Saturday, January 30, 2016

What I'm Reading | January 2016

This past year I made a personal goal to spend less time surfing the internet (yes I'm talking about you, Facebook) and more time with my nose in a book. I read quite a few interesting and thought provoking novels in 2015, and a lot of trashy romance novels, too. This year I haven't read as many romance novels and I've added a few good true crime books into the mix, too. Here is what is on my nightstand right now. I've either finished each book or currently working my way through them. I take after my father and I have several books going at once (including a couple of required reading textbooks for my college classes). 

Spark Joy: An Illustrated Master Class on the Art of Organizing and Tidying Up by Maria Kondo. Oh clutter, how I hate you. I go through phases of clutter in my house. During the summer it's toys, books, games, pool noodles, swim trunks, and flip flops. During the school year my counters are covered in papers to be returned to school, lunch boxes, notes, school uniforms, and homework. My desk is always cluttered. Right now my bedroom looks like the stock room at Old Navy... clothes piled on every surface. I am about 30% through Spark Joy and while I wouldn't call it revolutionary, it does make me aware of the problem areas in my home and gives step by step instructions on how to tackle those areas. And who couldn't use more organization in their lives? 

Helter Skelter by Vincent Bugliosi. As a true crime enthusiast I was excited to read Helter Skelter, a recommendation from my father. The author, Vincent Bugliosi, was also the lead prosecuting attorney and gave exceptional insight into the cult of Charles Manson, his followers, the Tate/LaBianca murders, and the ensuing trial(s). I highly recommend this book if you're into true crime, although I will warn you, I had a hard time sleeping after reading some of it. I texted a friend that I was certain Charles Manson was going to crawl into my bedroom and murder me. Combine a love of true crime novels with an active imagination and you get some irrational behavior at times! 

Good in Bed by Jennifer Weiner. How did I miss this book when it was released over a decade ago? Funny, witty, charming, heartbreaking... all my favorite things about a good novel. Weiner's main character, Cannie, is one of my favorite female leads in a long, long time. I was sad when I finished this one and I hope to pick up one or two more of Weiner's more recent novels. 

Son: A Psychopath and His Victims by Jack Olsen. My true crime kick continues with the story of the South Hill (Spokane) Rapist. My dad grew up on South Hill Spokane, and his sister was a young woman during the time of these attacks. I devoured this book in under a week and highly recommend it. This book didn't frighten me as much as Helter Skelter, although I have no idea why not; the scenarios in this book are far more likely than a Charles Manson type cult killing.

Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear by Elizabeth Gilbert. I read Eat Pray Love many years ago and I must admit I lost interest halfway through the Pray portion of the book. While I enjoyed the story Gilbert was telling, I wasn't overly impressed with her delivery. However, Big Magic has taken me by surprise. Her writing style is succinct and eloquent, and her advice and guidance are well articulated. I am reading this at the same pace I tackle Spark Joy, and both books are placed firmly in my "must read" pile. Balancing work, school, the kids, and my creative efforts has been a struggle these past few months, and Big Magic offers a lot of great advice on how to tackle these seemingly insurmountable problems. 

Thrill Me by Susan Mallery. This is where we take a right turn in my eccentric reading preferences into... the trashy romance novel. Yes, I occasionally pick something up with "Harlequin Romance" written on the spine and only feel a teeny tiny bit guilty about it. More often than not I'll buy the newest Fool's Gold romance by Susan Mallery. Her stories are predictable with just the right about of trashiness to make them fun. What draws me to her books is the continuation of her characters in newer books, and the fictional town of Fool's Gold. If you're looking for a new romance novelist to read, I recommend Mallery. She is by far my favorite (but I'm always looking for suggestions!). 

January was a great month for reading. I finished a few books and started several more, and I have a growing list of books to read for February! I have another Bugliosi book on its way, Mandy Kaling's newest autobiography on the shelf, and several novels on hold at the local library. I hope my "what I'm reading" list has introduced you to a new author, or two. 

I'm always looking for new authors to read so please leave recommendations in the comments! Have a wonderful weekend and thanks for stopping by.


Susi Kelly said...

I'll definitely look into a few of the books you mentioned, Erin - I'm a huge reading fan! Recently I've become hooked on psychological thrillers and just finished reading the final book by Michael Robotham (published 2015). I can't say enough about how much I enjoy this series (Joseph O'Loughlin). I want to write to the author and tell him to "hurry up" and write his next book LOL
Currently, I'm reading through the Elizabeth George series (Inspector Lynley), with "When The Moon Is Low" (Nadia Hashimi) on the sidelines for when I'm done book #3.
A book is fantastic when it can carry one away to and make one FEEL with just mere words!
Whatever you're reading, enjoy!

Erin said...

Thanks for the suggestions! I will have to check out Robotham and the Elizabeth George series!