A Month In The Life: December 2016


Today is the last day of the year! 2016 has been a crazy year: I started out the year in January with a trip back to Michigan for my best friend's baby shower (she had the baby in March and he's the cutest!), I got married, went to Chicago on our honeymoon, I made my first (hopefully not last!) trip to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, and read, well, a lot (101 books at final count)! This month in particular hasn't been especially hectic, but here's what I've been up to:

In books: I spent most of this month doing my annual holiday re-read of a book in the A Song of Ice and Fire series...this year, I re-read A Storm of Swords. Maybe by the time I catch up, The Winds of Winter will finally be out, eh? Anyways, it slowed my pace a little as I went back through it while I was reading my new books, too!
  • Freakonomics: How much you buy into a lot of these statistical quirks depends on how much you buy into the idea of behavioral economics as a whole. It's all about the hidden incentives that act upon our decision-making, and while the theories are interesting (his linking of abortion access to crime rates was something I found myself nodding along to), I regarded much of it with skepticism. 
  • Seating Arrangements: The writing quality was wonderful, and I enjoyed it overall, but I wished this story of New England rich people behaving badly over a wedding weekend had focused less on the father character. I found him mostly irritating and wished the story would get back to virtually anyone else when it centered on him (which was, sadly, most of the time). 
  • The Wonder (ARC): This was our book club read for the month, and while I had high hopes for it, I didn't end up liking it much at all. I found that it had pacing issues that significantly undermined characterization and plot development, by my standards anyways. I know other people liked it, but it wasn't for me.
  • The Red Queen: I wasn't super hot on the first entry in Philippa Gregory's series on the Wars of the Roses, The White Queen, because I found Elizabeth Woodville's characterization completely boring. But this book, focusing on Margaret Beaufort, did a much better job creating an interesting-if-not-really-likeable character, and I enjoyed it much more.
  • The Moonlight Palace: This book is pretty light and fluffy, about a young royal descendent living in a decrepit palace in Singapore in the 1920s. It was short and while it wasn't good, per se, it was pleasant enough.
  • The Guineveres (ARC): So many books get compared to one of my all-time favorites: Jeffrey Eugenides' The Virgin Suicides. This time, though, I thought the praise was legitimate. A delicate yet powerful story about four young women, all improbably named Guinevere, who end up in a convent in their teens for wildly different reasons is sensitive and well-told. An auspicious debut.  


In life:
  • Went rock climbing for the first time: The indoor kind, of course. One of my work friends and I have been trying to get together to do lunch and activities every so often, and after I took her to a pole class, she took me rock climbing! I've never done it before and wasn't quite sure what to expect. It was HARD! But I liked it and think I want to try it again.
  • Holiday parties: 'Tis the season, after all. Drew's work had their holiday party, and then of course we had our holiday parties with my in-laws. Lots of togetherness and happy feelings and wine (and missing my own side of the family on the other side of the country).

One Thing:
  • After having been a longtime audiobook resister (I just don't think it's reading, for better or worse), I found my niche: nonfiction! So this month I've been really getting into Overdrive through my local library system, and have listened to some really interesting stuff, like the official biography of the Queen Mother and a chronicle of Basque history. 
 
Gratuitous Pug Picture:

8 comments

  1. I'm so glad you found your audiobook niche! While I listen to a fair amount of fiction on audio, I think I really enjoy nonfiction more in that format. Especially memoir.

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    1. Since I'm reading so much for the first time, I'm finding myself without time to do much in the way of re-reading. But audio has also been a boost there...I'm listening to one of my old favorites, The Golden Compass, right now and just loving the chance to re-immerse myself in that world during the times I wouldn't be reading anyways!

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  2. Yay for nonfiction on audio! That's my niche too and I just discovered it this year!

    Happy New Year!

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    1. I love getting to experience books in times/places (like driving in the car) when I wouldn't usually be reading! Happy New Year to you, too!

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  3. I've been resistant to audiobooks also! I did have success with a couple last year and want to increase that in 2017. Since I also want to read more nonfiction, I love your idea of combining the two!

    So glad to find another fan of The Guineveres. I feel like it didn't get enough love!

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    1. I thought it was just incredible and I'm talking it up to everyone who asks me what I'm reading lately. I've got a busy driving season coming up (I start making a daily commute about 40 minutes each way in February) and I'm looking forward to getting some real quality audiobook time in during my drive!

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  4. The Guineveres has one of the most gorgeous covers but it's good to know that the inside content is excellent as well. :)

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    1. It was really lovely...and I'm with you, that cover alone is enough to make me want to grab a hardcover and I pretty much never buy hardcovers!

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