January 2016 Goodreads: Favorite and Most Disappointing Books of the Month

The following are all the books I’ve read this month (excluding graphic novels).

This month’s favorite: 

This was a hard one because I had a few books this month that I really enjoyed. Ultimately I decided to go with “The Nightingale” because the ending was extremely moving and the book as a whole was well written.


The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah; pages:440; genre: Historical Fiction/ Military Fiction; Rating: 5 of 5 handkerchiefs (because you’re going to need them)

This starts in occupied France during the time just before France declared war on Germany. The majority of the story takes place during German occupation of France, in a small village. I’m actually very impressed so far. The author does a great job bringing weaving the idea that both sides were young and wanted to return to their families. It deals with the stress the Great War put on families and how that transformed the way this country dealt with the German threat. I’m drawn to books from this period in time, but I’ve never read anything from the French perspective. I also wanted to read this specific book because one of my best friends is from the region mentioned in the book and I’ve visited her family there a few times now. This book was great and I highly recommend it! [AP and TBR]

Most disappointing book of the month: 


Nerd Do Well: A small boy’s journey to becoming a big kid by Simon Pegg; pages:356; genre: Humor/ Autobiography; Rating: 2 of 5 Star Trek Figurines

This is the autobiography of the British comedian Simon Pegg, who brought us Hot Fuzz and Shawn of the Dead, two of my favorite comedies. Pegg openly admits he’s not really excited about writing this book, but he’s been asked enough times that he decided he must. He weaves in an alternative story of himself as a futuristic batman and his robot butler, so this is most definitely not like any other biography I’ve read to date. He also plays the iconic Scotty from the newly rebooted Star Trek series (which is perfect casting). His subtle humor and perfect timing make me spew things from my nose any time I watch one of his movies, but I’m not completely sure it translates to print. Review coming soon. [TBR] See my complete review HERE.

Complete “Read” List


The Fold by Peter Clines; pages:384; genre: Science Fiction/ Thriller; Rating: 5 of 5 Alternative Dimensions

This book follows an underachieving “Sherlock” type main character enlisted by his childhood best friend to investigate a secret military research project that allows people to step through a portal and end up anywhere in the universe (like stargate). They repeat multiple times how it is NOT like Stargate but is something else all together (it’s totally like Stargate). He gives an excellent reason as to why he choose an ordinary life over the exceptional life his mental gifts could afford him. Several science-y sections that were a little more detailed than the story really required, but was fast paced and an easy read with interesting characters. This is expected to be the first in a series. If you like the X-files or Doctor Who (or any of the Stargate spinoffs), this is a good book to try out. [TBR]


What If?: Serious scientific answers to absurd hypothetical questions by Randall Munroe; pages:320; genre: Humor/ Science; Rating: 2 of 5 Theoretical Monsters

This book is by the same person who brings us the hilarious XKCD webcomic. I’m a huge fan of the comic and this book has been in my TBR since it was slated to be published. Parts were funny, but I read the ebook version on my tablet and the formating had horrible issues. Every few pages within in every chapter slowly shifted the text to where I couldn’t read the right side of the page. The content was pretty funny, but I’d recommend the physical book on this one. [TBR]


Orlando by Virginia Woolf; pages:333; genre: Historical Fiction/ Gender Issues, Rating: 3 of 5 Swashbuckling Pirates

This book is a historical piece that starts with a youth of noble birth and his experience with love and loss. He experiences life and attempts his hand at running his estate and writing. He has an unusually long life and due to an unspecified illness awakes as a woman (not a spoiler, it’s on the backcover). She then views the same world through the eyes of a noble woman and what this means for her estate now that she’s no longer male and how she’s treated by others. This was a great book. It’s well written, if a bit long-winded and confusing at times. Having some time to reflect on the story after completing it makes me like this novel even more. [classic]



The Last Colony (Old Man’s War #3) by John Scalzi; pages:320; genre: Science Fiction/ Space Opera; Rating: 4 of 5 Modified Humans

This is the third book in a military based space opera. A government unit from Earth keeps it’s home planet safe through lack of knowledge, but needs soldiers to do so. It offers everyone over the age of 65 a trade, an unknown way to make them young again, with the knowledge they can never go back to earth. This book focuses on two main characters from the previous books and a new colony. Political drama, check. Military battles, check. Space explosions, check. Modified humans and space aliens, check. [counts to TBR]


Ulysses by James Joyce: ; pages:820; genre: Classics/ Literature; Rating: 2 of 5, Simmering Kidneys

Started off pretty good, but fizzled near the end. Some chapters are easier to get through than others and his description of the world around him is one of the oddest I’ve read. For me, the stream of consciousness style writing and strange way of describing things just got to be too much. Snot green sea, breakfast is smells of urine, and women are described as having swaying utters. [counts to TBR and Classic]


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