December Reading

IMG_2012We Hope For Better Things by Erin Bartels is a historical fiction book that I received from Revell Books. I thoroughly enjoyed this story about three different periods of time all woven around one farm near Detroit. Race is a strong issue in this book and how it has shaped America since the Civil War with slavery being abolished, civil rights riots in the 1960’s and during the present.  I would highly recommend this book.

My Sister The Serial Killer by Oyinkan Braithwaite is getting a lot of buzz on Bookstagram. I was not quite sure what to expect. It was a unique story and a short thriller. The title reveals the basis of the story as a woman lives with her sister who kills the men she dates.

Winter In Paradise by Elin Hildebrand takes place starting in January 2019.  The story takes place in St. John after a family receives the news that their father passed away in an accident. As they travel to learn more about what really happened, they meet local islanders and discover a wonderful place to visit. I am looking forward to the next two books to be released in this trilogy.

True You: Letting Go of Your False Self to Uncover the Person God Created by Michelle DeRusha is a book I received from Baker Books. I thoroughly enjoyed this book about discovering the person God designed us to be. The author used analogies from pruning trees to show how we can change as people. I personally could relate to the feeling of always being busy, never taking the time to just stop and be still. She uses personal experiences to share how she started this journey of pruning up to enjoy life more thoroughly. I would highly recommend this book especially as we begin a new year and seek ways to better our lives.

My Oxford Year by Julia Whalen was enjoyable on audio being narrated by the author. She is a favorite narrator for audiobooks. This is her first book and it was enjoyable. A young woman is accepted to study at Oxford for a year. She meets new friends and finds romance. There was depth to the story and it was great on audio.

Nine Perfect Strangers by Liane Moriarity was a book I was hesitant to read because I have read so many mixed reviews about it. I have enjoyed her other books, and so I took a chance. I enjoyed the book since it was written from different perspectives. 9 people stay at a health resort and a lot of things transpire over their 10 day stay.

Winter Solstice by Elin Hildebrand is the final book in the series and it brought good closure to the series about this family. I thoroughly enjoyed this whole series and it was perfect to read right before Christmas.

Winter Storms by Elin Hildebrand is the third book in the series. These were all good fast and easy books.

Winter Stroll by Elin Hildebrand is the second book in this series about the Quinn family.

Winter Street by Elin Hildebrand is the first of four books in this series. This series takes place in Nantucket mostly around Christmas time about the Quinn family and the Winter Street Inn they run there.

Fruit Of The Drunken Tree by Ingrid Rojas Contreas is based on the author’s own experiences growing up in Columbia. The book was well written about a young girl and her family during the time of guerrilla warfare and Pablo Escabar.

Girl, Stop Apologizing by Rachel Hollis is a book I won in a Goodreads giveaway. I enjoyed reading this non-fiction book about women finding their true potentials. She shares from her own experiences in her career and personal life. I enjoyed her other book, Girl, Wash Your Face more. I would also recommend her cookbooks.

I’ll Be There For You: The One About Friends by Kelsey Miller was disappointing. I listened to it on audio and did learn some things about the beginning of the show Friends and more about the cast. I felt like the book went off topic to cover other shows as well about diversity and the social impacts during the 90’s.

One Day In December by Josie Silver is a popular book this month. A young woman sees a man while she drives past him on the bus. She feels an instant attraction and searches for him until her best friend starts dating him. Years go by in this book about friendship and romance.

The Kennedy Debutante by Kerri Maher was an interesting historical fiction book about Kick Kennedy and the Kennedy family. I enjoyed it on audio.

Things You Save In A Fire by Katherine Center was disappointing. I enjoyed the first half of the book about a female firefighter. I did not care for the writing and the end seemed to be thrown together to get closure. I also did not care for her other book, How To Walk Away. Thanks to Netgalley for the review copy.

Last Christmas In Paris by Hazel Gaynor and Heather Webb is an episolatory historical fiction book set in WWI.


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The Little Reindeer


The Little Reindeer by Nicola Killen is a beautifully illustrated book that is all in black and white and accented in red. A little girl hears jingle bells and goes outside to follow the sound. She discovers a reindeer and the magic of Christmas Eve.


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Favorite Characters Celebrate Christmas


These books are the Christmas themed books in different series about favorite characters. Do your kids have a favorite book character?

A Unicorn Named Sparkle’s First Christmas by Amy Young is part of the series about Sparkle the goat. In this book, Lucy and Sparkle share their first Christmas together.

Maple and Willow’s Christmas Tree by Lori Nichols is part of an adorable series about two sisters. All of these books are sweet and this one is no exception. The sisters  pick out the perfect tree for Christmas and show kindness to each other.

Santa Bruce by Ryan T. Higgins is part of the funny series about Bruce the Bear who becomes an unexpected mother to geese. In this book, he becomes Santa for all of the animals to come visit him.


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Christmas Tree Books


These two books are about choosing a Christmas tree. Our family has an artificial tree, but these books share the magic of picking the perfect tree.

The Christmas Tree Who Loved Trains by Annie Silvestro is an adorable new Christmas book about a tree that is growing next to a railroad. One day, a little boy picks the tree to take home for their Christmas tree. The tree is sad until the little bout plays with a toy train around the tree. This book is so cute and sweet. We also love her other books such as Mice Skating and Bunny’s Book Club.

