What I’ve been reading lately: the new and the notable

Welcome to Quick Lit, where we share short and sweet book reviews of what we’ve been reading lately.

My personal reading list has been heavily influenced by my recent trip to Scotland and my early preparations for the 2019 Summer Reading Guide, but as you will see, I also snuck in one book that was a perfect read for the New Year.

Quick Lit January 2019
Cheerful Weather for the Wedding

Cheerful Weather for the Wedding

This 1932 classic is often described as "witty" but I found it sad: a bride is preparing for her wedding to the wrong man, and it has the whole household in a state of confusion. This was one of the books I brought home from Scotland, and it was my 200th read of 2018. While I love the look of this gorgeous Persephone classic, and I’ll keep it as a Wigtown souvenir, the best thing about it might be the beautiful endpapers. More info →
44 Scotland Street

44 Scotland Street

You all recommended this serialized novel before I left for Scotland: I started it on the plane ride over and finished it in Edinburgh. (And then, in a delightful coincidence, the sparse bookshelf in our airbnb held the sequel!) This series is about the neighbors who live at the eponymous address in Edinburgh's New Town, and was originally written as a weekday column in The Scotsman over a six-month period. The newspaper asked for stories short enough for commuters to read on the train, which is why the novel consists of one hundred short chapters. This was delightful travel reading. More info →
Cork Dork: A Wine-Fueled Adventure Among the Obsessive Sommeliers, Big Bottle Hunters, and Rogue Scientists Who Taught Me to Live for Taste

Cork Dork: A Wine-Fueled Adventure Among the Obsessive Sommeliers, Big Bottle Hunters, and Rogue Scientists Who Taught Me to Live for Taste

My husband read this in the fall, and when I was recently debating what to read next he put this in my hands and said, "read this so we can talk about it." The author quit her job as a journalist and dove headlong into the wine industry, giving herself a year to become a master sommelier. I appreciated the nice mix of science, story, and humor here, and understand the comparisons to Mary Roach and Anthony Bourdain. Fun and funny, plus it's inspiring us to step out of our comfort zone at the local wine shop. More info →
The Orphan of Salt Winds

The Orphan of Salt Winds

In this moody debut, a 10-year-old girl comes to live with a childless couple at Salt Winds, their home on the edge of a beautiful but dangerous marsh. Virginia takes to her adoptive father at once, but it's clear the marsh isn't the only thing to fear in her new home situation, and soon her worst fears are realized, both natural and man-made. Brooks does an incredible job building and sustaining the creepy gothic atmosphere, even if I was less satisfied with the resolution than the setting. I look forward to reading what she writes next. More info →
Atomic Habits: An Easy & Proven Way to Build Good Habits & Break Bad Ones

Atomic Habits: An Easy & Proven Way to Build Good Habits & Break Bad Ones

This was my first completed read of 2019, and a great way to kick off the year. Drawing on personal experience (and with a big nod to Charles Duhigg), Clear writes about the basics of habit formation and follow-through. My favorite insight, and the one that's made a practical difference in my work life this month, is his insistence that 1% gains in performance—which many of us tend to disregard as "not worth the time to pursue"—make an incredible difference in our lives when implemented and compounded. More info →

What have you been reading lately? Tell us all about it in comments or share a link in the comments to your post on what you’ve been reading lately!


Leave A Comment
  1. Veronica says:

    So far January has been a good reading month. I read The Girl in the Tower by Katherine Arden since the last book in preparation for the last book in the trilogy coming out this month. Such a good series!
    For book club I read Washington Black which I enjoyed.
    I loved The Far Field which was set primarily in Kashmir. So very good.
    Now I’m reading Empire in the Sand which is historical fantasy. I have always loved historical fiction and have found that historical mysteries and fantasy books are definitely my favorite genres.

    • Patricia says:

      I’ve had a very productive January so far. Favorites:
      Michelle Obama’s “Becoming” + Dorothy Hughes’s “ In A Lonely Place” + Elizabeth Alexander’s “The Light of the World”

    • Barbara Rodriguez says:

      I just finished the final book in the final book in the Winternight series, The Witch of Winter, you will NOT be disappointed. I adored this series. It really was my entry into fantasy and I am hooked.

