December Wrap Up!

Finally getting around to my December wrap up… after saying good riddance to 2018 and welcoming in 2019 with my lame book firework (see above) 🙂

I’m really looking forward to having a better year – all around – and especially with books!

I’m making my bookish resolutions to:

1. Get more organized

2. Read more of what I want to read


3. Show my face more

THAT’S going to be the hardest. As much as I want people to believe I’m a hippo… I, sadly in fact, am not! I am a real live person, who just happens to love hippos and books, and I’ve been challenged to prove it. So, more pics of the elusive Kate, maybe, soon, I hope.


And here, are my …

DECEMBER 2018 READS: Audiobooks 2  |  EBooks 6  |  Print 7



The Beantown Girls by Jane Healey

beantownAmazing Amazing Amazing! All the stars.

It’s 1944, and there is a war, and those topics alone typically stop me from reading certain books. SO MANY TIMES I’ve started reviews with, I’m not a “historical fiction fan but…..” BUT, THIS BOOK. This has officially turned me into a HUGE historical fiction fan. I adored every character, I looked forward to reading it every night and rushed to get back to it. And I am SO MAD that it had to end. The emotions in this one are so easy to feel – I found myself laughing out loud, and my husband kept asking if I was getting sick. Oh the sniffles! I NEVER cry at books! What is happening to me!

Oh, AND … my all time most favorite thing on the planet: Food Trucks! Yes, my friends, World War II food trucks. Please read my review here and pick this up on February 5th!



Once Upon a River by Diane Setterfield


Not exactly my favorite…

This book is gorgeous, the writing is fantastic, the story is fun and like the fairy tales I loved as a kid, but the journey from start to finish is realllly slow. Like the slowest river current that ever existed. There are a LOT of words, so I hate to think of all the work that goes into writing something so fantastic and then say “it’s wordy”, but I also imagine I am getting a little less patient with wordy, descriptive books. AND the genre of this one might be a bit out of my comfort zone… but I just really felt like it was dragging a lot, like the slow moving river that is basically the main character in this story.



Master of His Fate by Barbara Taylor Bradford

masterThis was a great read for me – as part of Suzy Approved Book Tours.

Adding another new, shiny check to my historical fiction column of books that I love! Master of His Fate is an expansive historical saga, the first of a series, that follows a rich cast of characters in the most vivid settings in Victorian England.

Read my full review here.



Talk to Me by John Kenney

talkOh boy this was a rough one… I find it SO hard to feel bad for men who do really stupid things. But at the same time, you can’t, as a human being, NOT feel bad about another human being who has been humiliated, lost everything and is really, seriously broken. But still – a really fun read.




Christmastime 1939 by Linda Markovec

1939This was a another Suzy Approved Book Tour I participated in. Who doesn’t love a sweet heartwarming Christmas story?? I mean, this has all the makings of a really good Hallmark movie… and did you know there are SIX books total in the Christmastime series by Linda Mahkovec? That’s six times the Christmas people! (This on is a “prequel”)

Read my full review here.



One Day in December by Josie Silver

decemberHUGE fan of this one.

What is happening to me?!?! A five star romance!?! My brain is melting… my heart is full… I feel like the Grinch at the very end of the movie. I cannot even believe how much I love this book!

My RAVING review is here.



Notorious RBG by Irin Carmon and Shana Knizhnik

rbgSo, aside from going to Harvard, becoming the second woman and the first Jewish woman ever appointed to the U.S. Supreme Court, and now, a social icon … as they say in the People Magazine ‘She’s just like us!” OK, maybe that’s a stretch, but it DOES make me feel a little less schlubby next to all her achievements to know that I passed my driver’s test on the FIRST try… but it took Justice Ginsburg FIVE times! #oneuponRBG Oh, and she played the cello! And I did too! So.. you know #samesies!

Great subject. Incredible woman. ‘Meh’ book.



The Girls at 17 Swann Street by Yara Zgheib

swann“The chocolate went first, then the cheese, the fries, the ice cream. The bread was more difficult, but if she could just lose a little more weight, perhaps she would make the soloists’ list. Perhaps if she were lighter, danced better, tried harder, she would be good enough. Perhaps if she just ran for one more mile, lost just one more pound.”

THIS. So hard to process. As a person who LOVES food, this is hard for me to comprehend. But as a woman. It’s easy for me to understand. The entire book made me feel uncomfortable.




Less by Andrew Greer

lessPulitzer Schmulitzer. Unpopular opinion alert. I could not care less, about Arthur Less. This guy. He’s bland, and boring, and he’s writing a book about a guy who is bland, and boring. Is he a bad writer? Is he writing an autobiography? Do I care? Nope.




Next Time by Virginia Gray

nexttimeA super short story – how do I not know about The Susan Wade Saga series? I’m so glad I met her… but now I clearly need to read the first 3 books about her! This is book 3.5. An adorable tease into a very fun, and witty character.




Watching You by Lisa Jewell

watchingI FLEW through Watching You – I mean, start me right off with a body in a pool of blood and some super shady characters, and I’m all in from page one! The twists, the clues, the questions in my head were flying off the pages. I felt like everyone was watching everyone! Anyone could have done this! Everyone’s hiding something!

A fun thriller. Totally predictable though.



Born a Crime by Trevor Noah

crimeTHIS is the celebrity memoir I have always wanted to read. There is like .00001% celebrity in it. And the rest is just life. But Trevor Noah’s life (pre-celeb) isn’t ‘just anything’. It is a crazy ride navigating childhood through a tumultuous South Africa during apartheid – and the way Trevor struggles, laughs, cries, causes trouble and gets through it all is inspiring. But also sad. And hysterical. And heartbreaking. An incredibly fearless adventure that to him, was just life.



The Red Address Book by Sofia Lundberg

redThis one was a bit sleepy for me. It’s a sweet, sad story, but you kind of know how it’s going to end right from the beginning. I also felt like this could have been called, “A few of the people Doris met in her life, who are now probably dead.” The address book was a minor character, and didn’t really add much for me. But the stories of her life were very entertaining, really interesting, and fairly sad, right up until the end. I think some people will love this, I thought it was just OK.



The Tattooist of Auschwitz by Heather Morris

tattooWow. This book is pretty unbelievable. And imagine my surprise, going in totally blind, reading this amazing story from start to finish (with tears in my eyes throughout) and then getting to the end – and finding out – it’s ALL true. Shocked. I actually found it hard to believe. I could never have imagined that such a horrible, devastatingly terrible time, could have produced such an incredible love story.



House of Gold by Natasha Solomons

35961709I love family dramas. I love European historical fiction, and have read quite a few novels that take place during World War 1. But despite this book having elements I normally enjoy, the book just fell short of being anything but average. I think the author tried to cram in too much into the book and as a result the story suffered. The book bounced around between too many characters and had story lines that rather than contribute made it lack a clear focus. My overall reading experience was I enjoyed bits and pieces but as a whole I expected more.

A looooong book.



Have you read any of these and have different thoughts?

What are you looking forward to reading in 2019?


Happy 2019 Book Friends!


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