Books I read in January

I have to admit, when I set a goal to read 52 books in 2016, I wasn’t quite confident I could hit it – but so far, I’m on track! I read five books in January, and the best part is, they were mostly pretty good. I’m hoping that posting mini-reviews every month will help keep me on track – and give you some reading inspiration!

Reading in Washington Square Park

Hunger Makes Me a Modern Girl, Carrie Brownstein

Like a lot of people, I became a fan of Carrie Brownstein through Portlandia – but it turns out she’s been part of a punk band since the 1990s. I’m not into punk music (clearly, since I’d never heard of Brownstein’s trio) but I decided to read her musical memoir anyway – and I’m SO glad I did. I’ve read more than my fair share of celebrity-authored books, and this one was incredibly well-written – more so than any other I’ve come across. Even better, it got me interested in the music and I’ve been listening to Brownstein’s band, Sleater-Kinney, on Spotify ever since! Five stars

The Girl on The Train, Paula Hawkins

I read this book because everyone else had read it (yes, Mom, I would jump off a bridge if all my friends were doing it). The consensus was that it was an engrossing read, if not a very intelligent one – and I’d have to agree. The mystery completely captivated me (I spent most of my Washington D.C. trip sneaking in a chapter whenever I could), but I was left unsatisfied. Not a single character is likable, and there are plot holes everywhere. Still, a quick read, and I’m glad to have read it if only so I can discuss it with friends. Three stars

Modern RomanceAziz Ansari

I liked this book a lot more than I thought I would. I’m not much for dating, but reading Modern Romance (essentially a scientific study of how technology has changed the dating landscape) provided so much insight and context. It was all completely relatable, complete with real-life anecdotes and witty asides from Ansari. I read a paper copy, but I’ve heard the audiobook is incredible as well – and to be honest, I was reading it in his voice the whole way through! Five stars

Gossip Girl, Cecily von Ziegesar

OK, yeah. Luckily this challenge wasn’t to read 52 quality books. I’m allowed to throw in some garbage here and there to give my brain a break. I thought reading the Gossip Girl series throughout the year would be a good way to accomplish that. I read the first one on my Kindle and while I enjoyed it in a “wow these teenagers’ terrible lives are fascinating” sort of way, I’m not sure I’ll read the rest (especially since my library doesn’t have the rest of the series for Kindle). Two stars

Tales of the City, Armistead Maupin

And in the OPPOSITE vein – I picked this book up because I wanted to read fiction about San Francisco before I head there in a couple weeks, and I immediately fell for the characters and have already started reading the next book in the series. It’s an easy-to-read, soap-operaish drama set in the 1970s, when San Francisco became a hotbed of liberalism. Highly recommend! It’s also been turned into a miniseries. Four stars

What have you been reading lately? Follow me on Goodreads here!

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