My physical and digital bookshelf grew in January.
I read a few books I’ve had on my TBR for some time. I read more nonfiction than fiction this month. I enjoyed some really great audiobooks, found a rom com read that was 5 stars for me, and read less physical books than I have in a while.
January was a fairly strong start to my 2022 reading.
What I Read In January
Imposter Syndrome by Kathy Wang
This was described as “part page-turning cat-and-mouse chase, part sharp and hilarious satire, Impostor Syndrome is a shrewdly-observed examination of women in tech, Silicon Valley hubris, and the rarely fulfilled but ever-attractive promise of the American Dream.” It delivered on that promise. I loved all the skewering of the girl bossing. If you liked The Americans, I think you’ll enjoy this book.
White Smoke by Tiffany D. Jackson
She spent so much time setting up the ghost story and jump scares, she threw so much of the plot away for jump scares that became tedious after a while. I’ve loved Jackson’s other writing but this wasn’t it for me. If you liked the Candyman remake, YA horror, or When No One Was Watching, I’d say check this out…it’s a quick read.
It Happened One Summer by Tessa Bailey
I don’t know what it was about this book but its so incredibly dreamy! It was like the Kiss Quotient for me (I got this from the library, and I may buy a physical copy so I can have it as a comfort read in the future), I want to spend all my time with these characters. It had the right level of spice. The Schitt’s Creek inspo was fun, but I truly didn’t care. I loved Brendan and Piper and it created a new unrealistic romance level I want in my life. I just loved this swooney ass book, and because of it, I can’t wait for the sequel.
My Lovely Wife by Samantha Downing
This was a lot like the Favorite Sister, it was both incredibly slow, and amazing! In one breathe it was amazingly original and I thought I knew where the plot was going and I didn’t. I also found myself getting incredibly bored at times, but as soon as I was getting bored something would happen that would draw me back in. It wasn’t engaging enough for me to devour it, but I really enjoyed the read. It was a little bit of whiplash on how incredibly quickly they wrapped up all the loose ends. But I also loved it ending with this kind of cliffhanger moment. I kept thinking if this was a show I would be all in on it, or at least a thriller with like Jessica Chastain. I think you’ll be into this if you like Dexter, Desperate Housewives, Stepford Wives, or Twilight Zone.
Invent & Wander by Jeff Bezos
This was a complicated read for me. Knowing what we know of Bezos and his personal life now, making sense of that with genius business man felt like the height of cognitive dissonance.
More than anything Isaacson’s intro in the beginning is brilliant and got me excited to read the book, but when I realized it was nothing more than annual report letters and transcribed speeches I was glad I didn’t pay for this book and got it from the library.
Overall this was an illuminating read, but could have been a series of videos online or a blog post. I’m waiting for the day Isaacson writes about Bezos, cause that’ll be worth it.
Get Good with Money by Tiffany Aliche
This book blew my mind. This is the money text book we’ve all been asking for. Because Aliche is so candid about her own path to financial freedom it makes you feel like you are talking with a supportive friend. I learned that budgeting is an active task and it grows and evolves. Ultimately budgeting doesn’t grow your money, it helps you manage your money. This was the much more involved practical application book I’d been looking for on personal finance. If I’m honest the budgeting system she presents is a lot, and fairly complicated. I really appreciate the one-number method from Ellevest, and I don’t know why more people don’t try that. Overall, I can’t recommend this book enough, and it lit a fire under my ass.
Black Nerd Problems by William Evans and Omar Holmon
I’ve never felt so seen by a book. This was so damn Black. Like I don’t think people understand that being a Blerd isn’t sitting in your mom’s basement watching Anime, it’s so much more, it’s so silly and cool, and this book nailed that feeling. I ended so many chapters feeling like MOOD AF. I love this book so much, and the horror movie essay, Simba, and Fantasy chapters are so powerful. Also the authors write in a way that so often I would read a passage and wish I wrote with that kind of candor and depth.
One of my favorite quotes comes with the author discusses with his dad why he loves Lord Of The Rings and fantasy so much:
“It’s not an escape. It’s hope. The good guys win and life has value in a fantasy story. It’s not about getting away from something. It’s about inserting hope into what you can’t outrun.”
Can’t Hurt Me by David Goggins
I had a lot of thoughts on this book, but wrote a majority of them in my typeshare blog.
I have a lot of feelings about Goggins, but I would only recommend this book if you have a goal and healthy coping mechanisms…then I think you’re responsible enough to read this book.
Act Like A Leader, Think Like A Leader by Herminia Ibarra
The great social psychologist Karl Weick put it very succinctly: “How can I know who I am until I see what I do?”
I’m surprised by how much I enjoyed this book. I really loved that each chapter provided experiments to implement what you were reading. It was repetitive at points, but I loved the idea of leadership coming from your outward projection. The bridge versus hub leader was really eye opening, and worth reading the book for. I’ve been a hub leader through most of my career, and I think that’s why I feel so ineffective, I want to make the active decision to be a bridge leader to my team.
Overall I feel like I started the year strong, and I can’t wait to share what I read in February.