  2. Amy says:

    Maybe Bruce from 44 Scotland St. should read Cork Dork…. I really enjoyed my first Alexander McCall Smith (not counting Emma, that was a dud), and didn’t know there is a sequel. I’m curious to know what happens to the characters!

    • Rachel says:

      Good news! The 44 Scotland Street series has 12 books in it and currently Alexander McCall Smith is writing the new one in the Scotsman newspaper like a serial.
      Our family loves the series and how the characters have grown and changed. Because McCall Smith lives in Edinburgh, most if not all the locations are real places and even some of the people are actual residents. I’ve visited Edinburgh three times and I love going to all the locations mentioned in the book (When I went to Drummond Place, there was a flat with a dog in the window watching me! I thought, “Hello, Cyril!”).
      I also appreciate the gentle writing style (I tear up thinking about Bertie’s carrot men bake sale offering) and his slightly absurdist sense of humor (Domenica and the pirates and Irene and her trip to the Middle East still make us crack up).

  3. Julie D in TX says:

    I love the Scotland Street series! You must try it on Audible. Robert Ian Mackenzie does a fabulous job of bringing the characters to life. Just finished Unbearable Lightness of Scones…this series is one of my comfort listens.

  4. Michelle Ann says:

    I do agree with you on Cheerful Weather for the Wedding. I also found it very depressing. I must read Atomic Habits – this could help me fulfil my New Year resolutions!

  5. Kassie Joslin says:

    I’ve read Little Women, Barking to the Choir, and Columbine so far in 2019. Currently devouring Remains of the Day after hearing Anne talk about it on a recent podcast episode. All have been good reads!! Up next- hoping to finish the month with at least these reads: We Were the Lucky Ones (for book club), The Bookshop on the Corner, and Anxious for Nothing. Thrilled with my reading life right now! (Always such a great feeling!)

      • Torrie says:

        I agree with you ? % on that. Tattoos on the Heart is one of my
        all time faves, and Barking to the Choir didn’t quite measure up. Father Greg is still a hero of mine though!

  6. Katy says:

    My 10 year old daughter and I are reading Little Women! So fun! I am reading The Art of Neighboring by Dave Runyon. I learned about it on WSIRN podcast. I am also reading The Lola Quartet. It may be one of the best books I have read in recent years! I highly recommend it. It is sooooooo different from Station 11 (which I loved too).
    Happy Reading!

  7. Sue says:

    Just joined! It’s so inspiring to see all the books read and it’s only Jan 14. I am currently really Dead Sea Rising, by Jerry Jenkins. So good!

  8. Janelle says:

    I just finished The Red Rising Trilogy and it was fantastic! I also read Ann Lamott’s, Notes On Hope ( I counted it as a read someone with fantastic taste recommended.) I am now reading Harry’s Trees. I have a feeling this one will become a personal favorite!

  9. I read Cork Dork last year and really enjoyed it. It was a fascinating read. 2019 has been a slow start for me, but I finished 2018 with A Place for Us by Fatima Farheen Mirza. It was one of my favorites of the year.
    I also read and adored Pride by Ibi Zoboi. It’s a delightful, fresh modern YA retelling of Pride and Prejudice.

  10. Becky Porter says:

    The first book I finished in 2019 was A Man Called Ove, and I loved it!!! I am slogging my way through Chernow’s Alexander Hamilton for an IG buddy read (having mixed feelings about the book). I also devoured 84, Charing Cross Road (a gem), One Crazy Summer (MG lit), and an Agatha Christie mystery. I am in the middle of—and enjoying—Google It: A History of Google, and today I am starting Harry’s Trees. So many wonderful books! ☺️

    • Amy says:

      Slogging is a good way to describe Hamilton- after the first few chapters I thought it was a snoozefest! I’ve put it down, for now.

