Happy New Year bookworms!
I cannot believe 2018 is here. This year has flown by… which I’m sure has a little to do with how chaotic my life was the second half of 2017. Despite everything that went on these past two months, I still managed to read 16 books!
Let’s see what I read in November & December, shall we?
If you have been following my little saga, you would know that back in August we purchased a new home that we gutted and completely renovated. After 4 months of renovations, we have finally moved in! I cannot say what a huge relief it is to finally be in our new home. Between renovations on our new home, and fixing up, listing, and selling our old home, my life has been pure chaos since August. I do not do well living in chaos nor having my routine disrupted… I am more than ready for my life to get back to normal and to resume my daily routines, which includes blogging! I am super excited to announce that as of the new year, I will be back from my hiatus. I cannot wait to catch up with everyone and find out what I’ve missed. I feel so out of touch with the bookish community.
*Book titles link to Goodreads
» Lucky Boy by Shanthi Sekaran
Feelings in a few thoughts: one of my top reads of 2017 ¤ themes: illegal immigration, immigration experience, infertility, foster care/adoption process ¤ really makes you think about how flawed our system is on so many different levels ¤ moral dilemma with lots of grey areas ¤ great book to teach empathy towards illegal immigrants & their treatment here in the U.S.
» The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway
Feelings in a few thoughts: odd narration style ¤ the characters in this book represent everything that other countries see & hate about Americans – entitlement, selfishness, excess, etc. ¤ no likeable characters – particularly Brett ¤ was bored for the majority of the book – most interesting part of the book was the bullfighting descriptions ¤ felt similar to The Great Gatsby – read that book instead ¤ maybe this book appeals more to men?
» Smoke and Mirrors by Neil Gaiman
Feelings in a few thoughts: favorite stories = The Wedding Present, Chivalry, Troll Bridge, & Murder Mysteries ¤ loved the explanations behind the short stories & for whom/why they were written, but since I was reading in audiobook these were all given at the beginning of the book, so I was not able to “flip back” to jog my memory – would be better in the audiobook to start each new story with an introduction ¤ many of these stories were very philosophical – made me think ¤ didn’t love every story, but enjoyed them overall as a collection
» The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden
Feelings in a few thoughts: another top read of 2017 ¤ loved the Russian folklore surrounding this tale ¤ a fairytale for adults – storytelling at its best ¤ this book definitely had some creepy undertones ¤ perfect book to read during winter time ¤ themes: challenging traditional gender roles, courage, good vs. evil, choosing your own path in life, etc. ¤ strong female lead character in Vasya ¤ took me a little while to get into the story, but could not stop reading once I was pulled in ¤ cannot wait to read the second book
» When Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya Menon
Feelings in a few thoughts: sweet YA contemporary ¤ loved seeing such a focused & ambitious young woman main character ¤ appreciated the inclusion of traditional Indian culture & values ¤ romance felt real & believable ¤ wanted more of the plot to include the summer program & web developing – less focus on the romance ¤ felt the story was fairly predictable towards the end
» Wishtree by Katherine Applegate
Feelings in a few thoughts: beautiful MG novel inside & out – cover, content, illustrations, etc. ¤ Tree & animal POVs very well done ¤ themes: friendship, acceptance, diversity, etc. ¤ wonderful book to use in a classroom setting
» The Giver by Lois Lowry
Feelings in a few thoughts: this was my first time reading this book, even though I know I would have enjoyed it when I was in school, I feel like I appreciated it more as an adult ¤ the philosophical questions that this book brings about is mind boggling – this book really made me think ¤ dystopian fiction at its best ¤ I would almost classify this book more as a MG read – HOWEVER not recommended for sensitive readers ¤ I took a star off because one aspect of this book with regards to race felt problematic, but it wasn’t exactly clear either… hard to discuss without spoilers
» Lilac Girls by Martha Hall Kelly
Feelings in a few thoughts: WW2 historical fiction – love WW2 HF that sheds light on lesser known events (in this case, The Rabbits of Ravensbrück and Caroline Ferriday) ¤ it is very clear the author went through a tremendous amount of research for this book, a fact I always appreciate ¤ I also appreciate that the author did not “water it down” for the readers – particularly about the experiments the “rabbits” were subjected to ¤ this book would make for an excellent book club selection ¤ loved the author explored the aftermath of the war on the characters (especially Kasia) – made the book feel more real ¤ this is a lengthy book that took me longer than normal to read – enjoyed the second half of the book more than the first ¤ almost feel book would have been better without Herta’s POV
» Life of Pi by Yann Martel
Feelings in a few thoughts: slow moving until about the 30% mark ¤ survival story – loved Pi’s determination & resourcefulness ¤ would recommend this one to those interested in zoology ¤ religion & faith is a pretty big part of this book, which did get to be a little much in the beginning but didn’t feel overly preachy either ¤ this would probably would have been a 3 star read, but the ending was fantastic! – it will definitely have you thinking.
