January Reading Thoughts

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I started the year off strong with eleven books read in the month of January. I tried to get a good mix of topics and mediums. I wound up with six audio, three e-books, and two physical books. I’m halfway through one physical book and one audio book, but I didn’t finish them in time to include them in January’s reads. So, you’ll hear about them next month.

The Trip to Echo Spring by Olivia Laing
I picked this one because I am a writer and I enjoy alcohol. I continued reading for the interesting connections made and the stories of the distinguished writer’s lives.
The road trip/train tip made to visit the important places was so interesting and made me want to plan a trip in the same vein.
The stories themselves were very full and moved me. The struggles people must have faced before they realized the damage drinking could cause. And it makes you wonder what kind of lives they would have lead if they were alive today – what work they might have accomplished if there was help for alcoholics back then.
A good read.

Business for Authors by Joanna Penn
My annual re-read of this incredibly useful book. Every time I read it, I pick up on something new to work on. There is always something more to learn if you put in the time and effort.

The Lesser Dead by Christopher Buehlman
“I thought you were going to be a priest at some point.”
“Yes, but then I read a newspaper.”
I really enjoy Buehlman’s writing style. Very blunt and to the point – nothing to hide behind. And another great vampire book to add to my shelf. I love the idea of them running around in the subways and ruling the underground.
There was quite a bit of action and the tug of war of who the bad guy was kept me entertained. The end battle happened very quickly – but they are vampires, so what did I expect? – and the conclusion left me… wanting more? Maybe just more of the conclusion.
A fun book.

Entity Setup by Michael L. Banner
I am thrilled that I stumbled across this book. It really holds your hand to setup your author business. Can’t wait to put this into motion and read the rest of the series.
Step one – setup the business. And this book really takes out all the guess work.
*Followup note: Looks like the series fell off after book two and the website mentioned in book one has been rebranded. A little disappointing, but the book will still be helpful.

Night Cycles by Elizabeth Wilder
“Lungs throb with breath
I choke on the ash of sadness”
These poems were so very filled with emotion.
“dragging ink across the skin
of fallen trees, as if
the questions I bleed
have answers.”
I didn’t connect with all of them, but I enjoyed the reading experience.
“You were not born to live halfway”
“the phoenix is just a bird
until she cracks from the fire”
I already picked up her next book of poetry and I can’t wait to dig in.

The Final Girl Support Group
This was a really enjoyable book and hit the ground running. The story ran in so many directions and let you think any one of them was at fault. With all the twists and turns, I never got close to guessing the ending.
Each final girl had a great life story and I would have loved to see more from each of their perspectives. Their struggles and how they dealt with them filled the book with so much color.
This might be my favorite Grady Hendrix book so far and I’ll have to give it a second read.

The Midnight Library by Matt Haig
This book took me on an emotional journey from start to finish. Nora has to go through so much inner turmoil to get to the finale. And i cried and laughed and struggled right alongside her.
The premise was also fascinating. I’m obsessed with the idea of the multiverse right now and this was another great example of exploring it.
I was ultimately pleased with Nora’s final decision and how the book ended. Will have to find more from this author. Beautiful writing.

Clown in a Cornfield by Adam Cesare
This book hit the ground running and went straight to WTF. It was dark and twisty and had lots of gore.
I have to admit, there were a few spots I had to reread because I got confused. It felt a little like the author knew what he wanted the reader to think or see, but didn’t quite get it down on the page.
The story was thrilling and terrifying. But the end felt a little meh. Like are they not going to talk about their dead friends at all? But the cliffhanger has me on the edge of my seat to read the sequel.

Hell Bent by Leigh Bardugo
Ahhhh! I’ve been waiting for this release and it DELIVERED!
The pacing felt just right and all the real life obstacles kept them on their toes as they worked on their secret plans. We also learned so much more history and dark skeletons in their closet along the way. And Alex’s personal journey is amazing. She’s done so much growing and I’m proud of the adult she’s becoming.
The ending got me in the feels and Darlington is such a likeable character. Can’t wait to read more because there has to be another one!

Take off Your Pants by Libbie Hawker
As I solidify my own writing process, this book added a new perspective to the outlining process. Her tips and tricks look very promising. And she explored character work in a new way I think I’m going to like.
I’ll be reviewing my notes on this one and adding my favorite parts to my template. A good book to have.

How to be Fine by Kristen Meinzer and Jolenta Greenberg
I really enjoyed the tone of this book. They really come across as two down to earth women and I liked going on this journey with them.
I found I had pretty similar opinions as them when it came to the books they tried on. And I can see how not every self help tactic works for every person. I, myself, cannot get up early no matter how hard I try (and I have tried!). And as much as I enjoy yoga and meditation, I know it doesn’t solve all my problems.
I’m going to have to listen to their podcast about this too, I think.

How has your reading started for the year? What has your favorite book been so far? Come back next week to read about the deep dive on my favorite book of the month. Which is *drumroll* The Midnight Library. As much as I loved Hell Bent, I think the real standout read of the month is the one with the multiverse.