What I Read in January 2020 + Reviews

I say this all the time, but I can’t believe it’s already time for another monthly reading roundup! There’s a lot to get through in this one, so let’s waste no time jumping into what I read in January 2020.

what i read in january 2020 + reviews

What I read in January 2020

BEARD SCIENCE (Winston Brothers #3) by Penny Reid
My rating & review: 4 stars. HOW STINKIN’ CUTE WAS THIS?! I loved Jennifer and everything that her character represents. There were so many relatable characteristics and traits that hit home with me personally, and I wanted her to be real so I could reach through the pages and give her a hug. And, Cletus. Oh, sweet, sexy, swoon-worthy nerdy Cletus. You’re the unexpected book boyfriend that we all need.

*Available on Kindle Unlimited.
My rating & review: 3 stars. I have mixed feelings. I nearly DNF’d it. The plot was exhausting, maddening, and kind of all over the place. Nobody knew what they wanted. Most of the characters went about life and relationships as aloof as they possibly could be. At times, I found Dorothy to be profound and unique in her thinking and voiced opinions. Other times, I thought she was way too allover the place and ridiculously immature. Then there’s Eli. To me, he didn’t seem to know what the hell he wanted other than to get laid. His insta-love with Dorothy was so confusing.

My rating & review: 5 stars. I was not prepared to love this book as much as I did. Helen’s character was great. I loved following along on her journey to rediscover her true-self, while also coming to terms with past life experiences. The wilderness setting with a fun, unique group of people added to the whole dynamic, too. I was equally invested in all the quirky characters as I was with Helen and Jake. Oh, yeah – Jake! What’s not to love?

THE GOLDEN HOUR by Beatriz Williams
My rating & review: 4 stars. I went into this most looking forward to the former King Edward and Wallis Simpson story line. Surprisingly, that was the weakest point of the book! Their presence was often muddled/under-developed. It added nothing to the overall story. Elfriede was the saving grace. Her story and journey was beautifully written, and my heart ached for her on multiple occasions. I found myself sometimes quickly skimming the chapters that weren’t about her so I could get back to her story quicker. In typical Williams fashion, I felt like the end wrapped up a little quickly and too cleanly (and maybe even a little far-fetched), but I did shed a tear (or two) out of relief and happiness for all the characters involved.

NEANDERTHAL SEEKS HUMAN (Knitting in the City, #1) by Penny Reid
My rating & review: 3 stars. This didn’t do a whole lot for me. It was cute in some parts, but it wasn’t the most flushed-out story. I found it repetitive, boring at times and filled with lots of holes. Not sure I’ll be continuing with this series.

*ARC received from author. Available now + on Kindle Unlimited!
My rating & review: 4 stars. This was really cute! It was fun to read a new trope for Grey (sister and brother’s best friend) tied to the medical world/environment that she does so well. Natalie and Connor were a great pair of characters, but I was missing the overall tension between them at times. A few holes could’ve been filled for better context and to feel more invested/connected to the characters. Grey sure knows how to write a sweet epilogue, though! All. The. Feels.

Bottom line …

Happiness for Beginners and Beard Science are my top picks for the month. Pick up The Golden Hour if you have the time – it’s a long one and pretty slow the first half, but it’s worth it.

Currently reading: Home Work: A Memoir of My Hollywood Years by Julie Andrews

What did you read last month?

Let’s connect on Goodreads! You also can keep up with all my reading in the archives.

Linking up for Show Us Your Books with Steph and Jana.

Leave a Comment


  1. 2.19.20
    kristen said:

    yay beard science!!! love cletus and jen. YAY happiness for beginners!!! that makes my heart so dang happy. bummer about the first knitting in the series book, are you going to continue the series? i personally love that one, but the rest are good too 🙂 the last is my favourite lol

    • 2.20.20
      Karly said:

      I’m still on the fence with the Knitting series since I just couldn’t get into the first one. Maybe I’ll skip over to the last one if you say that one is the best!

