January Reads

january readsHappy February, lovelies! Can you believe we’re already a month into 2014? I read up a storm in January; I finished 9 books, a record for me! I also hosted my first reading challenge, Jazz Age January! There’s still one more week left, and I’ve been so thrilled with the response.

In other news, I finally replaced my 2008 Macbook and am now blogging from a shiny new computer that actually works! I’ve been using Tom’s computer for the last few months, and it’s been really nice to have my own laptop again. We’re also working on a redesign of Books Speak Volumes! I’m really excited about how it’s coming along, and I can’t wait for it to be finished so I can share it!

Books Read

books read jan 2014
A Moveable Feast by Ernest Hemingway
Leaving the Sea by Ben Marcus
The Beautiful and Damned by F. Scott Fitzgerald
Careless People: Murder, Mayhem, and the Invention of The Great Gatsby by Sarah Churchwell
The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
The Free by Willy Vlautin
Frog Music by Emma Donoghue
Interpreter of Maladies by Jhumpa Lahiri
A Rogue by Any Other Name by Sarah MacLean

Pages Read

– This month: 2,626
– Year to date: 2,626

Books Reviewed

books reviewed jan
For Today I Am a Boy by Kim Fu. Kim Fu’s debut novel is about a transgender boy growing up in a Chinese Canadian family. I appreciated that this wasn’t an “issue” novel; the main character just happens to be transgender.

The Paris Wife by Paula McLain (Jazz Age January). This historical novel portrays Hemingway’s years in Paris from his first wife Hadley’s perspective. I enjoyed this book, particularly as a companion to A Moveable Feast.

Want Not by Jonathan Miles. This was one of my favorite books last year! It’s an equally heartbreaking and funny novel about the desire for more and the waste created by modern society.

The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt. Another 2013 favorite! I was so impressed by this epic novel about a boy who loses his mother in a museum explosion. It’s really about so much more than that, but you’ll have to read the whole review to find out what!

A Moveable Feast by Ernest Hemingway (Jazz Age January). I really enjoyed parts of Hemingway’s memoir of his Paris years, but I struggled with the book’s disjointed structure.

Careless People by Sarah Churchwell (Jazz Age January). This book attempts to explain how Fitzgerald came to write The Great Gatsby. It has a few flaws, but it’s a fascinating portrait of 1920s New York City, the Fitzgeralds, and F. Scott’s most famous book.

Leaving the Sea by Ben Marcus. Marcus’s new short story collection contains both realistic and highly experimental pieces. It was perhaps too experimental for me, but I was impressed by his powers of imagination!

The Beautiful and Damned by F. Scott Fitzgerald (Jazz Age January). This autobiographical novel portrays the tumultuous life of a pair of would-be aristocrats whose disregard for consequences leads to their destruction. I thought it was a great jazz age read!

Other Posts

Jazz Age January: Start Post, Week 1 Linkup, Week 2 Linkup, Week 3 Linkup, Week 4 Linkup
2013 in Review
Free Printable Blog Planner
Bout of Books 9.0
Most Anticipated Books of 2014
Reading and Blogging Resolutions 2014
Celebrating Two Years of Books Speak Volumes
Jazz Age January Meets Feminist Sundays

February Plans

In March I plan to read Wake by Anna Hope, Byron Easy by Jude Cook, and The Blazing World by Siri Hustvedt for review. I’m not sure what else I’ll read! We’ll have to see where my whims take me.

I also plan to start getting in shape! Tom and I finally joined the Jewish Community Center (JCC) across the street from our apartment. They have exercise equipment, fitness classes, and a pool! I’m very excited to take some yoga classes and start swimming again. I swam all through secondary school, and I love it. I went for my first swim two days ago, and it felt so good to be back in the water! I’m REALLY going to make fitness a habit this year. Yes. (We’ll see how long it actually lasts.)

What did you read in January? Any plans for February?

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30 thoughts on “January Reads

  1. Wow 9 books in a month!? I wish I could read that much. How do you do it?

    I really liked ‘A Moveable Feast.’ It’s not usually the type of book I like or read, but I really enjoyed it.

    I’m still reading ‘A Constellation of Vital Phenomena’ from January and for Feb I’m planning on reading something bx6 Murakami – I just can’t decide whether to read one of his ‘normal’ books or one of his strange ones. Hmmm….?

    • I have no idea how I did it, I usually read about 5 books a month! I’m glad A Moveable Feast surprised you! Ooh, are you loving A Constellation of Vital Phenomena? Sooo good. Hmmm… how many ‘normal’ Murakami books are there? I only know of Norwegian Wood and the one about running. Are there others?!

      • 5 is still a lot! I’m lucky if I can finish 2 or 3!

        Yes, I’m enjoying ‘Vital Phenomena’ so far…

        Hahaha I think Murakami may have a few more ‘normal’ books, I’m not sure. ‘South of the Border, West of the Sun’ seems pretty ‘normal.’ The thing is, if I read one of his strange books I might not read another Murakami in a while, whereas If I start with a ‘normal’ one, then I can read another one…one of the strange ones. Hahaha if he has more ‘strange’ books than ‘normal’ ones, wouldn’t strange be ‘normal’ for him??

  2. Another great month of reading for you! Can’t wait to see what you have up your sleeve for the new look.
    And I forgot to tell you congrats on the success of Jazz Age January! It really took off and I think you had tons of people reading books they might not have read otherwise.

    • The new look is soooo different from the current one! Hopefully people won’t be confused when it looks totally different.

      Thanks! I can’t believe how many people participated! And I know I read a few books that I really needed to push myself to read; I hope some others did, as well!

  3. 9 books in a month? That’s awesome! Congrats. 😛 I read The Great Gatsby for my English class last year and I enjoyed it. I enjoyed the movie more, however, because a) Leonardo DiCaprio, b) a beautiful house with lavish-looking parties, and c) did I mention Leonardo DiCaprio? 😉

  4. What a FABULOUS month! I haven’t read Frog Music yet, I’m saving it… But seeing that you’ve read it makes me want to demand information from you. Is it as wonderful as I imagine it to be?!

  5. So jealous.. well done! Last month has been full of work of me and I’ve only read two, Paul Auster’s Invisible and Joseph Roth’s The spider’s web. I loved the first one, I’m a fan of Paul Auster!

  6. Hi from a fellow swimmer! I swear I was part fish growing up and I really miss it — I have been finding less and less opportunities to swim over the years since my days on the high school swim team and the local town summer team. I have a pool down the street from me now, but it’s outdoors, so summer-only! The only indoor one is really tough to get to being a one car couple and it being a bit of a drive to get to — so jealous you have a year-round pool across the street! Good luck with it and have fun 🙂

    • I’ve always been a fish, too 🙂 Aww, that’s sad! I know my high school pool had an open swim night every week in the winter, where people could come swim laps; I wonder if there’s anything like that near you?

  7. I’m also going to swimming classes!
    I started last summer and I loved it, and now I do it quite well, I’m very proud of myself. After eight years working in a gym, I wanted to try something different. And for February I’m planning to start running, hope I get it, because I’m very lazy when it comes to go running (running is for cowards!! hehehe).
    So good luck with your new sporty resolutions!

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