January 9, 2020

What I Read in December 2019

I stepped up my reading game a bit in December to try to make one more push to the end of 2019, and ended up reading 8 books in the month. Not bad! That meant I finished 2019 with 81 books read – far short of my 100 book goal, but still a great amount of reading during the year. Looking forward to hopefully reclaiming my 100 book win in 2020!

These two novels were both very different but so, so good.

5 stars:

The Boyfriend Swap, by Meredith Schorr: I loved this book so much! Chick lit at its finest – this was witty and funny while still being light enough to not make me think too hard. My only disappointment was the ending, which didn’t turn out the way I wanted. But I couldn’t put this down and ended up reading it in two days – really fun!

American Royals, by Katharine McGee: LOVED this book – the characters were so fascinating and engaging! As with the Thousandth Tower series, McGee does an amazing job fleshing out each of the characters and making you care about all of them, even when some of them are not so nice. I can’t wait for the sequel!

4 stars:

Digital Minimalism: Choosing a Focused Life in a Noisy World, by Cal Newport: SO many wonderful ideas in this! I’ll admit, I was a little skeptical at first, since I’ve been reading Cal Newport’s blog for years and knew that he doesn’t do any social media… I was worried he would advocate that approach. But he gave a lot of practical ideas / examples from others that totally seem doable, and also provided a lot of inspiration around using social media strategically rather than letting it run wild over you. Highly recommend this book!

3 stars:

Missoula: Rape and the Justice System in a College Town, by Jon Krakauer: While this book covered a fascinating (and obviously horrific) topic, it was WAY too long. I was really disappointed that Krakauer seemed to never be able to summarize anything; instead, we frequently got word-for-word testimony of everything that was said in court. There were a lot of important things covered, and a lot that I learned from the book, but I found myself skimming large parts of it trying to get to the meat of the story rather than the extreme detail that frankly took away from the overall points being conveyed. Furthermore, while I understand he was trying to make a point, at times it seemed incredibly biased, and I found myself wondering what the other side of the story was. I’m not at all saying that the women profiled were in the wrong, but the way that Krakauer seemed to only highlight the evidence in their favor made him come off every bit as biased as Kirsten Pabst and the various defense attorneys.

The Other’s Gold, by Elizabeth Ames: I was really enjoying this book up until the last chapter. Lainey was always my least favorite of the four, and that “mistake” was just… odd. I also found it really disappointing, as the book ended without any kind of wrap up; it seemed like the author just stopped writing. Unfortunate, as up till then, I had really enjoyed both the plot as well as the beautiful writing.

Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine, by Gail Honeyman: This got rave reviews (5 stars from almost everyone I know who’s read it), and while I found it interesting, I didn’t think it was extraordinary. I had a guess right from the beginning as to what was happening with “Mummy”, so that didn’t come as a big reveal to me. Meanwhile, I kept waiting for Eleanor to get a formal diagnosis of autism / Asperger’s / etc, and that never happened. In the end, I found this a mildly compelling read, but nothing I’d highly recommend.

Triathlete Magazine’s Complete Triathlon Book: The Training, Diet, Health, Equipment, and Safety Tips You Need to Do Your Best, by Matt Fitzgerald: This took me a while to get through – definitely meant to be read in chunks. However, it was a trove of valuable information.

Christmas Shopaholic, by Sophie Kinsella: The Shopaholic books are always a little silly, but I found this to be one of the more frustrating ones. Becky was so over the top in her shopaholic tendencies that it was extremely cringeworthy. That said, it was a nice light easy read for when I didn’t want to think too much.

Any book recommendations for me? Follow me here on Goodreads to keep up with what I’m reading in real time.


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