December was, as always, Christmas month, so there were many traditions to adhere to and events to attend. For me, it was also a month where I felt poorly for lots of it, as well as just a little... bleh, maybe? Still, there was CHRISTMAS and I haven't been to work for days and days and days so who can complain?! Not I.
Books wise, there was reading indeed! Annoyingly, in November I convinced my boyfriend to buy me this literary Christmas Anthology (he's the best) but I ended up reading not very much of it when I had intended to read a little each day in December - sad face! Do you want to see what I did read, though? Of course you do:
I Am Malala by Malala Yousafzai
Yet another 30 Before 30 read, this is Malala's autobiography (kind of, it's written with someone). Although I loved Malala from afar before, I didn't really know what she'd done, and so this book was both a revelation and really super interesting in that it taught me a lot about the history of Pakistan that I didn't know before. I'm not going to say too much more because I'm going to review it properly, but it's definitely worth a read if you want to know more about Malala's mission the it's definitely worth a read.
Making Conversation by Christine Longford
This is, I think, the first Persephone book I've read that I haven't been crazy about. It's kind of a coming of age story about a teenager who can't really bear pointless conversation - and whilst I can relate, I couldn't really get behind the kind of teenage superiority of the story's protagonist. I think it does exactly what it tries to do, it just kind of bugged me as it did so.
The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas
I spent the majority of December reading The Count of Monte Cristo (or so it felt) - forget decking the halls and watching Christmas films and all that jazz, I basically just constantly read The Count of Monte Cristo, but I finished the bugger! I actually had a lot of fun reading it so it didn't feel like a chore at all, and once again it's one I'm going to properly review so watch this space!
Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone by JK Rowling
Ah, Harry Potter. Due to my aforementioned feelings of meh in December, I felt the need to self-soothe and of course I chose to do that with Harry Potter. I mean, what can I say about Harry Potter that hasn't already been said? Not much, only that in this reading, I couldn't stop noticing all of the parts that relate to later parts of the series - oh JK, you wily minx.
I have also decided that I want to re-read all the Harry Potter's before I'm 30 too, so expect to see more of these in the monthly wrap ups to come!
Christmas Comes to Moominvalley by Tove Jansson
This was a Christmas present from my lovely boyfriend, and I decided that of course I had to read it on Christmas Day evening. It's lovely, of course, although I felt very slightly cheated as this is Jansson's story The Fir Tree, but dressed up with bigger illustrations. Still, it's Moomins and it's Christmas so can I complain? I cannot.
My Mum Tracy Beaker by Jacqueline Wilson
My sister and I decided to do Jolabokaflod this year (i.e. we gave each other a book on Christmas Eve) and this is the book she got me - PURE nostalgia, as Jacqueline Wilson was my favourite author when I was little, and Tracy Beaker, whilst not my favourite character, is probably her most famous. In this, Tracy is all grown up with a daughter of her own and honestly this book was pure joy - I read it throughout Christmas Eve and Boxing Day (and a little on Christmas Day) and it didn't take too much work but was delightful (albeit kind of angsty, as is Jacqueline Wilson's way!) Good stuff, if you like that kind of thing.
They Were Sisters by Dorothy Whipple
My last read of the year was really very different to what I was expecting. I've just had a little shock to my brain that I read this over just three days (I really use the Christmas holiday to read) because it felt like longer, but that's maybe just because the story was so traumatic it felt like it was on my mind all the time! This book is about three sisters - one of them was caretaker of the other two after their mother died, and is the sister doing the best - one of the others has a seriously emotionally abusive husband and the other is used to being a pretty ornament but has quite literally no character at all. This novel is about their trials and tribulations (of which there are MANY) and there is a bit with a dog that I simply can't talk about. It was not a christmassy read AT ALL (not that it needed to be!) but it was a very good one.
And, for the edification of the Court (and because I did it last year and really enjoyed it!) my favourite books of the month for the year:
Talk Talk by T C Boyle
My Brilliant Friend by Elena Ferrante
A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara
Fates and Furies by Lauren Groff
It by Stephen King (Always)
When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi
Commonwealth by Ann Patchett
The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas
And that's a real real wrap on 2018 - onto the reads of 2019!