Month in Review: January 2016

Book of the Month


I usually hesitate to say “this is a book everyone should read,” but with Just Mercy I will. It’s a deeply moving account of the staggering travesties of justice that occur in our country, and of the humanity that nevertheless struggles to survive within the system. I happened to finish it on Martin Luther King Day, a highly appropriate occasion, but don’t wait until then. Just read it as soon as you possibly can.

This month was the start of my Reading New England Challenge, and I’m thrilled that 19 people have signed up so far! There is no deadline, so feel free to join us if you haven’t already. And don’t forget to link up your posts, by state or genre. (For challenge purposes, you’ll have to pick one category.)

So far, representing this month’s focus on New Hampshire I’ve seen two different reviews of A Separate Peace (here and here), as well as my own review linked below; plus A Prayer for Owen Meany; Peyton Place; Light on Snow by Anita Shreve; and The Painted Drum by Louise Erdrich.

Other reviews linked were of a forthcoming nonfiction work exploring the history of slavery in the region, New England Bound; a heart-wrenching child’s-eye-view novel set in and around Bar Harbor, Maine, Small as an Elephant; a intriguing new YA mystery, The Mystery of Hollow Places; and a Rhode Island cozy mystery, Murder Most Finicky. Thank you all for participating, and I look forward to more of your discoveries.




  • My Family and Other Animals – Gerald Durrell’s memoir provided a welcome break from the winter doldrums.
  • The Gipsy in the Parlour – For Margery Sharp Day at Beyond Eden Rock, I reviewed this brief but thoroughly enjoyable novel.
  • A Separate Peace – And for Reading New England, I was glad to revisit a book that was required reading in my adolescence, and see it from a more adult perspective.
  • Three from the Theater – I love backstage stories, and these were three I enjoyed over the holidays.


 Other Books ReadGreenDolphin

  • Linnets and Valerians by Elizabeth Goudge
  • If the Oceans Were Ink by Carla Power
  • Green Dolphin Street by Elizabeth Goudge – Review to come
  • Amos Fortune, Free Man by Elizabeth Yates – for Reading New England
  • To the Lighthouse by Virginia Woolf – for Woolfalong hosted by Heavenali
  • Haphazard by Starlight by Janet Morley
  • The Lexicographer’s Dilemma by Jack Lynch
  • The Shepherd’s Crown by Terry Pratchett – Tiffany Aching series completion
  • Bayou Magic by Jewell Parker Rhodes – Cybils awards finalist
  • Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson
  • A Prayer for Owen Meany by John Irving – Reading New England
  • How To Be Alive by Colin Beavan – Blog Tour February 10
  • Cuckoo Song by Frances Hardinge


Other Features and Events


Coming Next Month

  • I’m trying not to sign up for too many challenges, but The Reluctant Romantic at Doing Dewey sounds like just too much fun. Check it out if you’d like to try out a new or neglected genre in February. (I said I’m going to focus on graphic fiction and nonfiction.)
  • I’m pleased to be part of the second round of Falling in Love with Books at Bookish Illuminations. The idea this time is to recommend a book you think would help readers fall in love with a particular genre. Watch for one of my favorite YA/historical fiction/mystery/romance/fantasy titles over at Katie’s blog on February 15. (I figured I might as well cover as many genres as possible.)
  • Also coming up is Book Blogger Appreciation Week, February 15-19. I can’t wait to show some love for all the wonderful book bloggers out there!


Shared in the Sunday Post hosted by Caffeinated Book Reviewer and the Monthly Wrap-up Round-up hosted by Feed Your Fiction Addiction

14 thoughts on “Month in Review: January 2016

    1. I think you in particular would be very interested in Just Mercy, Brian. I know you are always wrestling with questions of justice and equality.


  1. Aw, I love A Separate Peace. I probably should re-read it as it’s been many years now. That’s great so many people signed up for your challenge! I’m hosting one for Unique Formats. 🙂



  2. As with many books that sound like tough reads, I’ve been putting off Just Mercy, probably for much longer than I should! Books like that are often also the books I end up feeling as though everyone should read. Thanks for joining in on my event this month! I’m glad your New England event is going so well 🙂


    1. I put off reading Just Mercy for months, but once I picked it up the storytelling drew me in and wouldn’t let me go. I hope you’ll have the same experience once you get to it.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s