  2. 2.16.20

    I’m always looking for new titles to read, so this is really helpful! I love looking at everyone’s monthly reading list xo

    Makeup Muddle

    • 2.17.20
      Karly said:

      I’m so glad, happy reading!

  3. 2.13.20
    Becki said:

    I’ll have to remember Happiness for Beginners. I could use a really good book lately, especially with lots of happiness 😉

    • 2.15.20
      Karly said:

      Hope you love it as much as I did!

  4. 2.12.20
    Fonda @Savvy Southern Chic said:

    I’m going to add the Katherine Center book to my TBR list. All of these sound fun!

    • 2.15.20
      Karly said:

      It’s such a good one, enjoy!

  5. 2.12.20

    Despite the fact that I generally do not like rom-com type books, I do enjoy Katherine Center so I’m going to add that book to my TBR. It’ll be a nice cleanser from all the heavy books I read.

    • 2.15.20
      Karly said:

      I think you’d enjoy it – it’s not heavy on the romance.

  6. 2.12.20

    Looks like you had a nice reading month – thanks for your thoughts! Sorry about the almost DNF though. Those are never fun.


    • 2.12.20
      Karly said:

      It was a solid reading month, thanks!

  7. 2.11.20

    I enjoyed Happiness for Beginners but enjoyed How To Walk Away by the same author more. I’ve only read one Beatriz Williams book, A Hundred Summers, but enjoyed it.

    • 2.12.20
      Karly said:

      I loved both Walk Away and A Hundred Summers – both fantastic books!

  8. 2.11.20
    Joanne said:

    Oh I love Julie Andrews; I am going to have to check out that memoir.

  9. 2.11.20
    Dara said:

    Happiness For Beginners is the only Katherine Center I haven’t read yet and I need to!

  10. 2.11.20
    Maureen said:

    Wow, lots of good reads! I will add Beard Science to my reading list. It sounds like something I will truly dive into.

    Maureen | http://www.littlemisscasual.com

    • 2.12.20
      Karly said:

      It was so cute, I absolutely adored it.

  11. 2.11.20
    Julie said:

    Happiness for Beginners sounds good and I’ve added it to my to-read list!

    • 2.12.20
      Karly said:

      I hope that you enjoy it, it’s great!

  12. 2.10.20
    Debbie said:

    I’m going to have to continue reading Home Work! As always, lots of good recommendations!

    • 2.12.20
      Karly said:

      I’m more than halfway through it, and it’s great! You need to keep going!

  13. 2.10.20
    Ashley said:

    Great reviews and I like how you had your recommendations at the end of the post!

    • 2.12.20
      Karly said:

      Glad you enjoyed it, thanks!

  14. 2.10.20
    Jessica Camerata said:

    I’m so glad I joined Goodreads so I can see what everyone is reading. May need to try Beard Science once I get through Jessica Simpson (seriously so excited for that book ha!) and Followers. Can’t believe how much I’ve already read this year. More than the last 3 years combined, how crazy is that!?

    xo Jessica
    My Style Vita

    • 2.12.20
      Karly said:

      That is great! I’m glad to hear that you’re enjoying Goodreads and reading in general! I asked for the Jessica Simpson book for my birthday at the end of the month – like you, I’m SO excited for it.

  15. 2.10.20
    Caroline said:

    I will have to read Happiness for Beginners. How to Walk Away made me ugly cry while I was sitting at Starbucks haha. Things You Save in a Fire was also really good. Thank you for sharing and have a great day! 🙂

    • 2.12.20
      Karly said:

      I really think you’ll like Happiness for Beginners since you seem to be a fan of other Katherine Center books!

  16. 2.10.20
    Biana said:

    I downloaded doctor dearest when you posted about it on IG and read it in two days!! Loved that it was in Boston 🙂 Checking out Happiness for Beginners next!! xo, Biana –BlovedBoston

    • 2.12.20
      Karly said:

      I figured you’d enjoy Doctor Dearest for the location alone! 🙂