January 2021 Books I Read
Bowlaway, Mennonite in a Little Black Dress, Book Woman of Troublesome Creek, I’ll Be Seeing You… More than I thought!
I have a lot of things I don’t really like to do but there are thankfully a few that I really like doing.
Reading is one of the things I like to do.
I’m not the fastest reader, by a long shot. In fact I’ve often felt like a loser for how slow I read, but then I read about someone who has the same un-super power and she embraces it. I’m trying.
The Books I Read in January
I ended up reading four books in January, so that’s one a week. Not bad. I count books I finish in a month as being read in the month. And I finished a book February 1 so I’ve got a head start for this month!
So as my subtitle up yonder says, here are the books I read in January.
And just an FYI, I really hate spoilers in books or movies, so I won’t be giving away any secrets or endings or anything important. If you want to know more about these books, well, get them and read them! That’s the fun part, right?
Bowlaway by Elizabeth McCracken
I adore Elizabeth McCracken’s writing. It’s smart and funny and she really gets into characterization, my favorite part of most books. I’m not as big on plot and all the action that some authors seem to think they have to cram in there.
Bowlaway didn’t disappoint. This saga spans several generations and has some colorful characters. And yep, it centers around bowling.
Mennonite in a Little Black Dress by Rhoda Janzen
I hadn’t heard of Rhoda Janzen until I found this book in our park’s free little library some time in December. It sounded interesting so I brought it home and set it on one of the piles of TBR books I have in my bedroom.
During the pandemic the scariest thing to me was the library closing and not being able to get my books so I make a habit of visiting several little libraries around town and snagging a book or two. Just in case.
When I’d finished Bowlaway I spotted Mennonite just sitting there. It is a memoir, and I adore memoirs. I think I’m nosy and getting to read firsthand accounts of peoples’ lives is delicious! This book was fabulous. Janzen is also a very funny writer and she detailed some pretty horrific happenings that she lived through.
Book Woman of Troublesome Creek by Kim Michele Richardson
I had heard about this book and sort of shrugged it off. I had read JoJo Moyes’ book Giver of Stars, also about the rural library woman in Kentucky who delivered books to remote patrons. So, I thought I’d read all there was to read about this particular part of history. By the way, there was a big controversy about the two books / authors and who wrote what first, since the books handle a similar topic.
Then for some reason I decided to read Book Woman and it was different. And good. I can’t say which book I liked better. Both were well written and I learned more about this slice of history by reading both Book Woman of Troublesome Creek and Giver of Stars.
I’ll Be Seeing You by Elizabeth Berg
And just like that, after reading a fiction book (based in fact) I was ready for another memoir and picked up Elizabeth Berg’s book about her aged parents. I’ve read just about everything she’s written (just about) and I was eager to hear how she dealt with the issue of aging parents.
She handled it like she handles her fiction books, with honesty and rawness that bites but is so true and real that it’s relatable.
What have you read lately? Are you a nonfiction or fiction reader? Let me know if I’m as pokey a reader or if four books in a month is normal.
I think my whole deal with the speed (or slowness) of my reading is that there are so many books I want to read. But as they say, so little time.
More of Peggy’s Book Articles
Historical Fiction: A Piece of the World by Christina Baker Kline
An imagining of the lives of Christina Olson and Andrew Wyeth
Lessons from Maid by Stephanie Land
A true story of “Hard Work, Low Pay, and a Mother’s Will to Survive”
Peggy Hazelwood is a writer, editor, photographer on Shutterstock, and reseller on Etsy. Visit her profile to read about her tales of selling on Etsy, selling stock photography on Shutterstock, and her many random thoughts. So many random thoughts.