My December reads

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December wasn’t a really good month for reading. I didn’t read less books, but they were less enjoyable somehow. I don’t know if it was me or the books or a mix of them, but I had a really hard time getting into them.

Nevertheless I finished 2019 reading 68 books! That is 14 more than my goal of 55! I still can’t believe I actually did it, but as you have already read I am setting my goal for 2020 at 70. Some of the books I read in 2019 were really big tomes, so if you would be counting pages… with almost 23000 pages last year and an average of 330 page a book I should be able to hit that 70. And maybe I will just surprise myself again. 😉

So what did I read this December?

Russian stories by various writers
I didn’t really know if I was able to finish this one before the end of the year. I still had more than 200 pages to go and wasn’t really into it anymore. But somehow I did do it and it was even a bit enjoyable again. This 920 page monster is over and done with!

Sjeumig by Pepijn Lanen
This short story collection is written by one of our Dutch rappers and it’s a mix of street and literature and a lot of humor. I was very looking forward to reading this as Pepijn is known for his crazy word-play, but when finally reading it the stories kinda disappointed me. It was “just ok”. I think I would have liked it better if the stories were double the size. Most of them were too short for me, like an intro chapter and not getting the rest of the story. But this writing definitely has potential. And I certainly had some good laughs!

The tale of Murasaki by Liza Dalby
This one was very different than I thought it would be, but so beautiful! If anyone here is into reading poetic romance with book characters told from the writers perspective, this has got to be your next read. In the first 200 pages I was totally blown away. The character building is very pristine. The book did however had a rather big dull part in the middle. The detailing went too much into which kind of colored robes ones were wearing… Therefore I wouldn’t read it again and am glad I have finished it!

A whisper in the attic by Gloria Murphy
To get back into the vibe I chose this quick read about a sadistic evil girl that manipulates everyone around her. It was like a B-horror movie, in book form. A bit predictable, but nevertheless a good in-between story. Not really special, but not totally bad either.

The suicide club by Gayle Wilson
Still not feeling it, due to the busyness around Christmas maybe, I picked another quick read. It turned out to be a mixture of murder and sex. It was like reading a Candlelight romance while people were getting murdered around the two main characters. It was another quick in between read, not much special but ok enough for during a rainy day.

Trapped by Dean Koontz
I love Dean Koontz! He has surprised me multiple times but in this case though, not so much. So melodramatic and corny! I think that if this wasn’t a 90-page story but one where Dean Koontz got to do his buildup of anticipation-thing this would actually have been a good story. The idea of the genetically enhanced killer rats is nice, but the corniness of the mom and her son and the guy from the lab is too much.

News of the world by Paulette Jiles
I read on Goodreads that this was a good quick read so I chose it without even knowing where it was about. And again I found this a hard one to get into, this time because I am not used to reading Western stories. The beginning was a bit too flat. After the first half I could finally settle in and enjoy the story, because enjoyable it certainly was. Once Paulette got into depth it was hard to let go. Reading about how these to strange people grow to each other was in it’s way heartwarming. The ending was fast-pacing but good. Even though for the first half I thought of not finishing this read, I am glad that I did.

Against all grain by Danielle Walker
Not really a novel, but this Christmas gifts was really nice to sit down with. I did read every page and every word of it, so it counts! Although this is a very American cookbook and I was a bit weary over the idea of Paleo recipes I can’t help myself being inspired and wanting to try many of the recipes. They look delicious and most of them also seem reasonable easy to prepare. Danielle Walker has thought of non-Americans too as in the back there is an extended conversions and constitutions chart, which is very helpful. She also included ways of combining the recipes for different occasions. It was a good book to end the year with!

So these were my December reads. Have you read any of these too? What did you think about them? Do you have a recommendation for something similar? Or is there anything you would like to know? Ask me in the comments!