Eeeeeeeeks! I am so excited! It’s my January Book Review!
If you’re a reader out there like me, I know you’re all like this right now…
You’re so pumped that we’re going to talk books today!! Now, if you’re not a reader out there, I know you’re all like…
…zzzzzzzzzzz. You’re thinking “another boring book review”. So, for those non-readers, please go watch One Tree Hill so that we can discuss how it’s possible for someone to get hit by a car/kidnapped/almost drown and then be totally fine the very next episode. #becausethatkeepshappeningononetreehill
Okay, the last time we talked books was right after Christmas. If you missed my 2016 Book Review…
…you can catch it HERE. It includes the names and reviews of all 62 books I read last year.
And don’t forget, you can also see the complete list of books I read in 2015 (all 63 of them), click here.
Now…before we start, I’m going to answer the number one question I get every single solitary month first: How do you find time to read so many books? The answer is, I make time. The older I get, the less TV I watch and the more I read. I read a little in the morning, right before I pick my kids up from school, at night and any time I’m waiting (speech therapy, dance, doctor appointments, in the car waiting for my kids after school). Plus, this last month included two trips, where I read a total of five books. If I have a trip that month, I’m always going to have read more. I wrote my December Book Review before Christmas, so technically two of the books I’m reviewing this month were read while we were in NYC during December (but I had already written and published my book review, so I’m adding them here instead of there…which is why I only reviewed three books in December instead of five). Then, we went to Park City in January and I was able to read three books there (pretty much one on each plane ride plus one while we were there), so my two trips make up five books. So all of that to say…that’s how it’s possible for me to review 8 books this month. Ready? Let’s do this!
Well, this one you should read right now. I don’t know how Sally Hepworth and I became friends, but years ago, she started reading my blog and now we chat via Facebook and such (she lives in Australia) and I adore this mama of three. I’ve read and reviewed all three of her books and friends, this one is exceptional. The Mother’s Promise had me bawling. This novel is about a mom who is dying of cancer and her relationship with her teenage daughter…and as many of you know, this hits very close to home with me right now because one of my very best friends. Hepworth is a brilliant writer. Every time I put down one of her books, I’m amazed by her ability to create such complex characters and stories. Even though this story is hard, it’s uplifting, encouraging and full of so much hope…and that my friends, I cannot get enough of right now. Sally Hepworth, I know you’re reading this and you have outdone yourself friend. And to everyone else, this book hasn’t been released yet, but you can pre-order it HERE and have it at the end of February when it comes out. In the meantime, read one of Sally’s other two books. I’m telling you, you will love her so much. She has a gift of storytelling.
And then I read something light after that…because I needed light. French Women Don’t Sleep Alone is the second little French book I’ve read by Jamie Cat Callan and I breezed through it. If you’ve read my book reviews before, then you know how much I adore these little books on French life. And because I do…Amazon is always recommending I buy more and basically, I do whatever Amazon tells me. #amazonisverybossy So, Callan is an American with a French grandmother who has spent much of her adult life trying to find that special something that sets French women apart from other women. Her books are little stories of her childhood with her French grandmother or other stories of how as an adult, she’s gone to France to research French women. I find them fascinating. I always get good tips and ideas from them…everything from shopping tips to beauty, hair, bath tips…to what to wear, how to host a dinner party, and in this one, how to be a good partner to a man. They’re light, they’re frivolous, they’re easy to read and they’re just happy. If you’re one of my French book readers…grab this one to read too!
So, I read A Spool of Blue Thread this month and did not enjoy it. Okay, who else has read this one? Am I crazy??? This novel is about a family…but it kind of didn’t go anywhere. The parents are older and all of the kids are adults…and it’s kind of about one brother who is a little wayward…but then again, it’s not really about him because the story doesn’t really dig into his life as much as I needed it to. I don’t know…it was a beating for me to read. I was hoping at the end, I would care about someone or something from this book, but no…I didn’t. I was just relieved it was over and slightly irritated that I read it. I was hoping it would be like the movie The Family Stone (based on the reviews, it sounded like that movie), but in my opinion, it wasn’t. I’m going to need other people to chime in on this one…I was bored. Ugh, I hate that.
