The clock struck midnight on 31/12/17 and I wrote down my intentions for the year following through with my “Write it down and make it happen mantra”. One of those intentions was to challenge myself and find out how many books I would read in one month. This was an upgrade to the previous year’s plan which I had truly accomplished of reading a book a month. By the end of 2017, I had read 30+ books of many different genres so I thought I would get a great start to the year and see if I could read more than 4 books for the month of January. Well, I am pleased to say I managed to read 8 books in the month of January, a record I am not sure I will ever beat with work back in full force and without the long commute to work I used to have. This count excludes the multiple books I have been reading on repeat for the little one or the Losika Writes books we have just published.
I thought I would do a quick review of each book and rate it to complete my book binge month.
How to break your own heart- Maggie Alderson
This is a chick flick kind of book about a lady who has been married for 15yrs and then finally realising that despite never actually discussing parenthood with her husband, she is really keen to have a child. She is sick of the “missionary sex once a week with a condom” routine her husband has developed and seems content with. The book explores the people who come into her life as she tries to assert herself in her marriage.
3 stars for light-hearted reading but not much substance although I don’t think it was meant to be a book about substance
Mad about the Boy- Maggie Alderson
This is a chick flick book about a couple and their toddler son who migrate from Europe to Australia only for the man of the house to declare that he has been queer all along and would like to move in with his boyfriend. The book then follows the deserted wife as she tries to get her mojo back by jumping in bed with some guy she met at the gym.
2 stars- this book just got weirder and weirder as you read and one minute I was about to stop reading, but I had to finish the book. From the criminal investigations, the gay purple haired uncle and the bookstore antics, I felt there was too much going on.
Don’t Bitch, Just Get Rich- Toney Fitzgerald
This book is about changing your perspective about “what the universe has dealt you and getting on with life”. There are 7 people who enroll for a class through which they discover why their lives are stuck in a rut and what they can do to change things
4 stars- this book highlighted to me that we are all given 365 days a year during which we can choose to wallow in despair about the hand the universe has given to us, or we can choose to work towards something positive.
Hush Little Baby- Joana Barnard
This book is about a little baby who is found to have a broken arm and everyone in the home has something to hide. He is then taken out of his parents’ house as investigations on whether this is a case of child abuse occur and things start to unravel.
3 stars for the let down of an ending after setting up the story for all ¾ of the book only for the ending to leave you wondering what the? Is that it?
Secret Keeping for Beginners- Maggie Alderson
This is another chick flick book reinforcing that “all that glitters is not gold.” It is about a family of sisters who all have little secrets of their own they are not ready to divulge to each other whilst all putting up a façade that they all have their shit in order. Eventually, the secret longing for another man, the queer secret of one of the sisters and the true extent of how broke and in need of help the other sister is, takes a toll on the family and they have to come clean to each other.
3 stars for the light-hearted reading and true illustration that no family is “perfect”.
Bush Doctors- Annabelle Baryley
This is a collection of reflection stories of doctors that are practicing medicine in rural and remote Australia and how everyone started on their journey to become doctors as well as how they ended up doing rural medicine.
4 stars for the enjoyable book and insight into how people choose their career path and how great a role chance plays into who we eventually become.
Leaving home- Jodi Picoult
This is the shortest book of the lot. Basically, it is a compilation of short stories about transitioning from home ie leaving for college or burying a child.
3 stars for the beautifully written stories, however, as they are all short stories, by the time you get into the meat of the story it is then quickly finished.
Leaving time- Jodi Picoult
Now Jodi Picoult is one of my favourite authors and her book Small Great Things is one of my favourite all-time books. This book, however, is a confused mish-mash of ideas and a great disappointment. Parts of the book are a documentary about elephants of Botswana, my birth country, a book about a young girl looking for her mother, a psychic trying to get her mojo back and a private investigator who is trying to solve a cold case. At the end of it, I was tired of the storyline as I felt it kept switching from one to another.
2.5 stars- a great disappointment by a great author
Pants on Fire- Maggie Alderson
This is a story about a young lady who runs away from a cheating fiancé to try and start a new life in Sydney, Australia. She is immediately thrust into a very fast lifestyle of queer mates, loose sexual relations, drinking and drug use and eventually gets spat out after the merri-go- round ends.
3 stars- I guess it’s about a lifestyle I would never be interested it so I really could not relate.
The Scent of You- Maggie Alderson
This is a book about a perfume blogger who sees and experiences the world through her sense of smell. Her husband moves out of home under mysterious circumstances only to be found out that he has been going to work as usual and living not too far from home. The book then follows lady of the house who smells her way to another man’s arms and all the challenges she faces as she transitions to being a ready to mingle single mother.
3.5 stars for the perfume recommendations at each chapter and for the education about the making of perfume.
On closer inspection, the books I read for the month of January were light-hearted chick flick type of books and I suppose they reflect the season and mood I was having at the time. With everything else being hectic, sometimes you just want to get lost in a silly, frivolous book and escape into its pages and I must say, I really cherished reading each book although admittedly some were more enjoyable than others.
I challenge you to try and find out how many books you can read in a month too…
*Images from Google
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