Recap of January books read

Books read

Here are the books I consumed this month and what I thought of each. I’d love to hear about your reads in the comments. What did you like, what did you not like, should I add it to my To Be Read?

Black Cake 

Charmaine Wilkerson does an exquisite job of piecing together an intergenerational story spanning multiple continents and cultures. The intricate detail of the book made it like a complicated not, the reader receives one piece at a time with each pull until the storylines are fully laid out in front of you by the end of the book. So happy that I made this my January Book of the Month.

Atlas of the Heart by Brene Brown
Atlas of the Heart is Brene Brown’s newest book on human connection.

Atlas of the Heart: Mapping Meaningful Connection and the Language of Human Experience

Y’all already know, I will read anything Brene Brown writes. This is no different, although it was a bit of a different format from her other books. The full-color coffee table-ready book is an actual map through emotions that make up the human experience, followed by a hypothesis on how we connect and a dip into the data, as only Brene Brown can do. Bonus points if you head over to her Unlocking Us, a podcast that, over the summer, included Brene’s twin sisters and they all worked through the book together. It’s like an IRL book club and I loved it.


No self-respecting Philly-ite would turn down an opportunity to listen to Will Smith narrate his own autobiography, Will. I personally purchased Audible’s deluxe membership for a month to get to it early. It has everything, from his childhood, to the beginnings of hip hop, to the Fresh Prince days, a move to the West Coast and movie fame, his relationships, his parenting, his finding himself amid the fame and doing the work to heal, Will holds back very little. I won’t fangirl for another sentence, so let’s just leave it at: Go buy the book.   

Malibue Rising
Malibu Rising is my latest read from Taylor Jenkins Reid.

Malibu Rising

Speaking of fangirling, this book by Taylor Jenkins Reid. I was recently informed, after already reading two of her novels, Daisy Jones and the Six and The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo, that Reid weaves in characters from her other novels, or, perhaps, she chooses a character from a previous novel and explores their story, depending on how her creative process works. Either way, I LOVE LOVE it. So much so that I plan to re-read her books and suss out the interlocking characters like it’s a game of CLUE. Feel free to check in on this progress, as we all know I have the best-laid plans when it comes to books, but am easily distracted by the next shiny book cover!  

Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World that Can’t Stop Talking

This nonfiction book by Susan Cain truly helped me to embrace and realize a piece of myself. As someone who needs downtime after peopling, I identify highly with the introverted ways of individuals. The way that this is written is so accepting, as Cain points out, in a world that highly values a loud presence who makes herself known. (Note to anyone who knows me IRL: I am, indeed, a loud presence who makes herself known, when I have to or want to be.) So I deeply appreciated the nuances behind those needs to be at home, be by myself, think about issues from a differing perspective and so much more. Honestly, just go read it.

What books did you read in January?

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