Tuesday, February 06, 2018

What I Read | January

A look back at the books I read last month. #ASGbookshelf #whatIread

January. A Shakespeare plays readathon. Books that made me laugh. Books that made me cry. A few books that made me roll my eyes and want to throw them into a wall. Overall, it was a pretty good month as I devoured twenty-five pieces of literature. That's thousands of pages and God knows how many words and I made a few interesting discoveries during the month...

1. My tenth-grade literature teacher would be proud of me because the Marc Antony monologue from Julius Caesar is still quite fresh in my mind after having to memorize and recite it in front of my class. P.S. Reading and/or recitation in front of a classroom full of people is a nightmare for an anxious introvert. It was then, it still is now.

2. If you don't know how to read Shakespeare the way it was intended and are not able to pick up on the subtext, you'll have missed all the adult humor (i.e. dick jokes) in his various plays. The man really had a foul imagination, but it would likely be considered tame in this century.

3. After re-reading it this month, I now remember why I was traumatized the first time I read Peter Pan. There is a part in the beginning of the book that talks about how mothers have to go into their children's' rooms and "tidy up their minds" at night. When I read this book years ago as a teenager, the idea that my mother was rummaging through my head at night TERRIFIED me. I'm sure I don't have to elaborate...

4. Just because an author is renowned and celebrated doesn't mean you have to enjoy every piece they write. It doesn't mean the book has gone over your head or that you missed the point. Sometimes, you just don't click with a book and that is ok.

Now, on to the books!

Must Read

Herding Cats by Sarah Andersen | ★★★★★
Sarah valiantly struggles with waking up in the morning, being productive, and dealing with social situations. Sarah's Scribbles is the comic strip that follows her life, finding humor in living as an adulting introvert that is at times weird, awkward, and embarrassing. - Goodreads description

Every thought I've ever had as an artist, an introvert, a cat lover, a HUMAN... has been illustrated by Sarah Andersen in this book. Love it so much. I laughed and cried the whole way through.


Scrappy Little Nobody by Anna Kendrick | ★★★★
A collection of humorous autobiographical essays by the Academy Award-nominated actress and star of Up in the Air and Pitch Perfect.

Even before she made a name for herself on the silver screen starring in films like Pitch PerfectUp in the AirTwilight, and Into the Woods, Anna Kendrick was unusually small, weird, and “10 percent defiant.”

At the ripe age of thirteen, she had already resolved to “keep the crazy inside my head where it belonged. Forever. But here’s the thing about crazy: It. Wants. Out.” In Scrappy Little Nobody, she invites readers inside her brain, sharing extraordinary and charmingly ordinary stories with candor and winningly wry observations.

With her razor-sharp wit, Anna recounts the absurdities she’s experienced on her way to and from the heart of pop culture as only she can—from her unusual path to the performing arts (Vanilla Ice and baggy neon pants may have played a role) to her double life as a middle-school student who also starred on Broadway to her initial “dating experiments” (including only liking boys who didn’t like her back) to reviewing a binder full of butt doubles to her struggle to live like an adult woman instead of a perpetual “man-child.”

Enter Anna’s world and follow her rise from “scrappy little nobody” to somebody who dazzles on the stage, the screen, and now the page—with an electric, singular voice, at once familiar and surprising, sharp and sweet, funny and serious (well, not that serious). - Goodreads description 

Anna Kendrick is muh girl. I love her witty sense of humor and the sarcasm that seems to spill out of her and this book is full of it. I learned so much about her that I did not know and every moment was worth it. Love!

