Rearview Mirror: December 2015

December was busy, but I did a lot of reading nonetheless, even if most of my reviews have come during the first few days of January.  :-D  Still, it was overall a good month.  Christmas is always busy with the family, but I am writing this on January 2 – New Year’s is one of my favorite holidays, super chill and relaxed.  My family watched our two traditional New Year’s movies (While You Were Sleeping and High School Musical), and life is simply really, really good.

Favorite December Read:

//published 2010//

Honestly, I think it was Happy Ever After by Nora Roberts.  Even though it was a bit cheesy, it was also just super happy and relaxing.  Fabulous escapist reading!  :-D  However, I will say that my three childhood rereads were very, very close in the running, as I love all of them a LOT.

Most Disappointing December Read:

//published 2015//

Ugggghhhh this was is harder.  I think I’m going with Carry On simply because it was the book I enjoyed the least this month, but I’m also not sure it’s really the most disappointing as I had super low expectations going in.  It was actually just about exactly what I thought it would be.  I’m not sure if that’s because it was exactly what I thought it would be, or because I decided what it was going to be and then that’s how I read it.  (Whoa, getting deep here.)

Other December Reads:

  • The Renegades of Pern by Anne McCaffrey – 4/5 – Great installment for the series, even if it did feel a bit like McCaffrey was playing catch-up so she could roll into the next book with all her ducks in a row.
  • Sleepyhead by Mark Billingham – 4/5 – a fabulous thriller and a great start to the Tom Thorne series.  I was really planning to blaze through these books, but wasn’t able to finish the second book, Scaredy Catwhich was just too gruesome for my tastes.  However, I’ve been informed by a few other bloggers that the series doesn’t stay as intense, so I may jump back in at a later point, as I quite liked Tom Thorn as a protagonist.
  • We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves – by Karen Joy Fowler – 3/5 – I almost liked this book, but I was just a little too weirded out by the overall vibe to rank it as a 4 instead of a 3.
  • Snow Dog and Wild Trek by Jim Kjelgaard – 5/5 –  childhood favorites that hold up to the test of time!  This duology about a wilderness man and his faithful dog are delightful and engrossing reading that still make me wish I was a trapper in the Canadian wilderness.
  • The Searcher by Simon Toyne – 4/5 – A fast-paced thriller with short chapters that had me reading literally as fast as I could.  Definitely some weaknesses in the plot, some situations that were unnecessarily complicated, and a few fact-checking annoyances, but overall a read that I simply couldn’t put down.
  • All the Weyrs of Pern by Anne McCaffery  – 4/5 – Fabulous story that really upped the excitement as everyone on Pern looked toward the idea of actually ridding their planet of Thread forever.  This felt like it could have been the conclusion of the series, so I’m interested to see what happens next!
  • The Small Bachelor by P.G. Wodehouse – 4/5 – I always feel like Wodehouse should be on his own scale, because I can’t give it a 5/5 because I’ve read better Wodehouse books.  However, it’s definitely better than all the other 4/5s on this list!  Classic chaotic Wodehouse with plenty of humor – a read that made me realize afresh that I am always in the mood for Wodehouse!
  • Vision in White, Bed of Roses, and Savor the Moment by Nora Roberts – 4/5 – This series was pure fluff, but super pleasant and happy fluff that I’m adding to my permanent I’m-in-the-mood-for-fluff collection.
  • From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler by E.L. Konigsburg – 5/5 – A classic runaway tale that everyone should read.  Everything about this book is perfect, and I almost put it as my favorite read of the month.


So this is the part where I usually tell you some of the books I’ve added to the TBR.  But while there definitely have been a lot, I’m also really behind on reading emails/blog posts for the month.  Suffice to say:  There are always a LOT, and the TBR, not including random series of books I’d like to read someday, or the books I actually own on my own bookshelves right now, is at 703.  Ah well.  Half the fun of reading is reading about books I’ll probably never get around to reading.