Okay, let me explain this one. Years ago, I was watching the Rachael Ray show when she had on Alec Baldwin’s pregnant wife Hilaria. I watched the segment and thought she was as cute as can be, so I looked her up on Instagram and loved her feed and immediately started following both her and Alec (because he is hysterical!). Well, since then, she’s had not one but three kids and I thoroughly enjoy following her story via social media. So, when I found out she was writing a book, I immediately pre-ordered it and it arrived at the end of December which was perfect timing because it’s all about health and fitness and that just sounded delightful for a January read. Her book is called The Living Clearly Method and it’s how she, as the owner of two yoga studios, makes fitness, food and daily activity a part of her every day life and the lives of her family. After almost four years of following her on social media, I thought it was really interesting because she talks about how in her 20s, she worked out too much that she broke her hip and was in a wheelchair for a time. It’s very much about balance, routine and finding little pockets of time during the day to make healthy decisions (like prepping food in advance or sneaking in a quick workout). The book has a big chapter of yoga flows and poses plus another big chapter of recipes (about half of the book is yoga and recipes), so it was easy to read through and a book that I know I’ll refer back to time and time again. I’ve already made her “bowls” for lunch and I’ve done several of the yoga flows along with my typical workouts. So…all of that to say, it was an excellent read to kick off my year!
I loved this book! Lauren Graham wrote a memoir called Talking As Fast As I Can about her time on Gilmore Girls, Parenthood and Gilmore Girls again…and I adored it! I’ve always thought I was Lauren Graham fan…but now, I’m convinced of it. She is so funny, so relatable, so happy and you can tell from reading this book, that’s she’s so full of energy. Now, if you haven’t watched Gilmore Girls, I’m not sure if you would enjoy this book (because basically, that’s what it’s about). Also, if you haven’t watched Gilmore Girls, stop reading this post right this second and start…because it’s one of the best shows I’ve ever binged watched (besides you Breaking Bad…you will always be my favorite). I loved how she went season by season of Gilmore Girls and added her thoughts and comments about the episodes…as a fan of the show, this was very interesting to me. I also loved how she bridged the original series with the new one and added snippets of life inside of Parenthood (another show you should binge watch…like now). This book made me an even bigger Lauren Graham fan.
Whoa. This one was intense.
Last month, you ladies told me I should read The Woman in Cabin 10 because it’s sort of similar to Gone Girl and The Girl on the Train (both of which, I enjoyed) and you know what? I think I liked this one even better! This book is a fictional tale of a young woman who goes on a Norwegian Fjords cruise and realizes the girl in the cabin next to hers has disappeared. I don’t want to give anything away…but there were two moments in this book that made me gasp out loud. I did not know how the ending would play out and was kept in suspense the entire time. I found this book riveting and was unable to put it down. Side note, I am so glad I didn’t read it last June when I was on a Norwegian Fjords cruise because I’m pretty sure it would have ruined the trip for me 😉 . Thank you for suggesting this one…it was one of my very favorites this month!
So, after reading the previous book…I needed something HAPPY! I opened my book drawer and pulled out Nantucket Sisters by Nancy Thayer and loved it! This is such a beach read/chick lit kind of book that you’ll read quickly. It’s a novel about two friends on Nantucket and it starts out with them as 11 and then you watch them grow up. The thing is…I had no clue where the book was going at several points throughout. Even though this one is light and easy to read, I will say it was not predictable at all, and most definitely kept my attention. The only thing I would change about the book is that I thought the ending was a little abrupt. I wish she would have given us one more chapter. That being said, it’s just one of those feel good books that you can’t help but like.
Well…after I bought Hilaria Baldwin’s book, Amazon kept telling me I needed to buy Goop Clean Beauty too. And because I really let Amazon have way too much influence on my life, I did. I follow Goop on Instagram (and Gwyneth Paltrow too…the founder of Goop), so I thought the book was worth a shot. And you know what? I found it interesting. It’s about having a more organic approach to everything from what you’re putting in your body to what you’re putting on your body. I’m not sure I can subscribe to everything they value…but some of the things, I do, should or can do in my family too. For instance, there was an entire chapter on dry brushing and the benefits your body receives when you do it (especially to your lymphatic system), so I bought a dry brush and have been doing it per there instructions ever since. I thought this was a good book to read to kick off my year. It had some practical and inspiring ways to make your home and family a little safer when it comes to products we use every day. Easy read 🙂 .
Well, that’s it! That is my January Book Review!
What did you read this month? What should I be reading next??? I’m already on my first book for February…but I need a few more ideas. Comment and share below! Plus…
…don’t forget to enter to win my giveaway!! Five lucky winners will each receive a pair of Ugg slippers 🙂 . Click HERE for details and to enter to win.