Month Count: 3 texts, 1 audiobook, 4 total
Year to Date: 52 texts (2020 updated goal – 50), 17 audiobooks, 69 total
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MY 50TH BOOK OF 2020!!! Ten Thousand Doors of January, by Alix E. Harrow is like a love story between you and the written word. I can’t think of a better book to hit my 2020 reading challenge with. Honestly, this might be my first time reading fantasy, but January captured my restless heart and my wanna-be vagabond soul.
January is a ward to Mr. Locke, a wealthy man who employs her father, who travels the world curating unique and rare antiques. She dreams of a world beyond his mansion walls, yet Mr. Locke continually, and sometimes forcibly urges her to mind herself and be a “good girl.” She struggles to comply until she breaks free and sets out on a mad adventure.
Mr. Locke and his Society of wealthy cohorts aren’t satisfied with January out in the world and throughout their struggles to bring her back, January unlocks so many doors in the world which she hardly could conceive existed. There’s no holding her back but her upbringing with little want means she has to fight to learn how to survive in the worlds beyond.
Valentine by Elizabeth Wetmore was gifted to me by April in that big haul over the summer. This one is going to go down as one of 2020’s big disappointments. It could have been so great, the story would have been really powerful, but the writing and style sucked.
It takes place in the 1970’s in Odessa, Texas. A Hispanic teenager wakes up after a night of being assaulted by an oil rig worker. I think she’s on the brink of death, but I can’t tell from the writing; however, she walks across the oil field to a resident’s home who takes her in and calls the authorities.
The rest of the book follows different people throughout the town as it makes its way to the trial of her assaulter. It also tries to develop the characters, but does a horrible job and just creates confusion. Mary Rose is the woman whose door Glory landed on. I wanted to know more about her, as she stands up to harassments throughout the town for agreeing to testify.
As I try to write this recap, I realize it’s messy and impossible. There are some characters I wanted more from, some I got too much out of and didn’t understand how they fit into the story. Glory’s story got lost and the white man who assaulted her gets a slap on the wrist.
Greenlights by Matthew McConaughey was my audible pick this month, recommended by a friend at work. It’s his autobiography and absolutely inspiring in all the right ways. He narrates the book, which makes it just perfect. I really didn’t know I was going to like this book as much as I did, and already have recommended it to multiple people of different demographics. I think it will bridge most of them and apply to all.
What I love most about Greenlights is that Matthew describes the concept of looking at points in his life where he pivoted and looked for the “greenlights” instead of being stopped by the redlights or stop signs (hence the name of the book). It’s so pertinent in life right now that it was more inspiring and motivated me to continue looking for the good. To roll with the punches instead of getting knocked down. To sit with disease instead of fight it.
A few of my favorite quotes: “Persist, pivot, or concede. It’s up to us, our choice every time.” *** “I haven’t made all A’s in the art of living. But I give a damn. And I’ll take an experienced C over an ignorant A any day.” *** I’d rather lose money havin fun than make money being bored.”
Outfox by Sandra Brown was on sale on Amazon for Kindles, so I snagged it at a major discount. I didn’t read what it was about because she’s impressed me this year and I’ve read enough of her novels to know I’m mostly going to enjoy them.
Outfox was good, but it wasn’t my favorite of hers. It took a lot longer than usual to get into it, and I never really found myself hooked. Her romance scenes are wonderful, but I found Drex to be off-putting. Like he knew he was going to get the girl to eat out of the palm of his hand and didn’t have to work for it. I think I discovered that I much rather want the women to have the cards to play, instead of waiting for the hands to be dealt. Talia gave the impression she was strong, but she didn’t even make Drex work for it. Good enough story to pique my interest, but ultimately just not my favorite novel by Brown.
Well, that wraps up November! I have a goal to read only one book the rest of this year, anything else is just a bonus, but I picked up my copy of Barack Obama’s A Promised Land. At a whopping 700+ pages, my only goal the rest of the year, since I have officially met and exceeded my 2020 reading goal (and stretch goal!) is to digest this one. More to come…
What do you have planned for December?