    • Sue says:

      Isn’t OVE so good???? I can’t get enough of it; I’ve read it twice, listened to it twice (and the reader is the best reader I’ve EVER heard) and watched the movie. I’m still not over it!

  11. Corby says:

    Oh Cork Dork is fun. I work at a winery so it was very amusing for me. Right now I’m knocking off my sci-fi read of the year (always try to read at least 1 book outside my usual genres) with Do Andriods Dream of Electric Sheep.

  12. I really enjoyed Cork Dork last year. I found it fascinating. I finished 2018 with A Place for Us by Fatima Farheen Mirza and loved it. It was one of my favorites for 2018.
    I also read and adored Pride by Ibi Zoboi. It is a delightful, modern YA retelling of Pride and Prejudice.

  13. Adela Bateman says:

    Like many comments, 2019 is off to a great start for reading. Finished Love & Ruin (4 stars), The Immortalists (4 stars) and Jane Steele (3 stars). Half way through When Whiskey Runs Dry – happy reading all!

  14. I listened to ATOMIC HABITS a few months back and have carried with me the idea about making good habits convenient / bad habits inconvenient and habit stacking.

    I adore the cover and title, THE ORPHAN OF SALT WINDS!!! Must hunt it down.

  15. Tammy says:

    My 2019 is off to a great start… I finally read the last three installments of Louise Penny’s Inspector Gamache series! (Until the next one is released, anyway.) There’s nothing quite like reading about winter in Québec while the snow falls here in VA… Atomic Habits is in my shopping cart as we speak, as well as The Happiness Project, which is a re-read for me. In the meantime, I’m working through 1,000+ pages of What It Takes, Richard Ben Cramer’s exhaustive retelling of the 1988 US Presidential Election. I picked it up after the passing of Pres George HW Bush last month. I recommend it to anyone with interest in US presidential politics. I’m only about halfway through since I took time off to solve murders with Armand Gamache, but it’s excellent. It’s easier to recommend history books you haven’t yet finished since you know how the story will end ?

  16. Holly Kincaid says:

    In early January, I finished off “Mr. Dickens and His Carol” by Samantha Silva which was a great holiday read. That was followed by “My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She’s Sorry” by Fredrik Backman which I enjoyed but didn’t love. I had read “Britt-Marie was Here” last year – had no idea the two were connected and I read them in reverse order.

    I started “Every Note Played” by Lisa Genova last night right before bedtime and found myself not wanting to put it down. I’m eager to get back to it!

    • SoCalLynn says:

      I’m reading My Grandmother Asked Me… and I am not loving it. I will finish it, but I much preferred A Man Called Ove and Britt Marie Was Here. I think it’s because I’m not a fan of fantasy or fairy tales. I get that it’s a means to tell the story, just not a fan.

      • Sue says:

        Agree. That whole fairy tale thing in “My Grandmother…” was too complicated, I couldn’t follow it…But I loved the other two. And, didn’t know it came before “Britt-Marie” either.

  17. Nadia says:

    I’ve set out the bare minimum books I will be reading in my blog post at the end of my comment.

    So far in 2019 I have read: Defending Jacob, It Ends With Us and I am almost done listening to Trevor Noah’s book Born A Crime. I plan to start Michelle Obama’s book Becoming soon since it is on my list for February. I’m just not sure whether I should read it on my kindle or in paperback form.


    • Cat says:

      My book club just read Becoming and I was the only one who had a hard copy. The other members all said they wish they had read it in hard copy. Just thought I’d pass it along!

    • Guest says:

      I’m currently listening to Trevor Noah’s Born A Crime! I listened to Michelle Obama’s book, Becoming, on Audible and though it was VERY long (19+ hours), I’m so glad I listened because she narrates it which made for a very unique experience – hearing her life story from her.

