Reading Lately: January Book Review

“Maybe this is why we read, and why in moments of darkness we return to books; to find words for what we already know.” Alberto Manguel

2018 was the year of reading for me. My goal for the year was 36 books and I surpassed it quickly! In fact, I ended up reading 74 books total. My favorites from 2018 include: And Every Morning The Way Home Gets Longer and Longer; The Last Mrs. Parrish; Stay With Me; The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo; and The Mothers. With the beginning of the new year, I am looking forward to seeing what my faves are for 2019. Keep reading for my January book review!

So far, I have read the following titles (absolute favorites in bold): Becoming

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Reading Lately: January Book Review, including Spark of Light and The Kitchen House.

It’s Beautiful Here*
Megan Morton

(3/5) “It’s Beautiful Here attempts to capture the moments of domestic paradise without making the mistake of thinking they are permanent, but hoping hard they might be.” To be perfectly honest, I picked up this book because of the cover and when I opened it, the design really blew me away. It is stunning, from page to page. And for that, I love it. However, the interviews themselves were slightly lackluster. I vowed to read every word, rather than just flipping through for the images, and it was worth the effort. But, if you want a beautiful coffee table book that is beautifully designed, this is it!

Spark of Light
Jodi Picoult

(3/5) Jodi Picoult is one of my favorite authors, and as always, I am excited when this book came out. Unfortunately, it turned out to be one of my least favorite books by this author. The story is written in reverse chronological order, meaning the climax happens first, and then we get the back story, hour by hour. It was an interesting plot, but after the opening chapter, it was pretty anti-climatic and was easy to predict (so unlike Picoult). Still, it was thought-provoking, which is her trademark, and worth a read, but I wouldn’t put it in my Top 5 by any stretch.

The Kitchen House
Kathleen Grissom

(4/5) The Kitchen House was recommended to me by a co-worker, and after seeing it’s raving reviews, I gave it a shot. The book takes place in the 1700/1800’s on a tobacco plantation and tells the story of the slaves over the course of several years. This book has a lot of plot and can be hard to follow at times, but it kept me interested from start to finish. Definitely worth picking up at your local library!

The Sun and Her Flowers
Rupi Kaur

(4/5) I have been interested in reading more poetry since I interviewed the poet Peter Witzeg. I started with Milk and Honey (3/5) and then moved onto The Sun and Her Flowers. This book of poetry deals with growth, healing, ancestry, and home. With delightful illustrations to accommodate the poetry, I recommend this one for sure.

Your Best Year Ever
Michael Hyatt

(4/5) “In Your Best Year Ever, Hyatt shares a powerful, proven, research-driven system for setting and achieving goals. Readers learn how to design their best year ever in just five hours.” I got this book from my local library in preparation for 2019 and while I thought it kind of jumped all over the place, writing-wise, I really did appreciate the approach to goal setting outlined in this book. I will be using some of the techniques this year for my own personal and professional goals.

Look Both Ways
Debbie Millman

(5/5) The subtitle of this books is: Illustrated Essays on the Intersection of Life and Design, so naturally, as a graphic designer, I had to read it. And, I personally loved it. While it has mixed reviews, I found it thoughtful, funny and interesting. It examined relationships between design and everyday life that I had never considered, and had me thinking about how my own life is intersected with my design.

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  • Reply
    Kaitlyn Luckow
    January 23, 2019 at 9:12 pm

    Love this wrap up! Rupi Kaur is one of my favorites.

  • Reply
    L Hickman
    January 24, 2019 at 3:11 am

    Wow over 70 books! My goal this year is one a month. Love this list! Thanks for sharing!

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