What I read in December

I read three books in December, which brought my yearly book count up to 59. I would have loved to make it to 60 books, but there wasn’t any time left (I finished my last book on New Year’s Eve).

Two of the books I ended up reading last month were YA novels (and if you’ve followed my book journey this year, YA literature is not my favorite genre, but many of you like it and so it always ends up on my to-read list somehow.) I enjoyed the books, but I am looking to take a little break from YA fiction this coming year.

It’s Okay to Laugh (Crying is cool too) by Nora McInerny Purmort (★★★★☆)

“Being an adult is doing everything before you are ready.” This book literally makes you laugh and cry. It’s raw and honest and pretty much sums up what life is: a freakin’ rollercoaster (for most of us anyway) and the fact that everybody is basically just winging it. Nothing is easy, parts are incredibly hard, but if we try to focus on the good people and things around us, we can make it through.

This is where it ends by Marieke Nijkamp (★★★☆☆)

I think my expectations were a little “high” when I read about the plot of this book – a school shooting, told from four different perspectives over the span of 54 minutes.

It was a little hard to keep track of all the different characters with the changing narrator’s perspectives and how they all related to each other and I was disappointed because I didn’t quite figure out the motivation of the shooter (which in my opinion is always the biggest puzzle to solve in tragedies like that and this book had the opportunity to shed more light on the “why” and not just on the “how”.)

What to say next by Julie Buxbaum (★★★☆☆)

This was a relatively fast and easy read and I enjoyed the two main characters’ relationship, popular Kit and socially isolated David, quite a bit. I also enjoyed how the title of this book was weaved into the narrative, because really, how often do we experience situations when we don’t know “what to say next”. It’s so relatable. However, I am always, always going to be a little bit too critical of a book that chooses a “mental health issue” at the center of the story and then fails to go beyond clichés.

What was your favorite book last month? Leave a comment, and then add me on Goodreads to keep in touch.

  1. These all sound very interesting! The one about the school shooting I’m not sure I could do…that what to say next book sounds like the theme to my own life. lmao… I think I have read about….4 books this whole year =o

    1. Don’t beat yourself up… I’ve had years where I hardly read anything. There will be another season for reading :)

  2. I loved Nora’s book so I’m really glad you enjoyed it! She lives in Minnesota and I have met her a few times, she is the real deal, after all she’s been through she has such an amazing spirit. The other two sound interesting, I might check them out even knowing you had some mixed feelings on them.

    1. Oh wow, that is so cool that you ‘know’ Nora…. I am sure she’s just as inspiring in person!

  3. I’ve glad you loved Nora’s book. I got to see her at a live taping of her podcast in November. She’s awesome. She was put through the ringer but still has such an incredible fighting spirit. I like that her podcast talks about how it’s ok to not be ok. It’s not an easy listen since she takes on some really, really difficult stories. But she is as fabulous podcast host. I actually read this book for a 2nd time in November, which I rarely do. It was a book club book and I wanted it fresh in my mind. It was great reading it a 2nd time through after listening to her podcast as I could really ‘hear her voice’ as I read the book.

    The best book I read in December was “We Were the Lucky Ones.” It was a hard read as it’s about a Jewish family living in Poland during WWII. The narration moves around from the different members of the family and they all experience such horrible things. It’s hard to believe that humans have the capacity to be so cruel. I loved that the book was based on the true story of the author’s family. The end note section was interesting as she talks about the real people behind the characters in the book and what happened in their lives after the war.

    1. Oh, I heard about “The Lucky Ones”, I think I am on the waitlist for it at the library.

  4. Well I just keep adding more and more books to my reading list :) . These all sound good but Its ok to laugh sounds like one I need to read for sure! Im not sure I could keep up up with the school shooting though. Have a great Thursday!!

    1. Haha, I do the same thing… my to-read list is forever getting longer :)

  5. I also read This Is Where It Ends and I hated it! I actually thought I picked up the wrong book because everyone talked about it so much, but I also thought it was confusing and sounded like it was written by a teenager. Not a fan.

    1. I am relieved I am not the only one who was a little critical with this book ;) I know so many people who absolutely loved it!

  6. Thank you so much for sharing and you read many books in 2017!! That reminds me, I forgot to tally the total number of books I read last year. Anyway, This is Where it Ends is on my list and I’ll have to add the others too… I happen to like YA books but I know what you mean—sometimes you need a break after a few back to back.

    1. I totally surprised myself with the number of books that I read in 2017, the year before I “only” read 13 (but it was one of my goals to make reading more of a priority again!)

  7. Aw, I love YA Fiction. I do think that some of the more popular books aren’t necessarily the best though so it’s hard for people to break into YA sometimes. I’m glad you DID get one good book last month though. :) Yay for 59 books! That’s great.


    1. Oh don’t get me wrong, I have read some great YA novels…. I’ve just read too many recently and would like to read some other genres for a while ;)

  8. I read This is Where it Ends last year when it was part of the Big Library Read and I thought it was interesting. I’ve not seen some of the other books you have here. Definitely going to check them out!

    1. Oh, it was definitely interesting… I just think my expectations were too high!

  9. I always enjoy seeing what others are reading and what books they enjoy!
    Well done on 59 books – that is awesome!
    Last month I enjoyed “Paper hearts and summer kisses” by Carole Matthews.

    1. I always enjoy seeing what others are reading, too. :)

  10. Do you read actual books or do you read on a phone/kindle? I love to read “real” books but I recently discovered Kindle Unlimited and I am doing a free one month trial. It is 9.99 a month to read as many books as you want on your phone. (I don’t have a Kindle but I have an app that let’s me read kindle stuff on my phone…) It seems too good to be true and I realized not every book in the world is available on Kindle Unlimited. I mean, you can buy them, but I don’t want to buy them!

    1. I used to read on my phone, but have recently purchased a Kindle Fire. I am connected to two local libraries and mostly use their digital copies. It’s super-convenient and free! :)
      I do like “real” books and also try to read from my own library at home sometimes, but it’s nice to be able to lend from the library without leaving home. You should see ifthat is possible with your library. There are a couple of apps to use (Overdrive, Libby, Cloud Library).

      1. Thank you for the tips! I have heard of overdrive, I think my library has that.

  11. I think it’s awesome that you gave YA a try this year, but it doesn’t seem like it’s your jam and that’s totally okay! Reading what you love is the most important thing. :)

    The best book I read in December was Hunger by Roxane Gay. Such an important book and it made my top 10 list for the year!

    1. I am not saying that I won’t read YA ever again (I enjoyed some of the books quite a bit), but since they’re mostly/often centered around teenagers, I crave some other literature in between :)

      Thanks for the recommendation… I think I put Hunger on my to-read list already!

  12. I listen to Nora’s podcast, so I feel like I should really check out her book. In her podcast she’s so sassy and heartfelt and real and with a voice like that, I’m sure I’d enjoy the book too.

    1. I wish I would enjoy podcast. I think someone has recommended her podcast before, but I just don’t stick with podcasts. Sigh.

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