Everything I Read In January 2021

There are affiliate links in here.  I get a small commission if you purchase through them at no extra cost to you

When I sat down to write this I thought man, January was a slow reading month for me. But I actually read 7 books! (Eight if you count my DNF, which is in here.) Things went better than I thought but the books I read seemed to be pretty average for me.

There wasn’t anything I just thought was amazing and most didn’t leave much of an impression on me because I forgot I read most of these. Either way, here is everything I read in January 2021!

  • If you want to listen to some of these, consider trying Audible! You can get your first month free (one free book) plus tons of others they have for free.  Get that Audible deal here.
  • If you’re on more of a budget, try Scribd!  You can get your first month free there. You can read books and listen to audiobooks. It is unlimited (especially the reading) but if you listen to tons of new audiobooks you may be restricted after a few. I don’t listen to enough to confirm this, but I do use Scribd myself and like it a lot. Sign up for Scribd here!
  • Shop my collection of bookish goodies on Etsy! These aren’t my shop items, but other shops I’ve curated into a book-themed collection. Shop my Etsy bookish goodies here!
  • If you want to read more on your Kindle but don’t want to buy books, Kindle Unlimited is a wonderful option. It’s $9.99 a month but if you read a lot and like to read more than just new releases, it could be worth it. Get Kindle Unlimited here!
  • Get $5 off of $25 from BookOutlet! This is a great place to find new books for pretty cheap. They also have sales quite a bit, so keep an eye out for those. I tend to check here for books I want if they’re more expensive other places. They don’t have everything but they do have a lot. Shop BookOutlet here!
  • Thrift Books has become my go-to when I’m looking for a book and want it cheap. It’s great if you like buying used books. With this you can get a free book after spending $30!
  • Shop my book lists here! You can find every book list I have on Bookshop.org (except my monthly round-ups) and I add everything I can but they occasionally won’t have some. I do occasionally add extras though. If any lists are empty, they’ll be filled in shortly! Shop my bookshop.org book lists here.
  • Shopping internationally? Check out Book Depository!

The Hot Zone

Author: Richard Preston

Genre: Non-fiction

Rating: 4/5

About the book: There is no cure for the deadly virus originating in the Central African rainforest when it shows up in the Washington D.C. suburbs. 90% of people infected don’t survive. A secret military SWAT team is formed to stop the outbreak before it takes over the city.

Final thoughts: I decided to finally read this (I’ve wanted to for years) after watching the NatGeo show about this. It was pretty similar to that so it wasn’t the most thrilling to read right after watching that but I still enjoyed it. Ebola/virology/infectious diseases are very interesting to me though.

Ebola: The Natural and Human History of a Deadly Virus

Author: David Quammen

Genre: Non-fiction

Rating: 4/5

About the book: In the four decades since Ebola first appeared in 1976, it has made various short appearances with devastating effects every time. This is a little bit of a history of Ebola, how it was discovered, and about the various outbreaks.

Final thoughts: Like The Hot Zone, this topic is just really interesting to me. I probably didn’t take as much of this in as I wanted because I listened to it and tend to zone out when I listen to books but I still liked it.


Author: Megan Giddings

Genre: Thriller, I guess?

Rating: 3.5ish

About the book: After Lena’s grandmother dies, the extent of the family debt is revealed. She drops out of college to take a job in Lakewood, Michigan to support her family.

The job is great on paper with high pay, free housing, and no out of pocket medical expenses, but the job is less than perfect. She has to lie to everyone she knows about the research really being done in Lakewood and the devastating consequences it can have.

Final thoughts: This was the first book I read for my book club theme in January, an OWNvoices novel. Apparently I had a lot of thoughts about this. From Good Reads:

I liked this a lot but I think it’s closer to 3.5.

It was an easy read and I enjoyed it but there were a few things I didn’t love.

First what I liked, the whole premise of medical research and people being targeted for it because of race and socioeconomic class. It’s something I don’t know enough about but would like to read more about now.

I liked that the second part was written in letters (and bits of the first part) but would have liked if the whole thing was done this way.

