January in books, my thoughts on what I read

The month of January has come to an end. During the month I had a goal of reading 8 books. I managed to achieve that and more, so I thought it would be fun to share my thoughts on the books that I read. Reading is one of my favorite hobbies. It is a great way to spend a cold January night, curled up with a blanket. Plus when you have an enormous TBR like I do you need to regularly read in order to keep up with it. January in books is the start of an ongoing series that will highlight the books that I read each month over the course of the year.

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January in books

Fruits Basket Collectors Edition Volume 1-12 by Natsuki Takaya

The 12 volumes of Fruits Basket Collections Edition contain all 23 volumes of the manga series. This is a quirky little series that follows a girl, Tohru Honda, as she meets and then lives with several members of the Sohma family. Sounds normal enough, until you find out that these family members are possessed by the 12 zodiac animals and they turn into them when they are hugged by a member of the opposite gender. As you can imagine, things can get pretty crazy along the way. The only thing that I would say I didn’t like was the fact that so many characters looked similar, that sometimes it was hard to remember who was who. All in all, a solid manga series and I look forward to watching the anime series.

Saga Volume 9 by Brian K. Vaughn and Fiona Staples

I can’t go into too much detail with this one, as it’s the ninth book in the series. However, much like the previous volumes, it was a quick read set within a vivid and sometimes strange world. This volume wasn’t as strong as some of the previous ones, but the ending has me eagerly awaiting volume 10.

The Giraffe, The Pelly and Me by Roald Dahl

Sometimes it’s nice to revisit books from your childhood. Reading a Roald Dahl book always brings back memories of reading as a kid. His books are filled with fantastical stories and such a great mix of characters. I don’t remember if I read this book as a kid or not, but it was fun to read it now. The story had a certain appeal to it and is perfect for readers young and old.

Esio Trot by Roald Dahl

Who knew that a love story wrapped up in a tortoise story would exist? Granted, it`s also a pretty terrible story as it`s a love story formed by lies, so probably not the best book to read.

Seekers: The Quest Begins by Erin Hunter

After my son read this book a few months ago, he insisted that I read it. He often wants me to read books that he has read and enjoyed, and I am more than happy to do so. I quite enjoyed this book. It has great world-building and characters. I can certainly see why my son enjoys these books so much. The three main characters had a lot of similarities between them, especially when it comes to their teachings about their kind, and yet they are also unique in their own way. I look forward to reading the rest of this series, as well as the other books by this author.

The Tao of Pooh by Benjamin Hoff

This is a book that my husband has wanted our son to read for a while. Our son has been hesitant about reading it, so I thought that I would read it to see what it was about. This was a very fast read, though admittedly, I still don’t feel like I really understand Taoism.

You Are A Badass: How to Stop Doubting Your Greatness and Start Living an Awesome Life by Jen Sincero

I have only ever read one other self-help book before this one. As such, I’m not really sure how to properly review these types of books. That being said, I do feel that this book was well written and it definitely made me stop and think along the way. Had this book changed me? Yes, but not completely. I think it will take time to really grasp all of her advice and put it to work. However, I have already started thinking about a number of things she says to do to overcome doubt and I am actually kind of excited about seeing some things through.

Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson

Ah, this one is so hard for me to review. It was a book I had been wanting to read for a few years now but was honestly terrified to read it because I felt it would remind me too much of my high school days. I did find the way the book was written, and its formatting to be a bit odd, as it looked and felt like I was reading a screenplay than a novel. The author does a great job of portraying a teenager going through a very tough time and being unable to speak up about it. Though it took a while to find out exactly what the main character, Melinda, had gone through the time leading up to that really showcased how dealing with a traumatic event and the after-effects can truly affect someone. I think that all high school students should read this book.

Scarlett’s by A.L. Collins

This book was sent to me a few years back by the author and while I intended to read it back then, obviously I never did. Scarlett’s was a quick read that was over before I realized it. There was a decent mix of characters throughout, though I felt that all of them acted much younger than they were – admittedly it was never said how old any of them were, but since they all lived on their own I can assume they were in their 20s. The main basis of the story is about a group of friends who are all struggling in one way or another and how they overcome some of those struggles by helping each other.

Dying To Retire by Donald Bain

Much like all of the previous books in the Murder, She Wrote series, this one felt a lot like I was watching an episode through Jessica Fletcher’s eyes. However, after having read this much into the series, I feel like they are starting to feel far too similar to each other. Truth be told, I would rather watch an episode of the show than read another of these books – though I will likely still read some because I have several unread on my shelf. These books are really quick reads and are great if you love cozy mystery or the Murder, She Wrote television series.

