Current status: reading obsessed! Since I enjoyed reading about other people’s reading lists from 2020, but reading challenges are a bit too much to commit to, I thought it would be fun to start a monthly reading roundup (let’s see how this goes).
Although, I’ve given myself a modest 30 books to read this year to account for any unexpected life events. Also, I’m a slow reader. And I noticed that someone on Goodreads counts children’s books towards her total — I mean, c’mon, really? So now, I’m suspicious of anyone with a 100+ book count. (Or jealous, Lani, jealous.)
Typically I read nonfiction during the day and fiction before bed. I believe mornings and evenings are sacred times, so in the mornings I try to read something inspirational and in the evenings I avoid horror, depressing, or heavy stuff. I also consider myself more commercial leaning rather than literary.
Historical fiction is probably my favorite because I love the learning + entertainment factor. So if you’re missing travel in particular, or simply want to discover new reads by destination, you might want to check out The Book Trail.
The Island of Sea Women by Lisa See was recommended by a friend after she saw my newsletter share on the badass Korean grandma deep sea divers of Jeju Island. But don’t let the bright sunny cover fool you, it’s a intense story that centers around two women, their friendship, and a war that tore them apart. So, yeah, based on what I just told you about what I like to read, it was a hard book at times.
The amount of detail and research that Lisa did for this novel deserves huge praise and mention. You learn about how this matriarchal society functioned, the world of free diving, and the heartbreaking consequences of the wars that devastated the island. I can’t remember the last time I’ve said this about a book, but I feel like a better person having read it.
Whether you’re a memoir fan or foe, Mary Karr has your answers. She undresses the genre in a way I’ve never seen before with tons of examples pulled from memoirs. But she’s definitely not for everyone, very Texan, shoots straight from the hip. This book also is not a ‘how to’ but more of a MFA class on what memoir is really all about.
Lastly, I read The Samurai’s Garden by Gail Tsukiyama. It’s a beautiful quiet book and now one of my favorites. Thanks Jeremy for the recommendation.
Here’s a stripped down description from Amazon: Tsukiyama uses the Japanese invasion of China during the late 1930s as backdrop for her unusual story about a 20-year-old Chinese painter named Stephen who is sent to his family’s summer home in a Japanese coastal village to recover from a bout with tuberculosis. Here he is cared for by Matsu, a master gardener. Stephen also learns about Matsu’s soulmate, Sachi, a woman afflicted with leprosy.
If you’re up for it, please do your own post on #readingroundupjan21 Then tag this post, so I can read it. And if you decide to join The Story Graph, please find and add me 🙂 My handle is: lanibearprincess just like my IG. Happy Reading!
What did you read in January? Did you give yourself a reading goal this year?