  18. Elizabeth says:

    I just finished The Winter of the Witch by Katherine Arden, the last in her beautiful, magical Russian folklore/fantasy the Winternight Trilogy. Read all of them if you haven’t as soon as possible, but savor them. This is a story that will stick with me for a long time. I’m starting to work on my MMD 2019 Reading Challenge and started The Devil’s Company by David Liss, as one of my favorite author’s backlist titles. I read the first two books in the Benjamin Weaver series in college, loved them both, and am just now getting back to Liss’s work. Great historical fiction, set in ! And finally, because I always read one book and listen to another on Audible (I have a long drive to and from work), I started listening to Once Upon a River by Diane Setterfield and narrated by Juliet Stevenson. Oh. My. Word. I’m only on chapter two and I’m already entranced. Setterfield’s writing and Stevenson’s voice go together like coffee and cream. Rich, delicious, and addictive. And now I want to add 44 Scotland Street to my (already too long) to read list.

    • Elizabeth says:

      Arg, I didn’t finish my thought on the David Liss book. It’s historical fiction/mystery set in early 18th century London.

  19. Leslie Leonard says:

    I’ve read…
    Whiskey in a Teacup by Reese Witherspoon
    Raining World Changers in a Changing World by Kristen Welch
    Grace for the Good Girl by Emily Freeman
    The Nesting Place by Myquillan Smith (Emily’s Sister)

    I enjoyed each and every one but the first two the most. Now I’m reading The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo , which I’m finding very helpful as I am doing the method. Next up is Sweep by Jonathan Auxier.

  20. Cheri says:

    I just finished ‘I Lived on Butterfly Hill’ by Marjorie Agosin – It’s a beautiful YA novel by a Chilean author. An excellent choice for books in translation.
    I’m diving into Kate Atkinson. First ‘Case Histories’ and the sequel ‘One Good Turn.’ They are a bit on the gritty/depressing side for my taste. However, the way the characters lives weave together is genius.

    • Jan W says:

      I love the Case Histories/Jackson Brodie series. Are you aware a new one “Big Sky” is coming out later this year? It has been 9 years since the last book of the series. Yay! I agree, the way she weaves the characters together is beautiful.

      • I was rooting for Jackson in the first book but wasn’t fully sold out. I like my characters to get their act together a bit faster. A few chapters into the second book and I find myself invested in his well being. Thanks for the heads up on book 3.

  21. Julie says:

    2019 has started off well in the reading arena! So far I have read Last Christmas in Paris, Forever and Forever: The Courtship of Henry Longfellow and Fanny Appleton, The Tattooist of Auschwitz, Educated, and America’s First Daughter. I am reading Heidi aloud to my 10yo daughter for book club and just started A Fall of Marigolds for myself. I LOVE books set in Scotland and 44 Scotland Street is now on my TBR list!

  22. Sarah Clark says:

    I just finished Animal, Vegetable, Miracle and it wrecked my life (in a good way). Now I’m starting Thrice the Brinded Cat Hath Mew’d and am excited to reconnect with Flavia.

    • Sarah says:

      I love Flavia de Luce… but I can’t lie. I hated Thrice the Brinded Cat Hath Mew’d. Didn’t ruin the series for me though, thankfully and I am now eagerly awaiting publication of The Golden Tresses of the Dead!

  23. Karen says:

    I didn’t do a what I’m reading lately post for January but I did post a look back at my favorite books for 2018.

    I did share in my recent post that I’m reading Don Quixote along with another blogger who is inviting others to join her in reading it. Some other books that I’m in the middle of reading right now are Harry’s Trees, The Daughter of Time, The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, Fellowship of the Rings

  24. Stephanie says:

    The last two books I’ve read have been amazing. The Newcomers: Finding Refuge, Friendship, and Hope in an American Classroom by Helen Thorpe was both sweet and heartbreaking, and spot-on in terms of students learning English. I tutored ESoL for a while and it reminded me so much of my time teaching. I’ve read all of Ms. Thorpe’s books and cannot wait to read her next.
    Nothing to Envy: Ordinary Lives in North Korea by Barbara Demick was shocking- I knew so little about North Korea before I read the book, and now I’m wondering why on earth I didn’t read it sooner. Those poor people…
    I’ve got a stack of books from the library and more on their way from interlibrary loan, so I’m ready to hunker down and wait out the winter cold. 🙂 Happy reading, everyone! 🙂

  25. Carol Darden says:

    I am currently listening to ‘The Widows of Malabar Hill’ and am totally HOOKED. Can hardly wait for my 40-minute commute each day.

