I love it when a reading month goes well! It seemed like every book I read at the beginning of January was fabulous. Of course, the entire month didn’t continue that way. But overall, it was a great reading month.
I read 12 books in January. I gave half of them perfect grades.
My Favorite Books of January 2022
Here are my reviews of my six favorite books of January 2022 — one nonfiction and five fiction books.
I think I’ve seen the Foo Fighters three times. I know I saw them at least once (maybe twice) when they were basically a nothing band. Then I saw them in a huge arena. They put on a great show, which is what made me read Dave Grohl’s book, The Storyteller: Tales of Life and Music. Even though I like the band, I didn’t expect to enjoy Grohl’s book as much as I did.
Grohl worked his way to his current fame the way musicians used to. He wasn’t discovered on some TV show. He loved music, practiced hard, and put in his dues. And he still seems like a great guy despite his celebrity. He still tries to do the right thing and just be a good person. I appreciate that.
I liked hearing Grohl’s stories about playing with other notable musicians, many of whom he met because he was in the right place at the right time. I also enjoyed how he’s still just a big nerd and used to be surprised when people recognized him, even after Nirvana. And, of course, it was chilling to read his accounts of watching Kurt Cobain struggle with drugs and then learning he had ODd and later died.
Overall, I found Grohl’s book to be real and honest.
Home Before Dark
I’m not sure why I love Riley Sager’s books. I’m not really the type for science fiction or ghost stories. But Sager writes in such a way that has you questioning whether the spirits in his books are real or if there is another explanation. I always enjoy trying to figure them out. Home Before Dark was no exception.
The book is about Baneberry Hall, a Victorian estate in Vermont, and the families that have lived there. In my mind, it was the Amityville Horror house, and it had that kind of mystique with the locals. Bad things happened to every family that lived in the house, including the Holts, the home’s final residents.
When Maggie Holt’s father dies, she discovers that he still owned the house, and it’s now hers. Maggie and her family left the house one night 25 years ago and never looked back. She doesn’t remember much about her time there, only that her entire life was lived in the shadows of her father’s book about their time there, House of Horrors. Maggie has always been the weird girl who saw ghosts due to the book. And her parents made her swear she’d never go back there.
With her father dead and her mother, his ex-wife, off on vacation, Maggie decides it’s time to return to the house. She wants to fix it up and sell it. But first, she has to listen to the house and what it’s trying to tell her. Will Maggie make it out of Baneberry Hall alive the second time?
My Darling Husband
I have no idea why this book reminded me of the Sopranos, but it did. For some reason, Cam Lasky, the main character, was Tony Soprano in my mind. But never mind all that.
After picking her children up at school, Jade Lasky comes home only to be met in her mansion’s garage by a masked intruder. The man tells Jade and the kids that they need to do exactly what he says and no one will get hurt. His orders include calling Jade’s famous chef husband, Cam Lasky, and asking him for an oddly specific amount of cash to save his family.
But what Jade doesn’t know is that Cam doesn’t have the money, and he can’t get it. He’s already in debt up to his eyeballs and already borrowed money from some rather unsavory characters.
The longer the intruder holds Jade and the kids, the more she realizes he knows a lot about her family. He may even know some things she doesn’t. Can Jade figure out who he is and save her family? Can Cam figure out how to get enough cash with the clock ticking?
No One Will Miss Her
Lizzie Oullette has always been an outcast in her small town in rural Maine. Even after marrying the town’s baseball star. So when she sees her chance to get out, she takes it. Even if it means assuming the life of Adrienna Richards, a beautiful, rich, social media influencer. But can she get away with it? It certainly seems like Det. Ian Bird is catching up with her.
There were parts of this book that weren’t super believable. If you read it, I’d love to discuss them with you. But I loved the book despite its flaws. I stayed up late reading it two nights in a row because I had to know what happened next. When I give up sleep for a book, you know it’s worth reading.
I’m not even sure what I would call this book. It’s not a thriller, for sure. But it’s also not totally a romance novel. There’s some mystery about it, which you pick up on pretty quickly. But the plot twists keep coming until the end.
It starts (sorta) when Fallon, the daughter of a famous LA actor, meets Ben. Ben pretends to be Fallon’s boyfriend and rescues her from another terrible conversation with her narcissistic dad. Then the two spend the day together — Fallon’s last in LA before she moves to New York. They are quite taken with each other but decide not to exchange information. Instead, they vow to meet up at the same restaurant every year on November 9. The story of their lives (separate and together) plays out from there. Trust me, you don’t want to miss it.
We Are Not LIke Them
Jen and Riley have been best friends their entire lives. In fact, Riley’s family practically took Jen as their own because her mother was a less-than-competent parent. They grew up like family.
Even though their lives are extremely different, the women remain best friends as adults. Jen is a young white woman married to a police officer and expecting their first child. Riley is a young Black woman making her name as a television journalist.
Both women are thrown into turmoil when Jen’s husband shoots and kills a Black teenager while on duty. They learn how little they know about what it’s like to walk in each others’ shoes. Jen wants to protect her husband and their son once he’s born. Riley feels like her identity and community are threatened, which Jen seems not to understand at all.
Can their friendship survive all the fundamental differences that threaten to destroy them?
There they are! My six favorite books of January 2022. It was nice to be reminded how much I love Sager and Hoover. I think I’ll put more of their books in my queue. I hope you also find something on the list to read and love. As always, happy reading!