I can’t tell you how happy I am to finally write one of these. I’ve never done a book review on this blog (cue embarrassed emoji) so I guess I need to figure out a way to properly express my opinions. First I will assign stars based on how I felt overall about the book:

★- terrible | ★★- I finished it but it was a struggle | ★★★- not bad, not my favorite | ★★★★- a good read that kept my interest | ★★★★★- I’ve already bought the book for my collection & I’m recommending it to everyone

Next I’ll talk about why I picked it out, then I’ll give a super short summary of the book, and finally I will recommend or not recommend the book! All the pictures will link to GoodReads so you can add them to your own lists if you’d like. Sound good?


Here’s what I read in December/January:


Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me (and other concerns) by Mindy Kaling || ★★★/5
I love The Mindy Project & I love Mindy Kaling so I decided to start with her first autobiography. This was your typical comedian-penned book and a quick read. I laughed out loud and learned a little about life in New York, but overall it was just another cute, funny autobiography. I’d recommend it for anyone that loves the Tina Feys/Amy Poehlers/Mindy Kalings of the world.


The Halloween Tree by Ray Bradbury || ★★/5
I’m a big fan of Halloween and I’ve been meaning to read this book for a long time. Sadly, I didn’t love it. It was a short read, but the writing style was odd. (I’ve never read Bradbury, so this might just be his style of writing?) This book is probably best read aloud or at least around Halloween… Honestly, I think this book might make a better movie. (There was a cartoon released in 1993 that I’m determined to track down.) If you love Halloween you should read it, but if you don’t care then don’t bother.


Murder at the Brightwell by Ashley Weaver || ★★★★/5
I guess deep down I just love a good murder mystery. This was Ms. Weaver’s first book and it was mid-century perfection. I loved the characters, the setting, and the plot. I’m a huge fan of Clue-type mysteries and this story didn’t disappoint. I’m already on the hunt for her second book. (I think a third one comes out this year, too!) I definitely recommend Murder at the Brightwell!

Books I gave up on:
The Cloud Atlas by Liam Callanan (In the past I never gave up on books, but it just doesn’t seem right to torture myself with something that’s supposed to be pleasant. So this year I give myself permission to walk away.)

Books I’m currently reading:
Bossypants by Tina Fey (I have been slacking for a long time.)
The Other Typist by Suzanne Rindell (Again, this has taken me too long. I’m ashamed.)
Cinder by Marissa Meyer (I just started this one.)

This marks the end of my Semi-Charmed Winter Book Challenge 2015. I’m happy to say I scored a total of 15 points out of 200. Not great, I guess…. Last time I got 0 so I’m pleased with myself. #SCWBC15

Erin‘s challenge started last month and I’ve got one crossed off the list and another started! I changed one book from my original post so it’d jive better with my old list…

5 points | Any book that is at least 200 pages long: Cinder (Marissa Meyer)
10 points | Begins with the letter “D”: Dear Scott, Dearest Zelda: The Love Letters of F. Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald
10 points | Four word title: Murder at the Brightwell (Ashley Weaver)
15 points | One of the following words in the title: mother/father/son/daughter/children: Daughter of Fortune (Isabel Allende)
20 points | One of Amazon’s top 100 authors (new to you): The Lightning Thief (Rick Riordan)
20 points | Set in any country in Asia: The God of Small Things (Arundhati Roy)
25 points | A “Season” in the title: The Winter Queen (Boris Akunin)
30 points | Read a book that will make you laugh from this list: How to Be A Woman (Caitlin Moran)
30 points | A friend or family member’s favorite book: The Help (Kathryn Stockett)
35 points | Published the year you were born: Jurassic Park (Michael Crichton) -originally publish 1990-

I have completed 10 out of 200 points!

Have you read any of the books above? What did you think? What did you read this month?

I’m linking up with Michelle, Alison, and Cat for Reading Lately!


20 thoughts on “What I Read… January 2016

    1. Actually, there are two book with this title (one is THE Cloud Atlas). I intended to read both for the last challenge, but the only one I got to was the less confusing one 🙂 I’d like to try to get through the time-hopping one but we’ll see! Ha!


  1. I’m a big fan of the Mindy Project, so I’m sure that would be a hilarious book! Did you see the movie The Cloud Atlas? The movie was interesting, but I could see how one might not be able to follow along or get in to it. it’s pretty out there (if it’s the CA I’m thinking of).


    1. I love The Mindy Project 🙂 I’m going to check out her 2nd book soon, too. I have a feeling it’ll be similar to the first, but more stories from TMP!
      This was a different The Cloud Atlas, though I want to read the one you’re talking about, too. Lol. This one was about WWII and bombs in Alaska. It was a piece of fiction and I usually really enjoy war stories, but after 100 pages I just couldn’t get into it and it was a library book and I was tired of renewing it. Haha!


  2. I just bought the first 2 books in the Cinder series too & cant wait to jump in.

    I love a good mystery book too – that sounds like a cute one.


    1. I’m about 30 pages into Cinder and I was a little confused at first (I don’t usually read futuristic/robot-type books), but I think I’m going to like it the more I read 🙂 Every other blogger in the world seem to love the series! Ha!
      I would definitely recommend Murder at the Brightwell! It was an easy read with really animated characters!


  3. I loved this post!! I started Cinder but haven’t gotten very far. I’m like you and I don’t read to many futuristic type books. Maybe I’ll keep trying to finish it. I will have to pick up the Murder at the Brightwell..that sounds interesting. 🙂


  4. I’ve been meaning to pick up the Halloween Tree forever since I love Ray Bradburry and the cartoon! I’m sorry it was a disappointment.


    1. I’m a little mad at myself for not reading it around Halloween… It’s been on my to-read list FOREVER so I had really hyped myself up for it… but I didn’t enjoy it. You should give a it a shot, though! It’s short and easy, and hopefully you love it!!


    1. Really?? I actually just finished Bossypants last night (I’ll talk about it at the end of Feb.) and I liked it MORE than Mindy’s. I think as a human I relate a little better to Tina’s tomboyish nature. I mean, I’ve met her like, 0 times, so I’m pretty sure we’re bffs. Haha.. But I did like Bossypants better. Lol.


    1. Clue is one of my favorite movies so I relate every single “who done it” back to that 😀 Haha! Another perk to liking “MatB” is the second and rumored third book by the same author. Woo hoo!


    1. It’s on my to-read list!! I’ve heard it’s better. I think I’d find her stories about The Mindy Project more interesting than the ones about The Office!


  5. I liked Mindy Kaling’s first book, but her second one I thought was even better! I loved it and it made me feel empowered as a woman. Hear me roar and all that. Plus, she’s just so funny.

    I’m interested to hear your thoughts about Cinder. I read the first two-ish chapters and thought it was interesting, but it didn’t really pull me in the way it seems to have pulled in a lot of people. Maybe I just need to give it more of a chance? Idk.


    1. I’m glad you liked the 2nd book. I guess I’m just going to have to read it since everyone loved it! 😉
      I’ll let you know about Cinder… I’m determined to give it a shot. If I hate it I just won’t continue the series. (I did the same with Twilight… read the first one and then jumped off the band wagon.)


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