Bought January 2019:

This Is Where It Ends by Marieke Nijkamp

Dear Martin by Nic Stone

The 7 ½ Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle by Stuart Turton

Uncommon Type by Tom Hanks

Two Can Keep a Secret by Karen McManus

The Lost City of the Monkey God by Douglas Preston

Literary Theory: A Complete Introduction by Sara Upstone

Books Read January 2019:

One of Us is Lying by Karen McManus


Before we begin…

I got this idea from a collection of similar essay from Nick Hornby in a book I flipped through one Sunday afternoon at Barnes and Noble. It was called Ten Years in the Tub: A Decade Soaking in Great Books. This book collects various essays from Nick where he listed the books he bought every month and complemented it with the books he actually read every month. I thought it was a neat idea; I was inspired. So, why not give it a go for myself on this 2019 journey?

Aaaaannndddd as you can see my reading game is pretty poor, while my buying game is killing it. The irony is that I have no money to buy the plethora of books I do. However, if I don’t buy books when I see them or when they are recommended to me, I fear I’ll forget they exist and they’ll always be lost in the Book Void. We can’t have that now, can we?

Even though I did read a total of one book during January, I managed to read most of Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Talefor my grad course. You should probably know a few things about my life, which may or may not reveal why I only completed one book during the first month of the year.

  • I teach and grade five different English classes between 7thand 8thgrade for a total of four preps.
  • I am the director of our school’s musical production of The Lion King JR.and our rehearsal season has started in full. Hakuna Matata?
  • I’m currently working on my Master’s in English and Creative Writing. The current class? Literary Theory. Ya… it’s not my favorite thing in the world.
  • I do like to play video games, watch Netflix, and hang out with my dog (he’s very demanding).
  • I also like to write—even if my creative capabilities are currently hibernating.

So, as you can see, I have a lot on my plate. Reading time should be natural to me, considering my profession. However, it’s not. Sometimes my mind is so drained at the end of the day that the only thing I can be is a human vegetable in front of the TV while cuddled up with my dog. Oh, there is also the small detail that I bought a 3000 piece Power Rangers puzzle because, well, it’s morphin’ time. I completed the puzzle, don’t worry. It’s now hanging on my living room wall in all its morphinominal glory.

This will probably make things seem worse, but I finished One of Us is Lyingwithin a 24 hour period. I started one cold Saturday night. I fell in love with the four main characters and got so wrapped up in the mystery of the novel. I. Could. Not. Stop. After all, the premise is that five kids walk into detention and only four come out alive. Who killed Simon? I had to know. The next day I did some grad work and jumped back into the book because I had to finish it before Monday. Some of my students raved about the book, and I wanted to talk to them about it. Also? I didn’t want it to be spoiled for me. So I stayed up until 2:00 AM Monday morning to finish. It was such a wild ride. I enjoyed the characters and the building mystery. While I didn’t figure out who the killer was before the reveal, I did figure out one of the main character’s secrets (oh, they all have juicy secrets!) so I felt a little accomplished.

After finishing that mystery, I had to buy her second novel Two Can Keep a Secret, where it has been neglected since its purchase. Literally. I just took it out of the Barnes and Noble bag to place on my bookshelf last night. Poor book. One could say it was… kept as a secret. Beyond that, I went into a mystery crave so I bought The 7 ½ Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle, where a murder happens and the main character wakes up in the body of a different suspect every day. It’s been detailed as a “Groundhog day meets Agatha Christie” so I was sold on that. I’m supposed to read it alongside one of my best friends. She’s started it; I haven’t. Oops.

Dear Martinand Uncommon Type were both strongly recommended to me, so I bought them on a whim while I discovered This is Where it Endsand The Lost City of the Monkey Godon the Barnes and Noble featured tables. Honestly, their buy two get one free table gets me every time. The first half of January I was playing the latest Tomb Raider video game, so The Lost City of the Monkey Godcalled out to me as it details the true story of an expedition team searching for, well, a lost city of a monkey god, of course. This actually happened back in 2012. I’ve always been fascinated with treasure hunts with the full realization that I’d never survive a said expedition. Like Indiana Jones, I don’t do snakes. At. All. EVER. To prove my point the first two chapters of the book discusses a particular snake that is so venomous that it, essentially, melts away your flesh. This snake was going to be in their path and, despite this, they still went on the expedition. Fools. I am content to read about it from the comfort of my snake-free home. I never got past the first two chapters because of grad work. It’s become my read before bed book. Maybe I’ll finish it by the end of February.

I did spend the majority of the month reading The Handmaid’s Tale. I just finished the book yesterday, so I’ll add it to “read” list for February’s post. However, it was a witty and great read during January. There’s so much to dissect and it made me want to go back and watch the Hulu show all over again. Maybe this time I’ll actually get into the second season.

Well, that about sums up my first months reading adventure. I hope I fare better during February (sneak peak: so far, I’m not!) Anyway, hope you all have a great reading month. If you have any suggestions, let me know. See you at the end of the month!

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