January has been to me a good month for reading, likely owing to the two weeks I was out of work recuperating from my fancy hospitalization late last year. I’ve closed 8 books this year, making me far ahead of the schedule in my goal of reading 30 books for 2016.
Here are my January reads:
3. Yes, Please by Amy Poehler
4. The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins
Recommended to me by Emily Blunt’s immaculate face who will be playing the eponymous character in an upcoming movie adaptation. This book is a fun, fast-paced thriller that is reminiscent of Gone Girl though not as masterfully made.
5. Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell
This is a very popular YA book and probably one of Rainbow Rowell’s best (though I’ve only read this and Fangirl so I’m probably not qualified to say that lol). This did not read like a book that was written by the same person who wrote Fangirl, which was very light and casual for me. Eleanor and Park’s story had depth and Rowell was not afraid to take each of the characters into darker territories. It’s being marketed as a cutesy YA love story so I was quite surprised to find it sad and utterly moving.
6. Lucky by Alice Sebold
In a memoir hailed for its searing candor and wit, Alice Sebold reveals how her life was utterly transformed when, as an eighteen-year-old college freshman, she was brutally raped and beaten in a park near campus.
I was browsing shelves of used books when I saw this and recognized Alice Sebold, the author of The Lovely Bones. I’ve always been interested about The Lovely Bones but never got around to picking it because the material always seemed too heavy for me. I skimmed the first few pages of Lucky and was thrown right into the night of Alice’s rape. A horrifying event that was beautifully and acutely written and the first line (“This is what I remember.”) will hook you right in. It was a truly horrible event but it was written so skillfully that you just can’t will yourself to stop reading about it. Sebold’s words will demand that you see her through to the end.
I got out of the store bookmarking the third page with the receipt, went home, and finished the book in a day.
7. Modern Romance by Aziz Ansari
I was looking for something light to read while I was awaiting scary test results re:hospitalization, and picked MR because I like Aziz and I could use a laugh. It isn’t the memoir I thought I was going to read but was “A hilarious, thoughtful, and in-depth exploration of the pleasures and perils of modern romance” instead. It was fun (Aziz is still funny in this format) and I learned so many things about dating in many parts of the world except in Japan, where there’s no dating happening and they’re all content with being single nerds, which probably explains all those weird Japanese porn and sex toys and stuff. Thanks for this info, Aziz.
8. Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? by Mindy Kaling
Picked this up to scratch the itch for a comedian’s memoir. It was alright. I didn’t enjoy this as much as a lot of other people did. I probably shouldn’t have chosen this since I am not familiar with her other work so a lot of things she talked about in the book flew over my head. Her humour also didn’t appeal to me very much. Oh well.