  26. Lynn Everroad says:

    Speaking of Scotland and Alexander McCall Smith. He has provided a forward for many of Scottish and Persephone writer, D.E. Stevenson’s latest digital releases, presenting her as a delightful antidote for today’s dystopian nightmare (my words, not his). I’ve read over twenty of her books to date and will continue. Heartily recommend as stress relief.

  27. Melanie says:

    Having a new puppy is seriously putting a dent in my reading life! The first book of this year I read is Saving Wonder. This is a YA novel I was thinking of for my son but I think maybe not just yet. (he’s 8) It was so good though, highly recommend. Also, read Grief Cottage by Gail Godwin. First of hers I’ve read and will not be the last! Currently reading Before I Let You Go, and the boys and I are listening to The Watsons Go To Birmingham in the car!

  28. Sarah says:

    January I was still in Christmasy/wintery mood most of the month. I enjoyed reading Mr. Dickens and His Carol around the holidays. I’ve then been enjoying cozy mysteries in Louise Penny’s Three Pines with Inspector Gamache. I love mysteries and have really enjoyed reading this series. This was my first time reading The Beautiful Mystery, How the Light Gets In, and The Long Way Home. (checking off my 3 books by the same author for the 2019 challenge!) I loved darker turn these books took and appreciated the larger story arch beyond the specific mystery in each book. These books are the perfect winter reads for me so I’ll probably hold off on reading any more of the series until next winter

  29. Andrea says:

    January has been a great reading month so far. I finished Garlic and Sapphires by Ruth Reichl (which I think I heard about on WSIRN), Becoming by Michelle Obama, and If Beale Street Could Talk by James Baldwin. I loved all of them. I’m currently reading Nothing Good Can Come from This by Kristi Coulter (which I’m enjoying a lot) and An American Marriage by Tayari Jones (which I’m struggling to finish). I have a copy of Atomic Habits that I can’t wait to read next.

  30. Leslie says:

    This year I want to get to know my family a little better. I asked everyone what their favorite book is so I could read it and get to know them in a different way. I just finished reading “Flowers for Algernon” and have Neil Gaimon’s “Neverwhere” up next. Reading their favorite book gives me a connection and sometimes a better understanding of that part they don’t always share. I also just started reading the Corrina Chapman series by Kerry Greenwood.

  31. Rebecca MacLean says:

    The 2019 MMD reading challenge is going great, thanks for asking. I have completed 4 of the 10 challenges and two of the reads were 5 Stars! Not a bad start to the new year. Challenge #1(book you have been meaning to read) Grief is the Thing with Feathers: Max Porter was an outstanding read for me! Challenge # 7 (New to me author) Normal People: Sally Rooney was the other 5 star read. Challenge #8 (Translated)The Emissary: Yoko Tawada wonderful writing in this brief dystopian novel set in Japan. Challenge # 10 (Book published before my birth) Picture of Dorian Gray: Oscar Wilde.

  32. Jill K. Porco says:

    I read Circling the Sun and am now reading The German Girl by Armando Lucas Correa. It’s about the tragic voyage of St. Louis, the ship that transported Jews from Germany to Cuba, only to find out Cuba wouldn’t accept most of them.

  33. Janice Rine says:

    December ended with my reading of book #1 of Jan Karon’s Mitford series and January started with Donna Leon’s Commissario Guido Brunetti series “Quietly in Their Sleep”. I seem to be all over the map & can’t wait to read the next book in the Mitford series as well as Michelle Obama’s “Becoming”. Reading keeps me energized.

  34. Jennifer says:

    The first book I finished this month was the ausio version of My Own Devices by rapper Dessa, which was a great jam of memoir, tales of touring, unrequited love, and science.

    Currently reading Flâneuse by Lauren Elkin (exquisite narrative nonfiction), A Trick of the Light by Louise Penny (going to become a Gamache completist in 2019), and listening to Anthony Horowitz’s delightful The Word Is Murder.

