What to read in January 2024

Open book in front of a stack of hardback books on wooden table with a turquoise background.

I’m calling this month a draw. The goal was to read two books: True Biz by Sara Nović and Demon Copperhead by Barbara Kingsolver. Technically, I finished True Biz but I can’t say the same for Demon Copperhead.

True Biz by Sara Nović

I read this book in April 2022 when it was on Reese’s Book Club list. I liked the book. It opened my eyes to the deaf world and gave me a good understanding for what those with hearing impairments deal with on a daily basis.  

The story was good too. I made it through the book in a weekend as Charlie’s journey was a page turner. And the various subplots and side characters kept the pace moving.

I considered rereading the book, but opted not to after I saw how long the second book was that I was slated to read.

Demon Copperhead by Barbara Kingsolver

This was a DNF or did not finish. In the past, I’ve powered through books whether I like them or not. For 2024, I’ve decided if I’m not into the book, I don’t have to finish it. It was a tough decision. I know firsthand how much time and effort goes into writing a book.

Kingsolver is an excellent storyteller, that is unquestioned. Her prose and attention to detail is interesting and engaging. But after Damon, the poor (both figuratively and literally) main character, was hit by so many challenges, I couldn’t take it anymore. I read through chapter 45 and skimmed a few more chapters before I put the book down.

The reason I stopped reading where I did is because up to that point, Damon didn’t have much control of his life. His father was already dead when he was born to a mother with a drug addiction. The foster system failed him. School used him for his athletic prowess. He fell through the cracks of the medical system.

But when Damon was old enough to make his own decisions, he made his problems worse. It’s definitely realistic and compelling, but it’s a cautionary tale that I couldn’t finish.

What am I listening to?

Spells for Forgetting by Adrienne Young. I’m about a third of the way though the book, but I haven’t quite got to the magic part (I’m assuming there’s magic since the title alludes to spells). Everyone seems to have a secret, which is intriguing to me, although it is a book about loss, similar to Demon Copperhead. I’m sticking with this one though. The point of view rotates between several characters, all of whom seem to have more agency than Damon did.

Until next time…