Best Book I Read This Month: January 2021

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Even though all of us have our favored genres we are avid readers and our reading tends to be all over the map. Every month we like to reflect on the best books we read that month, and fan girl over the books that remind us why we love to read in the first place. Today we’ll talk what January looked like for the Alchemy team and what our favorite reads were. 

January was the month of our first viral pin from Pinterest! If you just started reading our website, most likely you have Pinterest to thank. Welcome, all of you new readers! We are incredibly excited and overwhelmed that so many of you are here.

We have been diligent with Carly’s manual pinning strategy and our traffic from Pinterest has slowly been increasing since we started back in October. However, after the viral pin, it has exponentially increased to the point that I’m studying our Pinterest analytic wondering “How in the World…?

Carly’s Pinterest strategy is all about manually pinning to Pinterest without using a scheduler (Like Tailwind), which can be costly at the beginning of your blogging journey. Honestly, it’s not as much of a time suck as you would think pinning manually either. In the future, I’ll post our Pinterest and website traffic in the newsletter for all you curiosity seekers to look at.

This month we released our plans for the bookshop for 2021 to focus on outdoor pop-up themed shops at local festivals and events. We are still a little bummed that COVID is still driving a wedge into our ultimate plan of opening a physical bookshop, but we are excited about the opportunity to hand-sell some books and other bookish merchandise and finally meet y’all!

Without further ado, here’s the roundup for January! 

Alice

Taylor Jenkins Reid

For my book club, I read Daisy Jones & the Six by the same author and… I didn’t love it. I had already ordered Evelyn Hugo, so I mentally set myself up that I wasn’t going to love this book either.

To my surprise, I was OBSESSED and finished it in one sitting! Was this the same author? A young magazine writer, Monique, is invited by the famous actress, Evelyn Hugo, who is now in her 70s and has never discussed any of the details of her life and 7 marriages with the public. Think of an aged Marilyn Monroe recounting everything about her life: the good, bad and ugly side of fame.

Monique is a little confused why she was picked by the great Evelyn Hugo as she is a little-known journalist, but she is promised understanding at the end of the tale.

This book was a fantastic commentary regarding the social issues of Old Hollywood in the 50s-80s, and what some women felt they had to do to get ahead in this cutthroat profession. By the end of the book, you aren’t sure if you love or dislike Evelyn Hugo, but you are going to be engrossed by her story.

The author has a new book coming out this year that I will be DEFINITELY reading: Malibu Rising

V.E. Schwab

Is there anything I hate more than being told “You’ll love this book”? The answer is yes of course, there are lots of things I hate more. HOWEVER. If someone, say Alice, were to tell me to read something (MULTIPLE times)- you can bet I will drag my feet and be prepared to hate it. But boy, did Alice love this book.

Since I had just made her read Persuasion by Jane Austen, it seemed only fair to me that I endure whatever this book had to offer for her sake. And hand up, I was straight charmed from beginning to end.

I feel like this book has been recommended so many times that I’ll skip the plot run-down and just say- it was one of those books that made it a pleasure to read outside my genre. Also, it made my Period-Drama loving heart so very happy. But since you may be like me, I’ll say this- you MAY love this book. 😉

This southern gothic twist on Jane Eyre felt like it was made for my tastes. Ultimately the only reason it’s runner up is because I loved Addie LaRue that much. I still 100% recommend this to all my thriller lovers out there- you may know the story, but it will still keep you guessing!

Helen Hoang

Y’all, this was SUCH a hard month to choose. January was an exceptional reading month, but looking back I think i’m going to say The Bride Test.

Khai Diep thinks he has no feelings, his family knows that his autism means he just processes emotions differently. When his mom gets tired of waiting for him to settle down, she goes to Vietnam to find him a bride in Esme Tran. Esme can’t turn down this opportunity, but also has hope for a new future in America, now if only she can show Kai he’s as smitten with her as she is with him.

This insightful look at the immigrant experience burrowed into my heart and would not let go. Helen Hoang had an AMAZING follow up to her debut novel – The Kiss Quotient. This own voices novel is as fun as it is charming.

Khai and Esme are adorable together, and Esme’s immigrant experience in America really resonated with me. In the afterword Helen Hoang talks about Esme being a reflection of her mothers immigrant experience. Honestly, I needed good vibes in January and this book delivered. 

What was your best book of January? Anything we NEED to add to our TBRs? 

Here’s to a productive February!

-Anne, Alice & Jane

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    14 thoughts on “Best Book I Read This Month: January 2021”

    1. Congrats on the viral pin! I remember my first one. Actually, it might still be viral. It still gets repinned a lot. Anyway, I adored Evelyn Hugo and still need to read Addie LaRue, so I’m glad you liked them. I hope you’re having a good February!

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    2. I was happy to see two of the books I have on my TBR on your lists–Curse so Dark and Lonely and Addie LaRue. Both sound amazing and different–perfect for my mood reading.

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    3. Congrats on doing so well with Pinterest! I *was* getting quite a bit of Pinterest traffic, but I think they changed the algorithm and I get a lot less now *shrugs* it happens

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