What I Read in January

I Go Down To The Shore

I go down to the shore in the morning
and depending on the hour the waves
are rolling in or moving out,
and I say, oh, I am miserable,
what shall—
what should I do? And the sea says
in its lovely voice:
Excuse me, I have work to do.”

-Mary Oliver

With the end of January in sight, I though it was time for me to share the books I’ve been reading this month. Much of my focus has been poetry; I think I’ve been so busy this month that my brain’s found it difficult to manage long works of fiction or nonfiction. It’s been nice to ease into 2019 with poetry and an old favorite. My first two books of 2019 were poetry collections by Mary Oliver. This was unplanned but prompted by her death earlier this month.


Poetry by Mary Oliver

Mary Oliver has been one of my favorite poets for a while now, mainly because of her simple but moving style. I’ve written about her books Upstream and Dog Songs on the blog before, as well as her book A Poetry Handbook which has been helpful to me as a teacher and a writer. This month I read her collections Felicity and A Thousand Mornings, both of which I would recommend to anyone looking to jump into her works.

Surprised by Oxford by Carolyn Weber

This memoir by Carolyn Weber is one that I often recommend to people, and it is the first book I intended to read in 2019. I was looking for something a little refreshing, and this book fits the bill. In the book, Weber tells the story of how she became a Christian during her time at Oxford. It ties together Romantic poetry, faith, and one of my favorite places on Earth in the perfect way. If you’re looking for nonfiction that reads like a novel, start here.

Shakespeare’s Sonnets

More poetry! Back in December I found a copy of Shakespeare’s sonnets while on my quest to collect an entire set of Pelican Shakespeare editions. I’d never read them straight through, and doing so each night has been a fun endeavor. Typically only Shakespeare’s most famous sonnets are taught in schools, so it’s been nice to read some of his lesser known poems as well.

Abiding in Christ by Andrew Murray

Without a doubt this book is my favorite of the month, and I’m certain that in about eleven months’ time you’ll be seeing it near the top of my “Best Books of 2019” post. Written with grace and wisdom, this devotional is life-changing—so much so that I’m planning to read it again in February! If there’s only one book from this post that you look into purchasing, let it be this one.

So those are the five books I’ve managed to read in January. Let me know in the comments what you’re reading this month, I’m looking for suggestions!

Keep Reading!





  1. Cool! Thanks for sharing… these are great suggestions. Especially Andrew Murray

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I read Brené Brown’s Braving the Wilderness among other things and definitely recommend it!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’ll have to check that one out! I’ve heard nothing but good things!


      1. All of her books are amazing!


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