Pick A Pine Tree by Patricia Toht is a delightful book to read aloud about picking a Christmas tree. They have a decorating party and decorate the tree with ornaments and all of the festive decorations.


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When Santa Was A Baby


When Santa Was A Baby by Linda Bailey is a favorite Christmas book at our house. This imaginative book is about Santa as a baby. His parents notice that he is different than other kids. Baby Santa loves the color red, shares his toys with others, and names his hamsters names like Vixen. What books are you reading this holiday season?


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Christmas Books For Boys


My son especially loves seeing these familiar characters in these adorable Christmas books.  Construction Site On Christmas Night by Sherri Duskey Rinker has the construction site gang together again for Christmas. They receive new parts for their equipment in this cute Christmas themed book.

Little Blue Truck’s Christmas by Alice Shertle is one of our favorite Christmas books because the end has lights that actually light up. Little Blue Truck has to deliver Christmas trees and they get to count 1-5. We love all of the Little Blue Truck books as well.


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November Reading


What You Don’t Know About Charlie Outlaw by Leah Stewart is a book that I enjoyed on audio. The story was written in an entertaining way. A movie star is kidnapped and the book is about his experience as a captive. It also covers the life of his movie star girlfriend.

Becoming Mrs. Lewis by Patti Callahan is a historical fiction book about C.S. Lewis and his wife Joy. This book was interesting to learn about two people that I did not know very much about. The book seemed a little drawn out, it spanned over 10 years. Part of the book was written as their letters that they exchanged over the years. If you enjoyed this, I would recommend The Paris Wife and Love and Ruin by Paula McLain.

When We Left Cuba by Chanel Cleeton releases April 9, 2019. Thanks to Netgalley and Penguin Random House for the advanced copy. I really enjoyed Next Year In Havana by Chanel Cleeton and was thrilled to read her new book. In this story, Beatriz Perez, is trying to help Cuba by eliminating Fidel Castro. She begins her journey as a spy for the CIA and this added excitement to the storyline.  The story is told between the past in the 1960’s and in the present. Her writing style is beautiful and I enjoyed learning more about Cuba’s history. There is also romance and family drama in this historical fiction book.

The Dream Daughter by Diane Chamberlain was a surprising and interesting book. I do not read a lot of science fiction , but I really enjoyed this story about a mother’s love. It begins in the 1970’s in North Carolina and spans to New York City in the future. If you enjoyed this, I would recommend The Year We Turned Forty by Liz Fenton and Lisa Steinke and What Alice Forgot by Liane Moriarty.

This Is Me: Loving The Person You Are Today by Chrissy Metz is a book I got a few months ago when I met Chrissy and got it autographed. The book was very enjoyable and reading it felt like listening to Chrissy talk about her life and the lessons she has learned along the way.

The Other Woman by Sandie Jones was not a thriller that I enjoyed. The main character was not likable and the mystery was a letdown. Other thrillers that I have enjoyed lately are: Lies by T.M. Logan and Then She Was Gone by Lisa Jewell.

It’s Okay Not To Be Okay by Sheila Walsh is a Christian non-fiction book that I found encouraging and applicable to women. Sheila shares from her own life in an open and honest way. She shares how to overcome hardships in our lives with the help of God. Each chapter has practical questions to apply to your life as you make healthy changes to be closer to God. This is one of the better Christian living books that I have read this year. Thank you to Baker Books for this review copy.

Louisiana’s Way Home by Kate DiCamillo is a new book and one that my kids and I loved. I read it aloud and we all enjoyed this beautifully written story about a little girl discovering who she is and where she belongs. This story is sad and touching. Louisiana is forced to leave home with her Granny in the middle of the night. They begin driving and end up in a small town where she finds a new friend. Her journey to this new town is sad, but it ends happily.

Rich People Problems by Kevin Kwan is the third book in the Crazy Rich Asians series. It brought closure to the series and now I am ready to watch the movie. In these books, you learn about the extremely rich in Singapore. It is entertaining and interesting to read about these extravagant lifestyles.

Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis by J.D. Vance is a book I listened to on audio narrated by the author. This memoir is about J.D. growing up in a hillbilly family from Kentucky and Ohio. He shares stories about his family and the hardships they endured. I read this after enjoying The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls.

The Dinner List by Rebecca Serle is a book I received from The Girlfriend. In this magical realism story, a woman has dinner with the five people she dreamed of having dinner with. Audrey Hepburn is one of the guests as well as her estranged father. I had trouble liking the main character, but could appreciate the fantasy of this type of dinner. It did make me ask who my five people would be for my dinner list.

Sold On A Monday by Kristina McMorris is a historical fiction book about a newspaper reporter following a story. He takes a picture of kids with a sign of For Sale. The story unfolds from there as he follow what happens to the kids from the picture. If you enjoyed this, I would highly recommend reading Before We Were Yours .

The Vanderbeekers and the Hidden Garden by Karina Yan Glaser is the second book about the Vanderbeeker family. I read this aloud to my kids and we all enjoyed it. The Vanderbeeker kids decide to make a garden for their elderly neighbors. The kids work together to make the garden a place for their neighborhood to enjoy. They have to overcome some obstacles to make their garden. We also enjoyed The Vanderbeekers of 141st Street.


Books Mentioned in this post:


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