What I Read- January 2023

January was such a good reading month- I loved each of the four books I read, but they are all completely different so hopefully there is something for everyone in this list! I was happy to start the new year by making more time to read most nights before bed. I think I’ve mentioned this before, but I am the kind of person who when I get into a book, I just want to read it non-stop. Obviously that isn’t super practical in my day to day life as I don’t have a ton of free time so it is always a goal of mine to be more consistent with reading even just for 20 minutes a night. Did you start the new year with any reading goals?

Here’s a summary of the four books I read (and listened to in the case of Spare) this month- I’d love to know if you’ve read any of them too!

The Marriage Portrait– LOVED this historical fiction novel based on the life of Lucrezia de Medici. Lucrezia is the third daughter of the grand duke of Florence, Cosimo and she has always been different than her siblings, intrigued by art and the wild animals kept in the Palazzo. After her sister dies unexpectedly before her wedding to the Duke of Ferrara, Lucrezia enters into a marriage agreement in her place. Lucrezia leaves her home with her new husband Alfonso to his court where she doesn’t receive the warmest welcome. This novel was amazing and I especially loved it because of our recent trip to Florence! I’ve heard great things about Maggie O’Farrell’s other novel Hamnet so it will be on my list to be read soon!

Spare– I know me and just about everyone in the world have been talking about this one- Spare is Prince Harry’s memoir and I couldn’t wait to start it the day it came out! I thought listening to it was such a unique and great experience as Harry reads it himself and you can hear his emotion. If you are at all interested, I’d definitely recommend it! My major takeaway from reading would be sadness- for Harry as a boy who lost his mother and also sadness that the brotherly relationship I thought existed maybe didn’t exist in the way I thought it did.

The Villa– I decided to read The Villa after seeing Becca from Bad On Paper podcast describe it as a combo of White Lotus, Daisy Jones and Verity. While I haven’t read Verity, I really liked The Villa- it’s what I call a thriller “light”- definitely not scary, but very suspenseful. The Villa follows two story lines, Emily and Chess, two best friends who happen to be published authors of very different books and Mari, a teenager in the 70’s. Their stories intersect after Emily and Chess decide to go on vacation in Italy and stay in the home Mari wrote her famous horror novel in- a home where a murder also occurred. During their stay, Emily finds out things about the fateful summer Mari stayed there. Both the current and past story lines are filled with suspense!

Age of Vice- This book is unlike anything I’ve read so I’m having a hard time describing it. Age of Vice is the first book in what is set to be a trilogy set in India and tells the story of three primary characters, Sunny, the heir to a powerful (but dangerous, Mafia like) family, Ajay, his extremely faithful servant born into poverty and Neda, a well educated woman and journalist. The book weaves effortlessly through the same events from each characters perspective giving the reader a full look at things. Amazon is describing it as part crime thriller and part family saga which both sound right, but personally I’m having a hard time labeling it. I was very hooked to this book- though you should know some parts are very upsetting- and definitely plan to read the future books in the series!

What did you read in January? Did you read Spare? As always I love your recommendations!

xoxo, Jenna

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