One of my New Years Resolutions for 2016 was to read one book per week for the entire year (i.e. 52 books). Now, this is a minimum goal, so I’d like to ultimately read more than 52 books this year, but we’ll have to wait and see how it goes. For the month of January, I met the goal exactly, reading four books.
1) Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone (Illustrated) By J.K. Rowling and Jim Kay
My review is here, but suffice it to say, the illustrations in this book were beautiful and amazing and worth every stinking penny. I plan to buy the illustrated edition of every book as they are released.
2) Scary Close by Donald Miller
As far as I’m concerned, this is the best relationship book someone could read. There are a lot of books out there that offer advice on ways to “keep your spouse happy” or “keep the spark alive,” but Donald Miller blows past those surface level issues and gets right to the root of the problem: our own issues with intimacy. Most relationship problems boil down to an intimacy issue and Donald Miller knows it, explaining what everyone can do to enrich the relationships in their lives, whether it be with family, friends, or significant others. He doesn’t make it sound easy, but relationships rarely are. My review is here.
3) Winter by Marissa Meyer
Winter is the final installment of The Lunar Chronicles series, and it may have been one of my favorite books in the entire series. If you haven’t read The Lunar Chronicles, then you should! They are futuristic retellings of classic fairytales, featuring a cyborg Cinderella, a computer hacker Rapunzel, and a Snow White who lives on the moon and has the ability to control people with her thoughts, but doesn’t, and goes crazy. It’s wild and inventive and endearing. Read my review here.
4) Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut
Technically, I haven’t finished this book yet, but I will! I’m currently halfway through it and it is blowing me away. The only thing I knew about Slaughterhouse-Five before reading it was that Kevin Bacon liked it in the movie Footloose, so I went in with very few expectations, but an underlying dread that I would hate it. Fast forward to now, and I’m questioning whether it will become one of my favorite books of all time. I don’t want to get ahead of myself, though, because I still have to finish the second half. My review will be up early next week, so keep an eye out!
After a very successful January, I have high hopes to continue meeting my reading goal in February, so here are the four books I’m excited/hoping to read next month.
1) In Cold Blood by Truman Capote
Despite the fact that this book is one of the best-selling true crime novels of all time, and despite the fact the crime this book is based on took place in my home state of Kansas, I have yet to read this book! So, I have big plans to change that next month. I’ve really been enjoying true crime novels the last few months (Columbine by Dave Cullen; Helter Skelter by Vincent Bugliosi), so I have no doubt this book will be just as enjoyable. Well, as enjoyable as a book about an innocent family being murdered can be, anyway.
2) Library of Souls by Ransom Riggs
Reading this book has been a long time coming. I went to an author event with Ransom Riggs (and his awesome author wife, Taherah Mafi) when this book came out at the end of September, but I still haven’t read it! That will change this month. Library of Souls is the final book in Riggs’ Miss Peregrine trilogy about children with peculiar gifts who run rampant through time from scary monsters. (It’s more complicated than that, but I’m paraphrasing.) I loved the previous two books, but they did take me a little while to get into, so I’m hoping I don’t have that problem with this final book.
3) A Mother’s Reckoning: Living in the Aftermath of Tragedy by Sue Klebold
So, I said earlier that I read Columbine by David Cullen. Well, Sue Klebold is the mother of one of the Columbine shooters, Dylan Klebold. For the first time since the tragedy, she is speaking out about her experience following the tragic events of Columbine, and how she was left to deal with not only the death of her son, but the unspeakable violence he left in his wake. If you haven’t read her 2009 essay for O Magazine, “I Will Never Know Why,” then I suggest you do. It’s powerful and heartbreaking, and I expect nothing less from her book. It comes out February 15th and I fully intend to begin reading it that same day.
4) Franny and Zooey by J.D. Salinger
After a month of rather bleak reading material (I’m talking murdered families and school shootings), I think it may be nice to sit down with something a little less heavy. So, I’m finally going to crack open Franny and Zooey by J.D. Salinger. Honestly, I hated The Catcher in the Rye, so my hope for this book is to finish it.
Let me know if you’ve read any of the books on my list, and let me know what you’re reading/planning to read in the comments!