Monday, December 27, 2021

What I Read The First Half of December

Well, my reading the first half of December was a lot better than in November. For some reason, even though I was stressed about Covid, especially the Omicron variant and how it might mess with the holidays, and the last weeks of school before the break, I must have buried my stress in books :)

An Ember in the Ashes (An Ember in the Ashes, #1)

This book took my breath away in more ways than one. It was brutal in terms of some of the descriptions of violence and punishment but, at the same time, so engaging I couldn't put it down. I would have to take a break because it was not nice bedtime reading but I had to know what happened next. This is the first book in a quartet and I immediately got the next three out of the library because I have to know how this story ends. There is a bit of teenage angst (and heartbreak) as well, but mostly I would say this book did not feel like it was written for teenagers.

The Bookstore on the Beach

This book had a very abrupt ending and you all know how I feel about that. Also, I don't feel like it was well named. Yes, there was a bookstore and a beach but they were not central to the book. This is a story which tries to do too many things at once -- teenage pregnancy? Check. Missing spouse? Check. Family secrets? Check. Same-sex relationships? Check. If you name it, it was probably in this book. So yes, it felt a little unfocused and a bit unwieldy.

A Rogue of One's Own (A League of Extraordinary Women, #2)

I really liked this book. These are what I would consider "elevated chick lit." I mean, there's romance and there's steaminess but there's also a lot about women's suffrage and women's rights and women who don't give up. Now, I don't know how many women in the 1880s lived like Lucie and her friends, but these are enjoyable reads. This was the second book in the series.

The Good, the Bad, and the Dumped

Normally, if I read a Jenny Colgan novel I am raving about it. However, this one left me a little "meh." I looked to see if it was one of her earlier books, written before she'd found her stride, and was shocked to read it was released in March 2021. What?!?!? This is not the Jenny Colgan I've come to know and love. I found her main character flighty and not very likeable. I found the plot hard to imagine. It just felt off.


This is a book we found while shopping for our kids' teacher gifts. This year we bought a bunch of books to donate to the Diverse Little Free Libraries in our city. We had so much fun shopping at our local bookstore. Sam is really into graphic novels so this story was right up his alley. He got it out of the library to read, after buying it for the libraries. Then he said, "Mommy, you should read this book." If you have access to it (it's Canadian and I don't know how widely available it is), you should absolutely read it. It's about how First Nations' people living in what we call "North America" are neither American or Canadian, and don't identify that way.

This Is All I Got

My friend Erika recommended this book. It follows a single mother through one year of living in poverty in New York City. This book absolutely broke my heart. I just want to donate all our money so that people don't have to live like this. Or how do we change the systems which don't allow people to break out of homelessness and find stability?

Serena Singh Flips the Script 

This book was... okay. I liked that the main focus was finding a good friendship, rather than finding love. I didn't love how Serena's relationship with her sister fell apart. Sadly, we returned this book on a snowy walk to the library and it got wet so we had to pay for it. Thus, I now own this book so I'll get to read it again :)

The Paper Palace

I read this book because someone said it was similar to Where The Crawdads Sing. I think my expectations were set too high because I don't agree with that assessment. The story was...okay... although the setting of the summer home was incredible and I want to live there. However, this isn't a book I'll recommend or rave about. Maybe I'm just too picky :)

So that's what I read the first half of December. We've been celebrating Christmas at my parents' in Saskatchewan for the past week so that's why I've been quiet on the blog. However, I've gotten LOTS of reading done already so tune in next Monday for my reading wrap up for 2021, including my reading stats and my favourite books for the last quarter of 2021.


  1. Another great collection! I love how much you read- hope your Christmas was amazing!

  2. You read some great ones to wrap up the year!

  3. I agree about The Bookstore On The Beach!

  4. I am so bummed to hear your review of Bookstore on the Beach; that sounds like it had such potential to be a good beach read for the summer.

  5. I have so much to say here! First of all, I also get really agitated at poorly named books; the title must fit into the storyline somewhere or else it super bugs me (my most recent example of this was "Early Morning Riser" where NO ONE got up early). Upon reading this, I immediately requested "Borders" from our library; Aaron also loves graphic novels so I'm excited for him to read this. Definitely still planning to read "This Is All I Got." Good to know about the "Paper Palace"; it has an enormous hold list in my library system (I'm in the 300s, I think) and usually I take that as a sign of a good book, but maybe I should temper my expectations a little bit. Crawdads was incredible and any book that gets compared to it has big shoes to fill.


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