Book Chat

December 2016 Reading Log

Somehow December came and went and here we are again: the end of another month, the end of another year! The first holiday season with a new baby was a whirlwind of family, travel, and even some sleep. The (4!) four-hour car rides at the end of the month went about how you’d expect with a two-month-old… sometimes the road noise lulled her to sleep and I got some uninterrupted reading time… and sometimes it didn’t. That about sums up my life right now!

The Amateur Librarian // Reading Log

December 2016 Thoughts

Finished:

Dead Wake: The Last Crossing of the Lusitania, by Erik Larson

The Amateur Librarian // May 2016 Reading Log

Start date: 5/14/2016
Finish date: 12/23/2016
Genre/Format: Nonfiction / Paperback
Grade: A

It took me forever to get invested in this book (which you can probably tell from the eight-month reading span) but when the action picked up I really enjoyed it. I’m not sure if I would’ve finished it if I wasn’t reading it for the Blogging for Books review program, but I’m still mulling that over in my head. Full review is coming soon!

The Magnolia Story, by Chip and Joanna Gaines with Mark Dagostino

The Amateur Librarian // November 2016 Reading Log
Start date: 11/28/2016
Finish date: 12/1/2016
Genre/Format: Memoir / eBook
Grade: B

I don’t know what it is, but some celebrity memoirs are just hard to resist; I love the HGTV show Fixer Upper so I caved when the eBook went on sale. In a few short years Chip and Joanna Gaines have built an empire including their TV show, retail complex in Waco, TX, furniture/paint/clothing lines, lifestyle magazine, huge social media followings, and now a two-book publishing deal. I mainly watch the show so I was interested in their origin story, but I avoid their other endeavors so I don’t get too annoyed (AKA envious) with their success (that’s normal, right?). It was a fun read, told in Joanna’s voice with Chip’s asides sprinkled in (much like their show). They definitely speak the evangelical lingo, which can be off-putting when even their business decisions are attributed to God speaking directly to them, but that’s a personal pet peeve.

The Day the Crayons Quit, written by Drew Daywalt and illustrated by Oliver Jeffers

The Amateur Librarian // December 2016 Reading Log

Start date: 12/5/2016
Finish date: 12/5/2016
Genre/Format: Children’s Lit / Hardcover
Grade: A

Super fun picture book that I’ve wanted to read for a while, so I’m glad someone gave it to Amelia! Each crayon in Duncan’s box writes a letter explaining their various reasons for going on strike, and it’s just too funny. Now I want to read the sequel, The Day the Crayons Came Home, pronto!

The One-in-a-Million Boy, by Monica Wood

The Amateur Librarian // December 2016 Reading Log

Start date: 12/12/2016
Finish date: 12/14/2016
Genre/Format: Fiction / eBook
Grade: A+

It’s so hard to describe the plot of this novel without sounding overly sentimental, which it wasn’t at all, so I won’t even try. I’ll just put this out there: it’s about grief and how relationships change throughout life, and the less you know the better probably. The structure, characters, and writing was a treat all around.

The Little Girl Who Lost Her Name, written by David Cadji-Newby and illustrated by Pedro Serapicos

The Amateur Librarian // December 2016 Reading Log

Start date: 12/13/2016
Finish date: 12/13/2016
Genre/Format: Children’s Lit / Hardcover
Grade: A+

The perfect gift! Such a clever story that strings together each letter of a little girl’s name to reveal the lost name at the very end: Amelia, of course! The personalization is so much fun (and per the website, it looks like you can customize a lot – not just the name, but what the main character looks like and options for the characters that accompany each letter) but the best part is that the story and artwork is so original.

 

Where’s My Nose?, written by Susan Ring and illustrated by Stephanie Peterson

The Amateur Librarian // December 2016 Reading Log

Start date: 12/13/2016
Finish date: 12/13/2016
Genre/Format: Children’s Lit / Board book
Grade: A

This is the first book we received from Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library, the nonprofit that sends a free book every month to children in Tennessee. Cute rhymes and lots of concepts that will be fun for a few more years – body parts, under/over/behind, etc. There’s even a mirror on the last page for baby to find their nose. Amelia hasn’t noticed her reflection yet, but I bet it will be a hit when she does. Fun addition to her library!

Jane and the Twelve Days of Christmas, by Stephanie Barron

The Amateur Librarian // December 2016 Reading Log

Start date: 12/13/2016
Finish date: 12/21/2016
Genre/Format: Mystery / eBook
Grade: B 

Not for purists! I had to wrap my head around thinking of the main character as Jane Austen the real-life author, not one of her characters like most “continuation” stories. I had fun reading this as Christmas approached, even if the plot wasn’t exactly riveting and the ending was especially bland. But the historical details about the English celebration of the twelve days of Christmas, the food they ate, the clothes they wore, and how the author wove in details of the Napoleanic wars, were worth the read. Fun stuff but I don’t see the need to read more of the series (this was #12!).

Still Reading:

The Happiest Baby on the Block: The New Way to Calm Crying and Help Your Newborn Baby Sleep Longer, by Harvey Karp

The Amateur Librarian // December 2016 Reading Log

Start date: 12/12/2016
Finish date: TBD
Genre/Format: Self-help (Parenting) / Paperback

I’m about halfway through, and so far Karp’s main points are that the first three months of a baby’s life are the “missing fourth trimester” and his “Cuddle Cure” can soothe any baby. The first half is mainly fluff so far but I’m reading it in small bits when I can… but if I read any slower, I run the risk that Amelia won’t be a newborn any longer!

You’ll Grow Out of It, by Jessi Klein

The Amateur Librarian // December 2016 Reading Log

Start date: 12/26/2016
Finish date: TBD
Genre/Format: Memoir / eBook

I picked this book for the “Juicy Memoir” in Modern Mrs. Darcy’s 2017 Reading Challenge, but I read a lot of memoirs so this probably won’t be the only one I read. The essays are perfect for short snatches of reading time, and she’s great with a one-liner.

Books read in December: 7
Books read in 2016: 68
Still reading: 2

So that’s what I’ve been reading during the month of December, the last month of 2016. Stats on the entire year coming soon! I’m always looking for more book recommendations – are you reading any good books?

The Amateur Librarian is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com.

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2 thoughts on “December 2016 Reading Log

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