This year absolutely flew by, and honestly, bring on 2021. I can happily announce that I made my reading goal this year, when I definitely thought I wouldn’t — I only read 6 books before April! At that point, thankfully, something kicked into gear and I was able to get back on track. This month was a bit of a mixed bag, but I ended on a high note. Here’s a look at what I read:
As a reminder: Last Month’s Edition & How I Rate Books
5-Star Reads ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Hood Feminism: Notes from the Women That a Movement Forgot by Mikki Kendall — This is a must-read for white feminists. I appreciated Kendall’s straightforward approach, and I thought the personal experiences she chose to include helped to drive those points home. As a feminist, I did understand the importance of intersectionality before but learned that I’m far from perfect and we all have a long way to go. I borrowed this from the library but definitely want to add it to my shelf.
A Gentleman of Moscow by Amor Towles (4.5) — This has been on my shelf forever it feels like. And it’s been sitting there so long because its length was intimidating (462 pages). It was not at all what I expected, but in a good way! I was surprised at how quickly I finished it. A story about a man who is under house arrest at a hotel in Moscow for 30+ years was oddly satisfying to read about during a pandemic (in what feels like house arrest sometimes…), and I really fell in love with the cast of characters. This is a high 4.5 stars for me, but I just couldn’t quite get to 5. Look out for my review with recipe next week!
4-Star Reads ⭐⭐⭐⭐
Anxious People by Frederik Backman — I’m a broken record, but I love Backman. I was nervous for this one because I hate to be disappointed. I’m so glad I wasn’t! He put together a really wonderful story here. [full review + recipe]
A Cuban Girl’s Guide to Tea and Tomorrow by Laura Taylor Namey — This is a charming YA novel I heard about on the All the Books podcast. Because the main character is a chef, it was filled with food. Made my mouth water. It was very real but also a diverting read, which is hard to accomplish. I’ll share my full thoughts in a couple weeks (with a delicious recipe!).
3-Star Reads ⭐⭐⭐
The Power by Naomi Alderman — I DNF’d this almost exactly three years ago (at almost 70% of the way done!). Why did I pick it back up? It was selected for our book club, and it felt like a book I should’ve liked… so I decided to give it another try. Well, I powered through this time. And it was fine. Even though I still find the concept fascinating — and appreciated the afterword of the book for that reason — I didn’t love the execution. It was also brutal and at times gratuitously violent. Not my jam. In another world, I might’ve given this two stars, but the concept really is so good, and it did have (very) few bright spots.
The Once and Future Witches by Alix E. Harrow — This is another book that seemed tailor-made for me but was kind of disappointing. It was very long and took me quite a while to get invested. I perhaps should've DNF'd it but I kept on. I was actually considering quitting when there was a scene that I really related to, and it ended up keeping me interested enough to finish. Overall, I liked the concept but it could've used an editor.
Currently Reading ????
Dear Emmie Blue by Lia Louis — I heard about this novel on bookstagram, and I thought it would be a lighthearted rom-com type read, but it isn’t really. Some definite deeper stuff going on, though there is a love story. I’m a little over halfway done and so far, so good 🙂
What was the best book you read last month? What are you reading right now? I’d love to hear what you’ve read and loved lately! Please share in the comments, and if you’re interested, the linkup information is below:
This linkup happens the second Tuesday of every month. The next is January 12, 2021.
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Jackie B @ Death by Tsundoku says
I'm intrigued that your two 3-star reads are one you DNF'd a few years ago and a book you feel like you should have DNF'd. Why 3-stars then? Why not lower?
Yes, that is interesting... now that you bring it up, I've been actually debating downrating The Power to potentially 2 stars. It had some redeeming qualities, but I feel like I rated it as a 3 more for its potential than how I liked it in the end. As for Witches, it started out slow (which is why I considered DNF-ing) but ended stronger. It's a solid 3.