  35. Lindsey says:

    I’ve read Bitter Orange by Claire Fuller and The One-in-a-Million Boy by Monica Wood. I just signed up for the MMD book club and I’m still waiting for Harry’s Trees and Garden Spells to come in the mail (my library doesn’t have them) but in the meantime I’ve gotten a jump on February’s pick (Meet Me at the Museum by Anne Youngson). So far a great start to 2019!

  36. Pam says:

    Last month, I read 9 books and one short story. Notable books included:
    1) Favourite book: “The Girl in the Spider’s Web” by David Lagercrantz (#4 in the Millenium series started by Stieg Larsson; translated from Swedish)
    2) Most unusual book: “The Thorn and the Blossom: A Two-Sided Love Story” by Theodora Goss (accordion style binding); I took a class on bookmaking techniques at our local fine arts centre a couple of years, so had to have this when I saw it online.
    3) Last book read in 2018: “Nine Perfect Strangers” by Liane Moriarty (#104)

    Progress on the 2019 Reading Challenge – 3 books read:
    1) Book I’ve been meaning to read: “The Uncommon Reader” by Alan Bennett (listened to it on CD; read by the author)
    2) Book in backlist of a favourite author: “The Black Echo” by Michael Connelly (first in the detective Bosch series; a reread for me; I’ve been enjoying the TV series and wanted to go back and start the book series from the beginning; I read the first 4 or 5 when they came out, but grad school and career got in the way after that)
    3) Book published before I was born: “Sunshine Sketches of a Little Town” by Stephen Leacock (Canadian classic; published in 1912)

  37. Emilie says:

    This January I have finally finished reading Sapiens by Yuval Harari which I absolutely loved! It took me some time to get through it since it was quite thought provoking and gave me a lot to think about.
    I am currently reading:
    – Pachinko By Min Jin Lee
    – The Book of Strange New Things By Michel Faber
    – The Untethered Soul by Michael A. Singer

  38. Janene says:

    I recently finished Last December in Paris and Bookshop on the Corner, both MMD recommendations which were lots of fun! I liked Where the Crawdads Sing much more than I expected and just started Michelle Obama’s Becoming. I will add 44 Scotland Street to my list of library holds!

  39. Emma says:

    I’ve just read Bookworm by Lucy Mangan which I adored,The Corset by Laura Purcell(not impressed with the ending) and The Salt Path by Raynor Winn which was inspiring.

  40. Emma says:

    Also read Dear Mrs Bird which was an enjoyable sweet book and the other Laura Purcell( The Silent Companions) which was equally as gripping as The Corset but with a much more satisfying ending.

  41. Christine Scott says:

    Currently reading: The Nightengale by Kristin Hannah which is a book I’ve been meaning to read. And listening to Becoming by Michelle Obama on audio right now!

    Completed: My Sister, the Serial Killer by Oyinkan Braithwaite, Crossing to Safety by Wallace Stegner (thanks for the recommendation Anne!), and St Lucy’s Home for Girls Raised by Wolves by Karen Russell.

  42. Fonda says:

    Making my way through ‘Gilead’ by Marilynne Robinson for book club and ‘The Wondering Years’ by Knox McCoy.

    I really slowed down on my reading over the holidays and I’m hoping to resume a normal schedule soon.

  43. Natasha says:

    So far this month, I have read:
    The Artificial Anatomy of Parks by Kat Gordon
    Girl Up by Laura Bates
    Shanghai Girls by Lisa See
    And I have re-read Alice in Wonderland
    My favourite has been Girl Up and Shanghai Girls (for very different reasons).
    Girl Up is aimed at a younger audience, however, I loved the author sense of humour and I was in stitches for most the second half of the book. She gives really good advice for young girls.
    Shanghai Girls is set between 1937 and 1947 in Shanghai and America. It’s a great story (part one of two). This author is fast becoming one of my favourites.
    Currently reading:
    Dreams of Joy by Lisa See (the second in the series)and A Dangerous Crossing by Jane Mitchell (about a Syrian family that are forced to leave their home and seek refuge in Turkey. Told from the perspective of a thirteen year old boy.

