January 30, 2023

January books.

I set my goal for 50 books this year. That's roughly one a week. Since I read, generally, more than one book at a time, some weeks I don't finish any and some weeks I'll finish three. If you follow me on Goodreads or on my book highlights on Instagram, you may notice this. In January, I read 5 books and started a 6th. 

1. Faithfully Different by Natasha Crain (audio from Audible)

This was a fantastic read on apologetics. I really do like her writing and her podcast/interview presence. Highly recommend as a way to educate yourself on why Christianity is different and set apart from other religions. 

2. Signal Fires by Dani Shapiro (hardcover from BOTM)

This was a good book. It's literary fiction and pretty short at 220 pages. It was just really sad. There was a lot of pandemic-filler toward the end which was annoying but it time-jumped from the 1970s to present day. My only complaint was that there were no headings or labels about when something was happening, so you had to put it together in your head. That's happening in the book I'm reading now too and it just takes some effort. The end didn't blow me away and I just felt depressed after reading it. 

3. All the Dangerous Things by Stacy Willingham (hardcover from BOTM)

I feel that we've hit a wall with the thriller genre. This one had every trope and plot point available on the thriller bingo card. She packed everything possible into this book. She did the same with A Flicker in the Dark, though, so I'm not shocked. I found it hard to emphasize with the main character because she was so over-the-top. 

It was okay. Lots of triggers, if you're worried about that kind of thing. Very timely when it comes to current events in many ways so just proceed with caution. 

4. Dark Corners by Megan Goldin (ARC from Netgalley, release date August 2023)

Ugh. This book. I did a whole series of videos on Instagram about why I didn't like it. I find Rachel Krall to be insufferable. There is no other word for it. And because the main character is so hard to be around as a reader, I was annoyed by the whole book. I don't even think Megan Goldin is a bad writer. I find this series to just be terrible because this Sarah Koenig/Ashley Flowers hybrid she's created as her lead is just terrible. I could go into all the nit-picky things I didn't enjoy or just didn't make sense but I won't. Bottom line: if you liked The Night Swim, you'll probably at least feel the pull to read this follow-up. I really liked her book Stay Awake, which was released in August 2022. 

5. Part of Your World by Abby Jimenez (paperback)

This was kind of a sweet, good story. A little deeper than typical rom-com books but not so much so that you take the problems of the characters too seriously. It's not really a spoiler to say that there was a bit too much of a happy little bow tied around the end. I kind of predicted the ending from about 1/3 of the way in. Very Hallmark movie-ish, if you ask me. (And that's my rom-com for the year. I read maybe 1 every 6 months. The fact that I finished it actually makes it worthy of 3 stars. My cousin sent me this one for Christmas and it was on my TBR and my library holds list so I did think it sounded like a good story.)

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