2018 · Long post · Wrap ups

December Wrap-Up and Mini-Reviews

Its the end of 2018!

It’s sad…

I’ve been very busy this month with the purchase of my first home, and the move which happened just before Christmas. With all the stress that was involved, I didn’t have the nerves to sit down quietly and read. I needed something more stimulating and got a 30day trial on Amazon Prime. I can finally say I am almost caught up with Bones!! woohoo! I’m halfway through season 10 now and had only seen up to end on season 7 all those years ago.

However, after the move, I managed to sit down a read some, though I did cave and got the audiobook version for Anna Karenina. I have to say it was easier to listen to all those Russian names than reading them.

I managed 7 books this month and feel I’ve done well, even though I didn’t really get to any of those ARC I planned to read 😒

So let have a look at what I’ve read.

As a reminder:

  • 5 ivy leaves is an amazing book that stuck with me, surprised me, one I could stop thinking about, I got lost in, etc.
  • 4 ivy leaves is an enjoyable read something I really liked, but that’s it.
  • 3 ivy leaves are either a disappointing read, or the book is just OK.
  • 2 ivy leaves are a disliked read
  • DNF = Did Not Finish

Small Island by Andres Levy

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Physical book – owned

4 stars

The Story: This is the account of two Jamaican immigrants to the British Isles after the second world war. Both believing they are to be welcomed they soon realise they might not be. There is also the accounts of a British pair separated by war and their attitudes towards foreigners in the 50s.

My Opinion: I wrote a full review here, but in short I’m glad I’ve read it.


Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen

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Physical book & Audiobook – Owned

3 stars

The Story: A girl obsessed with gothic horror books sets herself up for impending horror as she explored the Abbey of a friends family. It’s a Jane Austen novel so there is obviously romance in it too, but Catherine’s obsession with horror stories is the main story line too me.

My Opinion: I got annoyed at Catherine Morland and her fancies, but I did enjoy it a bit. I was especially fun to hear the references to sights around Bristol and Bath (the area where I live). I believe this is my least favourite Jane Austen novel purely based on the annoyance of the main character.

I did, however, listen to it (partly) on audiobook and it was narrated by Emma Thompson who I love and enjoyed very much.


The Storm Girl Secret by Ceri A Lowe

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ARC – NetGalley

4 stars

The Story: This is the last book in a dystopian trilogy set in a ruined London. The first book follows two main characters one for the time when the world falls and one for the present where they realise their world isn’t entirely what it seems. This third and final instalment unravels it all and ties loose ends together.

My Opinion: I wrote a full review (spoilers!), but in short I found this a worthy ending to the trilogy. The review of book #1 can be found here, while the review of book #2 is found here.


Inspector Singh Investigates: A Deadly Cambodian Crime Spree by Shamini Flint

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Physical book – Owned

4 stars

The Story: A murder mystery set in Cambodia following Inspector Singh from the Singaporean Police department.

My Opinion: I did a full review here, but in short I very much enjoyed. It was light-hearted but with a dark and deep historical background story.


Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy

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4 stars

eBook & Physical book & Audiobook – Owned

The story: This 800-page monster follows the romantic affair between a married woman and a single man and all the people around them including an opposing couple trying to find love and meaning with life.

My Opinions: This was my Oprah book club pick for the ReadHarder Challenge. It was heavy dense slow and interesting. Though for some reason I had minimal interest in Anna and Vronsky. My interest sat with Kitty and Levin, and I lived for them!


The Rest of Us Just Live Here by Patrick Ness

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4.5 stars

Audiobook – Library

The story: In a world where superheroes and people with powers (indie kids) try and constantly save the world from non-earthly enemies, life goes on of the normal people. All Matt wants os to graduate without the indie kids blow up the school like last year. He wants to wash his hands without getting stuck in a cycle. He wants to date Hannah.

My Opinions: This was a random pickup from the e-library app I have. I was on a train journey and ran out of audio for Anna Karenina. So I picked up this one as I’ve heard a lot of good stuff about it. It didn’t disappoint. I really love it and in between the heavy reads Christmas has been engulfed in, this was refreshing and fun.


Shallow Selfish and Self-absorbed: 16 writers of their decision to not have kids edited by Megan Daum

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3 stars

Physical book – Owned

The story: This anthology follows 16 writers on they argument and exploration of why they do not have kids and their decisions that occurred.

My Opinions: This was my anthology pick for the ReadHarder Challenge. Review to come. In short, I enjoyed it. I found it both interesting and repetitive. There was a mix of life stories which explain the authors’ decision to not have kids and factual essays which explored several thoughts around being childless. For instance, one such thought was why being childless is frowned upon. I’m glad I read it.


That’s it! Have you read any of these?

What was your favourite book this month? Which book were you least impressed by this month?

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