Hello Readers! December was very different from normal for us here in Texas. It felt like Covid-19 was closing in swiftly as we watched some of our extended family and friends come down with it. While we’ve been social distancing and isolating all year, many here have not—which, sadly, has caused some tension in our extended relationships. I know I’m not alone in saying this year has been a challenge—physically and mentally. Hopefully, brighter days are ahead in 2021!
Because December was so stressful, I didn’t read as much as I had planned. I was eager to devour a long list of holiday-themed books, but I ended up only reading five. I spent much more time than normal watching holiday films and playing games with my family, which I’m okay with. It was a much-needed distraction!
If you look back at My December TBR, you’ll see that I read five books out of the eight I had planned, which brings my total pages read to 1,489. (I’m currently in the middle of Big Girl, Small Town, but I paused it to focus on my holiday reads.) I would love to keep reading the holiday books I had planned into the new year, but I have three ARCs to read in January—one of them being a blog tour—so, it’ll be back to reality soon for me. Let’s take a look at what I did read, and the few books I added to my shelves!
Be sure to check out The Monthly Wrap-Up Round-Up hosted by Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction!
(Link to synopsis on Goodreads through the book title.)
I started the month in Lapland, Finland with Christmas at Frozen Falls. If you love unique Christmas destination books, this is the book for you! Lapland is now on my dream destination list.
My Rating (3.8 / 5)
I couldn’t wait to return to Alaska with Calla, Jonah, and friends in the follow-up novella to The Simple Wild series, Forever Wild. I discovered this series earlier in the year, and fell in love with it!
My Rating (5 / 5)
I was pretty bummed to not get an ARC for In a Holidaze earlier in the year, but now I’m happy I was able to save it until Christmas! I loved this one so much, it may become an annual holiday read.
My Rating (5 / 5)
I wasn’t as thrilled with my next selection, It Happened at Christmas, and it may be to blame for my slide into my holiday reading slump. It’s a YA reimagining and mash-up of the film While You Were Sleeping (which I love) and Cinderella. Unfortunately, my kindle version had too many distracting grammatical errors and there were a few plot holes that took me out of the story.
My Rating (3 / 5)
Thankfully, I was able to read one more of my holiday books, One Wish in Manhattan. And once I committed, I read this one quickly. I loved the setting in this one, as well, and it’s one of those rare occasions when (almost) insta-love works!
My Rating (4 / 5)
December Book Haul
I added a couple of 2021 ARCs to my TBR, as well as a couple of physical books to my shelves thanks to paperbackswap.com, my December book box from The Strand, and two books from Sourcebooks Early Reads program.
I snagged an ARC of Hurricane Summer by Asha Bromfield through Netgalley. The early reviews for this one are great!
Sometimes the storm is inside of you…
The powerful and emotional debut novel from Riverdale and Locke and Key actress Asha Bromfield that deals with colorism, classism, young love, the father-daughter dynamic—and what it means to discover your own voice in the center of complete destruction.
This was an unsolicited ARC that arrived in the mail from Celadon Books. While it’s not one I would normally choose to read, it is getting great reviews. But I might pass this one to my husband to read and review for me. 😉
In Never Enough, Mike Hayes–former Commander of SEAL Team TWO–helps readers apply high-stakes lessons about excellence, agility, and meaning across their personal and professional lives.
Mike Hayes has lived a lifetime of once-in-a-lifetime experiences. He has been held at gunpoint and threatened with execution. He’s jumped out of a building rigged to explode, helped amputate a teammate’s leg, and made countless split-second life-and-death decisions. He’s written countless emails to his family, telling them how much he loves them, just in case those were the last words of his they’d ever read. Outside of the SEALs, he’s run meetings in the White House Situation Room, negotiated international arms treaties, and developed high-impact corporate strategies.
Over his many years of leadership, he has always strived to be better, to contribute more, and to put others first. That’s what makes him an effective leader, and it’s the quality that he’s identified in all of the great leaders he’s encountered. That continual striving to lift those around him has filled Mike’s life with meaning and purpose, has made him secure in the knowledge that he brings his best to everything he does, and has made him someone others can rely on.
In Never Enough, Mike Hayes recounts dramatic stories and offers battle- and boardroom-tested advice that will motivate readers to do work of value, live lives of purpose, and stretch themselves to reach their highest potential.
My Paperbackswap books
- There There by Tommy Orange
- Sleigh Bells in the Snow (O’Neil Brothers, #1) by Sarah Morgan
- Before We Were Yours by Lisa Wingate
- Dominicana by Angie Cruz
My Book HookUp Books
I had a couple of books that weren’t even on my radar to arrive in my December subscription box from The Strand. Please let me know if you’ve read them—and if you think I need to read Heartstopper: Volume 1 first! You can see what else came in My December Book HookUp Unboxing!
My Sourcebook Early Reads
I received two more children’s books through the Sourcebooks Early Reads program. The space one is especially cute, as well as educational!
Amazon First Reads
I chose the historical fiction novel, A Splendid Ruin by Megan Chance, as my Amazon First Reads choice in December. It has great reviews, and it’s set during the 1906 San Francisco earthquake.
How was your reading month? Have you read any of these books? Did you add any of them to your TBR? Let me know in the comments!