Books I Read in January 2018

January 2018 Reads | The Deliberate Reader

I feel like I’m still in a bit of a reading slump, which is totally typical for me in December, but shouldn’t I be out of it by now?!?

That said, I did still finish 12 books, although two of them were readalouds with my son; I’m always uncertain if I want to count the school readalouds I do with them here, or in their own category.

So … the final two I counted because they were titles I enjoyed enough on my own that I would have kept reading them even if I hadn’t been reading them to him. I don’t know if that logic will hold all year.


  1. The Death of Ivan Ilyich by Leo Tolstoy

    I’m hoping the discussion my book club is going to have about this will help me appreciate it more because for a classic of literature I was underwhelmed.

  2. Kilmeny of the Orchard by Lucy Maud Montgomery

    I’m also hoping the discussion my other book club is having on this title will help me appreciate it more, although I have less hope for this one. There are some lovely descriptive passages, but the age of the novel is glaringly obvious in the many offensive passages about Gypsies and Italians.

  3. Crocodile on the Sandbank by Elizabeth Peters

    A re-read, after a friend whose reading tastes so often match well with mine, got me to give Peters a second try. My first attempt with her was when I was in high school, so I can easily admit that my reading tastes have changed some since then. And I enjoyed it well enough and will try another book in the series. I’m not ready yet to declare this a favorite series, but I’m cautiously optimistic that I will grow to love the characters.

  4. The Maharani’s Pearls by Charles Todd

    A short story featuring Bess Crawford as a young girl. I enjoyed the look at Bess’ life while growing up in India, but don’t think anyone who hadn’t read her previous books would be all that interested in it.

  5. Hex Hall by Rachel Hawkins

    This maybe should go in the “kid lit” section, but I think it’s more young adult so I’ll go ahead and keep it here. Entertaining enough, and I’ve borrowed the second in the series, as I’m curious where Hawkins goes with the characters and situation. There’s a head-slappingly-obvious circumstance going on in it that was more than a bit annoying, but a couple of other surprises actually did surprise me, so yay for that.

  6. Nonfiction

  7. Call the Nurse: True Stories of a Country Nurse on a Scottish Isle by Mary J. Macleod

    Really enjoyed this one, so if you’re a memoir fan you might check for it (it was a recent Kindle deal). My biggest gripe with it is that I was left with a slew of questions, and was deeply wishing for an epilogue. The author has a second memoir, so my questions might be answered in that one. The writing isn’t spectacular, but her stories are interesting enough (and the setting so compelling) it made up for the serviceable writing.

  8. Good & Cheap: Eat Well on $4/Day by Leanne Brown

    It was fine, and I did flag a few recipes I was interested in trying. My copy has gone back to the library though, and I’m not sure if I care enough to try and borrow it again to actually give those recipes a try.

  9. Chasing Slow: Courage to Journey Off the Beaten Path by Erin Loechner

    This one was on my “never finished” list a few months ago, but I finally did finish it by speed-reading a print copy. I’m not sure that I’m glad I bothered; it was completely underwhelming to me. I do think it works much better as a print book than audio (how I started with it).

  10. Kid Lit

  11. Nevermoor: The Trials of Morrigan Crow by Jessica Townsend

    I loved this one – super fun and entertaining. It’s got a great beginning and some fantastic world-building. Sure, it’s middle-grade fiction and so is a wee bit predictable at times for any adults reading it (maybe kids would feel things are more suspenseful?) No matter. I still enjoyed finding just how things worked out for Morrigan and the other characters, and now I’m eagerly awaiting the next book in the series. It was also excellent on audio.

  12. The Vanderbeekers of 141st Street by Karina Yan Glaser

    I shouldn’t have waited so long to read this one – it was delightful. Again, a middle-grade read, so the suspense wasn’t really there for me (I knew everything would work out just fine for the family), but the family is charming. I look forward to reading it to my kids someday (maybe next Christmas season, as it’s set during that time of year).

  13. Nickel Bay Nick by Dean Pitchford

    This year’s Christmas-season readaloud with my son (which ended up carrying over well into January). It’s a cute story, with some nice life lessons.

  14. Gone Camping by Tamera Will Wissinger

    I love Wissinger’s novels in verse, and how she includes so many types of poetry in her books. It feels like such a great homeschool supplement, that is completely fun and enjoyable for everyone. Start with Gone Fishing, but then be sure and follow up with this one.

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  1. I definitely think Amelia and Emerson grow on you as you read the rest of the books. The first one is fun, but as you get to know them and the secondary characters better (and eventually their son and another character get viewpoint chapters), you just end up loving them. The mysteries are not usually that gripping in and of themselves–especially toward the end of her life Peters gets a bit formulaic. But the setting and the characters are what you read them for.

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