I hit a personal record for books read in a month this January! It was the perfect combination of plenty of time at home and plenty of books to choose from. It also helps that most of the books I read took only 3-4 hours to complete. While my list is heavy on fiction, there is some non-fiction thrown in for diversity. Sharing just my rating of the books is going to be very hard. I have so many words about books! So. many. words. Okay, I will share a few words, but not all the words. I’m trying to scale back.
I’ve been using My Reading Life: A Book Journal by Anne Bogel. One of the suggestions she made for reading more is to read the complete works of a favorite author. I decided to do this with Jenny B. Jones this month. This led to me reading her murder mysterious series (a new genre for me) as well her YA series. I appreciate Jenny B. Jones’s southern sass and hilarious supporting characters! Her books are always a fun read. I hope to use this same approach by completing the works of Roseanna M. White in the near future.
A new-to-me author this month was Emma St. Clair. Jenny B. Jones recommended her new release and I was intrigued. I’m currently working my way through her Love Cliché series (I know the title sounds ridiculous, but I love clean rom-coms). They are laugh out loud funny and a PG version of a Hallmark movie. I hit the rom-com genre pretty hard in January and I’m not even a little bit sorry. Anne Bogel recommends you read what you love and I love love!
Top Picks for January
- Non-Fiction: Single, Gay, Christian by Gregory Coles. I discovered this book after reading People To Be Love by Preston Sprinkle and researching pastoral position papers on The Center for Faith, Sexuality & Gender. While the topic makes me a bit uncomfortable, I want to learn more. Coles story is well-written and vulnerable. It was a short, but impactful read. I would recommend it anyone looking to hear a personal story behind what might be considered a hot topic. Through the same research, I discovered Space at the Table: Conversations between an Evangelical Theologian and His Gay Son by Brad & Drew Harper. Brad Harper is a professor at Multnomah University where I went to college for two years. Small world! I hope to read Brad and Drew’s story in February.
- Fiction: To Treasure an Heiress by Roseanna M. White. I love historical fiction! The reason I picked this new release as my number one choice was partially because of the bonus content beyond the book. White offered a book scavenger hunt where you had to search for answers inside the book to unlock a secret page on her website with bonus content. Such fun! I’ve enjoyed learning about the English Isles of Scilly through White’s works. I can wait for the final installment in this series, especially since I got a sneak peek of the first two chapters on the secret page. My runner up for fiction would be A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman. This book had so many feels! It was sad, sweet, and hilarious. I loved watching the sense of community develop between Grumpy Ove and his eccentric neighbors.
The Book List for January
Since I’ve started using Goodreads again, I will use their rating scale. 1 Star = I did not like it. 2 stars = It was okay. 3 stars = I liked it. 4 stars = I really liked it. 5 stars = It was amazing.
- Wild Things: The Art of Nurturing Boys by Stephen James and David Thomas – 4 stars
- Single, Gay, Christian: A Personal Journey of Faith and Sexual Identity by Gregory Coles – 5 stars
- Emotionally Healthy Spirituality: It’s Impossible to Be Spiritually Mature, While Remaining Emotionally by Peter Scazzero – 4 stars
- Try Softer: A Fresh Approach to Move Us out of Anxiety, Stress, and Survival Mode–and into a Life of Connection and Joy by Aundi Kolber – 4 stars
- In a Holidaze by Christiana Lauren (holiday romance) – 2 stars
- Engaged in Trouble by Jenny B. Jones (Enchanted Events Series) (murder mystery) – 3 stars
- Royally in Trouble by Jenny B. Jones (Enchanted Events Series) (murder mystery) – 3 stars
- Fanatically in Trouble by Jenny B. Jones (Enchanted Events Series) (murder mystery) – 3 stars
- To Treasure an Heiress by Roseanna M. White (The Secrets of Isles Series) (historical fiction) – 4 stars
- Short Stories: A Mixtape by Jenny B. Jones – 4 stars
- Wild Heart Summer by Jenny B. Jones (rom-com) – 3 stars
- So Not Happening by Jenny B. Jones (A Charmed Life Series) (YA mystery) – 3 stars
- I’m So Sure by Jenny B. Jones (A Charmed Life Series) (YA mystery) – 3 stars
- So Over My Head by Jenny B. Jones (A Charmed Life Series) (YA mystery) – 3 stars
- In Between by Jenny B. Jones (A Katie Parker Production) (YA rom-com) – 3 stars
- On The Loose by Jenny B. Jones (A Katie Parker Production) (YA rom-com) – 3 stars
- The Big Picture by Jenny B. Jones (A Katie Parker Production) (YA rom-com) – 3 stars
- Something to Believe In by Jenny B. Jones (A Katie Parker Production) (rom-com) – 4 stars
- Can’t Let You Go by Jenny B. Jones (A Katie Parker Production) (rom-com) – 4 stars
- Forever Your Girl by Jenny B. Jones (A Katie Parker Production) (rom-com) – 4 stars
- Just Between You and Me by Jenny B. Jones (contemporary fiction) – 4 stars
- A Man Called Ove by Fredrick Backman (humorous/friendship fiction) – 4 stars
- Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys (YA historical fiction) – 4 stars
- A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle – (Children/Youth Sci-Fi) – 3 stars
- The Buy-In by Emma St. Clair (Graham Brothers Series) (rom-com) – 3 stars
- Falling For Your Best Friend’s Twin by Emma St. Clair (Love Clichés Series) (rom-com) – 3 stars
- Falling for Boss by Emma St. Clair (Love Clichés Series) (rom-com) – 3 stars
- Falling for Your Fake Fiancée by Emma St. Clair (Love Clichés Series) (rom-com) – 3 stars