Now a couple things I didn’t love, we basically got no resolution but Lena doesn’t either so that makes sense because we read the end in a letter she wrote so it makes sense but I wish I knew more.

The part where everything is weird and I think she’s high then is at home al of a sudden was weird and confusing.


The water turns out to be the big evil problem that comes out in the end and there’s nothing about the medical research. But we don’t really find out why the water is bad or anything related to that. It felt weird.

Overall I’m glad I read this and enjoyed it but it left me hanging a bit.

Beastly Bones

Author: William Ritter

Genre: Historical fiction/fantasy

Rating: 3/5

About the book: We’re back in the second installment of the Jackaby novels (not tons of need to read them in order). This time Abigail and Jackaby are called into the countryside to investigate shape-shifting kittens, murders, and even dinosaur bones. It’s up to them to get to the bottom of everything and find out what’s really going on out there.

Final thoughts: This isn’t a bad book but it’s not super great either. It’s a nice, light and fun read. It’s nothing Earth shattering, but it’s a fun story.

The Empress of Salt and Fortune

Author: Nghi Vo

Genre: Fantasy novella

Rating: 4/5

About the book: A young royal is sent from the far north to thee south for a political marriage. She is alone and sometimes reviled with only the servants on her side.

Final thoughts: I enjoyed this and it was good I do think I wasn’t in quite the right mood for it when i read it though. I would consider re-reading it to give it another shot when I am more in the mood for something like this though.

Surviving Antarctica: Reality TV 2083

Author: Andrea White

Genre: YA Dystopian

Rating: 4/5

About the book: Five fourteen-year-olds are in a desperate situation and chose to participate in Antarctic Survivor, a show to recreate the doomed first attempt to reach the South Pole by Robert F. Scott with the potential to change their lives, for better or worse.

Final thoughts: This is a fun and interesting read. It’s definitely not realistic in pretty much any way but I was entertained the whole time I read it. I think it’s targeted for a younger audience so the writing style and character qualities make more sense then. Also, I’m just super interested in Antarctica, even if it’s totally fiction.


Author: Megan McCafferty

Genre: YA dystopian

Rating: 2/5

About the book: Everyone over 18 is infertile after the virus happens. Wannabe parents pay teens to pregg (have babies) making teens the most prized members of society.

Melody and Harmony were separated at birth and followed totally different life paths before finding each other. Melody scored an amazing contract with the Jaydens but are searching for the perfect pregging partner while Harmony thinks pregging for profit is a total sin.

Finally, Melody is matched with the flawless Jondoe (a professional pregger celebrity) and both of their lives are turned upside down.

Final thoughts: This was bizarre. The language was weird. The premise is intriguing but weird. I didn’t love this but am almost considering reading the second one just out of curiosity? It was a super easy read though, I read almost all of it in one night while we were camping.

It was super weird reading this and felt like I was just reading about teen orgies? Literally, they had masSex parties where they pregged and bumped and whatever and were either professionals or amateurs with contracts or freelance jobs banging, basically. So weird.


Author: Michael Crichton and Richard Preston

Genre: Sci-fi

Rating: 1/5 (DNF)

About the book: A group of graduate students are lured to Hawaii to work for a mysterious biotech company where they end of cast off into the rainforest with nothing but their scientific expertise and wits to protect them.

Final thoughts: Ugh. Not a fan. I really like the idea of it but I just really didn’t like this. Every single character was a horrible person so I didn’t care if they lived or not. It’s just. Ugh.

I decided to read this when I made my Hawaii books post and this had just been hanging over my head since then so finally DNF’ing it was a relief.

Here’s from Good Reads: DNF at 283 pages. I just cannot. This is like an evil Honey I Shrunk the Kids but I don’t care about a single character. They’re all awful, especially Danny. Not a fan.

Have you read any of these? Which ones? What’s the best book you read in January?

Author: Megan Johnson

I'm Megan, a cheesehead at heart currently residing in the Sunshine State. You can probably find me reading, watching Forensic Files, or both.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.