What I Read in January 2023 - And Other Adventures Embroidery Co

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What I Read in January 2023

January 31, 2023

Books Read in January 2023 by And Other Adventures Embroidery Co


It's Book Review Day!  This month I read a 4 books.  I loved two of them and I am having such conflicted feelings about two of them.


Remarkably Bright Creatures - Shelby Van Pelt (A)

Well, this was an absolutely delightful listen.  It’s about unlikely friendships and the families that we create for ourselves. One of the main characters is an octopus named Marcellus.  And while his antics and personality kind of steal the show, the majority of the story is not actually about him.  It did take me a little bit to get engrossed in the story, but around the halfway marked, I was hooked and did not want to stop listening. Highly recommend this book, especially if you are looking for some heartfelt characters to root for. 4.5/5 stars


The Lost Girls of Willowbrook – Ellen Marie Wiseman (B)

I have such mixed feelings about this book. The book gets extra points in that it tells a story about a real time, place, and population in history that needs to have its story told.  It follows real events that occurred from 1947 to 1987 at Willowbrook State School for the intellectually challenged on NY’s Staten Island.  Geraldo Riviera did a revealing documentaryin 1971 that brought to light the real-life horrors of this under-funded and badly mismanaged institution. It is clear that the author has done her research. Unfortunately, I found the writing and character development to be less than stellar.  At times, it felt like a bad horror novel that took away from the real story.  I’m glad I read it because I was unaware of the real history and institution that it referred to, but I am also so glad that I never have to read it again. Not for the faint of heart. 2.5/5 stars


Good Morning, Monster: A Therapist Shares Five Heroic Stories of Emotional Recovery – Catherine Gildiner  (A)

Okay… so I loved this book!  Which to be honest, surprises the heck out of me.  This book was chosen by one of the two book clubs I am in.  And when it was first picked, I was not excited about it.  Books about therapy are usually just not my jam.  But this one is little different.  The author has chosen 5 of her patients and tells a behind the scenes look into their sessions, illustrating how the process works as well as uncovering the real source of suffering that they each had work through. 

But this audiobook – I found it to be fascinating, harrowing and full of thought provoking questions.  I love books that change my mind of something or give me such profound insight into a perspective that I would never be able to incur in real life.  While parts of this book are very difficult to get through because of their horror/trauma, I was ultimately left with an uplifting message and feeling that the power of the human spirit is amazing and the goodness of people will ultimately prevail.  This was such a powerful listen.  5/5 stars


From Scratch: A Memoir of Love, Sicily, and Finding Home – Tembi Locke (A)

Ugh… this book.  So many mixed feelings.  Another book club pick, we read this because of the Netflix series that we had not yet all watched. I did not necessarily love the reading experience of this one and would not recommend reading it over the holidays. I feel like this book was mis-marketed about a romantic love story.  Because while it has elements of that, it is ultimately a book about grief. It is slow and sad.  And having experienced grief in my own life, I know that how one grieves is anything but linear and is always unique to the person.  So while I appreciate her grief process and putting it all out there into a book, I did not find her to be relatable or enjoy her “voice” so to speak.  I hate saying that because I have mad respect for anyone who puts such a personal snapshot of their life out into the world.  However, with all of that said, I did thoroughly enjoy the book club conversations sparked by the book.  2.5/5 stars  

B – Physical Book

A - Audiobook

As always, you can see a consolidated list of all my book reviews HERE.

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