Well, that first quarter of the year went by in a hot second. How did that even happen?
I feel like I’ve been reading up a storm, but either I’ve completely forgotten at least half the books I’ve read or . . . I’m not reading as much as I thought.
Crossing my fingers to do better in the second quarter.
Either way, here are the 20 or so books I’ve read since January 1st!
A Long Way From Chicago by Richard Peck
I love this book, but I think the girls were just a LITTLE too young for it. We’ll wait to read the sequel for another year or two. (Full review here)
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by J.K. Rowling
This was SO DARN FUN to read again. It’d been years since I read this one and Ella finished without me, so I sped through it in one afternoon. (Advice on when to start Harry Potter)
A Return to Christmas by Chris Heimerdinger
We started this just before Christmas and finished it up on New Year’s Day and it was the perfect family reading experience where we were all SO into it and dying to see how it’d play out – Bart actually kept finding excuses to read aloud. If you’re looking for something great to read this Christmas, bookmark this one (Mini review here)
From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankwiler by E.L Konigsburg
I’m not entirely sure I’d ever actually finished this Newbery winner, but when the girls and I listened to it, I was just in awe of what a GOOD writer she is. And although I never wanted to run away from home, I love listening to the story of a girl who plans it out perfectly, including choosing the Metropolitan Museum of Art as the place to hide out.
Shoe Dog: A Memoir by the Creator of Nike by Phil Knight
This was tremendously good and I think about it every time I put on my hot pink Nikes to go for a run. And now I really want a pair of Nikes with the waffle sole. (Full review here)
The Family Under the Bridge by Natalie Savage Carlson
This was a quick read and it’s charming, but I didn’t just love it. And especially after A Return to Christmas, nothing else quite measured up.
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by J.K. Rowling
This might be my very favorite Harry Potter book – I’ll never forget reading it the first time and starting to see that she’d had this whole plot planned out from the beginning.
Paperboy by Vince Vawter
This took me, no joke, five months to read. I didn’t dislike it, but it never compelled me to read it and since no one else was reading it, I just kept renewing it and renewing it.
Confessions for the Principal’s Kid by Robin Mellom
This was a quick fun middle-grade novel that I tore through in about a day and a half about a girl who has lost her best friend and thinks it’s all her mom’s fault, since her mom happens to be the principal.
Class by Lucinda Rosenfield
This book made me grateful not to live in New York City and also . . . are normal people’s lives this crazy? It’s a novel all about the school situation in New y
The Boston Girl by Anita Diamant
I admire Anita Diamant’s writing, but her books are never as good for me as they seem to be for other people.
The War I Finally Won by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley
After a string of mediocre reads, it was so great to read something that just completely sucked me in. I read (and LOVED) The War that Saved My Life, and I’m embarrassed it took me so long to get to the sequel.
Dear Reader by Mary O’Connell
This was such a weirdly and delightfully absorbing book and I think Brontes-meet-Gilmore-Girls is pretty accurate as far as descriptions go. (Full review here)
The Great Brain by John D. Fitzgerald
One of my cardinal reading rules is that if you’re reading something you like, you’ll find plenty of time to read. This was the case here – when I was reading this aloud to the girls, I don’t think we missed a single night between the day we started and the day we finished. (Mini review here)
Miss You by Kate Eberlen
This was another one of the Tell Me What to Read books from last fall (I’m very slow) and although the concept was fantastic (a teenage couple that meets briefly and their their paths cross without them knowing many many times over the next sixteen years), I didn’t particularly connect with any of the characters or really love it. Fun, yes. Memorable, not particularly.
The Vanderbeekers of 141st Street by Karina Yan Glaser
I wanted to love this. I LIKED it, but it never just sucked me in as we listened to it in the car over the course of a week or two. (Mini review here)
The Read-Aloud Family: Making Meaningful and Lasting Connections with Your Kids by Sarah Mackenzie
This was SO fantastic. She was for sure preaching to the choir here, but even so, I found so much new inspiration and encouragement for making reading a bigger part of our family culture. I have a full review coming, but don’t wait around for me – get a copy and a highlighter.
At Home in the World: Reflections on Belonging While Wandering the Globe by Tsh Oxenreider
Ah, I just loved this book. I savored every word. (Full review here)
It Ends With Us by Colleen Hoover
This was one of the books recommended on this most recent round of Tell Me What to Read and it happened to be available so I downloaded the audio and then I couldn’t stop listening. It’s a romance, but with some heavy aspects (it’s a little racy a few times, so consider yourself warned). I really didn’t know how this was going to play out until the very last pages. Also, the author’s note at the end just about broke my heart.
Orphan Monster Spy by Matt Killeen
I raved about this on InstaStories when I was about 1/4 of the way through, and now that I’m finished, I still think it was pretty masterful, but whew. . . this is dark. And not just in a “Nazis and WWII are a heavy topic” kind of way. It makes some of the other WWII books I’ve read feel like happy little fairy stories. (But if he writes a sequel, you better believe I’ll read it). (Full review here)
And if you’d like a printable copy of this list that you can take to your library or screenshot on your phone for easy access, just pop in your email address below and it’ll come right to your inbox!
What good books have you read since January? I’d love to hear!
Kasey Holloway says
I am currently working through a few Agatha Christie books! (I realized I loved mysteries but had never read the true classics). So I just finished up And Then There Were None. I also just finished Little Fires Everywhere. Both I would recommend!