January 2016 Reading Roundup

Friday, April 08, 2016


I must confess that I was burned out from just about everything by the time 2016 rolled into town. We were in the midst of what seemed to be a never-ending winter. I was sick and tired of shoveling my corner lot every. single. day. I was stressed out by trying to be everything at once. It was bad and it was time for my yearly meltdown. Don't pretend that you don't have one too.

I took some time to relax, kind of, and learn more about myself (more on that in a future post). I also read a lot in January. That's what this post is really about, all of the books I read in January. Better late than never.

Dad is Fat by Jim GaffiganDad is Fat by Jim Gaffigan

Last fall I started watching The Jim Gaffigan Show. It is hilarious. Prior to watching this show the only thing I knew about Jim was "Hot Pockets." The show convinced me that I needed more Jim in my life so I grabbed this audiobook as fast as I could click.

This book is laugh out loud funny! I'm not even kidding. I laughed just about the entire time. Thank goodness I wasn't in public. If you have children then you will appreciate this book so much. Worthy of My Shelves.

My Story by Elizabeth Smart

My Story by Elizabeth Smart

We visited Utah the summer Elizabeth was abducted. She wasn't much older than myself and I remember feeling so scared that maybe something similar would happen to me. I spent the next several months following her story and was so thrilled when she was found alive.

I'm not sure that I would be able to have such a positive outlook and attitude as Elizabeth has had. I really admire her strength and her ability to find miracles and hope is what could be a hopeless situation. She really is remarkable and this story ended up being more inspiring than I could have ever thought it could be. Worthy of My Shelves.

Shopaholic Takes Manhattan by Sophie Kinsella

Shopaholic Takes Manhattan by Sophie Kinsella

When Confessions of a Shopaholic ended I felt empowered and hopeful that Rebecca was making a permanent change in her life. Then I picked up Shopaholic Takes Manhattan. She is back at square one and things eventually really blow up in her face. I'm hopeful that this time the change will stick, but if it doesn't then the third book in the series may just be my last.

For someone so smart, Rebecca sure is dumb and that started to really get on my nerves. Her recklessness just wasn't funny anymore. There are some funny moments, but it was a bit harder for me to get through this book. Borrow.

Food by Jim Gaffigan

Food by Jim Gaffigan

I love food. I love food so much that my vacations are planned around food. I thought for sure that I would relate more to this book and find it hilarious, but I just didn't. Skip it.
I Remember Nothing by Nora Ephron

I Remember Nothing by Nora Ephron

I'm not quite sure why this is categorized as humor. There seemed to be more sadness permeating the pages than anything else. Despite the sadness, I enjoyed listening to Nora's reflections. This isn't a book that I need to have on my sheelves, but it was a good listen and I would recommend it to those who have enjoyed Nora's work in the past. Borrow.

My Shining Star  by Rosemary Wells

My Shining Star  by Rosemary Wells

This looks like such a short, simple book. My two-year-old thought it was a book for her. Despite its simple appearance, this book is a gem with profound advice. If you want to raise a child with an eagerness for learning then I would recommend taking twenty minutes (if even that) to read it. Worthy of my Shelves.


Winter Garden by Kristin Hannah

Winter Garden by Kristin Hannah

When I finished reading this book, I wanted to throw it out of the window. It caused such an emotional reaction in me and I couldn't deal. It exposes an aspect of WWII that I had never really thought or known about.

I have some issues with the character development and some major issues with the ending, but I think I would actually recommend that you read this if WWII is a time period that you are interested in. Borrow.

Things I Can't Forget by Miranda Kenneally

Things I Can't Forget by Miranda Kenneally

I devoured this book in less than 24 hours, which is a rarity these days! It takes place at a summer camp, contains romance and is a coming-of-age tale.I think many will have issues liking the main character as she is incredibly judgmental and a tad preachy. What I liked most about this though is that she ends up evaluating her own beliefs and how she can be a kinder person overall. It's a quick read that still manages to make you think. Worthy of my Shelves.


Where'd You Go, Bernadette by Maria Semple

Where'd You Go, Bernadette by Maria Semple

I really like the format of this novel (emails, letters, diary entries) and found a lot of it to be funny, but overall it was a mediocre tale. I enjoyed it, but wouldn't ever re-read it and probably won't be rushing out to recommend it anytime soon. Borrow.




One More Thing by B.J. Novak

One More Thing by B.J. Novak 

There were moments of greatness and some stories that made me laugh. As an overall collection, it was mediocre and incredible random. If you're a big Novak fan then, Borrow.



Dark Places by Gillian Flynn

Dark Places by Gillian Flynn

After reading and hating Sharp Objects I was a little scared to jump back into the mind of Gillian Flynn. The synopsis of this novel disturbed me and I prepped myself for nightmares. Ha! I actually really liked this book. I like that things are not as they may initially appear to be and how Flynn slowly reveals the truth. I'm also a fan of the many different P.O.V.s that help to unravel the story. It's a well-crafted novel, but I still like Gone Girl the best! Worthy of my Shelves.


This was a GREAT month of reading! If you want to laugh so hard that you pee a little then listen to Dad is Fat. If you need a great cry Winter Garden may just make you use the entire tissue box. If you want to pretend you're young again and have always thought a summer camp romance would be just so romantic, read Things I Can't Forget. If you want to be disturbed and intrigued all at once then Dark Places may just be the book for you! If you need some help seeing the silver lining in your life then My Story will help immensely. 


Have you read any of these? Which are worthy of your sacred shelf space? 

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