january books


That’s the number of books I read in January. Anyone who knows me knows I don’t make New Year’s Resolutions. I make goals. My goal for 2023 is to read a minimum of three books per month. I already like myself (a lot). My life is good. I’ve exceeded my expectations and goals for myself a hundred times over during the years, and I’m successful. My marriage makes me happy, my kids make me happy, and my friends make me happy…so 2023 is about doing a little bit more of what makes me happy.

I tend to put everyone else first and don’t make enough time for myself. 2023 is about slowing down, languishing in the moments I love the most, and being present in my own life instead of so present in everyone else’s lives. This means more reading, learning to cook, and being a little bit more of all the things I admire the most in the people who are important to me.

Fortunately (or unfortunately, depending on how you look at it), January was a good month for my book habit. We were all sick for the better three weeks, so I had ample downtime and the ability to read often. Since I’m reading so much this year, I thought I might do a book review series since I share my love with my friends who also love reading. I love a good recommendation on so many levels, too, and I’m trying to keep things as easy and organized as possible.

Just A Quick Note About Books and My Own Toxic Trait

If you ask my husband to name my toxic trait, he will tell you that I cannot put down a good book once I begin. I will read it in one sitting, completely ignoring my family’s existence and our life, and that’s that.

It’s also why I must categorize my books and know what’s a good read right now. For example, if it’s a mysterious thriller, I won’t be able to put it down until I know everything. I cannot start a mystery or thriller until I know I can afford to sit down for five or six hours and ignore everything related to life. A beach read is great for me when I want to read but don’t have ample time – I can put it down and pick it up at leisure because I’m not compelled to know everything. The same goes for travel. I cannot download a thriller if I know we are boarding a flight. It’s got to be a beach read/romance because I’m not spending all of our vacations ignoring my family (I mean…I could, but I don’t want to).

That said, I read a variety in January. I checked off several books that have been on my ‘read this’ list because people keep recommending them (oh, my other toxic trait is that if I don’t immediately love the synopsis of a book, I don’t care if every human alive swears by it, I don’t want to read it. I’ll eventually read it months or years later and then kick myself in the a** because it was amazing and I should have read it sooner). Every. Single Time.

January Reads

The Golden Couple – Greer Hendricks & Sarah Pekkanen

The Wife Between Us – Greer Hendricks & Sarah Pekkanen

An Anonymous Girl – Greer Hendricks & Sarah Pekkanen

You Are Not Alone – Greer Hendricks & Sarah Pekkanen

The Silent Patient – Alex Michaelides

Local Woman Missing – Mary Kubic

People We Meet on Vacation – Emily Henry

Beach Read – Emily Henry

The Housemaid – Frieda McFadden

The Perfect Son – Frieda McFadden

Window Shopping – Tessa Bailey

Fix Her Up – Tessa Bailey

The Greer Hendricks & Sarah Pekkanen Books

I’m starting here because these were, hands down, the best books I read all month. The Golden Couple was high on my list of must-reads, but the other three books they wrote weren’t even on my radar. However, after finishing The Golden Couple, I had to download the other three and inhale them. They were phenomenal. These two write a mean f*cking book, and I highly recommend them. You never see it coming. Ever. The end is always the twistiest. Read them.

The Frieda McFadden Books

I went on to read The Housemaid and The Perfect Son because I heard they were dark and twisty. I love dark and twisty. It’s another you didn’t see it coming type of book, and both of them will leave you on the edge of your seat. You won’t put them down.

The Silent Patient

Hear me out. It was fine. I didn’t love it. It was one of those books everyone and their mother recommended. It wasn’t bad, but I didn’t think it was one of those books I loved so much that I’m recommending it. In fact, it’s the only book on the list I didn’t immediately send to my aunt (who always downloads a book when I send it to her) to download. I’m ambivalent. It didn’t live up to the hype for me, but it was still good. Forgettable but good.

Local Woman Missing

Mary Kubic is a new favorite of mine. She killed it with this book. I was ready to download all of her books, but by the time I finished with this one, we were all better, and I had to go back to my real life for a while. I didn’t download more for fear my family would actually think I’m a local woman missing. This book will gut you, so be prepared.

The Emily Henry Books

Let me start by telling you I am a huge fan of hers and loved Book Lovers so much. Beach Read was another that I found absolutely compelling and adorable. My husband turned 40 at the end of January, so I surprised him with a trip to Nashville with our best friends, and this is the book I read on our quick flight there and home. It was delightful, and I liked it a lot.

The People We Meet on Vacation was another highly recommended book, but I didn’t like it. I mean, it was fine, but the two main characters are just unrelatable. So many miscommunications and so many absolute denials and absolute not even trying moments, and it’s unrelatable. No two people want something that badly and then do absolutely not one thing about it for a decade. I found it difficult to like either character, to be honest.

The Tessa Bailey Books

Tessa Bailey is my number-one go-to for books I love to read when I know I have to put it down and live my life. They’re good books with strong characters, great storylines, and, hands down, the absolute best sex scenes ever in a book (and I am a big fan of Priest if that tells you how good Tessa Bailey’s sex scenes are).

Of the two TB’s I read in January, I adored Window Shopping the best. This is probably because the main male character in the book reminds me so much of my own husband. He’s adorably handsome, confident, put together, and also a total dork, and his bedroom skills are the kind you do not see coming from that kind of guy. But also because the story is sweet, and I loved it. Fix Her Up was cute, too, and I will download books two and three of the series that goes along with this one to read during February.

As a side note, I adore her two-book series It Happened One Summer and Hook, Line, and Sinker. Read them; they’re fun. Beach reads worthwhile.

A Big Year to Follow

2023’s book list is a long one, but it’s also one that I’m hoping will live up to the books I’ve read in the past few years. 2022 was filled with some standout books, too, if you need some suggestions.

The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue (though I read this one in 2020 or 2021? I can’t remember, but I always gift this book to people I love because it’s that good).

The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo (still one of the best books I’ve ever read)

Daisy Jones and the Six

The Last Thing He Told Me (I know I said I don’t download thrillers when I travel, but my son and I had a very long flight from Florida to California in August, and I did read this one on the way there)



It Ends With Us

It Starts With Us

Where the Crawdads Sing

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