I read 10 books in January and gave six of them perfect grades. That’s a successful reading month in my book (See what I did there?).
I gave two non-fiction and four fiction books perfect grades last month. My reviews are below.
Vargas traces the roots of her alcoholism back to her anxiety-riddled youth, anxiety that never went away, even while she was reporting the national news.
It’s difficult to believe that Vargas is able to do her uber public job so well with the emotional illness. It’s even more difficult to believe that she was able to hide her second illness, alcoholism, for so long.
Vargas seems candid and honest with her story. But, the reader can’t help but wonder, even as she bares her soul, if she’ll fall off of the wagon again. It’s a sad look at how addiction can happen to anyone and how well it sometimes can be hidden.
The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck by Mark Manson is not another self-help book. In fact, it’s an anti-self-help book. But Manson isn’t necessarily telling us not to care about anything, despite the book’s title. His message to the reader is to care about the right things and quit thinking that everything has to be or will be perfect. Instead, Manson says we should embrace our imperfections and figure out what really matters in life.
Manson’s tough love approach is pretty amazing. I read a ton of reviews praising this book. It didn’t disappoint. I’ve already recommended it to two people.
Redemption Road by John Hart has a host of unlikely, intertwined characters including a little boy who wants revenge for his mother’s murder, crooked cops (actual and perceived), a rogue detective who you want to win, a senile attorney who is brighter than everyone else, and a preacher with more problems than the whole lot of them.
ButRedemption Road really is all about justice and the things people will go through to get it, even when it seems impossible.
Toni Murphy was not a perfect teenager. She drank, did drugs, had a rebel boyfriend, and lied to her parents, further straining an already difficult relationship. Despite Toni’s flaws, she wasn’t a murderer. But when Toni’s younger sister is brutally murdered, she and her boyfriend, Ryan, are convicted of the crime and sent to prison. Once they’re out on parole, Toni and Ryan (who aren’t allowed to be in contact) end up back in the small town of their youth, trying to clear their names.
I still don’t know what to fully think about All the Ugly and Wonderful Things by Bryn Greenwood. The book is amazing, don’t get me wrong, but it’s also just terribly sad. You want the main characters to be together, but you’re also not certain that it isn’t an abusive and inappropriate relationship. Either way, the book gives the reader a lot to consider.
All the Ugly and Wonderful Things is the story of Wavy, a little girl wise beyond her years. Wavy is the daughter of a meth dealer and a mentally ill woman. As essentially the adult in the household, Wavy is responsible for herself and her 8-year-old brother, Donal. That is, until Kellen, an ex-con who works for her father, takes a special interest in helping her. Kellen takes care of Wavy throughout her youth, but, when she becomes a teenager, the relationship develops into more. When Wavy’s aunt finds out about the inappropriate relationship, she does everything in her power to make sure the couple isn’t together, tearing Wavy apart yet again in the process.
Professor George Clare comes home to his New York farm one afternoon to find his wife murdered and his 3-year-old daughter alone. Of course, George becomes the primary suspect.
There they are! My favorite books from January. I hope you find something on the list that you want to read.
As always, happy reading!