January Books

20190120_163421841_iosI started out 2019 with a pretty impressive January reading list. I have a goal of reading 60 NEW books this year (can’t count the re-reads) and I knocked out 9 in January! It helped that I made it to the library twice and I’m still forgoing most TV so I end up with more time for reading.

  1. The Husband Hour {Jamie Brenner} – A; I was hesitant about this one for reasons I don’t even know, but I figured it would be a good snow day read. I LOVED IT. The mini blurb on the cover doesn’t mention this but the book ultimately touches a lot on the subject of CTE (chronic traumatic encephalopathy) in athletes and the military. Being in the sports medicine world, there is a lot about concussions and CTE so I found this highly fascinating and a fun surprise to really draw me into the book. Outside of the topic, The Husband Hour is really about a young widow rebuilding herself and her life after her husband dies in combat (he was a former NHL player who joined the US Army). I highly recommend it!!
  2. Bring Me Back {B.A. Paris} – C; This book was weirdly written yet intriguing enough that I needed to finish it. The premise is a girl, Layla, disappears and her boyfriend, Finn, is cleared of any wrongdoing – flash forward tens years and he is engaged to the Layla’s sister, Ellen, and they’re living “happily”. Weird things start happening that make him suspect Layla is somehow back and struggles to figure out what the heck is going on and if Layla is still alive. Halfway through I started to suspect what was going on (probably because I’ve read way too many books) but I kept reading because I wanted to see how the author was going to tie everything up. Spoiler alert, split personality thing going on here – Layla and Ellen were actually the same person and fighting over who was going to get to keep Finn. Ultimately he’s charged with murder for accidentally killing Ellen while trying to save Layla… weird.
  3. When All the Girls Have Gone {Jayne Ann Krentz} – B; In the mystery genre and actually the first in a new series (so far there are 3 books out, not sure if the author is stopping with a trilogy or continuing on the P.I. series). Charlotte discover her stepsister’s best friend dead and her stepsister has disappeared. She teams up with a P.I. to figure out what happened and how it relates to her step-sister’s college past. The author definitely tidies things up at the end, most likely because she’s setting up a baseline for the next 2 books.
  4. My Favorite Half Night Stand {Christina Lauren} – B+; This book would probably make a pretty awesome RomCom movie. It was funny and highlights more of the modern dating lifestyle of online dating. Millie is the token female in a guys group and they all decide to try online dating to find a date to a big event at work. Millie creates a fake account after getting hit on by a bunch of guys asking for her boob size and whatnot. Her fake account ends up matching with one of her guy friends, Reid, who she also ends up having a semi-drunk 1/2 night stand with. Millie ends up having to deal with her real feelings towards Reid plus his feelings towards her fake persona. The book has all the annoying habits of real people and you want to yell at the characters for it. Anyway, really fun book and you should read it.
  5. Little White Lies {Jennifer Lynn Barnes}B+; In the young adult realm, but still a great book for any age over that. Sawyer is given an opportunity by her estranged Grandmother to come live with her for a full year and participate in the debutante season in exchange for 1/2 a million dollars and college paid for. The only reason she decides to accept and leave her life “in the slums”, is the opportunity gives her a chance to figure out who her biological father is. It’s pretty intriguing to see that whole lifestyle through Sawyer’s eyes and the random stuff the kids her age get away with. The book flashes back and forth between a sequence with 4 teenage girls in a cell being interrogated by a cop to Sawyer navigating through the debutante world leading up to that scene. Definitely an entertaining read and the author hints there may be another book coming.
  6. The Hollywood Daughter {Kate Alcott} – C+; This one also flips between time periods, but its Jessica’s adult life and her childhood that is flashes between. Jessica is the main character, who as a child had an obsession with Ingrid Bergman. Her father was her PR agent and brought his family into the “Hollywood lifestyle”. Scandal and tragedy blackball Bergman from America and propel Jessica away from her home to college on the other side of the country. The book focuses on what happened during her childhood as she returns to LA  as an adult for the first time since leaving. It’s basically just Jessica trying to figure herself out and repair her relationship with herself, her mother, and a boy from her past. The book was ok, nothing too special and I felt that the last scene between Jessica and Bergman was too forced and just an awkward way to tidy up the past.
  7. The Rising Sea – NUMA Files {Clive Cussler & Graham Brown} – A-; The NUMA Series is one of my favorites, I’m pretty sure I’ve read almost every single one (there’s a lot when you combine the Dirk Pitt series & Kurt Austen series). The Rising Sea is one of Kurt Austen’s adventures and follows the typical path of the series. The world’s oceans are rising at astronomical rates and the NUMA agents are tasked with figuring out why. Although the agents are supposed to just be marine biologists, they all pretty much act like badass spies who will do whatever it takes to save the world. The Chinese have some crazy plan to mine for a rare alloy mineral and upset the balance of power in the Pacific, there’s a crazy businessman trying to take over the world with robots, and an assassin who just really likes to kill people.
  8. Age of Myth {Michael J Sullivan} – A; Michael J Sullivan is a fantastic story-teller. He wrote one of my favorite series, the Riyria Revelations, and is back with his new series The Legends of the First Empire. It’s all fantasy with elves, dwarves, giants and humans and just so incredibly entertaining. I have a pretty good imagination when I read and the author is able to transport me completely to his made up world. I’m pretty sure this series takes place centuries before the Riyria Revelations and tells of the time when the elves reigned supreme and everyone else lived in fear of them. The humans (known as Rhunes to the other creatures) believed the elves to be gods until one of them is killed by a human. The books are building up to a massive war between the elves and the humans. Age of Myth focuses on introducing the early characters and weaving the plot that will ultimately lead to the war. I RECOMMEND EVERYONE READ HIS BOOKS. I just picked up books 2 & 3 at the library and already took a break from typing to start reading book 2. So excited.
  9. For Women Only {Shaunti Feldhahn} – B; This one is non-fiction, so it took me forever to get through. It was actually recommended by several people to help build and keep a strong and healthy marriage. K despises reading so it’s highly doubtful he’ll read the For Men Only version, but I really felt like I learned a lot from my copy. The book focuses on giving insight into the inner workings of men. I personally could relate to some of the topics and I could also relate K to several. It was definitely eye-opening to see how the opposite sex (in general) thinks and processes things compared to women. I think reading this can make me a better communicator with K, since I understand his actions or “whys” a little better. I’m definitely going to read the version for men to see how I relate to those things. I plan on highlighting the ones that really resonate with me and showing just those parts to K so he can understand some of my crazy instead of just getting annoyed at me 🙂

January was a great reading month and overall I really enjoyed all the books I read. Now to keep the ball rolling into February!! (BTW, if you pay attention to the top photo you’ll notice a book I didn’t mention reading… never made it to that before the books were due back to the library. I may or may not check it out again, wasn’t 100% sure on reading it)

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