January Wrap Up

January was such an amazing reading month for me and I hope this energy continues for the rest of 2019.  Overall, I read 14 books majority were four and five stars- most of them got under my skin and stayed there.

Every January there is a list of books I re-read to get my year started on the right track. This year I didn’t get through my entire list but I did get to re-read two starting with The Four Agreements: A Practical Guide to Personal Freedom by Miguel Ruiz. The Four Agreements is that book, that when applied with intention, it can change your life. One of the agreements that I struggle with is “do not take anything personal” so I will be working on this for 2019. The other was The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari: A Fable About Fulfilling Your Dreams and Reaching Your Destiny by Robin Sharma a great reminder that at any time I can change my life for the better.

 

 

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Two other non-fiction that I read that really resonated with me were Rising Strong by Brene Brown and The More Of Less: Finding The Life You Wan Under Everything You Own by Joshua Becker. In Rising Strong Brene Brown made a case for being vulnerable and living a well-intention life. She stresses the middle and why the middle is so important to us rising strong and helps in us telling our stories. Being vulnerable is hard A.F. but Brene Brown definitely lays out the ways it can be done. In 2019 I am getting rid of all the “stuff” and  living with less, it is no wonder I loved reading Joshua Bechker’s The More of Less. When I finished this book I went and got rid of at least 20% of my “stuff” and I find myself examine all the things I have in my life and really thinking if I need these “stuff”. A great book if you are looking to live a richer fuller life without all that “stuff”.

 

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January was the month I hosted the first BookOfCinz BookClub meet up and our first pick for discussion was Dew Angels by Melanie Schwapp. This was the perfect book to kick off the bookclub, a solid five star read with so much to discuss. The first meeting was a success and it is in-part to the book we were discussing. Dew Angels is a story centered around Nola- a Jamaican girl born into a family who thinks having dark skin is an offense and proceeds to treat Nola as such. I would classify this as a coming of age novel as we see how Nola progresses from being a victim to overcoming in every area of her life. Melanie Schwapp wrote a character that is haunting, resilient, a fighter, and the overall embodiment of a true Jamaican woman- Nola is a character I will always remember.

 

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I found myself really a lot of books I’ve had on my TBR list for ages, when I finally read them I kept asking myself “why did it take me so long to get to these amazing books?”. It all started when I read Well-Read Black Girl: Finding Our Stories, Discovering Ourselves by Glory Edim a collection of essays from black women writers on their inspirations, their love for reading and everything books. This collection warmed my black bookish heart- I love reading personal writings from my favorite authors and Glory Edim edited a spectacular collection.

 

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In Well-Read Black Girl they had list of books written by black women and I attacked the list with purpose starting with What It Means When A Man Falls From The Sky by Lesley Nneka Arimah, What We Lose by Zinzi Clemmons and Whatever Happened to Interactional Love by Kathleen Collins.  These three books are all must read books, each was profound and refreshing in their own unique way. I love reading debut novels from black women and none of these reads were disappointing.

 

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I ventured into the world of psychology thrillers with An Anonymous Girl by Greer Hendrick and I was not disappointed. In fact, I was thrilled and kept on the edge of my seat for the entire read. I wasn’t a big fan of Hendrick’s previous novel The Wife Between Us but An Anonymous Girl deserves all the hype. If you are looking for a fast-paced, nail biting thriller, this is it.

 

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Special mention goes to Queenie by Candice Carty-Williams. I could not wait to get my hands on a copy mainly because the main character is a Jamaican. I was also drawn to this book because it is being dubbed as “Bridget Jones’s Diary meets Americanah” and while I see why that is the case, in some (most) instances I don’t.  Overall this book will be open to a lot of reader interpretation. I do see a lot of people either loving it or being underwhelmed- it is too hard to not like a character like Queenie. I am here for Williams’ next book because I did enjoy reading this book. Queenie will be available for purchase in March 2019.

 

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There you have it, my wonderful January reads. So many great reads to start the year off. Below are the books in terms of ratings.

 

5 Stars

The Four Agreements: A Practical Guide to Personal Freedom by Miguel Ruiz

The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari: A Fable About Fulfilling Your Dreams and Reaching Your Destiny by Robin Sharma

Rising Strong by Brene Brown

What It Means When A Man Falls From The Sky by Lesley Nneka Arimah

Dew Angels by Melanie Schwapp

 

4 Stars

Well-Read Black Girl: Finding Our Stories, Discovering Ourselves by Glory Edim

Whatever Happened to Interactional Love by Kathleen Collins

An Anonymous Girl by Greer Hendricks

What We Lose by Zinzi Clemmons

 

3 Stars

Queenie by Candice Carty-Williams

13 Things Mentally Strong People Don’t Do: Take Back Your Power, Embrace Change, Face Your Fears and Training Your Brain for Happiness and Success by Amy Morin

The More Of Less: Finding The Life You Wan Under Everything You Own by Joshua Becker

Sweet Thorns by Tara-Elizabeth-Downs

Letters to K by Anu Lakhan

There you have it, my January 2019 wrap up.

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