January 2019 Reading List

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When putting together my January 2019 reading list, I decided to back off a bit on the volume as I consider how I want to approach reading in 2019.

A new year always feels like a good time to assess what’s working, what’s not, what I’d like to do differently, and what I might like to try.

Reading time is limited, so I want to be sure I’m making the most of it. In addition to reading books I enjoy, I want to keep reading exciting,

In 2018, my goal was to read my shelf as much as possible–and I had mixed success there (I’ll have an update on that coming soon).

I realized that, while I enjoy backlist books and will continue to read them, I’m not immune to the excitement of a new release.

Since joining the book blogging world, I’ve realized how much fun it is to discuss new books with other readers, and to help non-blogging readers determine which ones might be worth trying. I want to do more of this in 2019.

With this in mind, I’ve started to venture into the world of advanced reader copies (ARCs), and it’s been fun to peruse the new and upcoming titles. However, I’m trying to be measured in my requests so I can continue to have a balance of new and backlist books.

This is also a great test of my ability to choose books. Book selection is something I’ve always done intuitively, with little input from others, and I’ve had great success in doing this.

I’m hopeful that this will continue as I’m considering which new releases to read and that I’m able to help you find the right books for you this year.

I’m also still working on how best to manage reviews of new books on my blog–all things that I had hoped to figure out by the start of 2019, but the end of 2018 got away from me.

You may see some starts and stops and experiments over the next few months as I figure it out–bear with me, and please give me feedback!

So far, I have a pretty good reading plan for the next few months (if not a writing one), but I’d love to hear from other bloggers with more ARC experience about how you manage your schedules and requests.

The five books below are ones that I definitely plan to read in January. There are also a few that I started in 2018 but put aside to finish later, so I’m hoping to get to them as well.

Related: 11 Books for Your Winter Reading

 

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January 2019 Reading List

 

The Familiars

The Familiars

Author: Stacey Halls
Source: Publisher (MIRA Books) via Edelweiss
Publish date: February 19, 2019

This historical fiction novel is set during the English Pendle Witch Trials of 1612. It promises an intimate exploration of the lives of seventeenth century women and the motivations behind witch hunting.

More info →

Buy from Amazon
 
 

Related: Read my review of The Familiars

 

The Only Woman in the Room: A Novel

The Only Woman in the Room: A Novel

Author: Marie Benedict
Source: Publisher (Sourcebooks Landmark) via NetGalley
Publish date: January 8, 2019

I don’t know much about Hedy Lamarr, but I’ve always been intrigued when I heard about both her brilliance as an inventor and her role in World War II. This fictionalized account of her life involves her insider access to the Third Reich’s plans, her escape from her Austrian arms-dealer-husband, her rise to film stardom, and work on radio frequency inventions for the Allies. Update: Read my full review.

More info →

Buy from Amazon
 
 

 

The Last Romantics: A Novel

The Last Romantics: A Novel

Author:Tara Conklin
Source:Publisher (HarperCollins) via Edelweiss
Publish date: February 5, 2019

With comparisons to Commonwealth and The Interestings, I knew I had to check out Tara Conklin’s The Last Romantics. This promises to be a sweeping family story told over decades, from a childhood summer in which siblings ran free and cared for one another to a family crisis two decades later. I love stories about family histories and loyalties put to the test, so I have high hopes for this one. Update: Read my full review.

More info →

Buy from Amazon
 
 

 

My Flag Grew Stars: World War II Refugees’ Journey to America

My Flag Grew Stars: World War II Refugees’ Journey to America

Author: Kitty Gogins

This nonfiction book has been on my TBR for a while, and my dad–who worked with the author–brought me a copy on his last visit. The book details her parents’ journey and struggles to survive, starting with their escape from Hungary, her father’s German conscription and capture by the Americans, to their eventual life in Minnesota.

More info →

Buy from Amazon
 
 

 

Related: My review of My Flag Grew Stars (and other recent reads)

 

Winter Stroll (Winter Street #2)

Winter Stroll (Winter Street #2)

I had never read a “Christmas book” before, but on a whim I picked up Elin Hilderbrand’s Winter Street–not knowing that it’s the first in a trilogy. As Christmas approached, I found that I kind of enjoyed reading a holiday-themed book. It wasn’t challenging, but it wasn’t as formulaic as I expected either. The Quinns and their inn on Nantucket were a pleasant reading diversion from my usual heavier fare, and I’d like to see how their story plays out. Besides, winter is kind of depressing after Christmas, so maybe this will keep my spirits up a bit longer.