» The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern
Feelings in a few thoughts: When is the Circus of Dreams coming to my town? ¤ this is a more slower paced novel – I wouldn’t consider this a action packed novel, but rater a slow burn story ¤ the writing is vivid & exquisite – however if you are not a fan of authors with a more wordy writing style, this probably won’t be for you ¤ the best part of this book would have to be the magic involved with the circus – the author did such a good job with the world building that I felt like I was there ¤ sensory writing at its best! ¤ I think this book is best gone into without reading the synopsis – too many spoilers
» The Goldfish Boy by Lisa Thompson
Feelings in a few thoughts: #DiverseKidLit – character with OCD ¤ I cannot attest to the accuracy of the OCD representation (I do not suffer from OCD) but I imagine it is fairly accurate – the author did such a good job describing Matthew Corbin’s symptoms that I could feel his anxiety ¤ loved the friendship that develops between Matthew & Melody, even though it was a reluctant one on Matthew’s part ¤ enjoyed the mystery surrounding the disappearance of the toddler – great for a MG mystery ¤ wanted a little more resolution with Jake – he doesn’t get a pass simply because he went through personal struggles… it doesn’t give him permission to be a jerk
» Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J.K. Rowling (illustrated edition)
Feelings in a few thoughts: re-read #6? honestly I’ve lost count – first time reading the illustrated edition ¤ Jim Kay made this story come alive on the pages – his illustrations are dead on & stunning – the detail is incredible
» Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (Harry Potter #2) by J.K. Rowling (illustrated edition)
Feelings in a few thoughts: the spiders still get to me, even as an adult ¤ the mystery surround the chamber of secrets is so well done – I appreciate the plot line in this book more as an adult ¤ Jim Kay on point again with the illustrations – no surprise there
» The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas
Feelings in a few thoughts: one of the most “real” books I’ve read this year ¤ inspired by the #BlackLivesMatter movement, THUG does an outstanding job explaining what the movement stands for & what it doesn’t ¤ POSITIVE family dynamics & parents who are involved in their children’s lives ¤ while THUG is a very serious book with very serious content, Thomas mixes in just the right amount of light-hearted moments to balance out the seriousness ¤ this book is so important – I would recommend this one to everyone
» Anne of Ingleside (Anne of Green Gables #6) by L.M. Montgomery
Feelings in a few thoughts: really enjoyed getting to know Anne’s children & reading about all their escapades ¤ Anne felt more real in this book – I was starting to wonder if she was always upbeat & happy ¤ Anne & Susan seems a tad on the snooty side in this book
» Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (Harry Potter #3) by J.K. Rowling (illustrated edition)
Feelings in a few thoughts: is it just me, or did some of the illustrations feel a little different in this book? Like a different style? ¤ I love going back and re-reading these books to see all the small details I missed the first go around as a child ¤ Hermoine! You go girl! ¤ love everything about the plotline of this book
» The Lies of Locke Lamora (Gentleman Bastard #1) by Scott Lynch
» The Sun is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon
» The Twelve Lives of Samuel Hawley by Hannah Tinti
» Warcross by Marie Lu
» Ready Player One by Ernest Cline
» Harry Potter: A Journey Through a History of Magic by J.K. Rowling
Which books did you read in November & December?
Have you read any of the books I read or hauled these past 2 months? If so, what did you think?
Did you buy any books? If so, which ones?
Comment below & let me know 🙂