Tuesday, January 2, 2024

What We Read in December

I had a very strong reading month to end the year. I read 10 books, which is higher than normal for me but I was isolating for a chunk of December when I had covid. I would wear a mask around Phil and the boys but it was so uncomfortable that I would go to bed in the guest room when the boys were both down and forego watching a show with Phil. Here is how my reading shook out for the month. 

Faith-related books

I'm going on what you could describe as a faith journey so I am going to break them out in a separate category since they don't really fit in the others. In December, I read All My Knotted Up Life by Beth Moore and Leaving Church by Rachel Held Evans. Moore's is a memoir. She experienced childhood trauma at the hands of a trusted adult so that was hard to read about. Then she was essentially kicked out of the Southern Baptist Church because she spoke out against Donald Trump. I am not Baptist so had no idea they ousted her. Oof. Evans died in 2019 from complications of an infection that put her in a coma. It was weird and sad to read this book. She was also raised Baptist but ends up becoming Episcopalian. 

Best books 

No Two Persons by Erica Bauermeister is based on the quote "no two persons reads the same books or sees the same picture." I would describe this book as linked short stories from the view of the various people who were impacted by this book in ways both small and large. Pete and Alice in Maine by Caitlin Shetterly is about a marriage that is falling apart - but then the pandemic hits and they flee to their second home in Maine where the couple tries to pretend all is fine in front of their children. This pairs well with my final and favorite book of December: You Could Make This Place Beautiful by Maggie Smith. Smith's book is a memoir about the ending of her marriage. It is a very heart breaking read. I swear I haven't intended to read books about marriages in crisis. It's just the way my holds worked out (I exclusively read books from the library so what I read is based on what is available). 

Pretty good to OK books:

Search by Michelle Huneven is a book that multiple podcasters raved out. It's about a Unitarian Universalist church that is looking for a new pastor. If you've been on a committee of some sort that needs to make a decision, this would probably be a good book for you to check out. Once More With Feeling by Elissa Sussman is a rom-com about two people who were child pop stars but come back into each other's lives. I had to go back and read the synopsis to remember what it was about, though, so it was not a memorable read. I Will Find You by Harlan Coben was a pager turney thriller about a man that was imprisoned for killing his toddler son. But his son is spotted by the father's SIL. Is he really dead? It required the suspension of disbelief to some extent but was still a great read. Seven Days of Us by Francesca Hornak is something I read because it was set over the Christmas holiday. It was written in 2017 but is about a family that is quarantining as one daughter is working in a country hit by a terrible virus. It was solidly "just ok." I read The Heaven and Earth Grocery Store by James McBride after hearing a lot of buzz about it. It's won the National Book Award which seems to be a kiss of death for me. I liked it more than I thought I might have when I started it, but I didn’t love it. There were so many characters to keep track of!

The Boys' December Reads

We read a lot of Christmas books in November/December. The book I read the most was How the Grinch Stole Christmas. We quote from this book a lot, like "oh the noise, noise, noise" or "and they've feast and they'll feast, and they'll feast, feast, feast, feast." The repetitive phrases really stick with a person. Paul can recite an impressive amount of this book!

Taco got some Mickey lift-the-flap books that he is really enjoying! 

And I found this list of most borrowed books from my library super interesting. All 10 of the most checked out juvenile print books are Dav Pilkey books. Mr. Pilkey is doing ok. Sheesh. Paul is very into Dog Man books. I don't love them personally, but it's not about me. If they bring Paul joy that is all that really matters. My parents never restricted what I read and I won’t for my boys either. He got 4 Dog Man books for Christmas and was thrilled about that! 

On our last trip to the library for the year, Paul found this book about chess. He is totally obsessed with chess right now and is determined to beat daddy. 

I'll be back tomorrow with my best books of 2023. Did you read anything great in December?

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