Happy New Year! Despite pandemic stresses, the holiday season was lovely and we’re happy to see an end to 2021. We were sad to miss throwing our annual Latke Brunch and see our friends, but we spent a lot of time talking to family and we even shared an online wine tasting. Mr. CG and I did a lot of cooking together, which was nice. I had to take time off work, so I used that time to scan and organize my parents’ family photo albums, a project I’ve been meaning to get to for several years now.
Here’s what I read in December:
- Something to Talk About by Meryl Wilsner
- The Witches Are Coming by Lindy West (audio)
- Why I’m No Longer Talking to White People About Race by Reni Eddo-Lodge
- The Rakess by Scarlett Peckham
- The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue by V. E. Schwab (audio)
- Kopp Sisters on the March by Amy Stewart (audio)
- When Time Stopped by Ariana Neumann
- The Female of the Species by Mindy McGinnis
- When No One is Watching by Alyssa Cole
- Here For It; Or, How to Save Your Soul in America by R. Eric Thomas (audio)
- Clockwork Boys by T. Kingfisher
- The Lola Quartet by Emily St. John Mandel
My favorite read: The most powerful read this month was Ariana Neumann’s When Time Stopped, a memoir about the author’s father, who lived through the Holocaust in Czechoslovakia and later moved to Venezuela. It’s a story about family research and where we come from, as much as an incredible story of one family’s struggle to survive. I also loved Addie LaRue and Kopp Sisters on the March.
Most disappointing read: I was disappointed by Something to Talk About by Meryl Wilsner. It’s a romance about two women who work together, a celebrity and her personal assistant. I found very little about the book romantic, mainly because of the considerable power imbalance between the two. Also, based on my reaction to Happy Ever After Playlist, there must be people who love the idea of celebrity romance, but I’m clearly not one of them.
What I’m reading now: I’m finishing up Tasha Suri’s Realm of Ash — if you liked City of Brass, definitely check out her series.
What’s coming up: I have an advance review copy of the latest book in the Kopp Sisters series by Amy Stewart, one of my absolute favorite series.
Added to my TBR: December is when I add a lot of books to my TBR from the best-of lists. The Washington Post and Book Riot have good best-of lists, and I’ve been getting a lot of recommendations lately from Modern Mrs. Darcy. I also love this compilation of best-of book lists by Books are My Favourite and Best. Some books I added: Caste, Shuggie Bain, Eat a Peach, Real Life, and Can’t Even.
Things that made me happy this month:
First, a shout-out to Capitol Hill Books in DC, which has a “grab bag” service where you can request books of any description and price point, and they will personally select a stack of books for you. My dad was interested in shorter, lighter mysteries like the work of Alexander McCall Smith, and since I don’t read a lot of those myself, this was a perfect service to try.
Things we enjoyed this month included working our way through Schitt’s Creek, the start of the fifth season of The Expanse, The Happiest Season, the Great British Baking Show’s holiday special, and the new Wonder Woman (which was so-so on story but I loved seeing so much of DC and VA).
I also got three new cookbooks this month. Mr. CG bought me Paul Hollywood’s Bread and Jose Andres’ Vegetables, and my in-laws bought me Martha Rose Shulman’s Baking Bible.
And most of all, I’m happy to see some positive things happening in this country so I’m hopeful for a better year in 2021. Wishing everyone a happy and healthy new year!