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13 Books in 30 Days | Books Read December 2018 | Quick Lit

13 Books in 30 Days | Books Read December 2018 | Quick Lit

13 Book in 30 Days | TBR Etc.

Thanks to audiobooks, I did a lot of reading this month. I was trying to make sure that I hit my revised goal of 100 books read this year, but I think I overshot by a bit :)

Elevation | Stephen King | Wow, I read this quickly. I thought it was a nice little story, but do keep in mind that this is a novella. It literally took me one commute to get through. It's classic King, in that it’s a little political and a little whimsical, but this one does not have the scare factor. Sort of reminiscent of Gwendy’s Button Box. 3.5/5

Becoming: A Memoir | Michelle Obama | I was absolutely blown away by Michelle Obama's memoir, Becoming. Of course I loved reading about her time in the White House and her thoughts on getting into politics, but I was even more interested in her life before, and now after, being the First Lady. It's a really honest and inspiring story to read. I bought this on audio (highly recommend!) and hardcover. An easy 5/5.

The Stranger in the Woods: The Extraordinary Story of the Last True Hermit | Michael Finkel | I read this one so fast I nearly forgot to count it. The Stranger in the Woods was the true story of a man who lived in the Maine woods and went without interacting with another human for 27 years. I felt a little like a voyeur reading it, but it was so good. 4.25/5

Our Kind of Cruelty | Araminta Hall | Kind of Cruelty was a wild! Mike is a man who had a brutal childhood. He's completely devoted to his longtime girlfriend, Verity. He's worked hard to build the perfect life for them... But she's dating someone else. This was a super dark book, and to be honest I'm feeling a bit guilty for having enjoyed it so much. (It helps that the author is a woman.) This is definitely not for everyone. There's obsession, stalking, sex games, mind games... But I couldn't stop reading. I thought the author did a great job building suspense and playing with the reader. It's best if you go until this without knowing too much of the plot. I thought the ending was satisfying, despite having a feeling about where it was going to go. If you're comfortable being inside the mind of a disturbed individual, you might like this. 4.5/5 

The Great Alone | Kristin Hannah | People kept telling me this would be good, but I wasn’t expecting it to move me like it did. I have a bad habit of assuming historical fiction will be slow, but this was anything but. Loved the characters, the beautiful writing, and the vivid setting. What a win!! It’s inspired me to read Kristin Hannah’s other beloved novel, The Nightingale, despite having avoided reading it for years. 5/5

Cork Dork | Bianca Bosker | I thought it was a decently entertaining read. Bosker is a journalist who attempts to become a sommelier in a year. She obviously comes from a place of privilege- the access she gets to some of these restaurants, study groups, and master sommeliers is amazing- but she did work hard to learn as much as she could in a short time. I can't say I know more about what wines I'll like, but I do know more about the wine drinking and wine making process. 3/5

An Anonymous Girl | Greer Hendricks, Sarah Pekkanen | Get ready to see this one everywhere next year. An Anonymous Girl is the story of what happens when a psychological study goes wrong. I was hooked from the beginning- it opens with the protagonist worming her way into becoming involved in a morality study- and as the book went on it kept my attention. It’s a novel of psychological suspense with obsessive characters- most of the choices they made annoyed me, but I couldn’t look away. I didn’t love the ending and liked the duo’s previous book The Wife Between Us better, but this is still a worthy thriller to add to your list. 3.75/5

Educated | Tara Westover | Educated was everywhere on the ‘best of’ year end lists.. and the hype is valid. A young woman goes from being “home schooled” in rural Idaho from an survivalist family to getting her PhD. I was initially reluctant because I thought it was going to be preachy and self- congratulatory. NOT AT ALL. I loved the way in which Dr, Westover tells her story- almost detached, but with sincerity. Loved it. 5/5

Reasons to Stay Alive | Matt Haig | Matt Haig has been one of my favorite authors for awhile. Reasons to Stay Alive is his pseudo memoir- he talks very openly about his experience with depression and his struggle to survive. I highly recommend this, both to those who've got clinical depression and those that do not. Matt's ability to explain and empathize with the human experience really resonates with me and I think we need more books written by people who can be open about their experience with mental illness. 4/5

Where the Crawdads Sing | Delia Owens | I was initially avoiding this because I wouldn't like the flowery writing and southern setting. I couldn't have been more wrong! Where the Crawdads Sing is an incredible work of historical fiction- Kya and her family live out in the wilderness with little interaction with anyone outside their family. That is, until everyone in her family leaves one by one and Kya is left to fend for herself. It’s a coming of age story about a girl who’s a fighter and who can only count on herself. There is a little mystery built in and the story flashes forward between past and present, but the plot eventually comes together. I really liked the ending- always a sign of a good book for me! 4.5/5

The Last Black Unicorn | Tiffany Haddish | This definitely gave me a few laughs and you've got to admire her hustle. I loved the section where she talks about the struggle to become a successful comedian, especially if you’re a woman. Her stories about growing up and the abuse she suffered in her marriage were intense. The chapter about her co-worker at the airline made me so uncomfortable but aside from that, I really enjoyed this. It's a fast read- and better on audio. 4/5

Force of Nature | Jane Harper | This sophomore novel from Jane Harper solidifies her as one of my favorite mystery authors. In Force of Nature, we catch up with Aaron Falk, the detective from her first novel, The Dry. A group of colleagues are forced to go on a corporate retreat in the wilderness, and only 4 of the 5 woman that began the trip make it out. It was interesting to read about the dynamics of the coworkers and about the different expectations surrounding men and women. I didn’t love it quite as much as The Dry, but it’s still quite good. In 2019 she’s coming out with The Lost Man, her first standalone, and I’ll definitely be reading. 4/5

We Should all Be Feminists | Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

I thought I would tear right through it since it’s such a slim little book, but I found myself having to keep stopping so I could take in passages. She talks about what being a feminist means to her, the expectations we set for boys and girls, and how we would all be much happier if we were taught to just be who we are. She narrates the audiobook and is a great speaker- I would definitely listen if you can. 4.75/5

Are you an audiobook reader? It’s definitely helped me increase the number of books I read in a year. From these- I listened to EIGHT on audio!

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Ten Best Books of 2018

Ten Best Books of 2018

Weekend Reads | Links I Love for Week 50 | 12.14.18

Weekend Reads | Links I Love for Week 50 | 12.14.18