December 2019 Reading Wrap-Up

Greetings! Hope you’re having a stellar reading week. This December wrap-up is quite late in the making but better late than never I say. December was a crowded and intense reading month for me. I had a personal reading goal on Goodreads of 200 books (and to divide that selection up moreso, 100 books and 100 manga/graphic novel volumes.) Managed to cram in enough at the end to reach that mark. If you’re curious to see, you can read my Goodreads Year-In-Review page here. Goodreads provides these detailed pages for the annual reading challenge, they’re awesome. ❤

Finished 16 books in December and 3 volumes of manga/graphic novels. This was the month I’d intended to finish short books that had been on my TBR for ages. Some of the best reading experiences of this year were had among that selection. I highly suggest short books for overcoming a reading slump, they really make a difference. Here are the titles completed along with a few sentences conveying my general opinion. If not already reviewed, I do plan to fully review all of these titles in the near future.

1.) The Bookish Life of Nina Hill by Abbi Waxman (Amazon Link) (Click here to read my full review.) This was a cute contemporary with a likable start. The less remarkable aspects did make it forgettable as a whole, unfortunately.

2.) The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides (Amazon Link) (Click here to read my full review.) I was deeply interested in this novel and after making some inroads, it became unputdownable. I did have some issues with the ending, however it is also a high point of this novel.

3.) Echoes Between Us by Katie McGarry (Amazon Link) (Review coming soon.) This is a contemporary YA with a light magical tinge. I was struck by the maturity of the writing and surprisingly grim reaches of the storyline at several points. Definitely a stand-out title though it’s not for everyone.

4.) The Wife Between Us by Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen (Amazon Link) (Click here to read my full review.) I loved this book at first but like The Silent Patient, the ending was a point of mixed feelings. I think these authors, as a duo, have a lot of potential and I’d consider reading more books by them.

5.) Loveboat, Taipei by Abigail Hing Wen (Amazon Link) (Click here to read my full review.) A fun yet meaningful YA contemporary with a refreshing setting and detailed characterization. Lengthier than the average YA but the added pages are worthwhile in giving the characters extra spark.

6-8.) Orange Part 2 Omnibus (contains volumes 4-5 and a stand-alone extravolume.) (Amazon Link) (Review finished, coming soon.) While not deviating far from the standards set by the first three volumes, I found the ending wanting. Also wasn’t much interested in the bonus stand-alone volume which is an altogether other story. Would totally read more in the Orange universe though.

9.) Night by Elie Wiesel (Amazon Link) (Review finished, coming soon.) I have not often been moved to tears by books and the fact that Night made that happen within the space of 115 pages makes this one of the most impactful reading experiences during 2019.

10.) Milk and Honey by Rupi Kaur (Amazon Link) (Review finished, coming soon.) I’m new to poetry. Even newer to the kind of modern, almost haiku-like style found here. After seeing a few awkward-seeming selections from this book posted online, I had my doubts. It was a good experience overall. This collection probably came to me at the right time though.

11. The Sun And Her Flowers by Rupi Kaur (Amazon Link) (Review coming soon.) I was less enthusiastic about this follow-up. It contains some re-treads from Milk and Honey, some of the poems (especially of the first chapter) are too similar. However, there is a chapter on race/identity/immigration that contains the single best poem (or at least, a favorite) that I’ve seen from Kaur.

12. Maybe Not by Colleen Hoover (Amazon Link) (Review coming soon.) I loved this novella almost too much. It has me wondering if novellas are the way to go in romance, keeping the pace purposefully brisk and well-directed.

13. The Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka (Amazon Link) (Review coming soon.) Like Night, this book is short but gives a reader so much to ruminate over. To be honest, not sure if a review is coming. I have a disorganized jumble of too much to say about it. This book makes me want to sneak into some highschools/unis where it’s being taught to see what discussions emerge, lol.

14. Bird Box by Josh Malerman (Amazon Link) (Review coming soon.) An imaginative and fast-moving horror novel. Another short one. The ending is lively to say the least and a high point. I actually preferred the characterization of the film adaptation, but this was still a worthwhile book and overall concept.

15. The Weight of a Soul by Elizabeth Tammi (Amazon Link) (Review finished, coming soon.) This is a YA novel making use of norse mythology. The premise was intriguing but I have a lot of feelings about the execution and ending, most of which are negative.

16. Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut (Amazon Link) (Review coming soon.) Experimental, darkly humorous, and full of thought-provoking passages. This book is in a weird and remote space with very few other titles like it. (Wind Up Bird Chronicle by Haruki Murakami comes to mind.)

17. The Giver by Lois Lowry (Amazon Link) (Review coming soon.) Apparently, this book is under 200 pages which astounds me because it has the “fullness” and depth of content of a book twice that page count. Fantastic plot. The version I read has a bonus note by the author that conveys the intent and inspiration behind this novel beautifully.

18. Siddhartha by Hermann Hesse (Amazon Link) (Review coming soon.) Correction, maybe coming soon. This book was challenging to fully come to grips with and will be difficult to review. Reminds me of The Little Prince. I read that at age 8 and didn’t fully “get” and appreciate it. Re-read the book decades later with a full understanding. Maybe in a few decades I’ll better “get” Siddhartha?

19. The Bad Beginning (A Series of Unfortunate Events #1) by Lemony Snicket (Amazon Link) (Review coming soon.) Very cute book and an inviting first volume. Imaginative and with a whimsical gothic element, not a combo of descriptors that is easy to find. Still appealing for adults.

This was an intense month! Have you read any of the books listed, or plan to? What book did you most enjoy reading in December? Thanks so much for checking out this post, eager to hear your thoughts as always. ~ Kitty


12 thoughts on “December 2019 Reading Wrap-Up

  1. I was such a fan of Katie McGarry a few years ago. I don’t know why I forgot about her writing. I’m hoping to try The Wife Between Us sometime soon and Maybe Not by Colleen Hoover. I still haven’t tried one of her books yet!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I’ve read four books from your list and kind of agree with your views on them.
    Nina hill was forgetful- interesting character but it felt like reading about myself in a parallel universe I guess..
    Rupi Kaur’s milk and honey was groundbreaking in its ease of read for poetry but that was all the rupi kaur I could digest
    Sidhartha – for me was a little ehm too.. too philosophical for my taste I think and I didn’t completely get the message by the end of it either. I was like, so what’s the point?
    Finally, Kurt Vonnegut’s slaughter 5 was one of my favorite reads when I read it in 2018. I absolutely loved the dark humour and his take on war.. some really memorable quotes in that one

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for your thoughts Prachi! Wow, we definitely read some similarly diverse array of books for sure. Agreed about Nina Hill’s relatability. Much agreed on Rupi Kaur. My dad adores Siddhartha and found deep meaning in it but I had a reaction similar to you, like there’s a block or blank space where I would otherwise have grasped how special it is.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Haha yeah I like reading different kinds of books to stop myself from falling into a reading rut. Also sometimes I feel too old to be reading only YA fantasy and to offset that and act my age, I sometimes read adult contemporary or adult fantasy..

        Maybe we need to be a little more older to read and truly grasp the meaning behind Sidhartha 🤷‍♀️

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Looks like you had such an incredible reading month with a wide variety of books read! Kafka intimidates me and he’s one author that I have on my list for the “must read classic authors” but also, I’m worried that it’ll just go flying over my head! I think books by authors like him would be perfect for group/school discussions that tread slowly 😂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It would have been so neat to read his work in school! I can definitely relate to your thoughts. The Metamorphosis was shockingly understandable for me but there are definitely some books I’ve read or tried to read that were a giant “???” lol. :’D


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