Monday, December 30, 2019

December Books

I can't believe my goal of reading 17 books in 2017 (ha, I ended up with 88 in 2017 and 77 in 2018!) has morphed into this passion for books. Let's be real, not having cable TV to keep me "entertained" also gives me more free time to dive into a great book or seven ;) {PS One of my goals for 2019 is to read 19 books, let's see how many times over I did that.}

There were SIXTY-TWO books in the first eleven month, so when I add December's FIVE that brings my total for 2019 to SIXTY-SEVEN! If you're interested in what I read (or how I'd rate them and whether I'd recommend them to you or not), make sure to check out my previous book recaps! {January's Books, February's Books, March's Books, April's Books, May's Books, June's Books, July's Books, August's Books, September's Books, October's Books, November's Books}

  • The Kiss Quotient by Helen Hoang - If you read last month's recap you probably remember that I started using an app called Hoopla, which works with my Oceanside Library account and allows me four audiobooks a month. This was one of the ones I grabbed last month because I thought I had heard good things about it. Well, let's just say it is not my typical genre of reading ;) (If you've followed my reading for a while you probably know that I enjoy the Young Adult genre, biographies, etc.) As with the majority of the books I pick up, I didn't know anything about this one when I started it. The premise is a woman with Asperger's is trying to get better at "relationships" so she hires an escort in hopes of picking up some tips and tricks. In the process, as I'm sure you can guess because this is how the majority of romantic books goes, she falls in love. I obviously won't give away any spoiler alerts, but let me warn you - there is a lot of sex. Maybe I'm just a prude, but I was a little thrown off at how much sex there was. I mean, I was glad I was listening to the audiobook on my headphones because had someone heard some of the chapters they may have thought I was listening to a porn or something. The story was cute, but I guess I wasn't expecting so much sex. I would give it a 7 out of 10.

  • Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens - Yet another book that I had heard great things about but knew absolutely nothing about when I got on the wait list at the library... But when you have to wait a few months for the book it's gotta be good, right?! I noticed when I checked this book out that there was a "mystery" sticker on the side of it, so assumed it would be some sort of thriller, but wasn't really sure what to expect. I somewhat pride myself on my ability to "figure out" the plot twist or ending in most movies/ books (probably thanks to my extensive history of watching Law & Order), but this one kept me guessing. I couldn't put it down and despite its long length I flew through it (I think it took me two afternoons). Although the storyline jumped around a bit (different times in the character's lives not being in chronological order) I didn't have a hard time keep things straight (and actually thought it gave it a little more interest the way it was written). I do have to say that some of the story doesn't seem super believable, but even still I enjoyed the novel. I would give it an 8 out of 10.

  • Invisible Women by Caroline Criado Perez - This was the fourth of my November audiobooks I had checked out on my Hoopla app. I've gotta say, I am glad I listened to this one as opposed to reading it. This book is based on the idea that there is a data bias in a world designed by men. Don't get me wrong, I absolutely found it fascinating (and found myself shaking my head and saying "Yes, yes, YES" to many of the points), but it is definitely data heavy. I think had I been physically reading this one I may have got lost in some of the nitty gritty facts and figures. With that said, I definitely think this is one worth listening to. Whether you consider yourself a feminist or not, there were a lot of points the author brought up that most people don't ever even think about... and there in lies the point... how it has been ingrained that men are the default. There were a ton of interesting topics discussed in this book (from snow removal to health care). I appreciate the intense research that seems to have gone into the writing of this book. I would give it an 8 out of 10.

  • Maybe You Should Talk To Someone by Lori Gottlieb - I don't remember how this one got on my list of books to read, but it sounded interesting once I snagged it at the library so I was excited to give it a go. The book is written by a therapist about her going to therapy (along with some stories from her patients mixed in as well). I have never gone to therapy but have thought about it more than once and I appreciated seeing the inner workings of it (both from the therapist's perspective as well as from the patient's perspective, since she was both at different times throughout the book). The flow of the book was very conversational (I was worried that maybe it would be too clinical or boring for some reason, but it absolutely was not). It is a fairly long book and it took me a while to get through it, but more because this season was extremely busy and I had less time to read than because it was tough to read. I would give it an 8 out of 10.

  • Forward by Abby Wambach - This was one of my audiobooks I grabbed with my December allotment. I actually had it on my "to read" list at the library but hadn't gotten around to grabbing it yet so figured I could listen to it instead. I played soccer in high school, but didn't follow much professional soccer so didn't know Abby's story prior to this book. Although I would've still been interested in it, I was a little worried that the whole book would be about her soccer career. I was pleasantly surprised when the memoir was a more personal look into her life (including her relationships, family dynamics, drug abuse, etc). I hope this doesn't come out wrong and I absolutely never wish hardship on others, but reading this book reminds you that even "superstars" have their faults and issues. The life people portray to the world around them isn't always what they are living inside. This book couldn't have been easy to write and I appreciate Abby's honesty and raw-ness. I admire the courage it had to take to put all of her shortcomings down on paper. I would give it a 9 out of 10.

With that, December has come to a close. My reading may not be going gang-busters like it has in the past, but I hope it never completely stops. If you have any suggestions, let me know! I'm always willing to add them to my library wait list!

PS I created an Amazon list that includes all of the books I've read and would recommend to others. Check it out!

What was the best book you read this year?

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