January 2017 Reading Recap

The first reading recap of 2017 is here! Yay!

Not a bad start to the year, either. I read 8 books this month, though about half of them have been easy re-reads. I’m still glad to be off to a strong start and to give myself a little padding for later in the year when I inevitably slack off, haha. I am 15% done with my annual challenge of reading 52 books in a year!

Feel free to friend me on Goodreads to see all the books I’ve read and to follow my progress!

Wild by Cheryl Strayed – 3/5 stars

Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail At 26, Cheryl is at a quarter-life crisis. Her mother just died, she recently got a divorce, and she has no money and no plans. On a whim, she decides to hike the Pacific Coast Trail, a trail 2,650 miles long that spans from Mexico to Canada. Cheryl has no experience or knowledge of backpacking or hiking or climbing mountains, but she goes.

I really had a hard time determining whether I liked this book or not. I loved Cheryl’s sheer will and tenacity to go on this crazy adventure even though she’s clearly out of her league, and I really enjoyed learning all the basics of hiking alongside her. It was amazing to see her put everything she needs to survive in one large backpack (and have to carry it!), how she purified her water, how she slept at night and protected her food. All the aspects of the book that pertained to her hike fascinated me because I don’t have hardly any prior knowledge. I’m a newb, too.

The part I had trouble with was her. I understand it’s necessary to include the background of her life which led up to her decision of why she wanted to hike the trail in the first place, but she was so annoying. She made poor life decisions for no apparent reason at all, and then she complained and wondered how she got into those situations in the first place. It was also a little mind-boggling how very little she prepared for the trip. She didn’t research any farther than her nearest REI store and when she got into these horrible life-and-death situations – like where she didn’t bring enough water on a stretch of the trail because she didn’t want to carry it and almost died of dehydration- I just wanted to yell, “What did you expect???” So while I admired her tenacity and spontaneity, she was also incredibly stupid.

I didn’t really come away from this book with a completely new outlook on life, but it was an interesting read. I think it’s worth reading, but I didn’t live up to all the hype.

Little House on the Prairie (Books #1-4) by Laura Ingalls Wilder
Little House in the Big Woods – 5/5 stars | Little House on the Prairie – 5/5 stars | Farmer Boy – 4/5 stars | On the Banks of Plum Creek – 4/5 stars

2612801These are some of my favorite childhood books. I have a paperback copy of the whole series that are well-worn because I have read them so many times. I still have some books at my mom’s house that I went over to pick up and I found these in that pile. I hadn’t read them in a long time and when I was flipping through, I remembered how much I enjoyed them and wanted to read them again.

I enjoyed them just as much on this read-through as I did when I was younger. Life back in the 1800s is so vastly different than today, so it’s always interesting to read how they did everything by hand and to view it all through Laura’s childlike wonder. Everything is new and exciting, and while they’re written for children, they’re just as enjoyable for adults. There are actually a few things that I’ve caught that I didn’t fully understand when I was younger.

77769For example, Laura’s father tells her and her sister not to slide down the haystack he’s worked to put together. So when he finds the hay scattered all over, no longer in a stack, he asks her if she slid down it again. She answers no, she didn’t slide down it, but she did roll down it. He turns around and she sees his back quivering. I realize now that it’s because he is laughing at her logic, but doesn’t want her to know

My least favorite of these four I read this month are Farmer Boy and Little House on Plum Creek. While I still enjoyed them, they just aren’t my favorites in regards to the story line. I’ve always loved Little House in the Big Woods, the first book in the series, as everything is just normal every day life before they decide to hitch everything up and move west. I’ve got the first four down in the series, now five more to go!

Neil Patrick Harris: Choose Your Own Autobiogrophy by Neil Patrick Harris – 4/5 stars

20170296NPH’s autobiography is everything you think it might be: funny, witty, cleverly unique, and entertaining. He styles his autobiography after choose your own ending books, where you can flip to different pages for different endings and storylines. Some were humorous, like the fictitious chapters about fantastical ways that he dies, and some were more realistic chapters about how certain aspects of his life might have played out differently had he made different decisions.

All the hilarity aside, I think NPH did a great job giving an overview of his life, including his struggles and how they shaped the person that he is today. I’ve enjoyed a lot of his work so it was fun to learn more about him and his life. The book is pretty short, so it’s a quick and easy read that I would recommend to any one who is a fan.