  44. I just finished Annabel Lee by Mike Nappa. Now my usual fare, but, wow, this one grabbed me from page 1 and did not let go: about a girl led to a basement bunker by her uncle and told not to let anyone in, even him, without the safe code. Then come all the questions: who is she, why is she hidden, why are people after her, why are people dying to protect her. Riveting.

    I also finished Among the Fair Magnolias, a collection of Southern Civil War are novellas, and Murder in an English Village (also not my usual fare) by Jessica Ellicott, about an adventurer who comes to stay with an old friend in a quiet English village, and the two of them soon are investigating a murder. I hope to review all these soon.

    Last week on the blog I reviewed Homebody by Joanna Gaines and Christian Publishing 101 by Ann Byles.

  45. Jenn Letak says:

    Bird Box! Only do NOT watch the movie after – the movie is AWFUL compared to the book (I mean, most of the time it usually is!) It is a quick, satisfying read, and good if you are in between other genres or heavier books.

  46. Katie Gronsbell says:

    Presently I’m ready A Farewell to Arms. Y He I gway
    So far in 2019 I’ve read:
    Montana by Larry Watson
    The Covenant by Naomi Regan
    Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman

  47. SoCalLynn says:

    I read 4 books in December. My favorites were A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens, and West With the Night by Beryl Markham. This is the best memoir I’ve ever read. I have read Circling the Sun, the fictionalized version of her life, and I absolutely prefer her own words. I haven’t finished any books yet this year but I am reading three concurrently: My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She’s Sorry, Farewell to Manzanar, and Uninvited by Lysa Terkeurst.

  48. Colleen Eidsness says:

    So far this month I have read:
    Indian Horse by Richard Wagsmese, a book that every Canadian & American should read.
    The Invisible Dead by Sam Weibe
    Both these books are by Canadian authors.
    After these heavy reads I needed something light so read Christmas on the Island by Jennifer Colgan. I didn’t get to it at Christmas but it’s still winter.
    I am now reading The Hobbit and Thinner this Year. The Hobbit will be my “genre outside my comfort zone” for the book challenge

  49. Ashley says:

    I finished the book Chopsticks by Jessica Anthony & Rodrigo Corral (illustrator). I’m not sure how to classify the book (picture book for young adult readers?). The story was not groundbreaking, but it was unique in how the story was told. Very creative.
    Currently, I’m reading The Gilded Years by Karin Tanabe. It has been a slow go, but the I will push through as the story still interests me.

  50. Sarah says:

    I just finished Erotic Stories for Punjabi Widows—- I am still a little shocked that I picked up a book with this title, but I loved the main story so much! I also just finished Clock Dance (WSIRN podcast suggestion!), am in the middle of Next Year in Havana and just started A Tale for the Time Being. It’s been a great reading start to 2019!

  51. Sue says:

    Best book so far in January: Left Neglected by Lisa Genova, about a little known neurological phenomenon—fascinating, and not a terrible ending, like her other two! Also, “The Storied Life of A.J.Fikry”—good until the last quarter when the writer seemed to get tired of it and just wrapped it up—And I listened to “A Thousand Splendid Suns” in the car, and am currently reading “Come Spring” by Ben Ames Williams, about early settlers in my state of Maine. Oh, and I gave up on “Pride and Prejudice and Mistletoe”.

  52. S says:

    2019 reading has been slower than expected but it took time to read Becoming by Michelle Obama as I didn’t want to rush through her story.

    Anyone else read it and wish for a memoir by her mother? I would love to read her story and perspective!

  53. Tamara says:

    Some interesting titles here. While Cheerful Weather looks like a pretty book, I tend to skip reading things that I think will be sad. I talked about the 18 books I read in December on my blog.

  54. I’ve read FOUR books since January 1, which quite a feat for me! Two of them were audiobooks, and I listened to them while cleaning out some office spaces, but I still count those.
    I started the year off really light with Winnie the Pooh, Little House in the Big Woods, and two Jodi Picoult novels, but none of those is “the book I’ve been meaning to read,” which will come this week.

