December was an intense reading month! I was captivated by these stories (7 out of 8 this month were fiction) and spent a bit more time in the car than usual, so it was a big win for me. It also helped me set my reading goal for 2019 and a solid pace for reading regularly. More on 2019 later, but for now, here are the books that helped me finish 2018 well:
I actually read Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng in November and forgot to include it in the post — I knew I had missed one! This was an incredible story about a family who loses their daughter unexpectedly and how they deal with this loss. This was the second book of Celeste Ng’s I read this year (the first was Little Fires Everywhere) and I’m so impressed with her. She tells the stories of mothers and daughters so well.
My curiosity had grown more and more about Kevin Kwan’s Crazy Rich Asians until I finally broke down and listened to it during my commute. And I LOVED IT. (I’m listening to the sequel right now!) Zach and I then decided to watch the movie — it was fine, nothing great (but I always struggle with film adaptations of books). Regardless, I highly recommend the book and will let you know what I think about the rest of the trilogy later this year!
Around the same time, I also finished Inspired: Slaying Giants, Walking on Water and Loving the Bible Again by Rachel Held Evans. This was a book I ordered before attending the Evolving Faith conference that she co-hosted in October. It was a really helpful resource for me as I continue to mature in my faith. Some critics immediately dismissed this book, but Rachel really does emphasize how much she loves God’s Word. I appreciated her transparency and willingness to navigate through tough topics for people like me who have tough questions.
My reading list this month was an odd combination — I went from the rich high life of Singapore to the terrible, unspeakable horrors of slavery in Georgia. The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead was a good read that shared the story of a slave who escapes the plantation she lived on and the struggles she endures in her journey toward freedom. There were scenes that were difficult to listen to, but it was an important reminder for me of how life used to be (and still is in some places) for people of color.
Swinging the pendulum again, I next listened to Emily Giffin’s All We Ever Wanted. After reading Something Borrowed earlier this year, I anticipated a light-hearted romance, and that is not what I got. But I will say that I really appreciated her decision to tell the story she did. It was well-written, I liked the characters, and it had a nice twist to it.
Next up, I read How to Stop Time by Matt Haig. I’d seen the cover around and was intrigued. It did not disappoint — this tale of time travel and love and loss was marvelous. I love the way the author integrates the protagonist into different parts of history and creates a sense of mystery throughout the story. If you like time travel stories or enjoy historical fiction, check this one out for sure.
Since I was on a fiction kick, I decided to read the next book in the Inspector Gamache series, A Fatal Grace by Louise Penny. It took me a little while to get into (unlike the first book, Still Life), but I still really enjoyed the book. It is a great series and I’m excited to continue throughout 2019!
My final book of 2019 was One Day in December by Josie Silver, which was the read for Reese Witherspoon’s book club in December (that I got through my Book of the Month membership). IT WAS SO GOOD. I read it in two days!! (Zach will tell you that I curled up with it and would not budge!) It was the perfect love story to end my year and I do really hope it will become a movie. I will also say, even though the story is based in December, you can enjoy this book anytime — so get on it!
Overall, it was an incredible month of reading and I’m excited to carry that momentum into 2019. (I’m already three books in!) What have you been reading lately? I’d love to hear about it!