January 2023: A Month In Review: Books I Read, Blog Recap, All my TBRs

We've made it to the end of January! I sit here on the very last day of the month ready to reflect on how my 2023 has gone so far, how I'm honoring the reading goals I set just a few weeks ago, and share which books I'm so excited to pick up. All in all, I'm really pleased with how January has gone. Admittedly, it hasn't been the biggest test given that I spent a week of January on break and the weeks following in the early yawn of the beginning of the semester where everything is blissfully slow and gentle. Still, I feel like my life has shifted in a way that is better set up to prioritize both reading and blogging.
I actually read more after school started than I did in that final week of break. That feels really encouraging. I've also been blogging a ton and have a few blog posts drafted and ready to go at all times because I've gotten ahead on my reading. Even though none of the books I read this month made my list of standout books for the year, I enjoyed experiencing the process of them overall. 
If you want to check out my reading stats from last year and my 5 reading goals, you can find them here.

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Books I Read in January

We'll start off with the books I read this month. I finished 5 which is over one a week. My goal is to read about 4 books a month (or 50 books in a year), so I'm happy to be ahead. I also fulfilled another goal for the year by reading a fantasy/mythology book as my first read. I'm also going to count Fleishman Is in Trouble towards my goal of not being afraid to pick up longer books since it was nearly 400 pages and substantially longer than anything else I read. 
All in all, I didn't love any of these books, but there were a number that were thought provoking, both in their characters and the lens they were putting on the world and from a writing craft perspective. It's been fun to finally read some of those literary bookstagram staples. Reviews for all of these books are to come if they haven't released already, but I'll give you a preview of the ratings.
Also, in line with my goal, all of these books came from the library. Ariadne was my only physical read, and the rest were checked out with Libby. I highly recommend downloading the app if you're not on it already!


by Jennifer Saint
Rating: 3.5 


by Melissa Broder
Rating: 4


by Taffy Brodesser-Akner 
Rating: 3.5 


by Naoise Dolan
Rating: 4 


by Halle Butler
Rating: 4 

Blog Posts in January

I'm super proud that I've been so consistent with blogging this month! I've published 6 posts total, mostly reviews of books I read over the holidays. Here's a quick recap to make sure you didn't miss any of them.

my 2022 reading stats and goals

book review: ghosts

book review: either/or

 book review: ariadne

book review: sorrow and bliss

book review: milk fed

Books Purchased

I'm hoping this won't be a super frequent section of my monthly recaps in 2023, but these 2 were picked up in special circumstances. It violates my goal for book buying this year of only purchasing books I couldn't get through the library or already read and loved and wanted to annotate. But my hometown library has this place called the Book Nook where they sell donated books for $1 or $2 to support library programming. This has been around for years, but I didn't check it out until right before I left to go home. And when I stumbled upon pristine copies of 2 books I'd been meaning to read, I had to pick them up. The first being Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine (which I've wanted to read since 2019 when I saw it in the bookstore I worked at). I figure a paperback can't take up too much space. I also grabbed The Vanishing Half which is also an older title now but has gotten such glowing reviews I know I want to read it at some point.

NetGalley TBR

You read that right. After years, I finally cracked open my NetGalley account, and I'm going to read a few ARCs here and there again. The first on my ARC TBR is Begin Again by Emma Lord, which just released this week, so you should definitely go check it out. I've also been meaning to catch up on Never Getting Back Together by Sophie Gonzales (cause I love her books) and The Price & The Apocalypse by Kara McDowell from the YA world. One of these months, I'll have to dip a toe back into my former reading home. Also, this past week, for the first time ever, I got approved for an adult title on NetGalley, The Rachel Incident, which I'm excited for.

TBR

So what am I reading next? I'm a bit of a mood reader, so I don't love stringent TBRs, but I find to keep myself reading that I need to have a clear idea of what to pick up next so I don't get out of the reading habit. I know for sure that the 2 books I have checked out from the library with the clock ticking down will be up next. The first (on special 7 day jump the line loan) is Really Good, Actually by Monica Heisey which I'd seen recommended somewhere or other and put on my holds list. The other, which I'm super excited about and have been looking to read for a while, is None of This Is Serious by Catherine Prasifka. I've been loving the Irish literature lately, and I love love love university stories, so I'm hoping this one will knock it out of the park.

Long Term TBR

I thought it would be fun to talk about the books on my holds list to give you a glimpse into what I'm excited about and actively trying to read. I'll go into these books more in a future TBR post, likely later this month, but here's the books I'm actively waiting to read: Convenience Store Woman, Cleopatra and Frankenstein, Bunny, and Our Missing Hearts.

What I'm Looking Forward To

In February, I'm looking forward to blending my book reading and my TV watching by watching the adaptions of 2 of my recent reads and blogging about them. First, everyone's been talking about Fleishman Is In Trouble on Hulu. And then I'll head over to Peacock to watch the adaption of Dolly Alderton's memoir.

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