Goodbye, December. Hello, January.
Goodbye, 2016. Hello, 2017.
Click here to read about all the books I read in November!
In December, I managed to read 6 books, meaning I have completed my reading challenge pf 80 books for 2016! I am very proud of myself, and have embarked on a long book to kick off 2016 in style. Here are the books I read in December:
The Hawkweed Prophecy by Irena Brignull
I didn’t love this book, and it was a pretty poor way to kick off December. However, it was entertaining at times, and a book that’s been on my shelf for a while now, so I’m glad I got around to it. Read my full review here. ★★☆☆☆
The Taming of the Shrew by William Shakespeare
I had to read this for my English Literature class, and – I must say – I enjoyed it much more than I thought I would. I guess it’s because I have been learning a lot about the context that influenced this text, so it is all the more interesting to read knowing why it has been written in a certain way. I plan on reading more Shakespeare in 2017 away from school. ★★★★☆
Harry Potter and the Cursed Child by John Tiffany, Jack Thorne, and J.K. Rowling
I was leant this book, and I read it on a whim, not expecting much after all of the negative reviews. In actuality, I really enjoyed this book, and loved read in a play format. Though it wasn’t perfectly integrated into what we know of Harry, and though there are plot holes, and it was slightly cheesy at times, I thought it was really exciting, and it was a fun couple of hours that I spent reading it. ★★★★☆
Blood for Blood by Ryan Graudin
This is the sequel to Wolf by Wolf, my review of which you can read here. Though not as action packed as Wolf by Wolf, Blood for Blood is all the more hard-hitting, haunting, and endlessly exciting. I was also much more interested in the sequel, as we began to learn much more about Yael’s past, and learn the stories of the people around her. ★★★★★
The Last Stand of the New York Institute by Cassandra Clare
This was a really exciting instalment to The Bane Chronicles, because we were able to have an insight into the beginnings of The Circle, and the meeting of Magnus and Jocelyn. Whilst it wasn’t my favourite, it was definitely enjoyable. ★★★★☆
Stolen by Lucy Christopher
I’ve had this book on my shelf for a while now, and I was so excited to finally get around to reading it. I didn’t know what to expect, exactly, but I was taken aback to see how haunting, harrowing, yet equally exhilarating this novel turned out to be. When I’d finished, I spent a lot of time sitting and thinking, absorbing everything I’d just read. ★★★★★
I’m actually currently reading 3 books, all of which I probably won’t finish until 2017. Here they are:
The Luminaries by Eleanor Catton
It is 1866, and young Walter Moody has come to make his fortune upon the New Zealand goldfields. On the stormy night of his arrival, he stumbles across a tense gathering of twelve local men who have met in secret to discuss a series of unexplained events: A wealthy man has vanished, a prostitute has tried to end her life, and an enormous fortune has been discovered in the home of a luckless drunk. Moody is soon drawn into the mystery: a network of fates and fortunes that is as complex and exquisitely ornate as the night sky. Richly evoking a mid-nineteenth-century world of shipping, banking, and gold rush boom and bust, The Luminaries is a brilliantly constructed, fiendishly clever ghost story and a gripping page-turner.
This book has very mixed reviews, but I thought I may as well read it anyway. So far, the chapters are too long for my personal taste, so I tend to put it down mid-chapter most of the time. Likewise, not much is actually happening, but I’m hoping it will start picking up soon.
You Just Don’t Understand by Deborah Tannen
Why is it that some women and men seem to talk at cross purposes? Some have claimed that conversations are the forum of male power games, but the author suggests that jockeying for attention is not the whole story and that even when domination is the result, it is not always the intention. She shows how many frictions may arise because girls and boys grow up in essentially different cultures. Where women use language to seek confirmation, make connections and reinforce intimacies, men use it to protect their independence and negotiate status. The result is that conversation becomes a cross-cultural communication, fraught with genuine confusion.
I’m reading this as wider reading for my English Language class, and actually finding it really interesting. I’m getting through it quite slowly, but through it nevertheless.
100 Prized Poems: 25 Years of the Forward Books, Edited by William Sieghart
This anthology of 100 poems by 100 poets brings together the best poetry of the last twenty-five years, as determined by the judges of the prestigious Forward Prizes for Poetry. The roll call includes both familiar names and fresh new voices, with contributions from Simon Armitage, Carol Ann Duffy, Seamus Heaney, Ted Hughes, Jackie Kay, Alice Oswald, Don Paterson, Kate Tempest and Derek Walcott.
I started reading this for a project I’m doing at school, but carried on reading because of how enjoyable it is. Over 2016, I have been loving poetry more and more, and though I don’t believe I’m able to fully appreciate all of these poems, I enjoy reading them nevertheless.
Keep an eye out for my 2017 TBR, coming soon!
What was your favourite book you read in December? What are you currently reading? What do you want to read in January? Tell me in the comments!
Thank you ever so much for reading, and I really hope you enjoyed!
Love, Olivia x