books I read in January


It’s that time of year where all we should really be doing is curling up with tea and biscuits and obsessively reading novels.


Of course, most of us don’t have / don’t choose to have the luxury of available hours in which to do so (case in point: my grand plan of decreasing my schedule this year to only 41 hours of work per week completely backfired, and instead I will now be working 59 hours per week).


Not to mention the uncounted hours of circus school administration and marketing, keeping up with my personal circus training, and creating/planning/performing in a fundraiser for the Heart & Stroke Foundation (we raised over $3000! If you missed it, save the date for next year: February 24, 2018).

For those of you keeping track, this is why my end-of-January post turned up in mid-February.


And yet, somehow through a strategic dearth of sleep, I still managed to read ten books in January:

  1. The Book of Speculation, by Erika Swyler
    I’m pretty sure this book wasn’t good at all. On the other hand, I almost loved it. There were definitely elements necessary to the plot that were missing, but the writing was charming and the story was about circus, so I suppose that meant I could forgive the rest.
  2. Inside the O’Briens, by Lisa Genova
    I almost put this book down after the first two pages, because I was so annoyed by the main character. I’m so glad I didn’t (although I did get vocally upset at the ending, scaring both the dogs and my forever human. You’ve been forewarned).
  3. Maybe in Another Life, by Taylor Jenkins Reid
    Another one I hated at the beginning, but this one I enjoyed much more than I should have. It was the perfect guilty pleasure… Read this on your next vacation.
  4. Fates and Furies, by Lauren Groff
    Maybe I wasn’t in the right mood, or maybe I just got too lucky with reading multiple great books in a row. The first half of this book took me concerted effort to get through. The second half was better, but I’m not convinced it was all worth it.
  5. A Practical Wedding, by Meg Keene
    I read this in one sitting, and loved (almost) every minute of it. If you are getting married, please read this book. If you’re not getting married but you want to give someone who is advice on getting married, please read this book.
  6. Happiness isn’t Funny, by Gabriel Rutledge
    Happiness may not be funny, but neither is a miserable account of a road comic’s underpaid gigs, lack of family time, and general desperation. Gabriel Rutledge’s stand up comedy made me laugh, but his book made me want to cry.
  7. Way Out There: The Best of Explore, curated/edited by James Little
    As with most works of collected articles, some were good, and some were not. Reading about mountain climbing makes me wish I were more adventurous. Reading about cycling makes me appreciate being curled up on my couch with tea.
  8. Cleaving, by Julie Powell
    This is the second book by Julie of Julie and Julia fame. It’s not the same thing, so if you loved Julie and Julia, maybe don’t read this. It’s darker and messier and bloodier… and so much more real. In it, Julie becomes an apprentice butcher—and there are lots of meat recipes scattered throughout the book. My back-on-the-Whole-Life-Challenge self appreciates this.
  9. The Best Kind of People, by Zoe Whittall
    I have no idea what to think of this one. It wasn’t the best book I’ve ever read, but it wasn’t the worst, either. It was thought-provoking at times, and dry at others. Do what you will with that useless review.
  10. A Practical Wedding Planner, by Meg Keene
    What can I say? I’m excited.


Even more surprising, in addition to all of that, I also found time to watch way too much A Series of Unfortunate Events (my childhood self is so happy with that show), and make these chocolate pistachio sables.

Recipe here.

3 thoughts on “books I read in January

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