I only have 1 resolution for 2021. Read 1,000 pages a month. Any type of book. Any subject. Any reading level. Any topic. The only rule is that the pages only count when I finish the book. I think I interpreted the goal as 2021 pages in 1 month in January! 8 books. 2, 419 pages. Here’s the scoop.
Best books in January.
- Tell Me Three Things, Julie Buxbaum – Young Adult. A teenage girl’s mother has died, her father has met a woman online, married her, and is moving them from Chicago to Los Angeles for a new life. Jessie is starting her junior year at a new high school where she only knows her new stepbrother, who is definitely not her friend. Someone sends Jessie an anonymous email to give her needed information about the people at the school. After initial hesitation, Jessie accepts the offer and the book consists both of their communications and what’s going on in her life. I was empathizing with Jessie’s adjustment to her new life as well as trying to figure out the identity of the mysterious writer and praying that my hunch was correct. I’ll leave it at that. Go read it!
- This Close to Okay, Leesa Cross-Smith – Fiction. A woman is on her way home when she sees a man about to jump from a bridge. She stops and encourages him to step back and actually get in the car with her. Suspend suspicion here when even I felt it was okay for her to bring him home after a brief stop at a coffee shop. (What, really?!) It’s what she did and I had to roll with the story. There are many understories lurking around the edges of what’s being told. Each character hints to things we don’t know yet, that they don’t know about each other, and it all comes together as it unfolds.
- The Remarkable Journey of Coyote Sunrise, Ben Gemeinhart – Middle Grade Fiction. Coyote Sunrise and her father, Rodeo Sunrise, live in a renovated yellow school bus and travel wherever their hearts dictate. As the story progresses, we learn that the rest of their family, the mom and two sisters, passed away in a car accident. The two members of the Sunrise family pick up various people during their travels, have adventures, and create relationships. I marked the page where I fell in love with the book (159) and couldn’t wait to share it with someone so I sent a copy to a 10-year old friend. I don’t feel that I am gushing enough in this review. All I can say is read this book!
Almost as Good
- Convenience Store Woman, Sayaka Murata (Author) Ginny Tapley Takemori (Translator) – Fiction. This was an interesting story about a woman who does not fit into society. She takes notes on how other people behave and then mimics them to fit in. Working in a convenience store allows her to slip into the Worker mode where there are rules about what to say, how to do things, etc. This book is a somewhat lighthearted attempt to show how there are societal demands and expectations, and how the tables can get turned around and around. It’s a short read, and makes its point. I also found some of Keiko’s observations very amusing.
- St. Francis Society for Wayward Pets, Annie England Noblin – Fiction. Maeve finds herself in a place in her life where an unexpected gift of her birth mother’s home seems to be a perfect solution…at least for awhile. She never knew her mother and yet here she is in a town where everyone knows each other and seems to know her based on the resemblance to the mother she never met. This is one of those stories about trying to find out about yourself, your history, and your life direction. This took some unexpected turns that were quite satisfying in their surprises.
February results are more realistic so far. 2 books. 495 pages, even though it’s only the first week (of a short month!)
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