Book Haul Monthly Wrap-Up

January 2020 Monthly Wrap-Up & Book Haul

Hi Readers! January seemed to drag on forever. I blame the weather. Although, it did make me feel like I had time to accomplish a few things. Today I’m going to take a look at what I managed to read and what I managed to add to my shelves for the month. Be sure to check out The Monthly Wrap-Up Round-Up hosted by Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction!

(Link to synopsis on Goodreads through the book title.)

January Wrap-Up

I started the month finishing up my holiday reads with Winter Solstice, the final book in the Winter series by Elin Hilderbrand. But I didn’t mind extending Christmas a few more weeks. You can find my review of the series here.

Rating 4 out of 5 stars (4 / 5)

I typically read an ebook at night when I’m reading a physical book, so I read It Started One Christmas by Susan Mallery while I was reading Winter Solstice. It’s a quick novella, but I didn’t know when I started it that the characters were introduced in a previous book. I felt a little lost, but I still enjoyed it.

Rating 3 out of 5 stars (3 / 5)

I also wrapped up reading A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens with my son. We didn’t finish it by Christmas, but we still enjoyed it. I enjoyed rereading it, too. It had been several years since I’d read it with my daughters.

Rating 4 out of 5 stars (4 / 5)

I succumbed to the hype and purchased the ebook of A Curse So Dark and Lonely by Brigid Kemmerer with some gift card money. I’d never read a retelling of Beauty and the Beast, and while I enjoyed it, it didn’t blow me away. I’m still torn about reading the next installment. We’ll see if I succumb to the hype again. You can check out my review here.

Rating 3.8 out of 5 stars (3.8 / 5)

Next, I finally delved into my advance reader copies. Big Lies in a Small Town is an eARC I received through Netgalley. It was my second Diane Chamberlain book and I loved it! I’m a fan of historical fiction that brings to light unknown parts of history, and Chamberlain is a master at that. You can read my full review here.

Rating 4 out of 5 stars (4 / 5)

My next read was another eARC from Netgalley, The Little Bookshop on the Seine by Rebecca Raisin. Once again, I didn’t realize the characters in this novel were introduced in another one. Apparently, I need to pay closer attention to books’ synopses. πŸ˜‰ It took me a bit to get into this story that was more about character growth and less about romance. But I did enjoy it. You can find my full review here.

Rating 3.3 out of 5 stars (3.3 / 5)

My final book for the month was Things in Jars by Jess Kidd, another eARC I received through Netgalley. I was a bit overwhelmed with this one. And I cared more about the hints of romance than the mystery. You can read my review here. I had hoped this would be my first five-star read of the year, but maybe that will happen in February??

Rating 3.5 out of 5 stars (3.5 / 5)


I also have an eARC of American Dirt by Jeanine Cummins I fully intended to read this month, but the day I was ready to start it, I came across all the controversy surrounding the book. (If you’re unaware of the controversy, you can read about it here.) I was confused at first, especially since Oprah Winfrey was endorsing it, but I no longer felt comfortable reading it. While I do think authors should be able to write from different perspectives other than their own–for example, different sexes, different ages, different cultures–they must tread carefully and be mindful of stereotypes that can cause more damage. So, I’m torn. I decided to set it aside for now and possibly reconsider it at a later time. I would love to have more discussion on the topic. Have you read American Dirt? What’s your opinion about the controversy?

January Book Haul

I had an awesome haul this month thanks to a trip to a thrift store, Paperbackswap, and the single ARC, Beach Read, I received in the mail. And while I did add 13 books to my shelves, I also did a big un-haul and got rid of about 50 books! It felt great! I spent some time combing through my Goodreads ‘Want to Read’ list and my wishlist on Paperbackswap, removing all the books I was no longer interested in. I managed to drop my Goodreads ‘Want to Read’ list from 1000 to 850. 850 is still an out of control number, but it also includes about 230 books that I’ve marked as ‘possibly interested’. Now on to the books I added to my shelves!

I also added a few Kindle ebooks thanks to sales and gift cards:

One audiobook:

And I broke my Netgalley ban to add The Night Swim by Megan Goldin. I read The Escape Room, which didn’t blow me away, but I did enjoy. I couldn’t resist the buzz for her next one, which I’m even more excited about!


Have you read any of the books I added to my shelves? Did you add any of them to your TBR? Let me know in the comments!

Happy Wandering!

14 thoughts on “January 2020 Monthly Wrap-Up & Book Haul”

  1. I love getting books at used bookstores, sales, library sales etc. They are usually only a few dollars or cents and are books that if I change my mind, I can re-donate them. Great haul, Dedra.

    1. So much buzz for ACSDAL! And while it didn’t blow me away, it was fun. And I think I may just be getting too old for YA fantasy. πŸ˜‰

  2. Some great hauling there. I did enjoy A Curse So Dark and Lonely but I was initially under the impression that it was a standalone and then it didn’t turn out to be and I am still miffed. We need more fantasy standalones.

    1. I just read your post on American Dirt, which was great! I left you a comment over there, but I’m not sure I feel comfortable reading it at this time. I wouldn’t be able to read it with an unbiased eye right now. Maybe I’ll feel differently later on??

  3. I had just started reading American Dirt when the controversy hit its stride. I almost stopped reading it, but since I was a good ways in, I decided to read with a very critical eye to determine what I thought of it. I just finished last night, and I would love to have a discussion with someone who has read it who would like to analyze it along with me. I definitely see the problematic elements, but I also tried to find some positives as well. Let me know if you decide to read it!

  4. I just finished Letters to the Lost last night and am a huge fan of this author now. I was gifted A Curse so Dark and Lonely, so I will be reading this book soon. I have found some excellent books at my library’s used book shop where I can get books for $1 each or less. I also am overflowing my bookshelves, so I cleared out 6 paper grocery bags worth and donated them to my library in Jaunary. Now I see some of them in the used books sale which earns money to support the library.

    1. I’ve never read anything else by Brigid Kemmerer, but I looked up Letters to the Lost and added it to my tbr! Thanks for recommending it. 😊 And I also love to buy books at the library. Ours has a dedicated area for used books and you just have to leave a donation. I typically take my ARCs there since they’re not technically reselling them. If feels great to clear out space, doesn’t it?? 😍

    1. Oh, you should! And it’s great to read with kids because it’s short, and while the language is at times hard to understand, there are lots of teaching moments. Plus, most kids know the story, so it’s easy to follow. πŸ™‚

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