2019 · Long post · Wrap ups

December Wrap-Up and Mini-Reviews 2019

It’s the last one of the year. Happy New Year!

With 13 books on my TBR for December and yhe end of the year approaching I was unsure what December would bring. I was almost halfway through Gone with the Wind by the beginning of the month and need to finish it by the end.

All in all I only finished the books that mattered πŸ˜‰ a total of 9 books…

But first,

Let’s hold me accountable.

I have two goals this year which involve acquiring books;

  1. only buy two books a month,
  2. only request two ARCs a month.

Rules: For buying books it only for books I, personally, spend money on including subscription boxes (one per box), but it excludes my audible membership and all free books and gifts. For the ARC’s I’ve focused on my request-button-pressing and not getting the requests approved because you don’t know if it will be approved, nor do you know when it will be approved. Therefore, only two request-clicks per month. I can move the points between the months and if I don’t use them in one month transfer them to the next month.

I will have this on my wrap-ups every month.

Before we delve into the book I read this month let’s check if I stuck to my goals:

  • Only buy two books a month: 
    • none!

Available credit from last month; 3

  • Only request two ARC’s: 
    • Court of Miracles
    • Girls Under the Stars

Available credits from last month; 1

I have to say, I wonder if I have done this tracker right this year. I will have to do a summary for the whole year and we’ll see if I have made a mistake somewhere or not. I think I have somewhere but not sure where…

Now let’s get back to the books I’ve read and have a deeper look a look at them.

Becoming by Michelle Obama

Audiobook/Book – Library/Owned

The Story:

This is the autobiography of Michelle Obama written and narrated by herself. It starts the day she was born and runs until the end of their second term at the White House and Trump taking over.

My Opinion:

The story was interesting, but I went in thinking “I can’t wait until they get to the White House part” – that didn’t happen before 3/4 through. Her life is amazing but I still felt the book was chunky.

So yes I liked it but it could have been smaller than 460 pages.

The Queen of Nothing (Folk of the Air #3) by Holly Black

Audiobook – Library

The Story:

The Queen of Nothing is the 3rd and final installemnt to The Folk of Air trilogy by Holly Black.

We follow Jude as she is in exile in the mortal world while Cardan causes trouble elsewhere. But then she gets the perfect oppertunity to go back.

My Opinion:

I loved the previous two books but at the same time I don’t think they live up to the hype. The hype for this series is massive and the books doesn’t live up to them. I went in thinking “I like Holly Black’s writing, so I should like these”. Nothing too exciting. But I ended up loving them.

This last instalment wasn’t amazing, but it lived up to my expectations and again Holly Black brought me some surprises which when you looked back a the text should have been obvious. She is the master of deception in her text. I was satisfied with the ending and the conclusion of the story and I feel a bit sad its over. I wonder what she does next?

Death Comes to Pemberly by P. D. James

Physical book – Owned

The Story:

Death Comes to Pemberley is a crime sequel to Pride and Prejudice. It follows Pride and Prejudice 5 years after the wedding of Elizabeth and Darcy. In the first few chapter, a murder has taken place at Pemberley estates which puts Darcy in a potential bad light. As a magistrate himself he can’t solve his own case and calls in a different magistrate which he doesn’t like. The case obviously involves Lydia and George Wickham and brings them to Pemberley with and increased tension in the book.

My Opinion:

I like this as a sequel. It answered questions I had about the people in Pride and Prejudice and gave reasonable theories about others. It’s a shame the person who died wasn’t a person I didn’t like, but at least I like the ending and the solving of the case. I didn’t see it coming and enjoyed that. All characyer were true to the original book and did things you would expect of them.

On a negative note, the book lacked dialouge which made it feel liked it dragged on a bit.

If you like crime and you like Pride and Prejudice I would recommend it as a curiosity.

Side note: this book was narrated by Darcy himself which made it a very facinating read πŸ™‚

The Dragon Republic (Poppy War #2) by R. F. Kuang

ARC – Netgalley

The Story:

The Dragon Republic is the sequel to The Poppy War and follows on a few months after the end of the first book. A second war is roaming through the land and Rin has to choose a side.

My Opinion:

This series is brutal and bloody, but that’s what you get from a military fantasy – war and blood. I did a full review which should be out in a few days. But all in all I loved it. I didn’t see the backstabbing happening but I did expect the route she took in the end. I’m now torn between shipping Rin and Nazha or not – I can’t decide…

I’m very much looking forward to the next and final instalment. I now its called The Burning God and Rin with kick ass (I don’t know this but I predict it)

The Gendered Brain by Gina Rippon

Audiobook – Library

The Story:

The Gendered Brain is a non-fiction account of the difference in the human brain between sexes. What they are, where they come from and to eliminate any confusion made by the media and published papers with the wrong wording – like using “significant difference” when it’s only 0.02% difference.

My Opinion:

I really enjoyed this read! It was so facinating and illuminating to hear an expert on the subject talk about how there are no difference and it’s all made up. There is no evidence of a biological difference and it seems that most differences are learnt and therefore social and cultural differences. Babies learn and pick up everything even the subconsiouds social coed between sexes/genders.

