Books I Read In December 2019 + Books to Read to Start 2020 | Rhyme & Reason
Books I Read In December 2019 + Books to Read to Start 2020 | Rhyme & Reason

Books I Read In December 2019

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Time for a book post! I’m going to restructure my reading guides this year and share monthly posts instead of seasonal posts of book recommendations. A few bloggers I follow along with format their book posts this way and I’ve found that I much prefer their method. So, I thought I would follow suit. At the end of every month, I’m going to share what I read that month and will give the books a rating on a letter grading scale.

This month is an exception as I took the end of December off on Rhyme & Reason. So I’m sharing my December recap now in early January. I definitely pay attention to stars on Amazon and ratings on blogger book reviews so I wanted to do the same! Books are so personal so I’m sure I’ll feel differently than many of you at times but then we can just have great conversations about the books! As always, feel free to leave a comment or DM me with any of your book recommendations! I live for book recs. Cheers to starting 2020 off on a book kick! Here are the books I read in December 2019:

Books to Read to Start 2020 | Rhyme & Reason
Books to Read to Start 2020 | Rhyme & Reason

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The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides

Woah, I didn’t see the end of this book coming! The Silent Patient is a suspense novel about a women, Alicia, who is charged with murdering her husband, Gabrielle at their home in London. Alicia is a famous artist and Gabrielle is a famous fashion photographer so the murder shoots to the top of the headlines and draws a lot of media attention. After the murder, Alicia refuses to speak, which gives the public an insatiable need for more. She is taken away to a secure forensic unit where no form of therapy can crack her and motivate her to speak. The novel also follows the story of the Theo, the psychotherapist, who will stop at nothing to help Alicia. His need to get Alicia to speak and reveal the truth about the murder is all consuming for Theo and reveals the realities of his past, which completely shocked me. The novel is sold as a psychological thriller but I think it’s more of a psychological mystery. Yes, Alicia is charged with murdering her husband, but did she do it? If so, why? Why is Theo so obsessed with Alicia and her story? The twists of this book are great! I’d call this a must-read. Grade: A

Books I Read in December 2019: The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides

The Dutch House by Ann Patchett

This book stuck with me. I admit, I’m not a huge Ann Patchett fan (don’t kill me if you are – I know many people love her!). I find that I struggle to get into her books and I never really love the characters. However, this book was different for me. I think a big factor that made me love this book (yes, love!) was that I listened to it on Audible. It was narrated by Tom Hanks and he did the most incredible job. I found his voice so comforting and it couldn’t have matched with the characters or the story more. This book truly comforted me and I was so intrigued by the characters who are really just regular people. The story is about a brother and a sister who live in a home called the Dutch House in the suburbs of Philadelphia after WWII. The home and their past attached to it shapes them so much and becomes the single most decisive factor in their lives. The story is told by the brother, Danny, which follows his life and the life of his colorful sister Maeve. The main theme of the story is really Danny and Maeve’s unshakable bond that spans over the course of five decades. You grow old with them and, in my case, become completely attached to them. Grade: A

Books I Read in December 2019: The Dutch House by Ann Patchett

Georgia by Dawn Tripp

I didn’t know very much about Georgia O’Keeffe before reading this beautifully written fiction book about the artist. This book focuses largely on the years of O’Keeffe’s life when she was romantically involved with photographer A S. The book is written from the perspective of O’Keeffe and reads almost like a journal. My favorite part of the book was easily the way the author captured O’Keeffe’s voice! She really made me feel like I was reading O’Keeffe’s journal and reading the inner thoughts of her mind. I was completely captured by the beginning of the book and the love story between O’Keeffe and S. They had such an interest relationship defined by creativity, love, fame, sex, and control. O’Keeffe was an incredibly interesting character and much ahead of her time in many ways! However, I will say that somewhere in the middle of the book I felt like the story lulled a bit as they’re relationship took a turn. I felt like I was reading her same thoughts over and over again. Overall though, it was a beautifully written, fascinating fictional telling of O’Keeffe’s life. If you have any interest in 20th Century art, then I would definitely recommend this book! Grade: B+

Books I Read in December 2019: Georgia by Dawn Tripp

A Keeper by Graham Norton

This is a quirky book filled with quirky characters. The book is about a women, Elizabeth Keane, who travels home to Ireland to clean out her mother’s house after she passes away. Elizabeth is set on getting the job done swiftly until she finds a secret stash of letters written between her mother and a man… possibly her father? Elizabeth never knew her father and immediately becomes swept up in discovering the truth about her mother’s past. The book also dives into Elizabeth’s present day realities of being a divorced women raising a teenager who has a secret of his own. This is an honest description of the book but the book itself really surprised me. I didn’t not predict the story at all! This was mainly because some of the characters threw me for a loop! As I said, quirky (some definitely cross into crazy!) characters in a quirky book. Grade: B+

Books I Read in December 2019: A Keeper by Graham Norton

Evvie Drake Starts Over by Linda Holmes

This is a nice fluff book that is a super quick read. I will say that I read this book quickly but I didn’t devour it. The book is the story of Evvie Drake and her life after loosing her husband in a fatal car accident. Evvie lives her life in a bubble in small town Maine until former Major League pitcher, Dean Tenney, moves into her back apartment after his career as a pitcher comes to a screeching halt. Both Evvie and Dean are looking for something to set their lives back on track but they end up finding it in way completely unexpected to them. The two form a relationship and become each others biggest champions. I thought this book was really sweet and a nice story about love, loss, and rebuilding life. However, I didn’t loose my mind over the chemistry between Evvie and Dean (like I did with the characters in some other reads this year like One Day in December and The Idea of You). There are also times when Evvie sees a therapist. I was so excited about these parts and thought okay, now we’re going to dive into the nitty gritty but that doesn’t happen. I found myself wishing the author leaned into that more in the story. Overall though, I’d recommend this book but I have friends who loved it more than I did! It is a fun, fresh read though. Grade: B

Books I Read in December 2019: Evvie Drake Starts Over by Linda Holmes

How Could She by Lauren Mechling

I wanted to like this book a lot more than I did. The book is about three friends, Geraldine, Sunny, and Rachel as they navigate their careers, relationships, children, and friendships in their thirties. The three friends all lived in Toronto until Sunny and Rachel set off for greener pastures in New York City, leaving Geraldine alone and feeling behind in all area of life. After a called off wedding and a series of events that leave her down on her Toronto life, she takes a leap of faith and moves to NYC in hopes of having all the success she perceives Sunny and Rachel to have. This story is definitely a reminder that people’s lives aren’t always what they seem on the outside and a reminder or really how much women juggle in their thirties. I read a review that proclaimed How Could She to be “an essential novel of female friendship.” After reading the book, I honestly find the description to be very sad. If the friendships of these women are what are being broadcasted, then I’m disappointed. I think female relationships are so much richer and more supportive than those of Geraldine, Sunny, and Rachel. I found the basis of their friendships to be them complaining about each other and being jealous of each other. So, I was disappointed. The story and characters definitely aren’t bad, they just aren’t lovable in my opinion. Eeeek, sorry to anyone who feels differently! Grade: C+

 

Books I Read in December 2019: How Could She by Lauren Mechling
Books to Read to Start 2020 | Rhyme & Reason
Books to Read to Start 2020 | Rhyme & Reason

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Photography by Edwin Eversole

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