Happy reading, everyone! Have you read any good books this year?


10 thoughts on “January 2017 Reading Recap”

  1. I loved the Little House books!! I really liked it because my real name is Laura and I could relate a lot to her. :D My mom used to read them to me like back in first and second grade!

    Have you watched Series of Unfortunate Events on Netflix with Neil Patrick Harris? He’s so good in it!

    I really liked Modern Romance a lot!

    1. We just finished watching Series of Unfortunate Events last week! I really liked the books so I was excited for the series, and I really like NPH (is that a thing calling him that? Lol oh well if not) in that!

      Yay, so glad you liked Modern Romance!

      1. OMG wasn’t it great? I liked how they portrayed Lemony Snicket. I think it’s better than the books actually. Daniel Handler wrote the screenplay and wanted to fix some inconsistencies that were in the series. I can’t wait for the next season!

        I also can’t wait for Stranger Things!!

  2. Girl, you’re on a roll! My reading is slow compared to other years because I’ve been trying to do more gaming, but I may need to read some new books (or re-read old ones) soon! I love re-reading books because they are easy reads, you do catch things you haven’t caught previously, and it’s like being united with an old friend :D

    That hay rolling scene — I remember that! I love the Little House books, but I actually prefer the later half of the series! Give me “The Long Winter”, “Little Town on the Prarie”, and “These Happy Golden Years”, please XD

    That Neil Patrick Harris book is intriguing! I like how he styled his biography into a choose your own adventure book. The cover alone cracked me up LOL

  3. You’re on a roll this month! Good job on being 15% completed with your challenge so far.

    It boggles me sometimes when people commit to something big (like going on that 2500+ mile hike) without doing much research. The poor research will lead to poor decisions. Power to her for doing what she could to beat the odds, though!

    Sometimes, I would wonder how people would deal with some of the stuff we normally deal with back in the day (eg. How women deal with their cycles). NPH is one of a kind. I love how he’s always witty with his words and actions.

    I started picking up Polish Your Poise with Madame Chic lately. It’s a great book so far!

  4. Well done on all the interesting reads so far in 2017! You’re on fire – I wish I could read as fast and as much as you! I just feel like I don’t have time. But I do put in time to read before bed every night now. It does in the end come to how fast/slow I am that day ahaha. I’ve not heard any of these books but Little House looks really interesting.

    The only book I’ve read this month was the poetry book my friend got me! Milk and honey. It’s really emotionally captivating. :P I would recommend!

  5. wowie! a 15%. I finished about a 10% :(
    NPH autobiography? Nice! I am yet to watch a Series of Unfortunate Events but I have heard a lot of praise.

    I read a Colleen Hoover book, The Sun is also a Star and The Winner’s Curse Series. Not much but I loved these books to the core!

  6. I wish I was reading as I’m playing video games heavily now, but I try to read, it is just lately, I can’t. My meds need to be adjusted and I need to get more stable now….but they seem like great books! I love NPH, a lot! He seems like a outstanding individual!

  7. You’re off to a great start! Nice job on reading 8 books already! I saw that Wild was a movie, but I don’t think I realized that it was based off of a book. That’s too bad it didn’t live up to the hype. The concept sounds interesting, but that can be rough when the main character comes off as stupid!

    I don’t think I ever read the Little House on the Prairie books when I was young. That’s nice to be able to read a childhood favorite though! I also think it’s funny how NPH made his autobiography a “choose your own adventure”. That sounds really fun to read!

    The only thing I’ve read so far are graphic novels, specifically One Punch Man and the Last Airbender. I’m especially enjoying the Last Airbender ones because they extend the story from the TV series :)

  8. I actually have not read Little House on the Prairie! But when I still had a lot of books (especially those from when I was in early high school – I think you’d say junior high), I used to go back and read them. Lots of easy reads, but still as enjoyable as I remember them, even though I grew well out of the target audience.

    That Neil Patrick Harris book looks hilarious, I love how the cover even resembles those old choose-your-own-adventure books. 😆 I think I would definitely give that a read. Autobiographies can be pretty interesting, it really shows the personality of the author. One of my favourites that I read was Mao’s Last Dancer by Li Cunxin, the male ballerina. It was a great read and I’d recommend it if you haven’t read it yet!

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