Realism and Resetting Goals: January Wrap Up and February TBR

Hello friends! It’s been a hot minute since I’ve updated here (which means my New Year Resolution is not going so well)! But never fear, I am back with a (very) belated January Wrap Up and February TBR list!

In January, I finally finished “Dangerous to Know” by Tasha Alexander. You can read my review here, but long story short – I loved it. Shocker, I know. (In case you haven’t caught on yet, I Love Lady Emily). I also finished “Bird Box” by Josh Malerman, a book choice inspired by Netflix and my soon-to-be sister in law and, a book that did not disappoint. Check out the review here.

Lastly, I began reading the next installment in the Lady Emily series, “A Crimson Warning” by Tasha Alexander. I’m ~about~ halfway through, and I am loving it – again, shocker – but I’ll save my commentary for the review.

I made it through approximately two and a half of the six books on my initial January TBR list, which is, obviously, not very much. I’ve spent a little time beating myself up over it, but I’ve also spent some time reminding myself of the importance of resetting and readjusting goals. I’m a big fan of goal-setting – I have so many lists and journals and honestly, it’s almost embarrassing how much I try to plan things.

In January, a lot happened. My boyfriend spent a week visiting me, we got engaged (!!!), and then I caught the worst illness of my adult life. Seriously, it was the goddamn plague – sinus infection, respiratory problems, a double ear infection that clogged my ears for two weeks – I wanted to die. I h a t e being sick. All I want to do is lay in bed and sleep until my body can get back to its old self, but of course, I can’t do that. So I suffered through a few weeks of work with a bad cough, some clogged ears, and a box of tissues in tow, and I laid in bed and rested when I got home. Very little reading was done because I was just too sick to focus.

Even this post was put on the back burner for a while. I’m a week behind on when I originally planned to post this, but what matters is that it’s written, edited, and live. Another goal of mine was to be nicer to myself this year – this is me practicing that by forgiving myself for falling behind. (But don’t be fooled, I have been very stressed about this!)

That being said, let’s dive into February!

I have a couple books that I definitely intend to finish by the end of the month and a couple that I’d like to get to – but if I can’t, no big deal! Let’s begin.

1. “A Crimson Warning” by Tasha Alexander

My January TBR has this book description since it’s a rollover from last month (so check it out if you haven’t already!)

As I said earlier, I’m about halfway through this book. I’m enjoying it, as I do all Lady Emily books, but I’ll save my commentary for the review post.

2. “Death in the Floating City” by Tasha Alexander

Again, this book was mentioned in my January TBR! It’s another rollover from January – and a library book, so I definitely want to finish this one before it’s due at the end of the month!

3. “The Silent Patient” – Alex Michaelides

Synopsis: “Alicia Berenson’s life is seemingly perfect. A famous painter married to an in-demand fashion photographer, she lives in a grand house with big windows overlooking a park in one of London’s most desirable areas. One evening her husband Gabriel returns home late from a fashion shoot, and Alicia shoots him five times in the face, and then never speaks another word.

Alicia’s refusal to talk, or give any kind of explanation, turns a domestic tragedy into something far grander, a mystery that captures the public imagination and casts Alicia into notoriety. The price of her art skyrockets, and she, the silent patient, is hidden away from the tabloids and spotlight at the Grove, a secure forensic unit in North London.

Theo Faber is a criminal psychotherapist who has waited a long time for the opportunity to work with Alicia. His determination to get her to talk and unravel the mystery of why she shot her husband takes him down a twisting path into his own motivations—a search for the truth that threatens to consume him….”

Last month, a friend of mine generously gifted me a three-month subscription to the Book of the Month, and this was the January pick! Obviously, I love mysteries. This title stood out to me for its genre, but also because it’s a mystery in a time period I haven’t spent a lot of time in – speaking in a literary sense, of course. I’ve been spending a lot of time in the Victorian era with Lady Emily and Amelia Peabody for months now, so it’ll be nice to get a little more modern!

Bonus! “Black Mad Wheel” – Josh Malerman

Synopsis: “The Danes—the band known as the “Darlings of Detroit”—are washed up and desperate for inspiration, eager to once again have a number one hit. That is, until an agent from the US Army approaches them. Will they travel to an African desert and track down the source of a mysterious and malevolent sound? Under the guidance of their frontman, Philip Tonka, the Danes embark on a harrowing journey through the scorching desert—a trip that takes Tonka into the heart of an ominous and twisted conspiracy.

Meanwhile, in a nondescript Midwestern hospital, a nurse named Ellen tends to a patient recovering from a near-fatal accident. The circumstances that led to his injuries are mysterious—and his body heals at a remarkable rate. Ellen will do the impossible for this enigmatic patient, who reveals more about his accident with each passing day.

Part Heart of Darkness, part Lost, Josh Malerman’s breathtaking new novel plunges us into the depths of psychological horror, where you can’t always believe everything you hear.”

This is a bonus read that I’d love to get to, but realistically, I might not have time this month. (We are halfway through February, after all). This is a novel by the same author of “Bird Box” and, honestly, 100% not something I’d normally pick up. But I really enjoyed his style of writing in the inspiration for the Netflix hit, and I need to branch out from Victorian mysteries, so here’s hoping I’ll make time!

There you have it! My January Wrap Up and February TBR list – a week later than planned, but hey, I’m doing my best. Here’s to another month of good books and going easy on yourself when you fall behind on your goals!

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