Mrs. Ram’s Jams Reading List for January and February


I am failing miserably at my New Year’s resolutions. (Read more here: Mrs. Ram’s Jams New Year’s Resolutions)

One of my goals was to do yoga everyday, but my mangled foot and its bootiness has shattered that resolution.

And while I declared writing was going to take precedence over reading this year, I knocked out 19 books from January to February, which is three more than I read in the first two months of last year.

Old habits do die hard.

At this point in the school year with summer in sight, it’s just so much easier to read and consume rather than write and produce. The third nine weeks student apathy that runs rampant through January, February, and March hits teachers smack in the face, too.

It happens every year.

Teachers, you know what I’m talking about–where your teacher brain declares anarchy mode–it takes an act of congress to force you to grade, lesson planning looks a lot like winging it, and you question your choice of profession daily.

Anyway, here resides my third nine weeks coping mechanism (*cough cough* book list) for the first two months of 2018:


  1. The Art of Racing in the Rain–Garth Stein; This is a beautiful novel written from the point of view of a dog.
  2. I Can’t Make This Up: Life Lessons–Kevin Hart; I love funny books by funny people, and Kevin Hart is a funny person. Alas, this book was not that funny.
  3. The Stars Are Fire–Anita Shreve; Tightly written gorgeous sentences. Short. Romantical and different.
  4. A is for Alibi (Kinsey Milhone, #1)–Sue Grafton; Posthumously inspired read (R.I.P. Sue Grafton). A solid murder mystery.
  5. Artemis–Andy Weir; I’m glad I finally boarded the Andy Weir rocket. Not as good as The Martian, but it hits all the right science fiction buttons.
  6. Genuine Fraud–E. Lockhart; This was a YAL disappointment.  I loved Lockhart’s We Were Liars and frequently recommend it to my middle schoolers.
  7. Everything I Never Told You–Celeste Ng; I attempted this novel through audiobook and switched to a hard copy. I love Ng’s sentences and needed her succinct similes and punctuation on a page versus air. This heavy read about a teenage girl’s drowning and her self-involved parents highlight the pressures that parents unwittingly force on their children.
  8. Magpie Murders–Anthony Horowitz; For as highly rated as this murder mystery is, it fell short for me. There are two books in one here, and I’d rather read one book at a time, thank you very much.
  9. The Selection (The Selection, #1)–Kiera Cass; This book and whole series is YAL crack. I’m not the first person to describe it as The Bachelor meets the dystopian future, but that’s what it is. Even though I knew exactly where the plot was taking me and Cass relies too heavily on “chuckled” as a verb, I couldn’t help but be swept away and caught in a teenage love triangle.


  1. The Elite (The Selection, #2)–Kiera Cass; more of above.
  2. The One (The Selection, #3)–Kiera Cass; more of above. I told you. Crack. Crack. Crack. And chuckled. Chuckled. Chuckled. So much chuckling happens in this series.
  3. Six of Crows (Six of Crows, #1)–Leigh Bardugo; This is legit. You miss Harry Potter? You love Game of Thrones? It’s neither of those but a little of both and like nothing you’ve ever read. And it’s YAL. (Okay, don’t get me wrong, it’s not Harry Potter, but it’s still a delight.)
  4. Crooked Kingdom (Six of Crows, #2)–Leigh Bardugo; See above. More awesomeness in store.
  5. The Silent Wife–A.S.A Harrison; Ehhhh, not spectacular. I’ve read better –psychological thrillers.
  6. Emma in the Night–Wendy Walker; Better than The Silent Wife.
  7. The Martian–Andy Weir; A sci-fi gem. I love the thought of a sci-fi novel, but I often get lost in the science and space jargon that comets over my head. I didn’t feel like an idiot reading this book, and you can’t help but root for the narrator because his sense of humor is borderline middle school boy and mad genius.
  8. The Outcasts of Time–Ian Mortimer; Normally, reading a book about  time traveling across several centuries in England would tickle my fancy, but this book frustrated me.
  9. My Absolute Darling–Gabriel Tallent; Haunting. Compelling. Eight different kinds of uncomfortable every eight pages. But . . . the description, frequently gorgeous, can verge on pretentious with a hint of nausea rolled into the occasional rambling sentence.  If you can’t handle a daughter being verbally and sexually abused by her father and blatant, if not glorified, gun violence, then please don’t read this novel. But if you can stomach the aforementioned, then it is a solid four out of five stars. I might be reading YAL for the rest of the year to recover from it.
  10. The Heir (The Selection, #4)–Kiera Cass.  Not as good as the other The Selection crack, but crack is crack, y’all.

What have you been reading to get you through 2018 so far?

Or please someone enlighten me, how do you other teachers deal with the third nine weeks blues?



4 thoughts on “Mrs. Ram’s Jams Reading List for January and February

  1. Yoga was one of my 2018 goals once my rib had healed, but I’m yet to get out my new yoga mat that’s already gathering dust, so you’re not alone there. Reading is such a solace for me so I can’t regret time spent reading. Some interesting picks here, and I never even knew Kevin Hart had written anything!
    Caz x

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I’ve just finished The Husband’s Secret, which I put on my blog a little while ago – It was more of a drama with mystery rather than a psych thriller as such, but it was interesting to read as it kept you guessing. I read that as it was part of an online book club. Next up will be Tess Gerritsen’s ‘I Know A Secret’ – I love this author so I’m looking forward to it, and it’s my favourite American crime thriller genre! Do you have any preferred genres?xx

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I think I need to join an online book club. And a real book club. I’ll have to check out The Husband’s Secret. I’ve never read Gerritsen before. I’m pretty much a “I’ll read anything that has a good storyline” type of girl. 😉

        Liked by 1 person

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