Friday Favorites & What I Read in January

Last Fall I was hit with a terrible reading slump. For the first time in my life reading did not bring me relaxation and happiness. I couldn’t decide what to read and I couldn’t finish anything once I started it. I finally broke out of the slump over Thanksgiving weekend when I read 4 books in 5 days. I rediscovered my love of thrillers and the “can’t stop till i know what happened” style of book was just what I needed. I was so excited about that and starting Books with PIP! that I kept up the pace throughout December. I ended the year reading 5 (yes FIVE!) books in 3 days between December 30 – January 1 (full post on that readathon to come!)

I didn’t start January or 2019 with an exact goal. I knew I was going to spend New Year’s Day reading – beyond that I kinda thought I’d aim for 2 books per week and see what happens. Turns out when presented with a goal I get kinda competitive (with myself) and I ended up reading. A lot.

My final total for the month of January is 12. (If you are counting books in the wreath, one of the books I read in December got mixed into my January pile when I photographed it to review it. Setting up the book wreath again with PIP! in time to get this post up would have been tricky). I probably could have read a 13th book but I decided to give myself a break from reading and watch Hallmark movies.

Here are all the books I read in January:

  • Believe Me by JP Delaney (my New Year’s Day book)
  • The Death of Mrs. Westaway by Ruth Ware (the fourth and final book I read for #authorweek).
  • No Exit by Taylor Adams (#unreadBOTMchallenge)
  • The Dark Lake by Sarah Bailey (#unreadBOTMchallenge)
  • A Court of Thrones and Roses by Sarah J. Maas (#YAserieschallenge2019 – book 1 – a head start for February)
  • the Cuckoo’s Calling by Robert Galbraith (bookclub# book – this was my pick. I chose it because 1. Galbraith is the pen name of JK Rowling and 2. I already owned it)
  • I DNF’ed – Northanger Abbey by Val McDermid (bookclub# book – this was my friend’s pick. I mentioned this book because I wanted to say: for me, I’m learning its ok to DNF a book. Also, because it was a book club book I wanted to mention what I did about that: I spoke with her when I was struggling to read this book and we came to an agreement and I DNF. I did read enough to justify my decision and then I went and read the last few chapters.)
  • Mr. Churchill’s Secretary by Susan Elia MacNeal (A spur of the moment decision – the most recent book was a 2 for 10 special at Barnes and Noble, so I decided to start with book one)
  • Watching You by Lisa Jewell (A book section at Costco find, I read it the day I bought it!)
  • Furyborn by Claire Legrand (This was 50% off at Barnes and Noble black Friday weekend and I bought it because I loved the cover and the synopsis in the front flap)
  • The 7 1/2 Deaths of Evelyn Harcastle by Stuart Turton (This was my first “I saw it on Bookstagram” book)
  • The Cat Who Sniffed Glue by Lillian Jackson Braun (Reread)
  • The Cat Who Robbed a Bank by Lillian Jackson Braun (Reread: I finished the month with these books because 1. I love them. 2. I pulled the whole series out for a blog post. 3. I had already met my “goal” for January and rereading these felt like taking a break from reading.


So far this has been a weird weather winter. Last year was snowy and frigid … this year not so much. I am not complaining. I do not miss the frigid. Although I wouldn’t mind a good snowstorm (just ONE!).

Tomorrow is February 2nd: GROUNDHOG DAY! A nice groundhog in Punxsutawney, PA will be pulled from his home and will then tell us our future – early spring? more winter? It all depends on whether or not he sees his shadow. WILL HE SEE HIS SHADOW?

It derives from the Pennsylvania Dutch superstition that if a groundhog emerging from its burrow on this day sees a shadow due to clear weather, it will retreat to its den and winter will persist for six more weeks, and if it does not see its shadow because of cloudiness, spring will arrive early.

To be honest, I do not understand what the correlation is between a groundhog seeing his shadow and when warmer temperatures will come to the northeast but that’s not the important part of this day. The best thing to come from Groundhog Day is this:

Bill Murray plays a weatherman from Pittsburgh, PA. This is the third year in a row he’s had to go to Punxsutawney to cover the annual Groundhog Day festivities. Murray’s character, Phil, is feeling like a big fish in a small pond. He is restless and wants to further his career. He does not enjoy covering Groundhog Day and sees it as another chore in his boring job.

He goes to Punxsutawney with his new producer, Rita (played by Andie MacDowell) and his cameraman Larry (played by Chris Elliot). He records his segment, gets trapped by a snowstorm and then …. wakes up in Punxsutawney on February 2nd. Again. And again. And again.

Ok campers, rise and shine! and don’t forget your booties cause its COLD out there today …

Groundhog Day

This movie was released in 1993, and it is a little dated but the overall story and message are still sound: if you had an unlimited amount of do-overs what would you do again? What would you do different?

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