First off, I’ll just quickly start by saying that I hope those of you celebrating had a lovely Christmas and that I wish for you all a very happy New Year. It will soon be time to look back on a year’s worth of reading and pick out my top reads for 2016, but before that, there’s one last month to wrap up.
Throughout December I finished a total of 11 books (3 novels, 2 novellas, a short story collection, a poetry magazine, 2 non-fiction books, a book of comic strips and a stand-alone fairy tale).
In what is quite possibly a first for me, I made a point of selection a few seasonal reads, which included The Christmasaurus by Tom Fletcher, an utterly charming story about a wheelchair bound little boy who would love nothing more than a dinosaur, and an ancient egg frozen in the North Pole ice; Christmas Days by Jeanette Winterson, a collection of festive themed short stories, which range from magical tales of snowmen that come to life in your time of need to haunting stories about ghosts and revenge; and The Peanuts Guide to Christmas, charming little snippets of Snoopy and friends at Christmas time.
The highlight of the month for me came in the form of another rarity: a re-read. However, Jim Kay’s stunning illustrations throughout the new edition of Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets breathed new life into the story, making for a suitably enchanting and nostalgic jaunt; perfect for the time of year. Craving more such charm, I also thoroughly enjoyed the third book in Catherynne M. Valente’s Fairyland series, which follows a young girl on grand adventures in an utterly bonkers world.
In a departure from the whimsy that dominated most of my reading for the month, I picked up The Optician of Lampedusa by Emma-Jane Kirby, a novelised account of a real-life incident related to the on-going refugee crisis. It was understandably harrowing and I definitely recommend it as a powerful reminder of what is happening around the world and why we can’t afford to stick our heads in the sand, though personally I had a slight issue with the decision to fictionalise the account, rather than simply state the Optician’s story as fact.
Along with the other reads for December, these took me up to a total of 137 books for the whole year; a figure I’m pretty chuffed about. My next post will be a look back at my top 10 amongst them; a shortlist I’m equally excited and daunted to make; after which I will reflect on my reading year as a whole and draw up bookish resolutions for 2017.
Thanks for reading!
What was your favourite read in December?