reading life {january 2020}

I feel like my reading life so far in 2020 has been pretty scattered. I’ve picked up more books than I’ve finished and I found myself this week overwhelmed. I want reading to be a release and a joy and this week it started to feel more like a burden. I challenged myself to finish two of the books that were sort of hanging out there – one was a pre-read for my son and the other was for my book club. I’m happy to report I finished both with much joy. I’ve got one more on the horizon I’m hoping to finish this week and then I think I’ll feel a little less buried by books.


  • Sense and Sensibility – I liked this one. It did feel a little different for an Austen book. I can’t totally put my finger on it – perhaps because none of the men seemed likable? They all seemed like doofs. Maybe that was her point?
  • Frankenstein – this is a pre-read for my 10th grader and it took me a little bit to get into it, but when I did I kind of liked it. He’s still on the fence whether he’s enjoying it or not, but honestly I’m not sure I enjoyed it the first time I read it in high school. There are a handful of great literary discussion points and I think this book would probably be more enjoyed reading with a group rather than just your mom.
  • Tidelands – this is probably the worst book I’ve read in a long, long time. I kept reading it because I kind of wanted to know where she was going to go with this silly story. I’ve read many of Gregory’s book previously and loved them. I’m not sure if it’s because I’m more familiar with the history of this time period or if her writing has just gone down hill, but this had the most ridiculous character development I’ve ever read.


  • The Fiery Cross (Outlander #5) – I took a break from this series for a while and I finally let myself start on the next book as a reward for finishing S&S. I’m happy to be back in the world of Claire and Jamie.
  • Out of the Silent Planet – we are reading this slowly aloud as a family. Our 10th grader read it a few years ago and it was his vote to start to read together. So far so good.
  • The Only Plane in the sky: An Oral History of September 11, 2001 – I’m listening to this on audio and it’s AMAZING! I’m pretty sure I’m going to have to buy this to have. It’s super, super good. Hard, but so many things I didn’t even know about.
  • The Pleasures of Reading in an Age of Distraction – this one is my goal to finish asap. It’s a small book and super interesting. His take on recommending books to people has been really interesting.
  • The Mind of the Maker – I’m reading this with a writing forum that I’m in and this book is hard, hard, hard. It was on my list to read this year at some point and when my writing forum chose it as a book club I figured this would be the best way to get it done. Was I ever right. I would totally have given up by this point if I wasn’t able to read/discuss with other people.
  • Joan of Arc by Mark Twain – this is a pre-read with my 7th grader. It’s been really good – which I had heard from many people. We’ve read many things about Joan of Arc over the years, but this has probably been the most interesting version we’ve read so far.
  • Liturgy of the Ordinary – this is a re-read for me. I’m not sure why I felt a pull to read it again, but I did and I’ve really enjoyed it. I’m sort of prayer journaling through the chapters this time around and it’s been a great way to really let sink in what she’s going for in each chapter.
  • I’ve got a handful of other books I’m sort of reading, but not really. It’s either I’m reading them for school and I’m behind or I started them and then picked up something else. You can keep up with all those on Goodreads if you are so inclined.


Honestly I just want to finish some of these books hanging over me. I’ve got a few pre-reads for school I really just need to finish and a few other’s I started one day that I just need to close up too. I’ve been super awful about using my tea time to just sit and peruse my phone versus reading which is so bad! I’m not starting 2020 with good habits by any means.