What I Read This Week: January 24, 2021

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So far this month, I’ve finished eleven books. There was only one stand out this week, the romance novel at the end of this list.

Transcendent Kingdom by Yaa Gyasi

Literary fiction

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This is a powerful novel that covers a ton of ground. It’s about family, immigrants, addiction, grief, and mental health.Our protagonist, Gifty, is a fifth-year candidate in neuroscience at Stanford School of Medicine. The details of her research are dense scientifically which broke up the story’s flow. I’d recommend it for readers of literary fiction and immigrant stories. 

The Project by Courtney Summers

Young Adult/Mystery/Thriller

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Advanced copy from NetGalley, expected publication February 2, 2021 This is a realistic, heavy look at the effects on a family of losing a loved one to a cult. This is a slow burn, it builds gradually leading the reader all over the place until we aren’t sure what’s real and what isn’t. The writing is strong and emotional. I was fully invested in the story from start to finish. It reads more like an adult thriller than YA, with sexual content and graphic violence, though I don’t think the story would have been as believable without those elements. I recommend this one for readers of mystery/thrillers and literary fiction.

Butter Side Up: How I Survived My Most Terrible Year & Created My Super Awesome Life by Jane Enright


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Digital copy from NetGalley, publication November 18, 2020 This is a great book for people who are new to the ideas of self-care and gratitude. It’s part memoir and part guidebook, directed at those who are dealing with unplanned change in life, particularly due to trauma. At the end she specifically applies the concepts of the book to the COVID-19 pandemic, which is smart and useful. We get the author’s story of what she calls her “most terrible year” of injuries to herself and her partner. We get the play by play as she faces those challenges and makes decisions about how to do what is best for herself through it all.  I recommend this one for readers who enjoy inspirational memoirs.

The Love Square by Laura Jane Williams

Contemporary romance

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Advanced copy from NetGalley, expected publication February 9, 2021 This is a romance novel that highlights everything I love about the genre. It tackles heavy subjects like grief, cancer, and infertility while including hope and humor. Our protagonist Penny has had a rough go on the dating scene. Then she meets a series of incredible men who all bring something different to her life. Ultimately this story is about Penny’s journey to dig into what SHE wants wants from life, and how to find happiness internally. The humor is top notch, and I like the unique plot point of multiple romantic interests. I highly recommend this one for readers of romance.

*Reading Challenge Tip* This one has a dog on the cover, which fulfills a prompt in my 2021 Reading Challenge!

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1 Comment

  1. The Best Books I Read in January 2021 - RamonaMead.com

    February 1, 2021 at 6:23 am

    […] If you’d like updates on all fifteen of my January reads, check out the posts I publish each Sunday. […]

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