who works in marketing for a cruise company. She has a coworker she can’t stand, but they work virtually – and eventually end up meeting on a cruise they are forced to take together for work. It was super cute and I did really like it! Loved the ending because, why not? I got what I wanted. Hah!
Eliza Starts a Rumor – 3.5 stars
I read this after Elin Hilderbrand recommended it on instagram and it was pretty good! The story follows a woman who years ago, created an online mommy forum which really gave her a purpose. Now, her kids are out of the house and she is suffering from severe anxiety, and she is afraid another online group is taking over, so she creates a rumor that kind of ends up being true. The rumor affects the lives of many women and they become friends. I did love that part. For some reason, I couldn’t get the cast of Workin’ Moms out of my head for this book – LOL! It was a good story and there is a serious, surprising twist at the end that really makes the story wrap up well.
24 Comments on “What I Read In January 2021.”
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I just finished In Five Years and OMG. It gutted me, but was also so worth it. Definitely check it out if you haven’t already!
ahh i’ve read it and AGREE!!! completely got me!
My favorite book this month was Educated (Tara Westover) but I also read What She Knew (Gilly Macmillian), The Storyteller (Jodi Picoult), The Lies that Bind (Emily Giffin), and The Guest List (Lucy Foley).
I am currently reading Keeping Lucy.
I read The Perfect Strangers by Megan Miranda, The Hungry Road by Marita Conlon-McKenna, and The Arctic Fury by Greer Macallister. I’m currently reading Ruta Sepetys’ The Fountains of Silence.
sounds like a great month!!
Did you read This Time Next Year? I think you’d be into it. I read 16 books last month – I read every night before going to bed – but honestly none of them were that great.
I met Amy Poeppel at a friend’s house when she did a reading, and she was the NICEST person. Like, the kind of person you’d just want to hang around all day.
i did read that last month! it was good!
and she sounds incredible! i love her writing.
Did you read the Invisible Life of Addie LaRue? It was SO mesmerizing – I was so sucked into her world, in the best way possible. 5/5!
i haven’t read that!! i will add it to the list!
I just finished Musical Chairs, too! I love the author’s previous novel, Small Admissions, and since I used to play classical music, I was totally into the premise for this one. I really enjoyed it and loved seeing the various storylines.
oh i think i’m going to read small admissions next! thanks CJ! xo
Thanks for this great list! I have Shipped already in my Audible library, but haven’t started it yet. Now I can’t wait to get to it. I’m currently listening to A Promised Land, which is good, but LONG. Some of my other recent favorites were The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue, When We Believed in Mermaids, and Chloe Liese’s latest installment in the Bergman Brothers series, Ever After Always.
omg i started a promised land on audible 2 weeks ago – it’s like 30 hours!! it’s going to take me a while to get through, haha. but it’s good.
Just finished Anxious People by Fredrik Backman. It was the best book I have read in a long time! Mixed serious topics with humour.
Loved anxious people!!! Check out his other books. He’s a great author.
yes i loved anxious people and adore his book beartown!!
Jane Rosen’s (Eliza Starts a Rumor) other book, Nine Women One Dress, was so good. I did the audio version and thoroughly enjoyed it.
i’ve had that on my list!!
Brian Freeman. Jonathan Stride mysteries.
and C.J. Box…by the way the show on tv now ” Big Sky” is one of his characters Cassie Dewel. Good read!
oh i am loving big sky!!
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I’m reading American Daughter: a memoir by Stephanie Thornton Plymale, and it is incredible! Not fiction, and not light, but soooo good. It’s one of those books you remember….