Spine Study :: January Mini-Reviews

January was a fun month. In total, I knocked out 15 books which, I believe, is the most I’ve ever read in thirty-one days time. Check that off my Nerd Bucket List. ✔️

It was a pretty fair mix of fiction vs. nonfiction, too – which is new for me. I don’t often dip my toes into the nonfiction realm but decided I needed to be more open to the possibilities.

I published (4) Spine Studies:

Spine Study :: The Carnelian Crow ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Spine Study :: Sky in the Deep ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Spine Study :: “Who Was…?” Tolkien + Verne ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Spine Study :: Born To Wander ⭐️⭐️⭐️

But I wanted to go ahead and try out some “mini-reviews” for a few of my other favorites that I didn’t have time to post Spine Studies on.

First off – the weird ones.

The Butterfly Garden ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ – This one is definitely not for everybody. It’s ugly and brutal and had me literally grinding my teeth at points. There are triggers aplenty in this piece. However, the MC’s sarcastic bite and independent voice kept me hooked from the beginning to the end. I had to know how it ended.

The Lightkeepers ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ – Not going to say I “enjoyed” this one as much as I was compelled to finish, even after I put it down several times I didn’t care a lick about the characters, to be honest, it was the nature-writing that kept me turning page after page.

A Sand County Almanac ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️Loved this one. I actually marked it down in my journal as my favorite book of the month. Leopold is known as the “father of modern conservation” and his essays serve both as interesting reflections and educational material.

The Tattooist of Auschwitz ⭐️⭐️⭐️ 1/2 – This one was harder to pin down. The author, as it turns out, focuses mostly on screenplay and that’s definitely apparent in this book. It’s heavy on quick dialogue and not as “deep” as I was expecting on the worldbuilding. However, the fact it’s based on two people’s lives and love story = I was putty in Morris’s hands.

The House on Mango Street ⭐️⭐️⭐️ 1/2 – This is the second book by Cisneros I’ve read and maybe that was the catch because I adored Loose Women. THoMS didn’t quite hit me the way I was expecting but it did leave me with some new favorites. (“A House of my Own” = top of the list.)

Writing Down the Bones ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ – Definitely wasn’t what I thought it would be and that’s why I liked it so much: It’s fluffy, poetic, lyrical bullshit and I ate. It. Up. – With morsels of creative advice between life advice, the pages flew easily and quickly.

Maisie Dobbs ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ – Bought the second installment in this series the minute I finished the first one. I think that stands for itself. What a great opening to a FUN world. Although, it is to be noted that this series is reviewed with either love or hate, no in between. I just happened to find myself more along the love end of the spectrum.

I had (1) DNF, (1) ⭐️⭐️ review that started out as a single star but then I felt bad, and another I don’t have a picture of because I already donated it. ⬇️

Daughters of the Lake by Wendy Webb ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ – Atmospheric read that blended history, fantasy, and romance so well. Ugh. It was one I read when we were all snowed in and I LOVED it. Donated it to the library in hopes someone else might like it, too.

February’s reads have been pretty cool so far, too. By not setting a reading goal, I’m reading things I want to read, which is really such a simple concept but one I’d brushed aside in the self-pressured rush of book blogging.

Currently reading: The Bird and the Sword by Amy Harmon and Upstream by Mary Oliver.

What about you guys? What are you currently read? Any recommendations based on my January mini-reviews?

Happy Sunday!

– B

5 thoughts on “Spine Study :: January Mini-Reviews

    1. I wasn’t surprised that a lot of people didn’t like it (on Goodreads) because it’s not really a guide, on writing. More of a guide on “feeling” your way through writing. She addresses the emotions involved in creative rush – the good and the bad. My favorite quote was:

      “Writers are great lovers. They fall in love with other writers. That’s how they learn to write. They take on a writer, read everything by him or her, read it over again until they understand how the writer moves, pauses, and sees. That’s what being a lover is: stepping out of yourself, stepping into someone else’s skin.”

      I really liked it! Hope you do, too! 💕


  1. Very nice post! Ooooo … Sky in the Deep … LOVED IT! I’m currently reading “The Hate U Give” and it’s such a great book! Yes, it definitely makes you feel uncomfortable at times — but I feel like it’s supposed to.

    I just finished “Autoboyography” … SO GOOD! UGH! I’ll probably re-read it again at some point.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. … I’m not gonna lie … it’s gonna make you cry. BUT IT’S SO WORTH IT! I’m more than halfway done and if it wasn’t for the heavy content, I would’ve binged it in a day. I started Saturday and I’ve read about 120 to 150 pages a day. I think I’ll finish it today though.

        … just have a box of Kleenex beside you at all times lol!

        Liked by 1 person

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