January Wrap Up

I am so thankful January is over. January was the month from hell, and I’m pretty sure it was actually 458,603,837 days long. Every time I thought January was close to ending there were still like 10 more days until the actual end of the month. Let’s just say I am SO ready to start fresh in February.

I wanted to use today to reflect on how my January went in terms of my goals. How did I do in accomplishing them? Do I want to change any of them? Do I have any new goals? Basically, what worked and what didn’t. So without further ado…

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(Nothing motivates me more than this song.)

The Unread Shelf Project

I did a pretty good job with some of my goals this month for January, but for some of them I fell off the wagon. And by “I fell off the wagon,” I mean I threw myself off the wagon and let it leave without me. I may or may not be referring to my book buying ban and how well it didn’t go. (I am 100% talking about how badly I did with my book buying ban.)

All of the books that I read this month were books on my unread shelf. So I did a really good job being able to cross those off my list. I read seven books this month, six physical books and one book on my kindle. So in the sense of working through my unread books that were already on my shelf, I did AWESOME. The key word unfortunately is already.

Confession time: I bought a lot of books this month. I bought books when I went to Maine to visit a friend from college, I bought more books from my local bookstore, I went to Barnes and Noble twice leaving with books and I ordered some off of Amazon. So yeah, I threw myself off that wagon pretty hard. I know I don’t want to keep adding to the books on my Unread Shelf because then I won’t be able to accomplish my large goal for that, which is to get to 100 or less unread books on my shelf. I also know, I LOVE to buy books. There is no where I love being more than at the bookstore (except maybe Disney World), and there is nothing I hate more than leaving the bookstore without buying any books. So, how do I fix this going forward?

I think I am going to try and get back on the book buying ban, but keep it to smaller time frames. I thought I was a moderator, someone who can only do something in moderation, but apparently I’m an abstainer. I need to completely abstain from something otherwise it becomes an extremely slippery slope. So for February, I’m going to try and not buy any books, and reevaluate how that goes at the end of February. Wish me luck.

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(Thanks Lando)

My Blog

For my first month of blogging ever I’m feeling pretty good. I know there are things that I’m looking to improve for next month, like making sure I get my review’s up. I read seven books in January and I was terrible about getting my reviews up. I need to start setting time aside after I finish a book to write my review. So that is my plan for next month. I mean look at all these good books I read this month!

 

Books I Read

I am very proud of the amount of books I read this month. I read seven books in total this month and I don’t remember the last time I read so many books in one month. And as a bonus, there was only one that I didn’t enjoy as much as I wanted to enjoy it. So it was a great month not only for amount of books read but quality of the books I read too. I even had a couple 5 star reads which was exciting!

  • The World According to Star Wars by Cass R. Sunstein -⭐️⭐️
  • The Power by Naomi Alderman -⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ (and so far definitely number one on my list for 2018 favorites)
  • Strange Weather by Joe Hill -⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
  • The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway -⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
  • Red Clocks by Leni Zumas -⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
  • The Immortalists -⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
  • My Absolute Darling -⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

I do have some reviews that I’m working on for The Immortalists, and My Absolute Darling which will hopefully be coming in the next week so keep a look out!

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Next Month!

I am SO excited for February. I’m participating in a fun challenge started by Alisa over at @worldswithinpages (on Instagram) and here is her blog, called Fantasy in February. Where the goal is to read strictly fantasy. I am really excited for this because I love fantasy but I always get sucked up into classics and contemporary fiction. I’ve gotten some really good recommendations and I can’t wait to get started. Join us or follow along with the hashtag #fantasyinfebruary on Instagram!

I also started an IRL book club with some of my friends at work and our first book is Sleeping Beauties by Steven King and Owen King which I am the most excited to read.

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What books did you read in January? Was your January like mine or did you have a great January! Tell me about your month in the comments below!

– Hannah

Review: Red Clocks by Leni Zumas

2018 is shaping up to be the year that Hannah reads A TON of feminist novels. Fifth book of the year, the second review I’ve written, and second feminist novel of the year. And I am not complaining. I’m here for it. Bring me all of the feminist novels in 2018. And I mean ALL. OF. THEM.

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(You and me both Jess)

Just like the last book I reviewed, The Power by Naomi Alderman, this book is being likened to Margaret Atwood’s, The Handmaid’s Tale. Set in a small fishing town in Oregon the story follows, four woman (technically five but we’ll get there) as they deal with the repercussions of new legislature that changes each of their lives as they deal with freedom and what that means for each of them.

Ro, a high school teacher struggles with her fertility.

Susan, a frustrated mother of two trapped in a failing marriage.

Mattie, an adopted teenager who finds herself experiencing an unplanned pregnancy.

Gin, an herbalist who is arrested and put at the center of a modern-day witch hunt.

Eivor, a female polar explorer. (I said technically five woman because Ro is writing a biography about Eivor and even though through Ro’s writing about her you learn more about Ro, I’m not sure if I would consider Eivor a main character – but maybe I’m missing something?)

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This book is set in the not so distant future in Oregon after Roe vs. Wade is over turned and new legislature is passed. The Personhood Amendment. This amendment gave the constitutional right to life, liberty and property to a fertilized egg at the moment of conception. This effectively makes abortion a murder charge (there is even a “pink wall” at the Canadian border that prevents woman seeking abortions from leaving the country) and it causes in-vitro fertilization to be banned, due to the fact that embryos “can’t give their consent to be moved.” All of the woman in this story are effected in some way or other by this new law, and the story focuses on what it means to each of their lives, freedom, and identities.

One of my favorite things about this novel is that Leni Zumas used real life legislature put forth by many men in Congress and our government when it comes to Women’s Rights and the right to choose what happens to our own body’s as woman. This book gave a very vivid picture of what this world could be like if Roe Vs. Wade is overturned and some of the men in government roles get what they want in regards to women’s bodies.

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And while this book is definitely a feminist novel, a novel that makes it clear that a world in which Roe vs. Wade being over turned, and abortion and in-vitro fertilization being illegal is not a great one, I don’t think someone who believes in pro-life arguments would feel like they were being attacked, or offended. Although I say that and everyone is offended by something. I think where this book succeeds is it really sticks to just the experience of the women in the story and lets you see what they are having to go through once these laws are passed.

I was really looking forward to reading this book the minute I read a synopsis, I even signed up for Book of the Month Club just so I could get it before it actually came out. While I wasn’t disappointed and while I did really enjoy it, I think I may have overhyped it to myself. I was really expecting to be blown away and I just wasn’t. I wanted to be able to give it 5 stars but I just couldn’t do it. So for me it gets 4. With that said though – I would HIGHLY recommend this book to everyone.

Let me know what you thought of Red Clocks or give me some recommendations of your favorite feminist books!

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(and don’t let the bastards grind you down)

– Hannah

 

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