BTW did you know PMS is made up by men to try and understand and exchuse women with bad moods? The only emotional reaction we have during our periods that also women without uterous who take hormone, are only positive stuff like clarity and more energy etc. It’s facinating. Stupid men labeling us again…!

It can become somewhat heavy, but I’m buying this book to keep on my shelf as a reference book.

If this is a topic you like or you like non-fiction I recommend this book!

Jotnens Hjemkomst by Andreas Bull-Hansen

Physical book – Borrowed

The Story:

Jotnens Hjemkomst tells the story of the norse war god Tyr after some time in Midgard he returns to Aasgard to find Ragnarok luming on the horizon, but does Ragnarok really exists and is the woman he left Aasgard for in the first place dead or alive?

My Opinion:

This is a very original story of the norse gods. It takes inspiration in the norse mythologies but it is its own standalone story. The fact that we follow Tyr instead of the other gods is also quite interesting.

In the end I didn’t like the writing style of the author. It’s misogynistic and almost boring. And even if it was an interesting and original story, I only gave it 3 stars and I will not continue with the series.

Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

Narrated by Rosamund Pike

Audiobook – Library

The Story:

Pride and Prejudice is the story of Elizabeth Bennett and her sisters on the pursue of husbands. It’s a classic.

My Opinion:

I love the story an after reading Death Comes To Pemberley, I wanted to return to the original story. With Christmas approaching and masses of travelling to do I selected a audiobook version which was narrated by Rosamund Pike the actress who played Jane Bennett in the 2005 movie with Kiera Knightly, and she played the “girl” in Gone Girl. I love her as an actor and couldn’t wait to hear her narrate the story. She did a really good job and had different voices for each of the characters. I love it again and don’t regret listing to it πŸ™‚

Gone With The Wind by Margareth Mitchell

E-book/Audiobook – Owned

The Story:

Gone With The Wind.

Does this book really need an introduction?


It’s an epic historical classic romance story between Scarlet O’Hara and Rhett Butler.

It takes place during the civil war in Georgia, US, from before the war to after the war. The main character Scarlet goes from being the young naive girl only focused on being the most popular girl in the county to being a mother, wife and a lot more aware of her surroundings – though she doesn’t learn a lot. She is quite dumb, but has a brain for numbers.

My Opinion:

I did it!

I started this book back in September and had it as my lunch book at work until Christmas. By the time I left for my Christmas holiday I was halfway through. I ended up getting the audiobook on New Years Eve just to be able to finish it within the time frame and I don’t regret it.

Scarlet is annoying! But I felt the author made fun of her on several occasion making her more tolerable. Also I watched the movie about 10-15 years ago and did not remember it had a not so happy ending (!) which took me by surprise.

Yes its an epic, yes its a history lesson, yes its a classic, and yes its romantic.

This was incredibly epic tale. The scale of the novel and the history was immense and I loved it. There was a lot of history and social content in the background which made it more interesting. I learned a lot about the civil war, and I hope the author was accurate cause I haven’t checked.

On the negative side, I know you can’t always complain about historical attitudes etc but I wasn’t completely comfortable of the treatments of the people of colour in this book which is why it only got 4.5 stars. Yes its the soutern states during the civil war and freedom of slaves etc, but still. I didn’t mind the views on women and on several occasion rolled my eyes so heavily I might have lost my sight for a few seconds. But some of the treatments of the people of colour just made me feel uncomfortable. Also I had an issue understanding the dialogue from any of the slaves and people of colour, even in the audiobook, but maybe that’s because I’m not American, I don’t know, but I didn’t get it.

Now I need to watch the movie again! Though it’s 4 hours long…

Twas the Nightshift Before Christmas by Adam Kay

Audiobook – Library

The Story:

Twas the Nightshift Before Christmas is a Christmas version of This is Going to Hurt also by Adam Kay. Adam uses humour to tell real stories from the maternity ward and the hospital he used to work at. This book had only entries from the Christmas period and is rather festive.

My Opinion:

It was funny and sad as I expected. People are crazy sometimes. An easy read and very funny. Recommended to anyone.

Have you read any of these? What was your favourite read this month?

Until next time; happy reading!

7 thoughts on “December Wrap-Up and Mini-Reviews 2019

  1. Loads of great reads on this list! I didn’t know that Death comes to Pemberley was a sequel to Pride and Prejudice – will have to check that out! I have also just got a hold of Queen of Nothing and am looking forward to finishing that series. I still need to read The Poppy War and The Gendered Brain sounds brilliant so will be adding that to the to-be-read list. Happy New Year!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Happy New Year to you too! Apparently, and I didnt know this before after reading Death comes to Pemberley, there are tons of sequels to Pride and Prejudice our there…! Who knew?! I hope you enjoye the Queen of Nothing as Ive heard mixed reviewes. Watch out for the brutality in The Poppy War so you dont get caught out and disgusted, its a really good book though. Ihope you do pick up The Gendered Brain as it was super facination and I learned a lot and I hope you do as well πŸ™‚ Happy reading!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Just reserved The Gendered Brain at the library, and I have a copy of The Poppy War on my shelf – bought it at release and just haven’t gotten around to reading it yet! I will have to look out for more sequels to Pride and Prejudice too, thanks for letting me know!

        Liked by 1 person

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