Saturday, January 1, 2022

December 2021 Wrap Up

We made it to the end of another year. But everything feels so different with covid, right? I feel like time passes differently. 

It's been a busy month: end of Hanukkah, birthday, Christmas, and the New Year. I thought a bit about New Year's resolutions, but I may forgo that this year and stick with a few personal goals with no pressure. I will set a reading goal. I managed to get through 58 books this year, even with wedding planning and so on. My 2022 goal will be 60. I will adjust it (up or down) if I feel like I need to.

My other reading goal was to finish/continue some series that I haven't gotten around to yet. I managed to read Silvered Serpents and the Obelisk Gate to continue those series (maybe I can finish them this year). I read the Night of the Dragon and finished that series. I started reading Winter at the beginning of the year and haven't managed to finish it... not because it isn't good, I just haven't been feeling it. I wanted to read Vengeful, which is still high on my list once the new year starts. And I seriously need to finish the Three Dark Crowns series. I love the books, I think I am just scared to read the last one.

And I decided I am actually going to put together some DIY wedding posts. I have remained part of a couple wedding planning groups on Facebook and I actually have helpful information, apparently. I will get to work on those in the new year, too.

Another goal will be to get at least a couple new disease posts up. It has been a while and I do so love infectious diseases!

And December is the time for holiday reads! And I have a whole list of ideas for holiday reads and I read none of the ones on my list because I just wasn't feeling them, but that's alright. I'm a big mood reader and this year it has been extra hard to read books I am not in the mood for. So here are the books I read this month.

Title: Landline
Author: Rainbow Rowell
Narrator: Rebecca Lowman
Synopsis: (Copied from last year's post.) Georgie loves her husband, Neal. And she know he loves her. She's pretty sure, anyway. At the last minute, her job requires her to stay in LA to work and Neal takes their daughters to Nebraska for Christmas. Georgie all but moves back in with her mother, who thinks Neal left Georgie, though Georgie argues that this is not true. Desperate to connect with her husband, she keeps calling but can never get through. Until she tries her old yellow rotary phone in her childhood bedroom to call Neal's landline. And she gets through! To Neal in the past, during the Christmas week he had broken up with her and gone to Nebraska alone. Georgie hadn't talked to him the whole week, but he showed up to propose on Christmas morning. But now she is talking to past Neal. Is she supposed to change something? Fix something?

Thoughts: I still love this book. It is one of my very favorites. I usually cry all the way through the last few chapters and it makes me hopeful, I think. I just love it so very much. After I finished listening to it, I read/listened to some other books and then turned around and listened to this one again... So technically, I read it twice this year. I did that last year, too. I'm not sure what that says about me, but oh well.

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
Title: A Christmas Carol
Author: Charles Dickens
Narrator: Tim Curry
Synopsis: I don't think I need to describe this classic! Christmas ghost story. A bit spooky and otherwise lovely.
Thoughts: One of my annual re-reads. I still love it and I still imagine the characters as Disney mice and ducks. And Tim Curry's narration is just awesome, I highly recommend it.
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
Title: If the Fates Allow
Author: Rainbow Rowell
Narrator: Rebecca Lowman
Synopsis: In the midst of the Covid pandemic, Reagan prepares to spend Christmas with her grandpa. She is great at social distancing and has made sure she couldn't expose her grandpa. Maybe if they can spend Christmas together with grandma's traditional Jello salad, things will feel normal again.
Thoughts: This is a short story that Rainbow Rowell released this year. I enjoyed it (even if the idea of Jello salad horrifies me). It was a nice, short holiday read.
Rating: 3 1/2 out of 5 stars
Title: Christmas Every Day
Author: Beth Moran
Narrator: Helen Keeley
Synopsis: Jenny's life has just taken an extreme turn for the worst so she decides to start over. She has inherited her grandmother's cottage in a remote village. And she certainly has a project on her hands to make the cottage livable. Meanwhile, she tries to make friends with the locals, including her handsome and cranky neighbor.
Thoughts: This was actually better than I thought it would be. And while I cared little for the main romantic story line, I did like Jenny's friendship with Mack and I enjoyed the side characters.
Rating: 3 out of 5 stars 

Title: The Trials of Morrigan Crow
Author: Jessica Townsend
Narrator: Gemma Whelan

Synopsis: Morrigan Crow is a cursed child, doomed to die by her twelfth birthday and blamed for any and all bad things that happen anywhere near her. Just before she is due to die, she is rescued by the eccentric Jupiter North who spirits her away to Nevermoor. Once she arrives, Jupiter enters her into a competition to enter the very prestigious Wonder Society. But she doesn't even know what her knack is. But she knows that if she doesn't get in, she is as good as dead.

Thoughts: This was a re-read. I was going to try to wait until 2022 to re-read these books, but I was impatient. And I still loved it. It was unique and fun and kept me interested the whole time.

Rating: 4 1/2 stars out of 5 stars
Title: The Fire Rose
Author: Mercedes Lackey
Synopsis: A twist on the Beauty and the Beast story. Rosalind Hawkins is a recently orphaned and destitute scholar recruited by reclusive rail baron Jason Cameron to read and translate obscure books for him. But then Rose starts to wonder if all this magic the books talk about might actually be real.

Thoughts: I loved this book when I was younger and had not read it for nearly 10 years. It is still not the best and a bit contrived. Once I get into the story it bothers me less. But it is still kind of a fun take on the beauty and the beast tale.

Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

Favorite read this month: Landline (always)
Least favorite read this month:  probably the Fire Rose

And now on to the new year. I hope it will only get better.

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