Show Us Your Books January 2021

January 12, 2021

It feels so nice to write 2021. Even if things are … more of the same. I’m starting to say, “hey self, stop doomscrolling on your phone at nights and maybe read some of these books? Hm?”

Onto the books! I use the Goodreads rating system, which is:

  • One star: did not like it
  • Two stars: it was ok
  • Three stars: liked it
  • Four stars: really liked it
  • Five stars: it was amazing

I read four books since I last recapped. Two were part of my 2020 total.

Here for It; Or, How to Save Your Soul in America: Essays – R. Eric Thomas.
Thomas wrote a fantastic and hilarious collection of essays about being an outsider. Working-class Black sent to an affluent mostly-white school and ultimately an Ivy League University; a gay man growing up in a conservative church and family. It may seem like a tough read, and there are portions that are little gutpunches, but it’s a really funny collection. Thomas bounces from Baltimore to New York to Philadelphia and back again, growing and changing in spite of himself.

Four stars and I loved the Philadelphia references.

It smelled like biting into that perfect peach you get on that first truly warm day after a long, hard winter. The peach that reminds you, as juices run down your hand, that being alive is generally a good and pleasant thing and you should keep doing it.

R. Eric Thomas – Here For It

Beard Science (Winston Brothers #3) – Penny Reid
Lord help me I keep coming back to this series. This is Cletus’s story of how he falls for the Banana Cake Queen, Jennifer. The romance is hot and there’s the HEA (Happily Ever After), but whatever, can we talk about the drama going on in this little town in Tennessee? Everybody has a metric ton of emotional baggage! And by the time this series wraps up the local biker gang is going to end up heads of an international crime syndicate and the Winstons are going to be multimillionaire philanthropists group-living on a compound with their wives.

Two and a half stars rounded up to three. I’ll probably keep trucking along to see how much the next book’s damsel is in distress

In a Holidaze – Christina Lauren
I put this book on my work Secret Santa wish list and received it just in time for Sloth Week. Mae is 26, working at a job she hates, and living with her mother and brother. For her entire life, her family (even her father) spends Christmas in a cabin in Utah with her parents’ friends from college and their families. It’s Groundhog Day (movie) meets Hallmark Christmas movie as Mae struggles to make the RIGHT decisions to finally make it through the week at the cabin without having to start over. I had to suspend my disbelief at not just the time travel, but the fact that multi-family friendships like this even still exist.

Three and a half stars rounded up to four. There were too many people in the cabin (skip Aaron, Kyle, and the twins, they are inconsequential) and I think there should have been one more reboot but I’m not complaining. I cried at the end because I am a sap. Read this next Sloth Week.

The Book of Delights – Ross Gay
I just finished this one! On his birthday, poet Ross Gay decides to keep a daily journal of delights. Hand written (with a Le Pen, if you’re a pen person) in a notebook. Many of his delights revolve around nature and humans caring for each other. But also: espressos in tiny cups without saucers. Each essay is tiny and he doesn’t include all 365 days so don’t worry about that. It’s also nothing like The Happiness Project or any of the other rich white lady fulfillment authors.

Four stars. It’s a sweet pick-me-up for a tumultuous time.

This caretaking is our default mode and it’s always a lie that convinces us to act or believe otherwise. Always.

RoSS Gay, The Book of Delights

I’m glad I had some solid books to start off the year with.

All of my book lists and reviews are on Goodreads.

This a part of the Show us Your Books linkup from Jana Says and Life According to Steph. If you want to read more bloggers gush about the books they’ve read this month, click the button below and have fun!

Life According to Steph

Other SUYB posts:

April | May

January | February | March | April | May | June | July | August | September | October
February | March | Spring/Summer | September | October | November | Year-end review
January | February | March |April | June | July | August | December
January | February | March | April | May | June | July | August | September | October | November | December

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  • Nadine January 12, 2021 at 2:47 pm

    I started the beard series with the first two books and never finished it. I need to. There is A LOT of drama though, you are right about that! I enjoyed Holidaze, as it wasn’t your typical cheesy Christmas read…but it wasn’t my favorite from CL. I love their older stuff. I had to laugh at rich white lady fulfillment authors. You are right about Happiness Project.

    • Kimberly January 12, 2021 at 7:12 pm

      I did not finish The Happiness Project so maybe it got better but I kept shrieking “She’s rich! She’s rich and doesn’t have a 9-5 job! And hired help!”

  • Jana @ Jana Says January 12, 2021 at 7:43 pm

    I have mixed feelings about Gretchen Rubin but I love your description of her.

    • Kimberly January 13, 2021 at 7:28 pm

      I don’t mind rich people as long as they admit they’re starting at an advantage.

  • ShootingStarsMag January 13, 2021 at 10:39 am

    I gave three stars to In a Holidaze. I definitely preferred the latter portion of the book the best.

    • Kimberly January 13, 2021 at 7:29 pm

      Me too! I think I like when the sad sack main characters start pulling things together.

  • Carly January 13, 2021 at 1:05 pm

    I loved In a Holidaze, but I also was expecting there to be more of the restarting. The Book of Delights sounds like interesting reflections.

    • Kimberly January 13, 2021 at 7:28 pm

      That restart that she avoided happening, should have happened.

  • SMD January 13, 2021 at 5:19 pm

    Le Pen!

    The first sounds really good. I don’t think I’ve heard of Thomas.

    • Kimberly January 13, 2021 at 7:27 pm

      That’s right! You’re a Le Pen person!

  • Laura January 15, 2021 at 11:11 am

    Loved In a Holidaze – It came to me at just the right time, and I was just able to sink on into it. Definitely adding The Book of Delights – everyone could use a good pick me up.