Reading summary for December (and sneak peak at what I’m currently reading)

One of these years I will remember that after a month of writing (aka NaNoWriMo), I need to take a break to read and recharge. That ended up being the theme of my December. I didn’t get much writing done, but I did a lot of reading.

Here’s what I read in December:

I started off the month with Light Years by Kass Morgan and Muse of Nightmares by Laini Taylor, two entirely different books.

Light Years is a fun YA sci-fi novel told from the perspectives of a mixed cast of characters. I liked it, but I didn’t love it. I wanted to love it because it had so many elements of sci-fi stories that I love.

What I did love was Muse of Nightmares. It was an excellent companion novel to Strange the Dreamer. I love Laini Taylor’s writing style. Her descriptions are delicious without being over-the-top flowery, and she writes great angsty love stories.

After that, I picked up Trail of Lightning by Rebecca Roanhorse. I’d been really looking forward to reading this book, but I’d forgotten that I’m not a huge fan of urban fantasy. If you are a huge fan of urban fantasy, you really need to read this book. I loved the world-building. It’s very well thought out, and the backstory of why things are the way they are is woven into the story nicely. I really liked it, but it’s not really my favorite genre, so I’m not sure if I’ll keep going with the series.

As I was finishing up Trail of Lightning, I stumbled onto the Magical Readathon “Christmas at Hogwarts” and posted about how I thought I might participate. I did participate, but didn’t finish it. I accidentally skipped the second to last task, and did not make it to the Christmas feast. Here’s how it went for me:

  • After I “finished my coursework” (aka Trail of Lightning), I “helped Hagrid decorate the trees” by reading Jane Doe by Victoria Helen Stone. Saying there is gold on the cover of this book is a bit of a stretch. But, of the books I wanted to read next, this was the only book with something like gold on the cover. Also, the only thing magical about this book was how well the author captured the first-person voice of this female psychopath. So good. Also super disturbing. If you’ve ever been in a verbally abusive relationship, this book may be triggering for you. But, it’s so good. My friend (who also read this) and I want to subtly give this to everyone we know who might be in, or might find themselves in, a bad relationship.
  • After I recovered from that adventure, I “visited the Three Broomsticks for mulled pixie wine” by reading Night Flower by Kate Elliott. As you may remember, I listened to the Court of Fives series on audiobook earlier this year and loved it. Reading the novella was a trip because I hadn’t seen any of the names in print before, but knew how to pronounce them all because of the audiobooks. It’s usually the opposite for me. As for the story, it was a nice addition to the series. Not critical to read, but added some context and world-building beyond what was in the books.
  • The “mulled pixie wine” must have gone to my head because I forgot that I was supposed to “sneak into the kitchen to gift Dobby socks” next. I had a few novellas and short novels with clothing on the cover, but I wasn’t sure which book I wanted to pick, and I knew what I was reading for the next task. I’m bummed I missed this one because giving socks to Dobby was possibly my favorite task on the chart. After all, I’d tried to pick the path I would most likely have taken if these were actual things I was doing at Hogwarts for Christmas, and this was one thing I would *definitely* have done.
  • Instead, I got ahead of myself and “put on my knitted sweater from Molly Weasley” by reading the other novella in the Court of Fives series, Bright Thrones by Kate Elliott. Again, this is non-critical to understanding the series of books, but does give more insight into what happened with Jess’s twin sister. One of the things I loved about this series was how it really did have that sense of family and included present parents in the story. That’s not something you find a lot in YA fantasy novels, and it’s why I felt like this was the perfect pick for this task.
  • Since I didn’t finish all the tasks, I didn’t “attend the Christmas feast” by watching a Harry Potter movie, but I did attend an IRL party on Boxing Day, and I did plenty of Christmas feasting (*pats bloated tummy for emphasis*). Honestly, watching a Harry Potter movie may have been a better choice. Fewer calories consumed and less awkward socializing. ๐Ÿ˜‰

After Boxing Day, we went down to Portland for a short visit with our friends, and I didn’t finish any more books. There was much game playing, but no reading (at none done least by me) until I got home.

I did start a few books in the last two days of the year with no intention of finishing them before January first. That’s so unlike me. I usually like to have everything all wrapped up nice and tidy by the end of the year. Not this year.

One of the books I started was The Bullet Journal Method, which was waiting for me in my mailbox when I got home. The other was The Power of Habit, which I’ve been hearing a LOT about and decided to finally try. Both of these were excellent choices to start off the year, as far as I’m concerned.

As for my first fiction read of 2019, I pickedย Planetside by Michael Mammy. I started reading it on January first, and I’m only about 25% through it, but I’m really enjoying it. It’s reminding me how much I miss reading military sci-fi.

Normally, I only read one book at a time, but right now I’m dipping into five books simultaneously. Here’s a glimpse at what I’m currently reading:

We’ll see how many of these I manage to finish before the end of this month… But first, it’s time to crunch the numbers on my 2018 reading stats. That post should be up tomorrow. In the meantime, let me know in the comments what you picked for your first book of 2019.