Good morning and happy Monday! I deeply hope that everyone celebrating their winter holidays over the last week or so have had a magnificent time of it, whether that’s Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Winter Solstice, or what have you. And if you haven’t been celebrating anything, well then, I just hope you’ve had a magnificent week!
As I mentioned last month, this wrap up is going to be short and sweet without major highlights, as December has been absolutely bonkers. I’ll tell you all about it in the “Real Life” section below. The end of the year is always busy, though, so thank goodness for audiobooks that get me through the day!
This Month’s Book Haul
Pre-orders and my monthly YA Book of the Month in this month, but I’m still really happy about all of them. I feel like I’ve been waiting for Children of Virtue and Vengeance for an eternity, and I’m super excited to finally have that book in my hands! It’s thinner than Children of Blood and Bone, but honestly, I’m just so happy it’s here. I did put it on my immediate TBR (I pulled 10 books from my TBR Jar a couple months ago and haven’t gotten through them yet) so I’m hoping to read it early next year. Until then, though, I am avoiding any and all spoilers!
Every year around Christmas time, I also reignite my Audible membership to pick up copies of the audiobooks I really enjoyed listening to this year. I also had a free credit from a settlement with Audible, so this month I picked up A Darker Shade of Magic (free credit) and The Starless Sea (monthly choice). Every month there’s 2 free Audible originals as well from a selection of 6. I’m not too crazy about these, but free is free, so this month I grabbed Peter Pan and The Half-Life of Marie Curie. I actually already have an audiobook of Peter Pan, but well…. the rest of the options didn’t interest me. Lol.
Everything I’ve Been Reading
With a couple of notable exceptions (The Starless Sea), this month was actually quite surprising. Some books I thought I would like, such as The Girl Who Saved the King of Sweden, ended up being just okay, while other books that I have little to no expectations for (The House of the Scorpion) ended up being really good.
I feel like in general, my reading this month was all over the place. I’ve got graphic novels, old MG favorites, historical romance, history, academic throwbacks, a little YA fantasy (because this is me), and even a set of memoir essays. December’s reading log represents the variety of titles I am liable to enjoy really well – the only thing missing here is sci-fi, but otherwise, I’ve had a little of everything.
The Starless Sea / ★★★★★ – Upwards, downwards, and sideways, The Starless Sea is going to get a bunch of love from me. I know it is an incredibly hyped book and I know everyone is reading it, but I absolutely loved this. Erin Morgenstern’s world building is so utterly magical and it is such a pleasure to dive in. Honestly? I know this book won’t be for everyone, but it made my heart so glad and I am super grateful I had the opportunity to read it so quickly. Beautifully done.
Just Ella / ★★★★ – A throwback to one of my childhood favorites, Just Ella is still a solid novel two decades later. Granted, you want to make sure you’re going in with the correct expectations (this is not The Princess Diaries), but the twist is great, the message still important, and girl power fairytale retellings are so my jam.
The Girls of Murder City / ★★★★ – I don’t read a lot of non-fiction, but I’m super picky about the narrative when I do. For that reason, I cling on to Erik Larson and whine of many other authors. Douglas Perry gets a tip of the hat in The Girls of Murder City – intriguing without being overly gory and with real life characters who pop off the page. I love me some good narrative non-fiction, and Chicago’s murderesses make a great story.
My Real Life Adventures
Woo guess what guys!
That house we bought in October? We finally, finally moved in.
Moving is one of my least favorite things ever, and doing it twice in one year has been such a strain on my physical and emotional wellbeing. One of the things I’m really grateful for this year is that … we own this house! We don’t have to keep moving! It’s been such a delight to have something that’s ours, even though we know there’s some outdoor repairs and renovations to make come spring. And even though we have to shovel snow now! I’ve put so much of the bookish art I own into frames and started hanging it and (I know, priorities) it makes me smile.
I’ve been working 11 – 12 hour work days almost since I’ve come back from vacation (with a few exceptions) so honestly? My life is just work now. My department went through a major technology changeover, and I ended up being a liaison and organizer for testing and replacement and… I’m really pleased with how it went. We’ve had a few little things pop up, but not a lot, and people have transitioned really well. That week was pretty rough (I have the best supportive team, though), and of course, I’m kicking myself because all this was supposed to happen in November and that’s why we planned to move in December… but whatever, they’re both done now. Both done, and I’m grateful. Hopefully the workflow will slow down for a couple weeks as well, as it’s always busiest at the end of the year.
I will have a few posts trickling into January with some of my blogging goals for 2020, as well as my 2019 reading wrap up. 🙂 I always enjoy writing those ones, so I’m looking forward to digging in early next month (next year! next decade!) and sharing those things with you.
As always, thank you so much for being here and reading my wacky bookish thoughts every month. <3 I am always so grateful that there are over 700 of you who are interested in the things I have to say about books.
Have a fun and safe end of 2019!
Are there any last minute things you’d like to do to finish out the year? Honestly, if I could just finish unpacking my books, I’d be a happy girl! What about you? Holler at me in the comments!