January’s Reading Recap

by farrah on January 31, 2015 · 10 comments

My silence over the past week or so wasn’t only due to writer’s block. I’ve been cheating on my blog with my renewed desire to read and read and read. I have to say, I have missed it, and glad to be back into the game, blog posts or not. It’s winter anyhow- and to be honest, we don’t have that much going on. So  for me at least, reading is actually a really nice alternative to globetrotting.

The Paris WifeWinner of the month. 

For starters, I have set myself a personal goal of reading 50 books this year. There is no reason I shouldn’t accomplish this- and in fact I probably should shoot higher, but I don’t want to be too overconfident.

Second, my favorite genre is historical fiction. I am trying to challenge myself and read outside of this easily accessible type, since diversity is the spice of life and all that. So though I might not really be willing to read anything else- I will make an effort.

Lastly, I don’t love every book I’m reading, but because I am sick of myself starting books and not finishing them, I am going to plug along.


I usually read at least two books at the same time. My husband says this is crazy, but I find it works as a reward system. I really enjoyed reading Voyager, but had to ‘earn’ it by finishing the chick lit book. I realize probably sounds silly, but works for me.

What I read

As Meat Loves Salt: My husband bought me this book in 2011 or 2012 after hearing about it on NPR. He thought it sounded like something I would like- and to be honest, I despised this book. Never have I read a book where the main character (I can’t even begin to call him the protagonist) is so disgusting I don’t even know where to start. He has one of the most twisted and evil minds of any main character I think I’ve encountered- and his cruelty is staggering.

The Paris Wife: Loved it. It was just what I needed after finishing that hot mess above. It was like Hadley was the ‘super-expat’ of her generation. I was very surprised at how little I liked Hemingway, but I did end up feeling sorry for him. I suppose reading his books all those years ago I still didn’t gain perspective into his life. Hence I’m adding A Movable Feast to my March goals.

Go Nomad: Morocco: The first non-fiction book (and one of essays at that) I’ve read in a long time. With the trip to Morocco impending (a week!) I had to read up on this mysterious country. I really liked these essays for the most part- except for the one long-winded and pompous ramblings of a travel blogger. Fortunately the author who wrote the essay on renting a car and heading out in the Sahara had me sincerely inspired.

Outlander series: Voyager (book 3): I’m excited to get back into this series after book 2. I was rather underwhelmed when I finished 2, but book 3 did a great job picking the story up a bit. I have to admit, she could really tone down the romance part for me (I know, what’s wrong with me?!) as I enjoy the story more than titilating sexual encounters. I am looking forward to the next one, but since they’re in America by this point- I might have to put it on the back burner.

30 First DatesAn ‘out-of-my-genre’ reading, I struggled. Chick lit is not my thing (maybe it was in my 20s) but I find it so completely unrelatable I can’t even imagine myself as the ‘hero’. That said, I thought it was very well written and I appreciate that in an author. If you’re looking for a fluffy plane read about narcissistic 20-somethings without children, this is for you.

Currently reading

Hollow CityOh I am so glad I remembered this one. It’s the follow-up to Mrs. Peregrine’s Peculiar Children. Technically it’s a young adult book- but don’t let that discourage you! It’s SO well written, the story SO engaging and the story SO unique, I’m afraid I’ll finish it before I’m ready. Do yourself a favor and read both of these.

Pieces of it AllStruggling. Chick lit. Struggling.

February goals

Labor Day: I don’t remember where I heard about this one, but I jotted it down on my almighty reading notes so it must a good rec.

Paper TownsA blogger I’ve admired for a long time (and lucky enough to meet) Jessica Watson suggested this for me. I’m looking forward to it based on her suggestion alone.

The Colour of MilkAs seen on Pinterest pinned by a friend I follow, it sounds intriguing and is (surprise!) historical fiction.

The Luminaries: Oh, this book. I have tried (unsuccessfully) several times to read it- but I just can’t seem to keep it straight. I’ve heard the praise and the accolades, but cannot for the life of me get into this book. I’ll have to start over again since I can’t figure out what’s going on. Someone please tell me it gets better.

Me Before You: Can’t remember. But I read about it and jotted it down.

Have a suggestion for me? What are you reading? How are your reading goals shaping up?




{ 10 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Ellen January 31, 2015 at 11:55 am

Hello, here some Dutch writers translated in English, my favorites and historical fiction: Hella Haasse: The Tealords, Harry Mulish: the Assault, Arthur Japin: the two hearts of Kwasi Boachi, Geert Mak: (several ) in Europe, In America, Amsterdam.
And in (older) children books: Thea Beckman: Crusade in jeans, Jan Terlouw: Winter in Wartime, Tonke Dragt: The letter for the King
And children books for the age of your kids: Annie MG Schmidt: Tow-Truck Pluck, Jip and Janneke (!!)
groet, Ellen


2 farrah February 2, 2015 at 3:11 pm

Ellen! I should make March my ‘Everything Dutch’ month. This includes your reading list and starting these lessons. I really have no excuse! Thank you as always!


3 Kristin February 1, 2015 at 4:28 am

Well done! My attention span has atrophied, but I’m reading posts from so many people about books they are reading that it kind of makes me feel like I’m soaking in SOMEthing.


4 farrah February 2, 2015 at 3:11 pm

Ha! Right? I really have missed reading. It’s like- I ‘m almost back to pre-kid reading levels.


5 SJ February 1, 2015 at 11:07 pm

Can you send some of your reading mojo my way. I cant get past 2 pages….


6 farrah February 2, 2015 at 3:12 pm

Well, it’s a trade off as I’m experiencing a writing dry spell.. so I guess that’s how it goes?


7 Ann February 2, 2015 at 8:30 pm

I’ve also been reading and not doing much else. This month I read Astronaut’s Wives Club (which very, very slightly resembles expat friendships, but reminds me why they’re so important), Neil Armstrong (which I had to read after AWC), Crazy Rich Asians (wanted me to go to Asia, but also made me kind of annoyed with crazy rich asians), The Vacationers, The Imperfectionists (read these last two the beginning of the month and don’t remember, but they both take place in Europe), and Delicious! (which is a fun read if you really love good food descriptions.)

I’m currently reading an Amy Tan book, Valley of Amazement, and plan to read Serena (which takes place in NC) and All the Light We Cannot See (which I heard takes place partially in the city I used to live in – which is pretty cool because it’s currently #2 on the NYT bestsellers), and probably Amy Poehler’s book.

I read paper towns and liked it. I like John Green. Especially his vlog.


8 farrah February 3, 2015 at 8:54 am

I need to check these out- good ones Ann!


9 Amy February 3, 2015 at 7:20 am

Thanks for the inspiration. I want to read more and just need to kickstart myself. My last good read was Amy Poehler’s book. Happy reading!


10 farrah February 3, 2015 at 8:55 am

Everyone keeps telling me about Amy Poehler’s. I need to add that one.


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