My Reading in January 2019

My January reading wrap-up includes fewer books than I would have liked, but that’s what happens when a new semester begins! I’m teaching three new courses, so preparing for those has been time consuming.

Here are my five-word reviews of what I read in January.

They Were Sisters by Dorothy Whipple: adulting is hard; cruelty destroys 4⭐️

Outline by Rachel Cusk: philosophical observations grew on me 3.5 ⭐️

Nervous Conditions by Tsitsi Dangarembga: African Tree Grows in Brooklyn 5 ⭐️

Motherhood by Sheila Heti: pressures of female identity explored 2⭐️

My Own Words by Ruth Bader Ginsburg: law writings and speeches contextualized 4⭐️


Two academic books: transnational feminism is complicated, useful 3⭐️ each


What did you read in January?

12 thoughts on “My Reading in January 2019

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  1. I read Nervous Conditions years back when I was studying American Literature (yes, the course was not about American writing, but on African and African-American writing) and it’s a novel that has stayed with me through the years. A great book.

    1. It is such a great book! Did you know it is the first in a series? I actually read the third one first and then realized that, so I’m going back to read the others.

  2. I didn’t like Outline very much. It was okay, I guess. I loved They Were Sisters. Here’s what I read in January: The Greenlanders by Jane Smiley (very long but fascinating), My Year of Rest and Relaxation by Otessa Moshfegh (hmm), Unsheltered by Barbara Kingsolver (pretty good but she has done better), The Craftsman by Sharon Bolton (good thriller), Owls Do Cry by Janet Frame (not really my aisle), Madame de Treymes by Edith Wharton (nice and short), Guard Your Daughters by Diana Tutton (funny, along the lines of I Capture the Castle), Abide with Me by Elizabeth Strout (excellent as usual), and See What I Have Done by Sarah Schmidt (super creepy).

  3. In January I read The Essex Serpent (nerdy, brooding, contemplative, and highly recommended), an art book about Frida Kahlo (pretty and informative), The Witch of Willow Hall, a regency romance about a descendant of Salem witches, living in nineteenth-century America (fun and creepy), and a re-read of a historical novel called Sor Juana’s Second Dream (rich and heartbreaking). I just finished Hazards of Time Travel, by Joyce Carol Oates, (meh…) and am about a hundred pages into Katie Ward’s novel Girl Reading, which is about women, art, and our interconnectedness over centuries, so it’s lovely and right up my alley.

  4. I wish I had more time to read these days… I used to read a book per week, but life gets in the way. I’m thinking of rekindling my blog though (after six years of frequent blogging, it has been dormant for over a year), and posting regular reviews of the books I manage to read! 🙂

    Have you seen the new movie, On the Basis of Sex, about Ruth Bader Ginsberg? I’d like to see it, although I’ve heard mixed reviews.

    I can’t remember what I read in January, but I have a big pile of books waiting to be read, among them Michelle Obama’s autobiography. My current read is Around the World in 80 Trains by Monisha Rajesh. It’s making me want to travel!

    I hope all’s well with you and that the semester is going well. 🙂

    1. I haven’t seen the movie yet, but I certainly want to! I do think you should rekindle your blog. I’ve been kind of like you: taking a break. But every once in a while I realize that I need to keep going. I’m trying to do better at posting more frequently. I hope you do as well!

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