I made my 2019 super secret goal of 200!
And I exceeded it (why yes I’m an over-achiever, welcome to hell). 201!
This month I read 16 books, including five audiobooks, one graphic novel and 10 novels. That was 5,482 pages (includes audiobooks) and 64 hours of listening (I have a 40 minute commute and listen at 1.5x).
While I did not get ahead on my January ARCs at all, December was filled with amazing reads! There were so many deliciously good books.
I could absolutely gush about every single one of these, as they were all five-star reads from me for very different reasons!
How Long ‘Til Black Future Month? was a masterclass in short SFF writing, and revealed Jemisin’s development of her craft and skill. There were so many fantastic short stories in this! The Ten Thousand Doors of January (review pending) was lyrically written, intricately plotted and so beautiful in every way. The Giver of Stars showcased the power of libraries and friendship, and the fact that libraries may have books but they are not about books—they’re about building and sustaining a community.
Get a Life, Chloe Brown (review pending) was super duper cute, adorable and spoke to me. The chemistry between the two leads! Cub was an adorable middle grade graphic novel memoir about finding your voice and realizing your dream through hard work and perseverance—and it’s set during Watergate and the Nixon impeachment. Very timely!
All-American Muslim Girl was about white privilege and finding your faith. Ali’s search for her culture and happiness in a world filled with Islamophobia, is all about what it means to be American. The Downstairs Girl was up there in my most favorite reads of 2019. It’s absolutely incredible, and one of the best historical fiction books I’ve read. Jo’s a sharp-witted delight and I love her.
Maybe it’s nostalgia for the end of the year. Maybe it’s because I’m indecisive and can’t make the tough (okay, rating a book is not life-ending or life-altering, let’s stop being so dramatic here) choices, but I didn’t rate anything lower than 4 stars this month!
Some, like The Queen of the Conquered (review pending), The Wedding Date (review pending) and Start With Why, were probably closer to 3.5 (all for very different reasons), but rounded up to 4 stars.
Others, like Dear Haiti, Love, Alaine, Not Your Sidekick (review pending), The Deep (review pending), and The Queen of Nothing, were excellent and satisfying but not mind-blowingly into give star territory. Okay, The Queen of Nothing wasn’t excellent, but it was a satisfying and entertaining read, even if Black played it safe in order to stick the landing. The Simple Wild was also a fun read, and the one where I just sat down, admitted to myself that I do, in fact, like contemporary romance, and buckled down and ordered several more from the library.
The Last Days of the Incas was informative and highlighted my giant gap in Indigenous American history. Also: for those folks who wonder, “Well what ever happened to the Incas and the Mayans?” Bitch—they’re still there. Cultures change over the years.
And that’s a wrap for 2019!
What were your favorite reads of this month?