What I Read This Month: January 2022

Books Gretchen has read

For four 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 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.

When I read books related to an area I’m researching for a writing project, I carefully read and take notes on the parts that interest me, and skim the parts that don’t. So I may list a book that I’ve partly read and partly skimmed. For me, that still “counts.”

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 track books I’ve read.

If you want to see what I read last month, the full list is here.

January 2022 Reading:

The Planet of Junior Brown by Virginia Hamilton (Amazon, Bookshop)—How I love the work of Virginia Hamilton—an imagination like no other.

Like Shaking Hands with God: A Conversation about Writing by Kurt Vonnegut & Lee Stringer (Amazon, Bookshop)—a brief but interesting account of a conversation.

All Systems Red: The Murderbot Diaries (The Murderbot Diaries, 1) by Martha Wells (Amazon, Bookshop)—Winner of 2018 Hugo Award, 2018 Nebula Award, 2018 Alex Award, and 2018 Locus Award—Wonderful! I love the “Murderbot” world and can’t wait to read more.

A Little Devil in America: Notes in Praise of Black Performance by Hanif Abdurraqib (Amazon, Bookshop)—Gordon Burn Prize winner—thought-provoking, compelling essays.

The Black Prince by Iris Murdoch (Amazon, Bookshop)—on the very last pages, my entire view of the novel changed and I immediately wanted to reread it.

The Long Goodbye: A Memoir by Meghan O’Rourke (Amazon, Bookshop)—a haunting look at the experience of grief and loss.

Secrets of Happiness by Joan Silber (Amazon, Bookshop)—A Washington Post Best Book of the Year—a wonderful novel told from the viewpoint of different interlocking narrators (a structure I love).

41 – Love: A Memoir by Scarlett Thomas (Amazon, Bookshop)—I love the work of Scarlett Thomas, so I could wait to read this memoir about her determination to take up tennis again, at age 41.

How to Be Perfect: The Correct Answer to Every Moral Question by Michael Schur (Amazon, Bookshop)—Such an interesting, entertaining book. We talked to Mike Schur in episode 362 of the Happier with Gretchen Rubin podcast.

A Word Child: A Novel by Iris Murdoch (Amazon, Bookshop)—I’m on a real Iris Murdoch kick. This was an absolutely haunting novel.

Red, White, & Royal Blue: A Novel by Casey McQuiston (Amazon, Bookshop)—Goodreads Choice Award Winner for Best Debut and Best Romance of 2019, Best Book of the Year for Vogue, NPR, Vanity Fair—a fun, frank romance set in the White House and Buckingham Palace.

Revelations in Air: A Guidebook to Smell by Jude Stewart (Amazon, Bookshop)—I can’t learn enough about the sense of smell.

The Way I Hear It: A Life with Hearing Loss by Gael Hannan (Amazon, Bookshop)—a practical, thoughtful guide and memoir about living with hearing loss.



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