January – the beginning of the year, the bane of my existence. 😅 For some reason, Januaries have been consistently exhausting for me throughout the years. And this year is no exception. I resigned from my previous job and moved my life halfway across the globe – it was crazy. I wanted no fuss and quick reads this month to somehow balance it out, and those were exactly what I finished.
This January 2022, I was able to finish 6 books:
- Beautiful Bastard (Beautiful Bastard, #1) by Christina Lauren – 3.5/5☕ [short review]
- Beautiful Bitch (Beautiful Bastard, #1.5) by Christina Lauren – 3/5☕
- Beautiful Stranger (Beautiful Bastard, #2) by Christina Lauren – 4/5☕ [short review]
- Beautiful Bombshell (Beautiful Bastard, #2.5) by Christina Lauren – 4.5/5☕
- Beautiful Player (Beautiful Bastard, #3) by Christina Lauren – 3.5/5☕
- Migraine: Inside a World of Invisible Pain by Maria Konnikova – 4/5☕
This is the year that I gave Christina Lauren’s Beautiful Bastard series a chance. I saw the whole series audiobook on Scribd and said to myself, “why not?”. There was some brief moments in the previous years that I tried to start this series and the first book really irked me off – much like what I felt when I read Tangled for the first time. But once I got over the initial discomfort over Beautiful Bastard (basically, the beginning of this book was the perfect formula for an office SH lawsuit), it got better. I’ve read 3 full novels and 2 novellas from the series so far – and out of these, my favorite was definitely Beautiful Player which featured Will Sumner and a “bombshell bookworm” (lol, I know 😂) Hanna Bergstrom. I didn’t know what exactly to call this but I live for tropes like this (see blurb in case you know the exact name of this trope and let me know please). I just didn’t like the initial couple in this series, I guess, because even Beautiful Stranger (I feel) was a hundred times better than the first book. A couple of searches revealed that Beautiful Bastard was another Twilight fanfic titled “The Office” that eventually got published – so that might explain the weird panty-ripping fetish 😂.
This also marks the year that I found out that Christina Lauren is actually two persons. Yep, two best friends and writing partners: Christina Hobbs and Lauren Billings. It was very interesting information that caught me off guard.
On a more serious note, I also finished a quick non-fiction that I randomly saw in Audible. It’s called Migraine – which was a fascinating little book. It was so informative – I learned a lot about migraine reading this than all those years googling about it. I suffer from occasional head-splitting migraines that are really hard to manage and, even now, I still don’t know what the exact triggers are. But the bottom line is: there is still so much we don’t know about this. I hope a scientific breakthrough could occur soon considering a lot of people are affected by this.
What I’m reading right now
It’s already more than halfway in February and I’ve started (and still haven’t finished) a couple of books (lol, what’s new 😅). Here are the books I’m actively reading right now:
- Intimacies by Lucy Caldwell – This was a random find when I visited Waterstones this weekend and damn did I feel lucky I discovered Lucy Caldwell. Intimacies is a short story collection penned by someone who was born in Belfast (where I am right now!). I figured this could be a great way to introduce me to Northen Irish literature but I didn’t expect to find an exciting female author with such an interesting writing style (and in short story format, nonetheless!). There’s just something about the way she writes and I am hooked. The third story, “People Tell You Everything”, is a favorite of mine so far – which touches briefly on several (personally) hard-hitting topics: a love lost, loneliness, the insecurity of aging and not knowing what to do, belonging. Exactly the kind of story I would want to read and ~feel~. I am excited to pore through this collection and then some.
- Lost Connections: Uncovering the Real Causes of Depression – and the Unexpected Solutions by Johann Hari – Clown me all you like 🤡 but I am still finishing this. This was a carryover from January that was a carry over from December 😂. I’ve learned a lot and understood a lot reading this book and I think I really benefited from reading this slowly. The bit about how sometimes the things that made it possible for someone with childhood trauma to survive may end up slowly destroying them in the long run made me so sad and the “many modern forms of captivity” bit was surprising to realize – a lot hard-hitting insights that I haven’t even considered before and, in a way, really sheds light to understanding how to heal properly. There is really great value in breaking down something into more digestible pieces, as Johann Hari’s presentation technique here did.
- The 5 Love Languages: The Secret to Love that Lasts by Gary Chapman – Cheesy for me to be reading this but I’ve been curious about this topic for as long as my close friends brought it up years ago. I honestly didn’t get it before but upon reading this, I can see how this could work and how effectively it could sustain “love” in a relationship. It makes sense. Anyway, I’m expecting to finish this any day now. ✨
Overall, I think the past month was not that bad. I honestly finished all the books I’ve mentioned through audiobook as it allowed me to do all the tasks I’ve set out this month. I was even able to finish a book on my 28-hour flight to Belfast, so that’s great for me. Not really planning on anything specific for February but here’s to hoping for a great reading experience for the remaining days of this month. 🌞