At the end of every month I review the books I read in the month, and pick out tentative books for the next month. And starting this month / year, I am going to do it publicly, here on the blog.
A monthly reading wrap up where I share the books I read in the month gone by, along with mini-reviews, and quick recommendations.
At some point I might start doing TBR posts, where I share the books I plan to read in the upcoming month. But not right now, when my monthly TBR is super volatile every month. So much so that it wouldn’t make sense for me to share or be helpful for you to know.
At-least with a reading wrap up like this, I get to talk about books I have already read and am excited about while it is all still fresh in my mind. And I am hoping that through these posts you might find some good books to read. Win-win! 🙂
January 2020: Reading Wrap Up
Last year, I read 61 books – it’s the highest number of books I have read in any one year. And you would think after that kind of reading year I would be motivated to read even more books this year.
But on the contrary, I scaled down my reading goals for 2020 – to read only 24 books this year. Mostly because I have aggressive goals in other areas of my life, and I wanted a more leisurely reading year in 2020. That was the plan anyway.
And then I read 8 books in Jan, and am halfway through 2 other books. So clearly, I can’t seem to keep my resolutions – whether they are about over achieving or slacking. *long sigh*
But anyway, enough of the ramble-y introduction, let’s get to the books.
Mini Book Reviews: January 2020
Deep Work was the first book I read this year. Or rather I must say the first book I heard this year, because I listened to the audiobook – and LOVED it!
Distraction free focused work has always been a challenge for me, and I picked this book up in hopes that it might have helpful insight. And it did deliver on that front.
Highly recommend if you are looking to read a book that will not only highlight the importance of deep focused work, but will give you actionable tips on achieving the state of flow required for deep work. [link to my full review on goodreads]
This book. It was my kind of thriller. The kind that immediately draws you in, keeps you hooked, and then blows your mind with a twist so unexpected that it leaves you reeling. And thinking. And wondering.
Especially thinking through all those thoughts & inconsistencies that crossed your mind, while you were reading the story, but for some reason you never paid attention to. And wondering why on earth were you instead focusing on and evaluating the red-herrings.
But I don’t think it’s just me not paying careful attention. Because I think even if I was paying attention, I might not have guessed the final twist. And it’s not even all about the twist really, because I personally was more fascinated with the psychology behind the why. HIGHLY Recommend if you enjoy the genre. DO NOT miss this one! [link to my full review on goodreads]
I read a lot of romance, but the romances I read are almost always contemporary romances. I don’t think I’ve read any historical romances outside of the classics from Austen & Bronte. So it was a genre I was meaning to explore. And this book was a relatively random pick from the library.
But I’m happy to say that it was a good random pick. Because I loved it! It had everything I love in the broader genre – a spunky spirited heroine, great chemistry & fun banter between the lead pair & how can I forget – swoon worthy romance.
But especially considering it’s a historical romance, and the norms of those times were very different from our current times, it was particularly interesting to see how well the author pulled off a virginal, yet non prudish heroine. Maybe it is the norm in the genre. I wouldn’t know, because I have not read much in it. But it was interesting nonetheless. I definitely recommend this book. [link to my full review on goodreads]
After reading Romancing The Duke, I was craving more of the same genre, so it made sense to pick up book #2 of the same companion series Castles Ever After, as I already knew I liked the author & the premise of the series (as Romancing The Duke was book #1). And I’m glad I picked this one up because it did not disappoint.
This story is a classic case of opposites attract, with a smaller side trope of childhood friends turned lovers & forbidden love track thrown in. And I really enjoyed the premise, as well as the banter & the chemistry between the lead pair.
Definitely recommend this book / series to fans of the genre, or even ones who are looking to start with the genre. Start with Romancing the Duke, then pick this one up. [link to my full review on goodreads]
I gotta admit, the only reason I picked up The Unhoneymooners was because of the hype the book received. I was curious and since I had enjoyed all the other books I read by this author, I was expecting to love this one as well. And I did like it. But maybe not as much as everyone else.
The Unhoneymooners is a light hearted romance, with likable characters & a fun premise. Not super emotionally compelling, but very witty, and laugh-out-loud funny. So if that is what you are looking for – go for it! [link to my full review on goodreads]
This book came highly recommended – by many successful bloggers, influencers & digital entrepreneurs. It’s the reason why I picked it up. And after reading it, I guess I see why they would recommend this.
But this book was published in 2009. And I read it in 2020. Considering it’s primarily about pursuing your passion in an increasingly digital economy – the information is outdated at this point. Which is understandable, especially considering the massive technological advances of the past decade. But it also means that the book is no longer as useful.
For instance the author talks about the need to keep up with the times & establish your business on online platforms, and the new and potentially profitable platforms he highlights are Facebook and Twitter. So you see, the content of the book, while super relevant when it was published, is not really evergreen.
There is one evergreen message though – Follow your dreams & WORK HARD! Unless you want to read or listen to the book for that message, I’d say give it a skip. [link to my full review on goodreads]
When I first got to know of the premise of this book – which is an enemies to lovers gay romance between The First Son of The United States & The Prince of England – I was like sign me UP!!
And the book did not disappoint! It was everything I wished it would be — and more!! Sweet, romantic, swoony, and so full of heart that you cannot help but feel all warm & fuzzy.
That being said, I think the mass adoration that the book receives is as much because of the sheer political escapism of this story, as it is because of the swoon worthy romance between the duo.
Because even though this story takes place in contemporary America, it’s an alternate reality of sorts – a reality in which America voted their first Madam president to power in 2016. Not Hilary. Just a fictional Madam president.
So if you are looking for a high stakes swoony romance, which will make you believe in both – the power of love & the resilience of America – this is the book for you. [link to my full review on goodreads]
This book / author had been on my radar for the longest time. Partly because of all the rave reviews this book got, but mostly because I hadn’t read many (if any) romances with African American protagonists.
So I knew reading this one would fill that particular diversity hole in my reading.
And for the most part the book did live up to my expectations. As it was a fun read. A sweet, swoony, sexy romance – the perfect pick for some light reading over the weekend. [link to my full review on goodreads]
So overall in Jan I read a thriller, 2 non-fiction books, and 5 romances. This is not representative of an average reading month for me. As I don’t read quite as many romances every month.
But this month all of these were intentional picks, as I was doing ‘research’ for a post I have planned for Valentine’s Day. It’s probably going to be the next post up on the blog, so stay tuned!
Having said that – if you can only pick one book of all the books I shared today – pick up The Silent Patient!
That’s all from my end folks. Happy reading!
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Have you read any of these books? What did you think of them? Which books did you read in January? Do you have any recommendations for me?
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