All the Books I Read-December 2021

Hello beautiful people! I hope you are having a wonderful day so far. I’m doing pretty well, except for the weather. It either wants to be 19 degrees or 55 degrees outside. It’s great. Really great. Love it. So much.

Speaking of cold, I read 4 books, for a total of 1,206 pages, in December. It’s a small amount compared to months past, but I read, and that’s all that matters.

The Time Machine by H.G. Wells

A scientist and gentleman inventor in industrialized Victorian England claims to have irrefutable proof that time is not simply a concept—it’s a whole other dimension. When he reveals the prototype of a time-traveling machine to his peers, he’s met with skepticism at first . . . until he returns one week later, disheveled, bloody, and with a fantastic story to tell.

It’s classic sci-fi and I can see it absolutely entrancing people at the time it was written. That being said, the only female character was of a simple-minded race of people and that didn’t really sit well with me, alas the book is a product of its time. For that, I had to give the book 3 stars.

The Christmas Bookshop by Jenny Colgan

Laid off from her department store job, Carmen has perilously little cash and few options. The prospect of spending Christmas with her perfect sister Sofia, in Sofia’s perfect house with her perfect children and her perfectly ordered yuppie life does not appeal.

Frankly, Sofia doesn’t exactly want her prickly sister Carmen there either. But Sofia has yet another baby on the way, a mother desperate to see her daughters get along, and a client who needs help revitalizing his shabby old bookshop. So Carmen moves in and takes the job.

Thrown rather suddenly into the inner workings of Mr. McCredie’s ancient bookshop on the picturesque streets of historic Edinburgh, Carmen is intrigued despite herself. The store is dusty and disorganized but undeniably charming. Can she breathe some new life into it in time for Christmas shopping? What will happen when a famous and charismatic author takes a sudden interest in the bookshop—and Carmen? And will the Christmas spirit be enough to help heal her fractured family?

I wrote a whole review of this book. I really liked it. It was a nice cozy read that really warmed my heart. Although I did call who she was going to end up with when we first met him, I really do read too many books. I gave it 4 stars.

Absynthe by Brenden P. Bellacourt

Liam Mulcahey, a reclusive, shell-shocked veteran, remembers little of the Great War. Ten years later, when he is caught in a brutal attack on a Chicago speakeasy, Liam is saved by Grace, an alluring heiress who’s able to cast illusions. Though the attack appears to have been committed by the hated Uprising, Grace believes it was orchestrated by Leland De Pere–Liam’s former commander and the current President of the United States.
 
Meeting Grace unearths long-buried memories. Liam’s former squad, the Devil’s Henchmen, was given a serum to allow telepathic communication, transforming them into a unified killing machine. With Grace’s help, Liam begins to regain his abilities, but when De Pere learns of it, he orders his militia to eliminate Liam at any cost.
 
But Liam’s abilities are expanding quickly. When Liam turns the tables and digs deeper into De Pere’s plans, he discovers a terrible secret. The same experiment that granted Liam’s abilities was bent toward darker purposes. Liam must navigate both his enemies and supposed allies to stop the President’s nefarious plans before they’re unleashed on the world. And Grace is hiding secrets of her own, secrets that could prove every bit as dangerous as the President’s.

I wrote a review for this book as well. I haven’t seen a lot of people talk about it, and it was so very, very good. It kept me guessing right up until the very end. This is no small feat, as I thought I had the twist figured out a few chapters in. I was wrong. I ended up giving this book 5 stars.

The Holiday Swap by Maggie Knox

When chef Charlie Goodwin gets hit on the head on the L.A. set of her reality baking show, she loses a lot more than consciousness; she also loses her ability to taste and smell—both critical to her success as a show judge. Meanwhile, Charlie’s identical twin, Cass, is frantically trying to hold her own life together back in their quaint mountain hometown while running the family’s bustling bakery and dealing with her ex, who won’t get the memo that they’re over.

With only days until Christmas, a desperate Charlie asks Cass to do something they haven’t done since they were kids: switch places. Looking for her own escape from reality, Cass agrees. But temporarily trading lives proves more complicated than they imagined, especially when rugged firefighter Jake Greenman and gorgeous physician assistant Miguel Rodriguez are thrown into the mix. Will the twins’ identity swap be a recipe for disaster, or does it have all the right ingredients for getting their lives back on track?

I thoroughly enjoyed this book. It was a fun read, a little predictable, but still fun. If you are looking for a good holiday book for next year, this one will do. 4 stars!

And hey, look at that! Not a DNF in sight! It’s a rare month when that doesn’t happen. I’m pretty pleased with myself.

And now for my favorite part! The stats!

Mysterious, lighthearted, and adventurous all tied for first place with 2 books each!

It was a medium-paced month with one book being faster-paced.

When you read four books the pie charts come out so neat and orderly. Only one book is under 300 pages.

In an unusual twist, I read no fantasy this month! None, nada, zip zilch! It feels weird. But I’ll take it.

Does it seem odd to anyone else that I have no 1 star ratings this month? No? Just me? Okay then.

December was hectic. You can see when I had the most time to devote to reading, and it wasn’t as much as I would have hoped. It happens. We read when we can.

What did you read last month? Anything fabulous?