December Reads

I finished the year strong and read NINETEEN books in December! Even more impressive, seven of them were physically read. I’m really excited to bring that momentum into the new year. But let’s dive in to the book since there’s so many of them!

China Rich Girlfriend by Kevin Kwan
I didn’t like this one as much as the first one. There was still a ton of drama and gossipy rich people, but the focus on Kitty bored me. I don’t see why she matters so much. And Nick’s mom bursting in and acting the hero was annoying – but it fit with her personality, so I can’t complain too much.
I’m going to have to read the next one, though, because I need to know what happened with Astrid.

King of Fools by Amanda Foody
This second book in the series was amazing. There was so much character growth and the plot moved at a beautiful pace that had me not wanting to put it down for even a second.
The end had me near tears, and I immediately had to dive into the third one.

30 Days of Worldbuilding by A. Trevena
As I’ve mentioned, I wrote my first witchy book over the last few months, and this book came in handy. Even though my story is going to be set in a somewhat realistic world, you never realize how much you need to explain in order to make the book fantastical. This guide gave specific prompts and asked questions that really helped me work into every deep detail of my world. And even if it isn’t all going to end up in the books, it is beneficial for me to know the information in the background.

Queen of Volts by Amanda Foody
“You look like you floss your teeth with the souls of men.”
Oh my god, I am so happy I found this series.
The love, the loss, the political mind games, *Chef’s kiss*. Beautiful.
The ending has me a little upset, but I always knew it wouldn’t be a happily ever after. But it also left room for a series continuation later, or a spin-off. Wishful thinking maybe, but a girl can hope.

Positivity by Barbara L. Fredrickson
I really enjoyed this book for its fresh perspective on what can create a positive mindset. And it came from a scientific standpoint to back up all the claims instead of just saying, “be happier.” I also appreciated the actual steps and exercises a person can work through to help increase their general positivity. I’ve always known it begins with a choice in your mindset, but it isn’t always enough. But I am going to keep this book in my thoughts to hopefully make some positive changes in my life.

Changeling by Cate Tiernan
I love the progress Morgan has made as a person and as a witch. She took on an enormous challenge and came out the other side more confident in herself and with a better understanding of her life path.
I also appreciate that the council member acknowledged they were giving a big job to a young girl and that it was a lot to take on instead of it being the norm to expect an eighteen-year-old to do an adult’s job. But she was strong enough and handled it well.

Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens
Wow this was a book I should have read sooner. Book Riot has only mentioned it a million or so times.
The woven timeline with past and present was very artfully done.
Kya’s life of getting by on her own and finding her own way to live game me some Island of the Blue Dolphin vibes (a favorite book of my childhood). She overcame all the odds and got by from a very young age. And thrived, I might add.
And the added murder/mystery bit had me guessing all the way to the end. Loved it.

Author 2.0 Blueprint by Joanna Penn
Honestly, I’m shocked I haven’t read this before now. I’ve followed Joanna’s work for quite some time and read so many of her other books I couldn’t believe it when this one was still unfinished.
But, as usual, she gives brilliant advice across all steps of publishing and I really don’t know what I would do without her.

The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg
In case you can’t tell by the trend of my nonfiction reading, I’m trying to better myself, haha.
This book was enlightening. It really opened my mind to different ways habits form and things that I didn’t even realize were habits in the first place.
My favorite story was about how Febreze almost wasn’t a thing. It really blew my mind.
A great read if you’re interested in why our brain does the things it does.

WordPress for Writers by Lisa Brown
As I mentioned on Saturday, I’ll be working on redoing my website this month. I knew I needed more help if I was going to do it well, and this book really breaks it down into easy to follow steps. I can’t wait to dive in and get my website looking fantastic and professional for you guys.

Wylding Hall by Elizabeth Hand
I liked so much about this story except for the way it was delivered. The interviews gave it a suspenseful feel I guess, but I would have enjoyed a fuller, 3rd person account of the whole thing with the interviews spaced throughout.
BUT it was creepy and had a lot of dark moments. A lot was left unexplained – like the bird stuff – and the ending could have told more… Maybe a final article or something. But I did like it overall.

Big Little lies by Liane Moriarty
This book was incredibly captivating. I found it hard to stop reading for any time and I was dying (ha) to find out who the victim was and what the hell happened at trivia night.
The characters were all very interesting and well-rounded, even in their shallowness. Tears sprang to my eyes more than once and the big revelation was done perfectly. Loved it, and now I need to watch it.

Make Money on Medium by Nicole Akers
Another goal I have is to diversify my author income. I’ve read articles on Medium before and have enjoyed the site and I’m tempted to dip my toe in and see what it’s like on the author side of things.
This short guide gave a lot of excellent tips on how to set up your profile, ways to write articles and how to approach presses. Once I decide to fully commit, I’ll come back to it for all the notes I took in the margins.

Braiding Sweetgrass by Robin Wall Kimmerer
This book was beautiful in every sense of the word. I feel like I learned so much from reading it. And not just about plants.
I’ve always wanted to know more about plants and gardening and this book fueled that fire. The real life sides that wove in and out of the plant information also gave me great perspective. Especially any story that included motherhood. Very nice read.

Rich People Problems by Kevin Kwan
I enjoyed this third book more than the second, but still less than the first. The shallow craziness was just as entertaining, but they gained depth in this one.
Even with all the labels and designer names, it wasn’t as important this time. The bigger emphasis was on family ties and fixing family relationships, and it was a pleasant change. And the clean conclusion wrapped up all the storylines nicely. I’m glad I finished the series.

No Time to Die by Kira Peikoff
I really enjoyed the scientific premise of this book. The main idea was fascinating. However, there were several times the repetition was a bit much. Like, we get it, you’re trying to cure aging. You don’t need to keep saying it.
Gramps was my favorite character, and I had zero patience for Zoe’s parents. Why wouldn’t they hvae pressed for answers? Makes no sense to me.
Zoe herself wasn’t the greatest. But I think they tried too hard to make her seem like a fourteen-year-old but it came out more whiney than teenage angst. Overall, I liked it though.

Local Woman Missing by Mary Kubica
Only having finished the book do I think it was any good. I almost stopped reading several times, but my brain really wanted to understand what the hell happened.
The pacing didn’t keep me engaged. The hopping around confused me. Leo’s parts don’t even seem relevant. And most characters were described early on, but I pictured Meredith as a short, frumpy woman through the entire book until Bea says something about her being 90 pounds soaking wet.
I don’t know. Great twist and all, and it came together in the end… I just didn’t really enjoy the journey.

Following by David Gaughran
Another craft book to help me build the business side of my author career.
This book really helped me understand my platform and how to be better. I added several tasks to my to do list and I can’t wait to act on them. I’ve never felt like I was any good at social media, but he gave some very helpful advice on how to be more engaging.


The Goblin Emperor by Katherine Addison
This book was beautiful. We are dropped right into the fantasy world and information is given at just the right speed. The diversity of creatures is wonderful and their unique characteristics make it simple to follow.
The only problem I have is the hard to track names – but that’s an issue I have with all fantasy books and it doesn’t hurt the story.
What a great story to end the year on.


Wow. Okay. I felt like that was never going to end. Haha. I hope everyone had a successful year of reading and that you’ll reach your goals this year too.

Don’t forget, the rest of this month will be on hiatus until I come back in February with my January reads post. Don’t miss me too much 😉

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