What I’m Reading: January 2022

It’s the start of a new year, and already my resolution to only check out 5 books at a time has completely failed. If you’re curious about some of the books I’ve gotten lined up so far (which includes some plucky female heroines and various non-fiction titles) and are looking for something to read, too, then take a look at my January booklist!

Anne of Green Gables (L.M. Montgomery) Siblings Marilla and Matthew Cuthbert are getting on in years and decide to adopt an orphan boy to help on their estate, Green Gables. But, a miscommunication results in a young girl, Anne Shirley, being sent to them instead. Anne is thrilled to finally be adopted, and poor Matthew, who picked her up at the train station, is too embarrassed to tell her there was a mistake. Despite the rocky start, however, the Cuthberts decide to adopt Anne anyway. And both the siblings and the entire town of Avonlea soon realize that now that Anne is here, life can never be the same again. But, with so much joy and energy, would they really want to return to the way things used to be?

Pollyanna (Eleanor H. Porter) Miss Polly’s life is turned upside down when she receives news that her estranged sister and her husband have died, leaving behind an eleven-year-old daughter named Pollyanna. Miss Polly has no desire to raise a child, and takes on this new responsibility somewhat begrudgingly. But, Pollyanna has a big heart and a wide-eyed zest for life, and soon transforms the attitudes and lives of the people around her. If reading Anne of Green Gables left you wanting more adventures of plucky orphans full of heart, then this might be the perfect book for you. This is an incredibly sweet story, and less than 200 pages for the reader who wants something a little less involved at the start of a busy new year.

Bofuri: I Don’t Want to Get Hurt So I’ll Max Out My Defense (Yuumikan) Kaede is not much of a gamer. But, her best friend Risa is really good at convincing her to play all of her favorite games, even getting Kaede to purchase expensive VR gaming equipment. Now, Risa’s newest obsession is the VRMMO NewWorldOnline, an immersive virtual reality game where you can do almost anything. Since Kaede has minimal gaming experience and is worried that she could get seriously hurt in a VR game, she chooses to make her character a shield-user and puts all of her points into vitality. This means that she’s slow and her attacks are weak, but she’s almost impossible to hurt. But, as the game goes on, and this inexperienced gamer gains her footing using her unorthodox methods, she ends up creating a virtual monster that is nearly indestructible. Is it possible to become the best player in an online game by only maxing out your defense? You’ll have to check out this hilarious manga series to find out!

Model of Faith: Reflecting on the Litany of St. Joseph (Leonard J. DeLorenzo) Last year, Catholics celebrated the Year of Saint Joseph: Patron of the Universal Church. While the year of St. Joseph might be over, that doesn’t mean that you have to stop reading about and learning about this humble and powerful intercessor. Focusing on the Litany of St. Joseph, a powerful prayer, this book takes each name or title given to him (Foster Father of the Son of God, Lover of Poverty, Terror or Evil Spirits, etc.) and goes into a short, but in-depth study of what this title means both for Joseph himself, and for his relationship with us. Whether you’re already familiar with St. Joseph or learning about him for the first time, this is an excellent little book that is sure to help deepen your faith as well as your appreciation for the gift God has given us in Joseph’s life and example.

A Salad Only the Devil Would Eat: The Joys of Ugly Nature (Charles Hood) If you’re looking for witty essays on nature, then you’ve come to the right place! Charles Hood details his obsession with nature through a series of reflections on the more overlooked areas of the natural world. From Hollywood palms to Alaskan airports, Hood celebrates all the weird and wonderful aspects of our world that you never gave a second glance. Natural history dioramas, cactus parasites, barnacles, and color red all come together in this quirky read. Fans of Bill Bryson will find much to love.

Pippi Longstocking (Astrid Lindgren) This book falls solidly into the category of “Did I read this before?” (Ah, the pre-Goodreads days!) So, when I found it on the Library’s Classics display, I decided to check it out. Tommy and Annika find a new friend and a host of new adventures when they meet their neighbor, Pippi Longstocking for the first time. Pippi has bright red braids and a horse that lives on her porch. She’s adventurous and creative, and she doesn’t have parents to tell her what to do! This endearing children’s classic has been entertaining readers of all ages for generations!

In Cold Blood: A True Account of a Multiple Murder and its Consequences (Truman Capote) This haunting true crime novel tells a tale of a grisly murder in small-town Holcomb, Kansas in 1959. Four members of the Clutter family were savagely murdered by a shotgun fired a few inches from their faces. But, there was no motive for the crime and no clues. This book is not only one of the first non-fiction novels ever written (a loosely-defined genre that includes real-life events told with storytelling techniques often seen in fiction), but it’s one the most iconic True Crime books of all time. Capote reconstructs the murder and investigation that let to the capture, trial, and execution of the killers, creating a tale that will sit with you long after you finish reading. If you enjoyed reading this and are looking for someone to discuss it with, our True Crime Book Club will be meeting to discuss it on January 17th. This librarian regrets that she will not be able to participate in the discussion, but you’ll be able to talk with our Local History Librarian, Chad.

Erin

I'm the Reader's Advisory Librarian at WPPL. My interests include old horror films, classic novels, manga and anime, paper-crafting, and plants. If you like my suggestions, you can request personalized recommendations from me on My Librarian page.