What I'm Reading - January

While I do love a craft book, you are much more likely to find me with my nose in a novel or a cookbook. (Cookbooks! The best, right?) There's really nothing better than curling up with a book, although these days I tend to read on my phone rather than a physical book ... it's just so convenient and I can read anywhere. Whenever I catch wind of a book that sounds interesting, I simply pop over to my public library app and download or place a hold on the book in question.

Libraries, also the best! Like a book buffet - all you can read without the commitment of piling another book onto your bookshelf. (I mean, actual books are better. Buy books, support authors ... but if you're not sure or it's not in your budget to buy, borrow borrow borrow!)

In 2018, I committed myself to reading more and wasting less time aimlessly scrolling, and ended up reading 58 books, mainly novels. This seemed like a good habit to continue in 2019, so here we are. I love hearing (reading) about the books that others are reading, so I figured I'd try to check in monthly here to share my reading list.

I'll be keeping track over on Pinterest (I know, I know. I should join Goodreads but the thought of yet another social media account when I just freed myself from the yoke of Facebook is just too much, so Pinterest it is!) if you'd like to follow along.

Here are the books I read in January - 5 novels, 2 memoirs and a cookbook:

America for Beginners - Leah Franqui
Pival Sengupta is traveling across the US ... but not to take in the sights. After her son comes out as gay, her husband cuts off all communication with him, so she's not sure what to believe when she's told that he's dead. So she takes the trip from India to New York, and then slowly cross-country, to California where he live/d to confront the truth. 

Accompanied by a hapless tour guide and an American companion (a young out of work actress), this unlikely trio learn from each other as they confront long held beliefs about gender, sexuality, culture, and themselves as they tour the country. Funny, touching, infuriating at times - all the things that make for a good read!

Sociable - Rebecca Harrington
What do you get when a young woman who dreams of becoming a journalist takes a job as a viral content generator at a website run by a Silicon Valley dude, then add in a terrible terrible (terrible!) boyfriend, and the author decides to provide zero resolution at the end of the book? This. Do not recommend. Frustrating characters, no pay off.

This Will Only Hurt A Little - Busy Philipps
Mainly a "meh" read for me. I should know better than to read celebrity memoirs, but I was coming off a chain of great memoirs by young women and thought this would be interesting too. Probably better for Busy fans or those who've watched her shows over the years.

Where'd You Go Bernadette - Maria Semple
I grabbed this one when I heard it'll be a Cate Blanchette movie later this year. Definitely a fun read! 

Bernadette, a celebrated architect turned scattered yet beloved mom barely leaves the house yet suddenly disappears after outsourcing all her errands to a virtual assistant in India. Her daughter gathers the evidence: emails, documents and secret correspondence, to put together a picture of just who is Bernadette and where she could have gone.

It's a few years old, so you might have already read this one, if not, I'd recommend it. I think you'll be hearing lots about it as the movie pr machine heats up and, as we all know, the movie is never quite as good as the book! ;)

Welcome to the Goddamn Ice Cube - Blair Braverman
The story of a young adventurer as she falls in love with the north and dog sledding. Warning - this may make you want to run away to Norway (but also won't - it's complicated)

Loved it - though it definitely makes you uncomfortable. Traditionally male spaces and young women do not mix comfortably. But on a positive note, Blair will be running her first Iditarod this year! Follow along on Twitter as she preps for the big race. In the midst of all the negative stuff on social media, Bravermountain Mushing and their team of charismatic sled dogs will spark some joy in your feed!

Together - The Hubb Community Kitchen
Received this one as a gift. A beautiful gathering of recipes from the Hubb Community Kitchen, which was started as a place of connection for survivors of the Grenfell Tower fire. The recipes themselves run a bit lamb-y for me, but the book itself is a lovely collectible and proceeds go to a good cause.

Lethal White - Robert Galbraith
The latest in the Cormoran Strike series. Loved it, but I love a big fat book in a big fat series. Always leaves me wanting more ... and having to wait years to get it!

A Kind of Freedom - Margaret Wilkerson Sexton
Hope meets circumstance in this novel. Three generations of a New Orleans family; three stories of dreams vs realities, racial disparities, and playing the hand you're given. Not a happy story but an interesting and challenging one.

I'd love to hear your recommendations. What have you read and loved recently?

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