January 2020 Reading

For this month’s reading list, I thought I’d try out a different format as there are a lot of books to get through.

This month I read numerous poetry books that I ordered online. I love these poets’ spoken word on YouTube, and I thought it was worth supporting the small publishing house. If My Body Could Speak (Blythe Baird) and We Slept Here (Sierra DeMulder) I gave 4 of 5 stars, while Depression & Other Magic Tricks (Sabrina Benaim) I gave 5 of 5 stars. There were a few poems in each collection that I absolutely loved and keep going back to, but I connect to Sabrina Benaim’s writing style more than the others. Her metaphors are original and beautiful and make you think, which I love.

Different publications, but the other two poetry books I read were Branches (Rhiannon McGavin) and No Matter the Wreckage (Sarah Kay). Both were 4 of 5 stars. I consider Sarah Kay to be my favourite poet, however I didn’t give her book 5 stars simply because the way she performs her poetry (which I discovered on YouTube) adds a layer that can’t be portrayed on the page. In saying that, her written poetry is incredibly beautiful.

I finished reading two Christian books this month; Smith Wigglesworth: The Secret of His Power (Albert Hibbert) and Moving Mountains: Praying with Passion, Confidence, and Authority (John Eldredge). I rated the book about Wigglesworth 5 of 5 stars, and the John Elderedge a 4. I found both books valuable in different ways. Hearing about Smith Wigglesworth encouraged me in areas of my own relationship with God as well as challenging some things I don’t do too well. John Elderedge’s book helped me centre my prayer life and get refocused at the start of each day. I also found the chapter about decision making particularly helpful.

The other two non-fiction books I read in January were The Camino Diaries (Cilla Cole, Terry Cole, Tom Keelty, and illustrated by Richard Cole) and The Barefoot Investor (Scott Pape). I gave these both 4 of 5 stars. (This month has had above average ratings! What a good way to start the year.) The Camino Diaries is a non-fiction book about Cilla and her husband Richard, her father-in-law Terry, and their architect Tom, as they walk the Camino track in Spain. For reasons unknown to me, I find walking fascinating, and I loved reading about their experiences as they tackled this. The book is told through their different journal entries, which provided a full picture of how the Camino can differ for everyone as well as uniting experiences. Scott Pape’s financial book was bought because most of what I read about money is based in America but this is Australian.

To finish off the month, I read three novels. The Secret of Hanging Rock (Joan Lindsay), Confessions of a Shopaholic (Sophie Kinsella), and Rules of Civility (Amor Towles). I gave Hanging Rock 3 of 5 stars, and the other two 4 of 5. Having read Picnic at Hanging Rock, I couldn’t help but read this sequel. It didn’t quite satisfy what I was looking for, but still an interesting and quick read. Shopaholic was another quick and easy read which I’ve wanted to read since I love the movie so much. They are quite different, but both have charm and appeal. Amor Towles wrote A Gentleman in Moscow, a book I read last year and absolutely loved. While this story line wasn’t as appealing to me, the writing was so beautiful and elegant that the dislikeable characters didn’t matter too much.

All in all, I’ve started this year of reading well!

Sarah xx

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