What I Read in December

Monday, January 1, 2018

I didn't do a ton of reading in December, mostly because I did a ton of relaxing & Christmas-movie-watching, but I did read enough to hit 77 total books for the year, surpassing my goal of 60 & totaling 24,130 pages. Below are the five books I finished in the final month of 2017.

Next up: I'm currently reading Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine, which I didn't finish in time for the 2017 total. After this one, I'll decide between Hunger: A Memoir of (My) Body by Roxane Gay & Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng, both purchased through Book of the Month Club. As always, you can get your first book for $9.99 - plus a free tote bag - when you join using my referral link. Happy reading!

Braced by Alyson Gerber

I first heard of this book while working the URJ Biennial in Boston, where its author spoke to the 6,000-person audience in attendance about her experience wearing a back brace in adolescence. I had a back brace, too, so I got a liiiittle excited for this one, even though it's a YA novel for tweens. What I didn't expect was how emotionally difficult it would be, at points, for me to read. I don't think I have a lot of baggage associated with my own scoliosis experience, but this read had me right back in 1997. ★★★★★

The Lying Game by Ruth Ware

I loved Ware's last book, The Woman in Cabin 10 - what a twist! - so I was really excited to get this one from Book of the Month Club. It tells the story of four boarding school friends reunited in adulthood because a secret from their past threatens to come to the surface. The twists & turns at the end were ones I did not see coming, which seems to be Ware's specialty, & these weren't nearly as wackadoo as in The Woman in Cabin 10. ★★★★★

The Mothers by Britt Bennett

I wrote about this book in my post My 10 Favorite Books of 2016; it was the last book of the year & also one of the best. Told from the third-person perspective of an older church-going woman, it tells the story of teenage church member Nadia, whose mother recently died by suicide; her boyfriend, Luke, the preacher's son; & her best friend, Aubrey, who soon becomes close to Luke, too. The book, which follows them into adulthood, tells one of the most agonizingly, exquisitely human stories I've ever read. ★★★★★

In a Dark, Dark Wood by Ruth Ware

Yes, this makes for two Ruth Ware books in one month! This story, too, tells of friends reunited, this time for a "hen do," British terminology for a bachelorette party. The weekend's activities take place in a cabin located in, well, in a dark, dark wood, & though the book isn't really a thriller, it's definitely filled with tension & suspense. I saw at least one of the twists coming this time - but this was Ware's first novel, & she's clearly stepped up her twists-&-turns game since then. ★★★★★

Turtles All the Way Down by John Green

I know a lot of people don't, but I really love John Green's writing. This is the story of Aza, a teenager who's trying to solve the case of a local billionaire's disappearance while also struggling with significant mental illness. Green, who lives with OCD, wrote about the mind of someone with mental illness so poignantly that it gave me some difficult flashbacks to my own past struggles. As always, Green's teen dialogue is too witty to be realistic, but what really bothered me about this book - at points so much that it totally took me out of the story - was how frequently the main character's best friend called her by a stupid nickname. It was in, like, every other sentence. ★★★★☆

And that'll do it for my books of 2017. If you want to hear more about what I loved this year, check out my top 10 favorite books of the year. As always thanks for reading... books and the blog!

Comment to tell me what you're reading, then add me on Goodreads to keep in touch & see what I've read in months past.

My "What I Read in..." posts include Amazon affiliate links to the titles I discuss. If you buy a book using one of these links, I will receive a small percentage of commission. Please don't feel any obligation to use these links, but if you do, it will help me buy more books.

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