Winter by Marissa Meyer

The final book in the Lunar Chronicles series, Winter was an enjoyable read. Though it had been well over a year since I had read the previous books in the series, I had no problem keeping up with the story. I had honestly wondered how the author would tie up so many character story arcs with a single book, and yet Meyer did an excellent job with this. Each character is given ample time to grow and move along with the main story, while also bringing a clean end to their own stories. This was a satisfying end to a good series.

January in books stats

  • Books read: 33
  • Books purged: 4
  • Books purchased: 0

So there you have it, my thoughts on the 33 books that I read in January. I was really surprised by how much I was able to read, while still getting other things done throughout the month.

Though these are my opinions, please understand that they should not prevent you from reading any of these books. A book that I don’t like could be a book that you end up loving. Always give books a chance.

Did you get any reading done in January? Which book was your favorite to read?


  1. I’m so impressed you got through this many books in January! You put me to shame! Fruits Basket is actually on my TBR list for a reading challenge I’m participating in. I’m even more excited for it now after reading your thoughts on the whole series. I’ve been wanting to pick up Saga again too. I think I got through volume four before I stopped. Really cool world though.

    1. Thank the extreme cold for my impressive amount of reading, it was the biggest thing to do to keep me entertained when it was too cold to go out for weeks on end. I think you will enjoy Fruits Basket. It’s quirky but that’s half of the appeal to it. Saga is really good as well, but I know not everyone likes it.

  2. I need to start reading some more! I love reading but lately, I just haven’t gotten around to it haha! I am currently reading an Erin Hunter ook because my kid wants me too as well, though she hasn’t started on the seeker series yet.

    1. You need to set aside time to read. I like the Erin Hunter books, and I know I will soon be working through the many Warriors series because my son wants me to read them as well.

  3. You have definitely put me to shame!! I haven’t read one book 🙈 I want to read more, I need to up my game! You have been super busy, thank you for sharing your reads! I always like to see what other people are reading!
    Lauren x

    1. No shame in not reading for a month or more. Trust me, I’ve gone close to a year without reading a single book before. I find that setting aside a certain time every day to read works great. We read after dinner every night for about an hour. Sometimes I read during the day or just before bedtime as well, but knowing that we have scheduled reading time makes it easier to get through the books on my TBR and also look forward to that time with a book.

  4. That’s an impressive number of books read in a month, Sarah, and quite a variety, too! Thanks for sharing your thoughts on them.

    1. Thanks. I do most of my reading during the winter. I enjoy reading a lot of different genres and try to get as many of them in each month as I can.

  5. Love Roald Dahl books and I enjoyed the Lunar Chronicles. You read a varied selection. I’ll have to give the Seekers series a try, as it’s so popular with my students. Thanks for your post!

    1. They really are great books. I tend to read a little bit from every genre, as it means I always having something different to read. Seekers is pretty darn good, though I need to pick up the rest of the series soon.

  6. An impressive number of books. I only read at night before bed so I’m lucky if I can get through 2 per month but that’s my goal. Thank you for your reviews.

    1. Winter is when most of my reading happens, so I don’t always read this many each month. Reading two books a month is a great goal.

  7. Wow you are a real reader!! Thank you for sharing your stories, I am always interested in new books!

    1. Haha, yes I am. To say that I love books and reading is a bit of an understatement. I hope this inspires you to read something new as well.

  8. That is a ton of books to go through! I love it. I have wanted to read the Tao of Pooh for a while. I may go pick that one up now. I need to make more time for reading. So relaxing.

    1. It is, but I read more during the winter months since I’m stuck inside. It is indeed relaxing. Maybe try setting aside time every day to get a few chapters in. You’ll be reading regularly in no time.

  9. That is quite an impressive tally! Nope, did not do any pleasure reading in January – I need to be completely free of responsibilities to sit down and enjoy/focus on a book for fun. But am going on vacation in less than two weeks! 🙂

    1. Thanks. I find some months are better than others for reading. It also helps me to read different genres to mix it up. Reading on vacation sounds wonderful.

  10. Wow! You accomplished a lot of reading in January. I haven’t quite finished You Are a Badass, but I’ve really enjoyed it so far. It’s definitely not been live changing necessarily for me, but she does offer some good points!

    1. I can be a reading machine at times, haha. I agree that she does make a lot of good points and it did open my eyes to a few things.

  11. Oh wow, so many books! I’m lucky if I have time to listen to an audiobook while I go to the gym. I miss reading books… so the next time I actually find time to read I’m asking you for a book recommendation.

    1. The amount I read can vary greatly from month to month. January just happened to be a good reading month. I would be more than happy to recommend a book or twenty for you when you have the time to read.

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