What I’m Reading — January 2017

I read books. A lot of books. I’m a librarian, what else can I say? Every month I share what books I finished last month and what I’m reading now. I also love to hear what others are reading. Please share your own reading lists in the comments.
What I'm Reading January 2017
I completed 57 books in 2016, easily beating my challenge to read 45 books. Goodreads created a cool infographic that shows an overview of what I read last year.  My average rating across all of the books I read was 3.7, which isn’t too bad.
Finished in December 2016
  • The Name of God is Mercy by Pope Francis. I read this for my church book club. Although published in book format, this is a published interview of the pope by Vatican reporter Andrea Tornielli, followed by the full text of Pope Francis’s bull of indiction declaring the year of mercy that ended in November 2016.
  • Vassa in the Night by Sarah Porter. I picked this up in the library on a whim, and I loved it. It is a fun and creepy reimagining of an old Russian folktale featuring the infamous witch Baba Yaga, but taking place in an alternate version of modern Brooklyn, NY.
  • Let the Northern Lights Erase Your Name by Vendela Vida. I loved this novel about identity and trying to figure out who you are when your past was a lie. The protagonist, Clarissa, isn’t particularly likeable or sympathetic, but that doesn’t detract from this haunting and challenging story.
  • Textbook by Amy Krouse Rosenthal. Rosenthal is a prolific children’s book author, but this is her first book for grown-ups since she published Encyclopedia of an Ordinary Life 10 years ago. I loved Encyclopedia, so I snapped this up the second I saw it during a recent excursion to an indie bookstore. I’m so glad I bought it in print. I don’t think this book would work well in ebook format because a good deal of the meaning is in the layout of the book, which is often lost in ebooks.
  • The Wander Society by Keri Smith. I think I have every book Smith has written. I love her approach to creativity and opening oneself up to the possibilities that exist around us in every moment — if only we could put down our cell phones long enough to notice. This is a book to re-read often and put into practice.
What I’m Reading Now
  • Living Buddha, Living Christ by Thich Nhat Hahn. This is the current book for my church’s book club. I have read (and loved) other books by Nhat Hahn, but this is my first time reading this book, which is probably his most well-known.
  • 99 Stories of God by Joy Williams. Oh my goodness, how do I describe this book? I had never heard of Joy Williams until I came across a glowing and intriguing review of this collection of stories. Each story is only a page or two — some only a paragraph, but each one is like a punch to the gut.
What are you reading? Tell me in the comments or friend me on Goodreads!
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10 Responses to What I’m Reading — January 2017

  1. Hagar Magdy says:

    I have plans to read The Wander Society soon. If you started reading it yet, do you like it so far? I’m a bit reluctant when it comes to choosing books 😅. I’m now reading Walking Disaster by McGuire. Have a good day!

    • Alice C. says:

      Yes, I have finished it, and I loved it. If you like her other books, such as Wreck This Journal and How to be an Explorer of the World, you’ll like The Wander Society. It’s different, but still tackles similar themes.

  2. You are quite the reader. The Encyclopedia sounds interesting and I will have to remember to add it to my list. Right now I am reading a mermaid series by Jennifer Donnelly. I am on book 3 –
    “Dark Tide”. I love mermaids, but wasn’t so sure about the series as it is for young readers. And while the first book took me a bit to get into in the beginning, I am enjoying the series. I believe there are only 4 books in the series which I am sure I will be bummed about when I finish book 4. But I look forward to finishing the series.

    • Alice C. says:

      The mermaid series looks interesting. I’m still trying to finish the Cadfael mystery series, but then I’d love to start a new series. I might see if my local library has this series by Jennifer Donnelly…Thanks!

  3. Carole says:

    Do you do the reading challenge on Goodreads? I love being able to see how far ahead (or behind) of schedule I am. I read 106 last year, just beating my challenge of 100 so I’m happy with that.

    I haven’t read any of the ones you mention in the post but a couple sound interesting. I’m currently listening to one by Jodi Picoult (Leaving time) and reading one by Karen Rose (Alone in the dark).

    • Alice C. says:

      WOW! 106! That’s awesome. Yes, I’ve been participating in the Goodreads challenge for a few years. In 2017 I only pledged to read 40 books, but I know I’ll probably end up reading more than that.

  4. pam says:

    I just added you as a friend on GoodReads. I’m really impressed with your reading last year. I only read for fun when I’m on vacation.

    • Alice C. says:

      Aw, thanks. I’ve been a bookworm since I was a kid. I’m not sure where I find the time anymore either, but somehow I still manage to complete a surprising number of books.

  5. I just finished reading, Funny in Farsi, by Firoozeh Dumas. Witty, principled, insightful. Thanks for your reviews.

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