I read seven books in December – which meant that for the first time, I beat my target of 100 books for the year by three books! This was a great year of reading, and I ended it with some great picks.
The Year of Living Danishly: Uncovering the Secrets of the World’s Happiest Country, by Helen Russell: I absolutely loved this book, which was both witty and informative. The research is woven into the narrative seamlessly, and the author’s tone is light and sarcastic, reminding me a lot of the hilarious Jen Lancaster. Highly recommend this book if you’re looking for a light but educational read! I’m looking forward to reading Russell’s next book now.
Captivate: The Science of Succeeding with People, by Vanessa Van Edwards: This book was fascinating! Van Edwards had a great, friendly voice that pulled me in and kept me reading. There were great insights in this book for how to better work with / befriend people of all personality types, and I would highly recommend this to anyone. I ended up buying it for my brother for Christmas, and it was one of my best books of the year.
The Bees, by Laline Paull: This was really different, but very interesting. It was described as The Hunger Games meets The Handmaid’s Tale; I saw some of The Handmaid’s Tale, but not really any Hunger Games. The author did an incredible job anthropomorphizing the hierarchy of a beehive, and it was all believable but still in keeping with actual insect behavior. However, since I listen to The Babysitters’ Club Club podcast and constantly hear them emphasize Bee Theory, I couldn’t help but chuckle at how it was actually happening here 🙂
El Deafo, by Cece Bell: My nine year old second cousin recommended this to me as one of her favorite books. I had never before read a graphic novel, but it was surprisingly quick reading. At first, I found it incredibly sad, while also recognizing that it was a great way for kids to better understand the challenges of their peers. But the happy ending redeemed it – I’d definitely recommend this for kids, and it’s plenty interesting for adults too.
It’s All Relative, by Wade Rouse: This wasn’t a holiday book, per se, but it had a few holiday stories. That said, it was a great read for the holiday season because of its blend of humorous and heartwarming stories. Because the book was broken up into short vignettes, it was a quick and easy read.
Molly’s Game, by Molly Bloom: I loved this page-turner right up until the very end, when it finished without any real conclusion. As you learn from the first chapter, she gets taken to jail. However, I still wasn’t clear on exactly what she did that landed her in jail, given how careful she was throughout, and the book also didn’t go into where she is now / what happened next, which was disappointing. I’d still highly recommend this, and am looking forward to now seeing the movie that just came out!
Start with Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action, by Simon Sinek: This book had some interesting insights and examples, but I was really distracted by WHAT, HOW, and WHY always being capitalized in the text – it made it difficult to focus on the actual message. The examples also felt hand-picked to drive the main point (that “why” is the most important), but I finished the book feeling like they weren’t necessarily representative of all companies.
Any book recommendations for me? Follow me here on Goodreads to keep up with what I’m reading in real time.