Other mentions for the month of January:
Julius Caesar by William Shakespeare  | ★★★★★
The Fellowship of the Ring by J.R.R. Tolkien  | ★★★★
The Light Between Oceans by M.L. Stedman  | ★★★★
A Midsummer Night's Dream by William Shakespeare  | ★★★★
The Martian by Andy Weir  | ★★★★
The Taming of the Shrew by William Shakespeare  | ★★★★
What Unites Us by Dan Rather  | ★★★★
Peter Pan by J.M. Barrie  | ★★★★
A Precautionary Tale by Philip Ackerman-Leist  | ★★★★
Great Expectations by Charles Dickens  | ★★★★
Beasts of Extraordinary Circumstance by Ruth Emmie Lang  | ★★★★
Artemis by Andy Weir  | ★★★
Antony and Cleopatra by William Shakespeare  | ★★★
Solo: A Memoir of Hope by Hope Solo  | ★★★
When Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya Menon  | ★★★
The End We Start From by Megan Hunter  | ★★★
Great Classic Love Stories by various authors  | ★★★
Much Ado About Nothing by William Shakespeare  | ★★★
Henry V by William Shakespeare  | ★★★
King Lear by William Shakespeare  | ★★★
Richard III by William Shakespeare  | ★★★
The Tempest by William Shakespeare  | ★★☆☆
American Gods by Neil Gaiman  | ★★☆☆

What did you enjoy reading last month?

The post What I Read | January first appeared on A Simpler Grace. If you enjoyed this article, please feel free to share it with your friends! Don't forget to join the ASG Tribe!


  1. I always love seeing what you are reading! I should go back and read books we read in highschool. I didn't pay much attention back then. I bet Id like them a lot more now as an adult LOL . My boys and I were thinking about starting the Hobbit and LOTR books together.

  2. I loved Anna's book! It was one of my favorite reads from last year! I need to check out Herding Cats, I feel like it's something I'd relate well to.

  3. I loved this list! Also what the what--dick humor in Shakespeare?! I'll have to go back and read it all now. What a fun fact :)

    Also I would love to read Anna Kendrick's book--she's so friggin adorable and relatable and quirky. Thank you for sharing all of these awesome books--love to see what you are reading always! XO

  4. Wow, 25 in January - good for you! I am nowhere close to that, but I thoroughly enjoyed "The Joy of Less," "The Faith of Christopher Hitchens," "Rachel's Tears," and "So Good They Can't Ignore You" in January. Last one is my "must read."

  5. You have read so many books!! I have a goal of just finishing one this month. I love Anna Kendrick! Now you have me wanting to go back and read Peter Pan....

  6. I'm so envious of those who have time to read haha I feel like I don't even have the time to listen to a book let alone sit down and read one these days! But I'd love to get back into it soon!

  7. Oh god, I love Shakespeare's humor but it's definitely not obvious in terms how he wrote. I love Shakespare; I took two classes on him in college mostly just for fun (I had the same professor for both though and he was great). Titus Andronicus is my favorite tragedy by him, and my favorite comedy is Much Ado About Nothing. I haven't read many of his histories, so I don't know if I have a favorite....

    You read so many books last month though - and a lot of classics too! That's awesome. Great job.


  8. I just started reading the LOTR books last year. Started with The Hobbit and I loved it!

  9. You should read Herding Cats. Sarah did an excellent job on it. :)

  10. I've never heard of any of those books but will have to check them out. :)

  11. Reading is a priority for me but I don't have kids, so that gives me a lot of extra time.

  12. Yes! Shakespeare is full of it. Once I learned how to read it, my jaw dropped. And you should read Anna's book. It's hilarious!

  13. I wish I had taken more Shakespeare classes. Your professor sounds awesome!

  14. I read quite a few Shakespeare pieces in High School and College, but my English might have still been too rudimentary to get the jokes. Must go back :)

  15. Wow, so many great reads! I always tend to read a lot more during the winter but I'm slacking this year. Thanks for all of the suggestions :)

  16. OK you've inspired me to read more this month fosho! I've been dying to read Anna Kendrick's - have to pick that up next!

  17. Hope you are able to find a few that make you want to pick the habit back up again. :)

  18. That's a good point. I'm sure you'll be able to pick them up now. :)

  19. I have been seeing so many Shakespeare reads on your Goodreads and was curious if you were going through them for a challenge. That's pretty impressive that you got through so many. Which was your favorite so far?

  20. Julius Caesar and Romeo & Juliet are two of my faves. :)