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My January Reading List

written by

Aliceson Bales

posted on

January 30, 2024

This post contains affiliate links.

January here has been cold, wet, dark, dreary and so muddy it’s heartbreaking. But the pigs are living their best lives so perspective, right????

In one week here in Greene County we had 102.7 mph winds (yep you read that right) with so many trees down, lots of ridiculous damage and missing pillows, grill covers and anything else that wasn’t not nailed down AND then an ice storm. It’s just been a fun fun week for the non-pigs. 

The silver lining is I’ve had time to catch up on reading. I’m going to share with you the books I’ve read and loved this month. And I know there are debates out there, but people honestly, whether you’re on the go and listening or sitting and reading, I consider it all to be reading because you’re taking in the information. I get a lot of listening in while I’m doing farm chores or delivering to customers. It all counts in my humble opinion. And folks ask me where I get my books - mostly from our fantastic library as well as the Libby app and Apple Books. If the books aren't there I will order from Amazon as we don't have a bookstore in our town. And I have used audible in the past and love it - they have so many options! But since we’re farmers now I’m trying to decrease our expenses so have discontinued audible and have been extremely happy with Libby’s availability.

So here is my list for the month:

Great Expectations by Charles Dickens. Yep. I had never read it but it is our book club pick of the month (thanks Erin Turner!). It was a long and not always painless read but the last sentence was so superbly written I gave it a 5 star review. So if you’re like me and have gone your whole life without reading this book I would recommend it to you. YOU CAN DO IT! (And just think - if you buy the book and hate it you can use it as a weapon against your enemies and/or a doorstop. It’d be great for both!)

1776 by David McCullough - oh oh oh how I love his writing! If you’re looking for a nonfiction book that reads like a fiction he is your man (or Erik Larson). I’ve picked this book up many times from the library but never finished it and over Christmas I was able to finally finish this gem. It’s just so so so good. Of COURSE I gave his writing 5 stars. Plus y’all know Colonial America, The Revolutionary War and James Madison are my jams. When I have a chance to combine them?? Perfection.

The Accidental Empress by Alison Pataki is about the life of Empress Sisi, who lived in the late 1800s. Her life was super interesting and I’m always happy to learn about new people. This book kept me interested and even entertained, plus kept my google search numbers up as I looked up everything about her (were her teeth really THAT bad? Was she really the Diana of her time?). I gave it 4 stars.

 It’s simply amazing to me the number of folks in history I have never heard of. She’s one of them and I can’t wait to read the second book in the series. I’ve also just picked up The Traitor’s Wife by Pataki - it’s about Peggy Shipen who was married to Benedict Arnold.

The Tattooist of Auschwitz by Heather Morris was obviously not a light hearted read but it’s a story that needed to be told and I’m glad it was told and glad I read it. I gave it 5 stars because of the lives lived. Also the son’s note at the end is so beautifully written. I highly recommend this book. And apparently it’s been adapted and streaming on Peacock? There's also a second book that I haven't read and don't know that I will right now. I've read some reviews and just don't know that I'll read it. (My TBR pile is always pretty long so. . . .)

The Unhoneymooners by Christina Lauren. I mean I needed something light and airy after these dark books so I read this over the weekend. Barry and Marshall were both gone so I got a book, laid on the couch Friday and Saturday nights and flew through this book. I gave it 4 stars. It’s not going to change anyone’s life but it is like a rom-com from the 1990s. If you want a little light and freshness in these dark wintry days this book will do it! You’ll laugh, you’ll cheer for the heroine and maybe even have a crush on her nemesis. . . . 

The Enchanted April by Elizabeth Von Arnim is the last one for the month and I’m about 80% finished. It’s a charming story of four British ladies in the early 1900s who decide to take a leap and head to Italy for a month after reading an advertisement in the paper, not knowing each other or what they will encounter. This book is supposedly the most fun and uplifting of old Elizabeth’s career, although I don’ t know her or her works, truthfully. Unless this takes some kind of wicked twist I’ll give it a 3.5 star rating.

 Why am I reading a book about Italy in April? Well, stay tuned!

Okay y’all, I hope you read something on this list. They’re all available at my local library and I bet they are at yours as well. And if you don’t have Libby on your phone or mobile device, here’s your  push to do download it. Just like your local library it’s free! Just put in your card number and voila! It's on your device. Sometimes you have to wait on a book to become available but there are always other books (and magazines!) to look through while you wait.

Please let me know and please send any and all recommendations my way. Hit me up here or on our socials - you know where to find me.

Happy reading!


The Accidental Empress

Great Expctations



David McCullough

Allison Pataki

The Unhoneymooners

Christina Lauren

Charles Dickens

The Enchanted April

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