Gretchen Rubin

What I Read This Month: January 2019

What I Read This Month: January 2019

For more than two years now, every Monday morning, I've posted a photo on my Facebook Page of the books I finished during the week, with the tag #GretchenRubinReads

I get a big kick out of this weekly habit—it’s a way to shine a spotlight on all the terrific books that I’ve read.

As I write about in my book Better Than Before, for most of my life, my habit was to finish any book that I started. Finally, I realized that this approach meant that I spent time reading books that bored me, and I had less time for books that I truly enjoy. These days, I now put down a book if I don’t feel like finishing it, so I have more time to do my favorite kinds of reading.

This habit means that if you see a book included in the #GretchenRubinReads photo, you know that I liked it well enough to read to the last page.

If you’d like more ideas for habits to help you get more reading done, read this post or download my "Reading Better Than Before" worksheet.

You can also follow me on Goodreads where I've recently started tracking books I’ve read.

If you want to see what I read in December 2018, the full list is here. And if you're interested in seeing my year in books, check out this list on Goodreads.

January 2019 Reading:

The Great Believers by Rebecca Makkai -- many bookish people told me that this is one of their favorite new novels, and I loved it too.

Wise Child by Monica Furlong -- a terrific children's book with a "witch," an apprentice, a mysterious religion.

Lincoln in the Bardo by George Saunders -- many bookish people told me this is one of their favorite recent novels. It was very different from what I expected, very interesting.

The Immortalists by Chloe Benjamin -- if you knew the date you'd die, how would that knowledge affect your life? Haunting question.

I Miss You When I Blink by Mary Laura Philpott -- I love essays. If you're curious, these essays reveal that Philpott is an Obliger who shows Obliger-rebellion.

And This is Laura by Ellen Conford -- I bought this book for nostalgic reasons; I remember reading it in middle school. A charming book about a girl who develops the ability to see the future.

In My Mind's Eye by Jan Morris -- A "thought diary" is a fascinating idea for a structure of a book. I'm a big fan of Morris's work.

Outrageous Openness by Tosha Silver -- I read this book because at an event, someone told me that it changed her life. I can't resist a life-changing book!

The Elephant in the Room by Tommy Tomlinson -- as someone interested in habit change, I was very interested to read this account of journalist Tomlinson's battle with his weight.

Apples and Oranges by Marie Brenner -- I met Marie Brenner, and whenever I meet someone who has written a memoir, I run out and read it. This is a fascinating account of a difficult but loving relationship between an adult sister and brother, a subject that interests me greatly but isn't often written about.

The Blue Hawk by Peter Dickinson -- More Peter Dickinson. I LOVED THIS BOOK. I plan to re-read it quite soon. I may have loved it as much as Tulku.

Bad Blood by John Carreyrou -- An outstanding account of the crazy story of Elizabeth Holmes and Theranos. A real page-turner. Just about everyone I know has read it, or like my sister Elizabeth, listened to the audio-book. I also just started listening to The Dropout, a 6-part podcast by ABC News correspondent Rebecca Jarvis about this subject.

The Husband's Secret by Liane Moriarty -- an absorbing story by the beloved writer Moriarity. When I checked this novel out of the library, the librarian told me how much she'd enjoyed it, too.

Swimming in a Sea of Death by David Rieff -- A fascinating account by David Rieff, Susan Sontag's son, about the last year of her life and how she faced death. For some reason, I've suddenly become interested in Susan Sontag.

Hindsight by Peter Dickinson -- More Peter Dickinson. I love his children's literature so much, I decided to read one of his adult books (of which, I'm excited to report, there are many). This crime novel had a very different flavor, but I really enjoyed it as well. Very interesting structure.

The Golden Name Day by Jennie D. Lindquist -- How I love this book! I've read it many times. It's on my list of my 81 favorites works of children's and young-adult literature. I also love the two books that follow. Cozy, Swedish traditions, apple blossoms.

What have you read recently that you'd recommend?

I'm really in the mood for essays, so am particularly on the look-out for suggestions in that category. And did I mention that I'm a fan of Peter Dickinson?

Announcement! We decided to launch the Happier Podcast Book Club.

 

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