The only books I read in January are the ones I selected for Erin's awesome book challenge! I finished all ten of them on January 30th. Here are my reviews.
Read a book, any book, that is at least 200 pages long: The Light Between Oceans by M.L. Stedman It took me a while to get into it (I didn't like Isabel and thought the writing was a bit boring), but halfway through the book I was hooked by the plot and characters and location and couldn't put it down. And of course I cried like a baby. Side note, the narrator for the audiobook is so hard to understand! I gave up after 20 minutes and started over with a hard copy from the library. ★★★★
Read a book that begins with the letter D: Diary by Chuck Palahniuk So weird, so Chuck. It kept my interest and kept me guessing. I've always loved his writing and strange stories, but this one was a bit slow. I wasn't wowed. ★★★
Read a book with a four word title: Go Set A Watchman by Harper Lee Most of this book goes nowhere fast, but I liked it. I loved Jean Louise and wasn't disturbed by the storyline or outcome of some of the characters. It also didn't ruin To Kill A Mockingbird for me. Sadly, it paints a pretty good picture of the time period it depicts. I thought the ending was quite abrupt though. ★★★
Read a book with Mother/Father/Son/Daughter/Child in the title: The Memory Keeper's Daughter by Kim Edwards I immediately loved this book, but got bored somewhere in the middle when the story took some random side steps. There were also points of repetition that sort of bugged me, but I kept reading because I was so interested in the characters. Regardless, I couldn't put it down and it was a quick, but sad read. ★★★★
Read a book from Amazon's top 100 authors list who is new to you: Thursdays at Eight by Debbie Macomber B-O-R-I-N-G. I wanted to read a Macomber book because she lives in the same city as I do and has written hundreds of best-selling books. I randomly chose one that isn't part of one of her many series and because they all have four star ratings, I didn't think I could go wrong. It was a quick, cheesy story about four friends, but it was so mundane. Though I didn't hate the characters, I didn't love them either. ★★
Read a book set in Asia: Nagasaki: Life After Nuclear War by Susan Southard It took me two weeks to finish, but not because it was bad. It's well-written and well-researched, but so full of facts that it's sometimes dry and also, just so, so horrific. It follows five survivors from the atomic bombing of Nagasaki and really gets into the political, social, and personal aftermath. I was shocked to learn about how poorly the Japanese and American governments treated the victims for decades. The U.S. was shaaaady! ★★★★
Read a book with a season in the title: The Summer I Turned Pretty by Jenny Han I wanted to read this series because I liked Jenny Han's other books, but this is really young YA. Like, for preteens. It was easy and light and I finished it in about two hours, but I won't be reading on. The main character was annoying and immature. ★★
Read a book that will make you laugh from this Buzzfeed list: Catch-22 by Joseph Heller This book is hard to describe and review, but I liked it. It was confusing, out of order, ridiculous, and repetitive, and there are a lot of characters. It gets really boring for long periods of time before picking back up again and there are a lot of WTF and LOL moments. I honestly don't think I could have read it though. The audiobook narrator was amazing and kept me interested in the story, but it still took me ten days to listen to, which is long for me. ★★★
Read a book that is a friend or family member's favorite: The Cuckoo's Calling by Robert Galbraith I've never read a detective novel before. It took me a long time to get into the story, but it kept me guessing. I liked the way it was written with long, drawn out conversations. Every character was so well developed. I'll definitely check out the other books in the series because I love Strike! ★★★
Read a book published the year you were born: Sophie's Choice by William Styron (1979) That was a lot of words! Sure the book is long, but it's so drawn out and dramatic and there are just so many words (some say it's beautifully written, I think it's redundant and needed editing). I waded through it because the story was definitely interesting and heartbreaking and kept me guessing. I didn't like Stingo at all though. ★★★
Besides really liking The Memory Keeper's Daughter and The Light Between Oceans I didn't fall in love with these books, but I was happy to pull some books out of my TBR list that have been sitting there for years. Thanks for hosting such a fun challenge, Erin!