  55. Birgitta Qvarnström Frykner says:

    I’ve had a reveling moment. I’m giving a sermon in a week’s time and as it is about the Samaritans, after the woman by the well, I had to research something about the Samaritan people and belief for to get the context of the gospel part. What happened is that after reading the book and got back to the gospel ( John) a new text was before me, so much did I realize that I missed before. Then the other night I began to read Marisa de Los Santos book I’ll be your blue sky. After finishing it yesterday I found out I wanted to read it again, now with the knowledge and see the plot in another way. I really loved this book and will read more of her books. I also read Elin Hildebrands Beauty ful Day, so and so. One book I enjoyed was the, The Jane Austen Handbook, proper life skills by Marguerite Sullivan. So will soon finish the Samaritan book, but not whole, it is the newest research book and wow so many misconceptions there are about them

  56. Sally Olson says:

    Anne, I’m also reading James Clear’s Atomic Habits. Paul Jarvis’ new (first?) book, Company of One, dropped into my Kindle library today too. But, I’m sticking with my pledge to read more fiction right now. So, I read a sample of Montana 1948: A Novel after skipping to the end of The Girl on the Train :(, and reading your books, I’d Rather Be Reading and Reading People, page for page. I love listening to your podcast while I exercise my dogs. It makes me want to quit everything to read. Cheers!

    • SoCalLynn says:

      I’m currently reading Uninvited by Lysa Terkeurst. Have you read that one yet? I’m not really a fan of spiritual “self help” books, I prefer Bible studies, but I saw her speak once, and the subject matter hit a nerve with me.

  57. Susan says:

    I finished Calypso by David Sedaris and also read That Kind of Mother by Rumaan Alam and Turtles All the Way Down by John Green. I am in the middle of When You are Engulfed in Flames by David Sedaris and I have started Swimming Lessons by Claire Fuller.

  58. Laura Newton says:

    I just finished Meet me at the Museum and LOVED it. So fun to read this novel written in letters (which I don’t love usually, but somehow it worked so well here). I have also just picked up the Deborah Crombie mystery series and love book one so far.

  59. Sue Baum says:

    Our book club selection (we’re “The Bookies”) was The Marriage of Opposites by Alice Hoffman. Four stars! Can’t believe I’ve never read anything by her before. Historical fiction set in St. Thomas and Paris mostly. Loosely based on the family of impressionist painter Camille Pissarro. Quite a saga – now I want to buy a print of his but he was VERY prolific so it’s hard to decide which one to get. Just started Auntie Poldi and the Sicilian Lions by Giordano as my Reading Challenge – translation category. 🙂

  60. Jessica says:

    I received a free ARC of The Kingdom of Copper, but I have to read the first installment to catch up! So I went to the library and picked up City of Brass by SA Chakraborty. I love that more women are writing in Sci Fy and Fantasy and especially with diverse voices. Excited to dig into the series.

  61. Allie says:

    Atomic Habits sounds good! I read Do This For Me by Elize Kennedy last week. Interesting. I’m currently listening to Side Hustle and The Alcohol Experiment and reading The Dinner List.

  62. Kendyle Mc Daniel Smith says:

    I’m currently about half way through ‘Cork Dork’ and I’m really enjoying the humor. However, I don’t think I’m learning much about wine but rather more about what a grueling process it is to become a sommelier

  63. I’ve had a problem lately with having too much New Year’s motivation to read ALL THE BOOKS, which is why I’m currently in the middle of 8 titles. (I’ve got starting power, but not finishing power right now, it seems!) However, everything I AM reading IS good enough to finish, so we’ll get there eventually 🙂 I rounded up all my current reads here:


  64. Nick Ertz says:

    I have a suggestion for a future blog piece. How about a list of shorties. It will help speed us along with our annual plan. Two immediately come to mind: Your book (I’d Rather Be Reading) and Stephen King’s Elevation.
    Both are good, interesting and short.

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