January 2023 Reading Recap

After reading more than 100 books in 2022, I was eager to welcome a new year and a fresh start in 2023. I finished reading 8 books in January 2023. Here are brief recaps of each book I read.

The first book I finished in 2023 was one that I had started reading in December 2022, Christmas Days: 12 Stories and 12 Feasts for 12 Days by Jeanette Winterson. This book was first published in 2016 and it is a collection of essays and short stories by Winterson. It was my first time reading this author and I enjoyed her writing style. Someday I would like to read more of her work. Each chapter was paired with a holiday related recipe. Many of the stories had a magical and mysterious quality, which was very thought provoking in the holiday season. I would recommend this book to someone looking for a non-traditional Christmas/holiday read.

The next book I read in January will likely be a favorite for the whole year. Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow by Gabrielle Zevin is a book I was looking forward to reading since it was published in July 2022. I’m glad I saved it for January 2023 because it was a great way to kick off my 2023 reading life. I was a little nervous before I started reading because it had been included on many year-end book lists and I’m always wary of something being overhyped. But in my opinion this book 100% lived up to the hype. 

The title of the book is drawn from a Shakespeare play and I loved the way that Shakespeare’s words were woven into certain parts of the book. If you want to know more about the Shakespeare thread in the book, here is a link to an excellent article. Zevin is an amazingly creative author. I loved her character development. I was fully invested in all of the characters and the different plot lines. Video games play a major role in the book, even though I’m not much of a gamer, I could follow along with that narrative thread and enjoyed the themes.

A book club that I’m in read Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow in January and it was interesting to hear how different readers engaged with the book. I think it is a great book club book, but I couldn’t find a lot of good discussion questions. I did like this blog post where someone compiled different themes in Tomorrow x3 for book club discussion.

Book #3 in January was another one that was topping charts, but won’t be in my personal top 10. I read It Ends With Us by Colleen Hoover. Her books have been very popular on Tik Tok and other social media platforms. Her writing is not really my cup of tea.

I was eagerly awaiting a new book from Leigh Bardugo and re-read Ninth House to prepare to read the sequel. The Ninth House series is set at Yale and New Haven. Bardugo imagines the Secret Societies at Yale having magical capabilities. Her characters are fascinating and she does an excellent job at world building (explaining the magical activity and how it works). An added bonus is the setting in New Haven and being able to envision places I know well. Book two in the series, Hell Bent, released in January 2023 and I read it immediately after finishing my re-read of Ninth House. 

After a few intense books, I was ready for a palate cleanser and picked up Winter in Paradise by Elin Hilderbrand. Most of Hilderbrand’s books are set in Nantucket, but this one was set in the US Virgin Islands. Normally I think of her books as romance novels. Winter in Paradise was more of a mystery. An enjoyable escape read, although not very memorable.

Another book I was looking forward to reading since it was released was The Cloisters by Katy Hays. Published in November 2022, I knew I wanted to read this novel since I have visited the Cloisters, part of the New York Metropolitan Museum of Art, several times. I’m not normally a mystery/thriller reader, but I enjoyed this book, mostly because of the setting. As someone who doesn’t normally read those genres, I was pleasantly surprised by some of the twists and turns of the plot line.

The last book I finished in January was Every Summer After by Carley Fortune. Similar to Colleen Hoover’s books, Every Summer After was very popular on Tik Tok and other social media when it was released. It was a fairly predictable romance book and a quick read.

Most of the books I read this month were print copies and 2 were on Kindle. I didn’t finish any audiobooks in January – mostly because I was still working on finishing listening to one LONG audiobook. Happy reading!

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