More info →

Buy from Amazon
 
 

 

Related:

February 2019 Book Reviews: including The Familiars and My Flag Grew Stars

January 2019 Book Reviews: including Winter Stroll and The Only Woman in the Room

December 2018 Reading List

December 2018 Book Reviews

 

What are you planning to read in January?

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Books to read in January 2019, including The Only Woman in the Room, Winter Stroll, The Last Romantics, The Familiars, and My Flag Grew Stars.

January 2019 reading list, including The Only Woman in the Room, Winter Stroll, The Last Romantics, The Familiars, and My Flag Grew Stars.

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10 Comments

  1. I like the historical fiction theme you have going there. I love ARC’s because who doesn’t love getting things before the general public, bu there is an added pressure to read and review by a certain time. Literary Quicksand does regular reviews for TLC Book Tours, but they’re not always ARC’s. I know a lot of people use Net Galley, but I haven’t. I’ve had some success asking for individual books directly from publishers. Let me know what works for you!

    1. Thanks! I’ve been using NetGalley and Edelweiss to request. So far so good! We’ll see how it goes this year.

  2. Just when I think I’m really up on books for the next couple months you come up with two I’ve not seen, The Familiars and The Only Woman in the Room. I think I’ll wait to see what you think and then may pick up later on audio.

    As for ARC’s, I keep a running list of everything upcoming that I MIGHT want to read using Sarah’s Tracker. Then I request books about 3 months out. I’ve learned not to over request, so generally keep the requests to about 5-8 (but requests aren’t always granted). Some months are lighter. I then read close to the order the books are published, Usually starting one month’s books in the middle of the month before. It’s not unusual for me to not get to a book until after it’s published. I try to review close to the publication date, but that is VERY loose. I save certain books for audio and don’t read a whole lot of backlist (maybe 10%). Hope that helps!

    1. Thanks, Susie! That is really helpful. I’ve also been reading them in order of publish date, but I definitely need to come up with a system for tracking my requests and what’s coming up. I still want to read some backlist, so it will take some balancing.

      I’m hoping to have a review of The Only Woman in the Room later this week or early next!

  3. I have an ARC of THE LAST ROMANTICS I’ve been meaning to get to since, like, November. *sigh* Will definitely get to it before the pub date! lol. I’m looking forward to that one.

    I am really interested in THE FAMILIARS, and I emailed the publisher to request an ARC but I haven’t heard back from them. I’m not signed up yet for any ARC suppliers (Edelweiss, Netgalley, etc) because I feel like I wouldn’t be able to control myself with access to all the books, haha. I’m content to sit and wait for it to come into my local library.

    About WINTER STROLL — it’s a pretty depressing book. It’s the 2nd book in the Winter Street series. Book #1 is great and fun and happy, but book #2 takes a more serious turn, especially toward the end; and I didn’t even finish book #3 because it was a sobfest. Reader, beware…

    1. I’m really enjoying The Last Romantics. It’s not a quick read, but the characters and their relationships are intriguing. Hope you get a chance to read it!

      You’re right about Winter Stroll–definitely darker than the first one! I have the third one waiting for me on my Kindle, and did you know there’s also a 4th? I had thought it was a trilogy. I’m pretty sure it will all be happy at the end, but we’ll see 🙂

  4. I finished The Only Woman last week and it was good.

    My favorite book so far this month is Talk to Me- maybe because it is so timely. It’s about a powerful man who gets caught behaving badly and what happens to his life and career when it goes viral. It was very interesting reading- would make a good book club book because I can see people coming down on both sides fo the issue.

    I’m also really looking forward to a debut that is a modern retelling of Pride & Prejudice- set in Pakistan. It could be great or it could go very wrong, but I’m optimistic!

    1. Ooh, Talk to Me sounds intriguing! I’ll look forward to your review on that one.

      I have trouble getting excited about Jane Austen retellings, for some reason–they just don’t appeal to me very much. Maybe I’ll give this one a chance if it works well for you!

  5. “The Last Romantic” is one of my favorite novels. This biography provides a colorful portrait of the famous queen. From her birth into the ranks of European aristocracy to her efforts to save Roumania from the hands of the Communists. Great experience reading this novel. A great step ahead about women empowerment.

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