January Book Reads

‘Tis a new year and I started new books right away. I could have given myself a break and not read for a bit. But at the start of the 2024 year, I tested positive for COVID. Booo!!! Honestly, it was mild, so it felt like a bad cold and lots of fatigue. And since I was resting, I decided to read. I wound up reading 2 books within that week. What?! That’s so crazy to me.  I have never read books that quickly. But in all honesty, it was great. Now, don’t get me wrong, sometimes I love a good movie when I don’t feel well. I had my marathon of Mama Mia and Mama Mia: Here We Go Again. Love those movies. Then I had the soundtracks of them in my head for days! 

Anyways, as I was saying about the books. Let me tell you what I read and some summaries of them.  

The first book I read was The Club by Ellery Lloyd. This was a Reese Witherspoon book club pick and I figured I’d give it a try. The summary on GoodReads says: 

Everyone’s Dying to Join . . . 

The Home Group is a glamorous collection of celebrity members’ clubs dotted across the globe, where the rich and famous can party hard and then crash out in its five-star suites, far from the prying eyes of fans and the media.

The most spectacular of all is Island Home–a closely-guarded, ultra luxurious resort, just off the English coast–and its three-day launch party is easily the most coveted A-list invite of the decade.

But behind the scenes, tensions are at breaking point: the ambitious and expensive project has pushed the Home Group’s CEO and his long-suffering team to their absolute limits. All of them have something to hide–and that’s before the beautiful people with their own ugly secrets even set foot on the island.

As tempers fray and behavior worsens, as things get more sinister by the hour and the body count piles up, some of Island Home’s members will begin to wish they’d never made the guest list.

Because at this club, if your name’s on the list, you’re not getting out.

I actually had a hard time following the book, as it follows multiple characters. Each chapter is in the narrative of one of the characters. I had to think back to be sure I understood what was happening. While it was a hard read for me, overall, I thought it was a good book. It kept me on edge with a bit of suspense. There was also a lot of drama. A little bit of a who done it. 


The second book that I read was The Echo of Old Books by Barbara Davis. When I read the summary I was instantly hooked. The summary on GoodReads says: 

Rare-book dealer Ashlyn Greer’s affinity for books extends beyond the intoxicating scent of old paper, ink, and leather. She can feel the echoes of the books’ previous owners—an emotional fingerprint only she can read. When Ashlyn discovers a pair of beautifully bound volumes that appear to have never been published, her gift quickly becomes an obsession. Not only is each inscribed with a startling incrimination, but the authors, Hemi and Belle, tell conflicting sides of a tragic romance.

With no trace of how these mysterious books came into the world, Ashlyn is caught up in a decades-old literary mystery, beckoned by two hearts in ruins, whoever they were, wherever they are. Determined to learn the truth behind the doomed lovers’ tale, she reads on, following a trail of broken promises and seemingly unforgivable betrayals. The more Ashlyn learns about Hemi and Belle, the nearer she comes to bringing closure to their love story—and to the unfinished chapters of her own life.

This book. Oh man. I loved it! I had all the feels throughout it. It had me hooked from the beginning, when they say that Ashlyn can feel the echoes of the books’ previous owners. Seeing as I’m a spiritual person, I think that’s why I was so intrigued and into this book. I felt what Ashlyn was feeling. I felt all the feelings from the stories that she was reading in the books. I felt all her feelings and emotions. Every page of the book, The Echo of Old Books, had me pulled in, entranced by what was being told and the feelings. This one I really couldn’t put down. I’m pretty sure I read this one in two days. 


The third book I read in January was Carrie Soto is Back by Taylor Jenkins Reid. I have read two other of Taylor’s books, The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo and Malibu Rising. Carrie Soto shows up in Malibu Rising, so when I saw this title, I was intrigued to find out more about this character. According to GoodReads:

In this powerful novel about the cost of greatness, a legendary athlete attempts a comeback when the world considers her past her prime—from the New York Times bestselling author of Malibu Rising.

Carrie Soto is fierce, and her determination to win at any cost has not made her popular. But by the time she retires from tennis, she is the best player the world has ever seen. She has shattered every record and claimed twenty Grand Slam titles. And if you ask Carrie, she is entitled to everyone. She sacrificed nearly everything to become the best, with her father, Javier, as her coach. A former champion himself, Javier has trained her since the age of two.

But six years after her retirement, Carrie finds herself sitting in the stands of the 1994 US Open, watching her record be taken from her by a brutal, stunning player named Nicki Chan.

At thirty-seven years old, Carrie makes the monumental decision to come out of retirement and be coached by her father for one last year in an attempt to reclaim her record. Even if the sports media says that they never liked “the Battle-Axe” anyway. Even if her body doesn’t move as fast as it did. And even if it means swallowing her pride to train with a man she once almost opened her heart to: Bowe Huntley. Like her, he has something to prove before he gives up the game forever.

In spite of it all, Carrie Soto is back, for one epic final season. In this riveting and unforgettable novel, Taylor Jenkins Reid tells her most vulnerable, emotional story yet.

The story, the summary from GoodReads basically says it all. The book had me hooked, wanting to know what’s going on with Carrie. But Carrie had an attitude in most of the story that I found annoying.  She always had to practice to make herself better than she had been and beat her previous records that she already made.  I bet I don’t relate because I’m not a very competitive person. She made me mad at times, just like she made her dad and Bowe mad at times. But overall, this book was good. Not my favorite by Taylor (I think my favorite so far is The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo). 


The last book I read in January was Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas. I did not think I’d finish this one in January, but somehow I magically did. (no pun intended) This is one that I kept seeing everywhere – Instagram, Facebook, Google, friends accounts. I was so interested so I had to look into what it was about. So I went to GoodReads and read this summary:

In a land without magic, where the king rules with an iron hand, an assassin is summoned to the castle. She comes not to kill the king, but to win her freedom. If she defeats twenty-three killers, thieves, and warriors in a competition, she is released from prison to serve as the king’s champion. Her name is Celaena Sardothien. 

The Crown Prince will provoke her. The Captain of the Guard will protect her. But something evil dwells in the castle of glass—and it’s there to kill. When her competitors start dying one by one, Celaena’s fight for freedom becomes a fight for survival, and a desperate quest to root out the evil before it destroys her world.

Now, the summary didn’t give me too much, so I did read a bit of reviews from others that didn’t have any spoilers. It took me a bit to get into this one, but after the first couple chapters, I was hooked. I loved Celaena’s character. Every twist, every turn, every page had held me pulled in. I found that I didn’t want to put it down, which is probably why I finished it within a week. There were characters that I couldn’t stand, there were characters that I was so interested in, there were some surprises, and there were emotions that I could feel throughout the entire book. I will definitely read the series and follow Celaena down whatever her adventures she may be on. 


So there you have it, my January reads. Have you read any of those books? If so, let me know your thoughts or I’d be happy to chat with you!

Did you read any books this January? If so, let me know which ones and if you think I should read them, let me know! I’m always adding books to my to-read list. 

Love & Light,

Rae Beth

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