Hey fellow book reading Mamas! If you are joining me in my 52/52 challenge I have got some updates and reviews for you. If you do not know what challenge I am referring to go here for my review on how I did last year and what I will do this year differently and read all about it.

My goal for the month of January was 4 books. I am currently at 2 and a half, I was awfully busy this month getting this purdy blog refreshed and rearranging my house for my mom to move in, so I am proud of my number actually.My goal is to catch up a bit in February when everything calms down.

Now on to the good stuff. I really enjoyed the books I finished, but I had a few I set down this month too. After my reviews for the good ones, I will be sure to share about which books I set down and why.

First up,

The Christmas Train by David Baldacci

I have never read David Baldacci before, so I am not sure how this compares to his other writing, but it does make me want to explore more of his books. I would call this a beach read for the winter time or a snowed-in day read. The Christmas Train is easy flowing and just suspenseful enough to keep you reading. There is enough twists in it, but the plot isn’t so thick that you have to do a lot of thinking.

This book is about a man who has lost his zeal for writing. An ex-journalist turned fluff piece writer gets the opportunity to do something he has always wanted to do. It just so happens he is somewhat forced to do it as well given the circumstances. It’s not war reporting like he used to, but it’s enough to keep him interested.

It’s also enough to keep me interested. Baldacci has a way with words to pull you into the story and have you imagining what the scenery and situations look like. From desert to snow to the turmoil in the train you want to know more and what will happen. While it’s called The Christmas Train it only has an undertone of Christmas and mentions here and there, so don’t limit yourself to Christmas time to read this book!

Honestly, I want to do a cross-country trek by train now that I have read this book although, I would probably make some stops and get out along the way versus the main character in this book.The idea of staying in the train and not exploring seems a bit boring and misses the idea of traveling the country. (Any Big Bang Theory fans out there remember when Sheldon tried out every hot dog stand on his trip but never actually visited the cities? Yea I couldn’t do that)

Next is the book

Into Thin Air by Jon Krakauer. I wouldn’t have personally picked this book, it was a book that fell in my lap. Literally. I told my husband I needed to figure out which book I was going to read next and he tossed this book in my lap! He is aspiring to climb Mt. Rainier someday and read this for inspiration.

After reading this book I highly recommend you DO NOT give this to your wife if you aspire to climb any kind of mountain! While I am well aware Mt. Rainier will be nothing like this, it doesn’t help me feel any better about his aspirations. In all honesty though, I do fully support him I just don’t want him to climb Mt Everest now.

This book is a true story about a reporter who climbed Mt Everest during one of the biggest tragedies on the mountain. He introduces you to his fellow climbers and others he meets along the way. The whole tragedy unfolds as he is there and his hunches and mistakes are shared as well.

This book was hard for me to read emotionally. You know there is a tragedy about to unfold yet you hope it doesn’t actually happen the whole time. He includes a dedication at the front of the book to those who did not survive the climb and as I meet people in the book I keep glancing to the front of the book hoping they’re names aren’t there. Of course, some of them are, making reading about them and their families difficult. It is a bit of interesting history though so I am glad to have read about it. I don’t expect to pick up any books like that again anytime soon.

The book I am halfway done reading is called

I will! by Thom S. Rainer. This year my church is recommending a book and month and providing it! So I thought I would incorporate that to my monthly reading as well. I will be reviewing this book in my monthly 52/52 review in February.

This month I also set down two books. I highly recommend the practice of setting down books. It gives you permission to move on to something you really enjoy and not force yourself to read something you don’t like. Forcing yourself to finish reading a book is a good path for burn out and book rut. So if you haven’t done this, start! Just as much as good books remind you of what you like to read, books you set down remind you of what you don’t like in a book.

The books I set down this month were

Mother Teresa’s Secret Fire

To be honest it was hard to set down the book on Mother Teresa. Particularly since I have been wanting to learn more about her and while the book was ok, it was just too dry for my taste. I hope to find another one in the coming months, but I decided setting down that book was for the best.

This One is Mine by Maria Semple. I picked up this one because I really liked another book by this author called Where’d You Go Bernadette, but this one was an easy one to set down. The storyline of the book is about a woman married to a man with lots of money yet finds herself slightly unhappy. She meets a random musician on a drive she takes to avoid the nanny. His inappropriate behavior has her intrigued and she is putty in his hands. I can tell you I don’t need that drama in my life!

So there you have it my reading journey this month and hopefully some books that will inspire you!

So what books have you read and which ones have you set down?


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