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It is already the end of January! Which seems kind of impossible but also very possible, depending on what day you ask me. With the exception of my oldest daughter’s birthday, January is usually a long month. I always start the month super jazzed about life and new goals. Then real life takes over, and I am just as overwhelmed with everyday tasks, work, practices, lessons, bills, and anything and everything else.
But you know what never overwhelms me? Reading.
Here are the books I have been reading this month:
- Pieces of Her, Karin Slaughter: I think I have officially read every book by this author. They are always packed with suspense and intrigue. I particularly enjoyed her Will Trent series. This book is a stand alone novel. Andrea and her mother Laura are caught in the middle of a shooting at a diner in their quiet town of Belle Isle, Georgia. When Laura kills the shooter with assassin-like precision, both their lives are changed. There is more to Laura, a typical mother and speech pathologist, than Andrea could ever have imagined. The story unfolds in pieces of the past and present with great suspense. I enjoyed the book up until the ending – I will not spoil it but it left me wanting more.
- The Song of Achilles, Madeline Miller: Miller is swiftly becoming one of my favorite authors. I wrote about how much I loved her novel Circe; naturally, I wanted to read another of her books. The Song of Achilles was her debut novel and received excellent reviews. It is narrated by Patroclus, famously known as the lover of Achilles. He was exiled as a young prince to Phthia after accidentally murdering a boy. He tells the story of meeting Achilles, prince of Phthia, and of their journey from boyhood to manhood together. Their lives are lived in heroism, tragedy, and war. It is a familiar tale told from a different perspective, just like her other novel. It entranced me from the first sentence until the very last.
- Spark of Light, Jodi Picoult: I read my first Jodi Picoult book in high school (The Pact), and this is another author that I have read nearly every book she has written. She consistently takes relationships and social issues and tells a story that is not only enjoyable but relatable. This book takes place in Mississippi, where a man has entered a women’s health clinic and opened fire. The story is told from many perspectives: Wren, a teenager who went to the clinic to get birth control without telling her father and Bex, her aunt that wanted to help yet feels torn about taking her to this place; Janine, a pro-life activist that has infiltrated the clinic to get evidence against the clinic; Joy, a woman seeking an abortion with her own tough childhood playing a role in her decision; Olive, a woman who routinely uses the clinic for health care services.
- Their lives all cross in this single day, and Picoult presents the story from every angle and position without bias, which is not easy to do with such a hot-button issue. The only thing I did not enjoy about this book was the timeline. The book is laid out in reverse, with the shooting first and working backward in the day. Different, but still a good and thought-provoking story.
- Salvage the Bones, Jesmyn Ward & Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine, Gail Honeyman: I cannot write much about either of these books because I just started them! I am reading both of these as I move along my 2019 Reading Challenge for The Reading Women, which I wrote about here. Salvage the Bones was on my to-read list on my iPad for awhile, so this challenge was a perfect reason to start it. Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine is the January book for the MilMB Book Club, which I run online. I had placed this book on hold at the library but figured I would not get it in time; I was a few down on the list. Yet low and behold, it was waiting for me last Friday when I was working at the library! The librarian actually shushed me for whooping a little bit. I know libraries are supposed to be quiet, but can I get a break for cheering about a book?