“Books and doors are the same thing. You open them, and you go through into another world.” – Jeanette Winterson
This year, I’ve set out to re-instill the habit of reading.
Why re-instill? You see, I used to be a real book nerd when I was young. I vividly remember at the end of primary school, I brought all my Mary-Kate & Ashley, Enid Blyton, and Goosebumps books to sell at school to make a quick buck haha. Over the years, with the rise of internet, streaming services, partying and work, all competing for my attention… the habit just got lost.
So, now as a way to keep myself on track – YOU, the internet, fellow reader of this blog, shall be my accountability buddy! I will commit to writing book reviews for all the books I’ve read on a monthly basis. And in return, I hope you get some ideas on what to read (or not to read), based on my humble 2 cents.
Clearly, I’m a little late lol..but better late than never! So here are my January reads 🙂
Book Count: 6
BOOK OF THE MONTH : Atomic Habits: An Easy & Proven Way to Build Good Habits & Break Bad Ones, by James Clear
In this book, James Clear clearly (no pun intended) outlined the true drivers of our behaviours, how systems play a huge role in building and sustaining habits and provide actionable strategies to do so. He has a knack at breaking down topics into very digestible forms, providing a lot of context as to where we can apply this new found knowledge. This is my book of the month because I think it reshaped a lot of my perspective on how I work towards my goals in life. The past year had been a challenging one for me, both in my career and personal life; add a dash of aging into the mix and you’ve got a full blown existential crisis. The book has helped me reengineer the way i structure my thoughts and habits, so as to meaningfully make progress, rather than create grand goals, fall short of it and feel disappointed in myself.
I sure walked away with a lot of new perspectives and clarity. To check out my biggest takeaways for the book you can click here.
Other books for the month:
5 Love Languages – Secret to Love that Last, by Gary Chapman
This book was released back in 1992 and is still so relevant to-date. Chapman outlines the 5 love languages (ways in which we express and receive love) that every partner has. The 5 love languages are Quality Time, Words of Affirmation, Physical Touch, Gift giving and Acts of Service. The key premise of the book is that we all value these love languages to a varying degree and he elaborates on how that might look like. I think the concepts are great but it drones on a little longer than necessary. Half the book is padded with examples to make a point that is relatively simple to understand. I think for this book, a book summary/ key book takeaways article is all you need.
One Up on Wall Street, by Peter Lynch and John Rothchild
An investing book by Peter Lynch, a famous investor and mutual fund manager in America. The book explains logic investing in a nutshell and how us retail investors may have more than an edge over big institutional investors than we think. The book is split into 3 parts: Preparing to invest, picking winners, and the long term view. I found it interesting to understand his thought process and learnt quite a few things as to how I should invest too. The book literally has an entire checklist of things to consider while investing. However, sometimes there are too many examples than necessary and some might be a little boring for someone completely new to investing.
Where the Crawdads Sing, by Delia Owen
A murder mystery story about rejection, abandonment and betrayal through the eyes of a Kya Clark, a lonely Marsh girl. The book follows two storylines which eventually merges; one of the cops trying to solve a murder of a local celebrity and another following Kya’s childhood journey to her early 20s.
The book starts off slow, but picks up as the plot thickens. The author had a rather poetic and vivid writing style that transports you into the story. However, the ending was quite unsatisfying for me as I felt it was a little rushed and there were a few plot holes.
The Guest List, by Lucy Foley
A supposed wedding of the decade gone wrong, leaving all the guest stranded on an island with a dead body. The bride and the groom is a seemingly perfect match; the groom – a charming and famous TV host, the bride a successful magazine publisher. As the night unfolds, we learn more about the dark pasts of the couple and the guests. The book jumps between the days leading up to the wedding and to the night itself. The tone is fast paced but written in the perspective of too many guests, most of which are quite childish and unlikable. The remaining 1/3 of the book however redeemed itself. Twist after twist, I binged through the end, to uncover the unsuspecting killer. However, similar to Where the Crawdads Sing, how the book closes off after the big reveal is filled with loose ends…
The Girl on the Train, by Paula Hawkins
A thriller centered around a drunk divorcee caught up in a murder case of a young lady who she idolises. I had high hopes for this book because a movie was made after it and featured the talented Emily Blunt(I never watched the movie) but I thought the book was really overrated. It tries hard to be Gone Girl 2.0 but falls short of it. The writing was draggy, plot messy and the characters were really unlikable. Would not recommend.
That wraps up my January Book reviews! Let me know if you have read any of these books and if you have any book recommendations, I would love to check them out!
Stay tuned for my book reviews for the next month 🙂
Book Reviews from other months: