What I Read in January

It read a few less books this month but I actually read two books with no audio assistance, which is a major accomplishment for me!

Book reviews

Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine I picked up a copy of this last year at the thrift store because I had seen a lot of hype about it. I started it last July but didn’t make any progress so I picked it as my book for the Unread Shelf challenge. I struggled through the first one hundred pages or so, even though I found Eleanor to be an amusing character. She is socially awkward, works in an office, lives alone and eats pizza and drinks Vodka every Friday night. Her life begins to change when she meets Raymond, the office IT guy, and they save an elderly mans’s life one evening. Eleanor also decides she has found the love of her life, even though they have never met and she begins to transform herself for this meeting. Eleanor also has weekly phone calls with Mummy, but it’s a little unclear until the end where Mummy is. Prison maybe? It’s all revealed in a great twist at the end. I gave this 3 stars. I liked it once I got into it, but I didn’t love it.

In the Clearing (Tracy Crosswhite book 3)– by Robert Dugoni I’m beginning to really enjoy this series. I read this on Kindle Unlimited and listened by Audible. I really like the Kindle Unlimited books that come with free Audible. Tracy finds herself investigating a 40 year old murder as a favor for a friend. The death of a teenage girl had been ruled a suicide but the deputy who first responded had evidence to suggest otherwise, and never closed the file. He later became sheriff and then was succeeded in office by his daughter. Upon his death, she passes the file on to Tracy. Tracy is able to bring closure to several families in the end. I really enjoyed this one. There were a few “thriller” parts but nothing far fetched and crazy. 4 stars

Firefly Lane- by Kristin Hannah I loved the Nightingale by Hannah, even though the ending ticked me off because it was not the fate I would have chosen for the heorine, and well, Hannah did it to me again with this one! I loved it but I really didn’t like the fate of my favorite character. This is the story of Kate and Tully who become friends as tweens and follows their lives and careers. Kate has a stable family that she thinks is uncool as a teen and sees Tully as the cool girl, even though Tully’s mom is a drug addict and all Tully wants is the love Kate has from a family. This is a touching story of friendship that survives jealousy, hurt and betrayal. I listened to the audio version on Scribd. 5 stars

The Lost Man by Jane Harper Two brothers, the oldest and youngest, meet up in the Australian outback where they live to retrieve the body of their middle brother, Cam. His death is a mystery and they don’t know why he was out on the range alone and away from his supplies when he is seasoned in survival. Nathan, the older brother, is coming to terms with his past as well as the family gathers for the funeral. The truth about Cam’s death is ultimately discovered and it will shock you. This is a slow moving mystery, but worth the read. Purchased and read on Kindle. 4 stars

Rising Strong by Brene Brown- About falling and rising after failure. About how shame, guilt and vulnerability shape our lives. Discusses our responses to hurt and how we can rewrite the stories we tell ourselves. I listened to this on Audible. I really like Brown as a speaker and intend to reread this in print to further digest it. 5 stars

Unfc*k Yourself: Get Out of Your Head and Into Your Life by Gary Bishop I listened and read on Scribd. Bishop discusses how negative self thought gets in the way of our success. Even the way many of us phrase New Year’s Resolutions sets us up for failure. Many define goals as I want … instead of I will or I am, future vs now, and that mindset keeps those goals in the future. Bishop defines seven assertions that will change your thinking. I liked the presentation of material and the ideas, but you will rarely find me rave over this type of book. 3 stars

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