Books I Read in December

The Sugar Queen by Sarah Addison Allen
Sarah Addison Allen was a perfect start for my holiday reading: light and magical. The way she plays with magical realism is unique, as usual. I loved that one of the characters had books she needed in her life appear and seem to follow her around. The thread of family secrets had me hooked and the ending took me by surprise.

This Will Only Hurt a Little by Busy Philipps
I am invested enough in pop culture to know who Busy is - what shows she was on (none that I watched, though) and that she's Michelle Williams' BFF, which I always thought was super cute, how they went to events together. But I didn't really know much more about her until I, like everyone else, started following her on Instagram a year or so ago. I'm so glad that I've 'gotten to know her' on that platform for a decent amount of time before diving into her book. It felt like listening to a friend shoot the shit, as does her Instagram. She's just, as she'd very correctly put it, a sparkly human you just gravitate towards. There are so many funny bits, especially the bits related to her mom. (FYI, this is excellent on audio!) Much like Trevor Noah in his memoir, there's something about the author doing an impression of his or her mother that just SLAYS. Alongside the humor, there are a lot of in your face difficult truths she shares about her life. I just really want to give her a hug, and drink margs with her OBVI.

One Day in December by Josie Silver
Another perfect cozy winter read that EVERYONE on social media seemed to be reading in December! I was lucky to win a copy from the publisher and thought that it lived up to the hype. The beginning started off a little cliche and I was worried that I'd be doing a lot of eye rolling, but Silver takes these really vibrant characters in all sorts of unexpected directions. And the ending had me all verklempt. I also think this could be read in any season, despite the title.

Harry Potter And The Order Of The Phoenix by J.K. Rowling
This wasn't a December read per se, but I finished it in early December with my older kiddo. We've been reading one Harry Potter a year every summer, but got started kinda late this year and the MIDDLE SCHOOL happened and there wasn't quite as much time to read together. We finally peppered in a few hours here and there and finished, though. This one was so much fun to read aloud because Umbridge was so fun to voice!

War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy
Doooone! Thoughts on this here.

Winter Solstice by Rosamunde Pilcher
The Shell Seekers is one of the few books from my youth that I can definitively say I adored. I don't remember a great deal about the plot, but just that I loved it and I've been meaning to reread it for ages. Alas, I feel as if there are so many new books out there that rereads just never come to pass. I decided instead to read a new Pilcher book for the holidays and it was so, so perfect. It has such a wonderful sense of place and a cozy vibe with vivid descriptions of plush armchairs, crackling fires, and lots of food and drink. I'm also a fan of several character threads all coming together in a satisfying way. It might have been on the predictable side, but it was enjoyable, nonetheless. If you enjoy Louise Penny's Three Pines atmosphere, you will love this book!

Pax by Sarah Pennypacker
I read this one with my youngest and it was a lovely middle grade story of a boy separated from his domesticated fox and runs away to bring him back home. Along his journey he is helped by a hermit woman, Vola,  and he ends up helping her in turn. Although I think a lot of the nuances of the book were lost on my daughter. There is so much to unpack about Vola's life, her inner demons and the complexities of war. Also I felt as if the ending were rushed, while the middle of the book sort of sagged. 

The Dreamers by Karen Thompson Walker
I usually wait until closer to the release date to read advance copies, but I couldn't help myself with this one. My instincts were correct and it was a total FIVE STAR read. Review forthcoming!

I'd Rather Be Reading by Anne Bogel
If you are the kind of person who listens to Anne's podcast, then this book will SPEAK TO YOU. So many bits about being a reader made me laugh out loud and nod my head. But I was also really impressed by some of her more personal anecdotes, especially the essay about her first home with her husband that was next door to the library. This was the perfect book to cap off my year of reading.

Now that I've thought through all of my books for the year, I'll start compiling my list of favorites...


  1. Replies
    1. yay! I'm going to have a hard time reviewing it - so much harder when I just love a book.

  2. Busy Phillips book is next on my list - I'm a sucker for listening to celebrity memoirs/books. Glad you liked it!

    1. Oh, if you already enjoy celebrity memoirs you will DEFINITELY enjoy this then!