Books, Life

Books I Read Last Month – January 2020

Hi friends! I’m here with my first book post. I’ve always been a big reader, but I find it challenging to write about books and reading. In Korea, 독후감 or “book reviews” are a common school assignment in elementary schools, and I used to hate writing those! Anyways, these book posts will be a good way for me to practice writing. So here are all of the books I read in January:

LAURA DEAN KEEPS BREAKING UP WITH ME by Mariko Tamaki

This graphic novel is about Freddy, a teenage girl with a shitty girlfriend who puts her on the back burner (or breaks up with her) whenever convenient. Over the course of the book, Freddy eventually learns to put herself first and not be manipulated by the toxic relationship with her on-and-off girlfriend Laura Dean, with the support from her friends. I loved seeing how Freddy navigated through all of this (there were definitely downs), and this book made my heart happy.

FAIR PLAY by Eve Rodsky

While I was reading the book, I didn’t love it. The book provides guidance on how to play a game with your partner to share the unpaid, invisible labor within a household. This book seemed irrelevant to me at this stage of my life. BUT I did passionately discussed this book with a couple of my friends since then so I’d say it is worth a read. The biggest takeaway for me from this book was the importance of clearly defining what you and your partner (could be a roommate, family member, etc.) what you both you define as acceptable way of completing a task, having an open conversation to compromise and meet in the middle in the process. 

OVER THE TOP by Jonathan Van Ness

Jonathan is one of the Fab Five guys on Netflix’s Queer Eye Reboot. (If you haven’t seen the show yet, please go watch it once you finish reading this blog.) When I first watched Queer Eye, I found Jonathan a little annoying–too happy and cliché. I was obviously wrong because he is such a genuine and warm person. Outside of the show, I knew nothing about Jonathan’s personal life. This memoir is full of his pain and passion, and I have a new sense of appreciation for Jonathan because I now understand he truly means all of his words of encouragement and endearment. 100% recommend listening to the audiobook.

THE SECRETS WE KEPT by Lara Prescott

A historical fiction about American spies during the Cold War, The Secrets We Kept was a fun read! A big part of the plot revolves around the publication of Doctor Zhivago and American efforts to distribute Doctor Zhivago to the Russian civilians. You also get to witness the character development of Irina, a CIA secretary who is actually hired as a spy. I recommend this book!

SOUNDS LIKE ME by Sara Bareilles

To be very frank, I don’t particularly recommend this book unless you already like Sara Bareilles. As this is a memoir, you get to learn about Sara as a person, and she is very human and down to earth. I really enjoyed the parts of the book that are written around specific songs, which she actually sings on the audiobook as she reads. This is a pretty short read/listen.

THE WEDDING DATE by Jasmine Guillory

A total rom com: Alexa and Drew get trapped in a hotel elevator and end up going to a wedding together the next day (thus the name of the book). They keep finding excuses to visit each other without real commitment or having the “talk” because they’re both afraid that they’re not on the same page. Of course, it has a happy ending! This was a fun read.

THE PROPOSAL by Jasmine Guillory

This book is not a true sequel to the Wedding Date because the story doesn’t continue, but Carlos, Drew’s bestie in the Wedding Date, gets to have his love story in this one. Carlos and his sister rescue Nicokle at a baseball game where she’s proposed to by her shitty ex-boyfriend out of nowhere. They continue hanging out as friends until Carlos confesses his love. Also a fun read!

PONTI by Sharlene Teo

I had high hopes for this book, but it fell a little short for me. Set in Singapore, this book is about three women: Szu (an awkward girl who feels unloved by her own mother), Szu’s mother Amisa (an actress who starred in the Ponti series), and Szu’s friend Circe (who has a complex friendship with Szu). The story travels back and forth between the present from Circe’s perspective, seventeen years ago Szu and Circe were friends, and Amisa’s younger days. For me, I wanted more of a plot and more of character development.

ORDINARY PEOPLE by Diana Evans

This book is about two couples who are friends and are going through different relationship struggles. Marriage, domesticity, and self-identity as a parent are all part of the story. There’s even a haunting spirit in this book. Like Ponti, I wish there was more of a plot and/or insight into characters. This reminded me of Normal People by Sally Rooney so if you liked that, try this one!

If you want to follow along my reading journey, you can check out my goodreads account to view the books I have read, want to read, and am currently reading. Happy reading!

Disclosure: I am an affiliate of Bookshop.org and will earn a commission if you click through the links in this blog post and make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.

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