What I Read This Week: December 20, 2020

This was a great reading week for me, everything I finished got four stars and I didn’t quit anything! And at 196 books for the year, I’m so close to my goal of 200 books. I should be able to get it done, which is a personal best for me by far (Thanks, COVID!)

The Honey Don’t List by Christina Lauren

Contemporary Romance

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This is a sweet, charming romance with a unique premise. Carey and James are assistants to power couple Rusty and Melissa Tripp, who are famous home remodeling gurus. The problem is, the couple’s on-screen image of their marriage is a fraud. Now they’re going on tour to promote a new book and their assistants are tasked with holding everything together.  I enjoyed rooting for the love interests to get together, but what I appreciated most is the personal development of Carey and James. Their stories are about learning you are more than the circumstances life dealt you. This was a very enjoyable read and I highly recommend it for readers of romance.

The Book of Delights by Ross Gay

Personal Essays/Audiobook

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This was a perfect read for year’s end, especially during the pandemic. I love the concept here: every day for a year, the author wrote a brief essay about the delights he found in daily life. It’s clear these are written by a poet, even though they aren’t in that format. I listened to the audiobook read by the author with emotion and rhythm. The writing is rich and thoughtful. This is a thoroughly enjoyable listen, I laughed out loud at times. I highly recommend it for readers of personal essay, memoir, and inspirational books.

Wintering: The Power of Rest and Retreat in Difficult Times by Katherine May

Memoir/Personal development

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This is an especially timely read during COVID. The first half and the last chapter were excellent. The middle meandered a bit and didn’t have a strong connection to the rest. I love how May returns to the concept of life being not linear but cyclical. This helps me remember that everything is temporary. She gives examples of ways our lives mimic nature and how we can draw comfort and inspiration from that. Her writing is honest and personal, with vivid natural imagery and examples. This is a book I know I will return to often for inspiration and reminders. I highly recommend it for readers of personal development and nature books. 

Beauty and the Mustache by Penny Reid

Contemporary romance

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Book four in the Knitting in the City series. Reid’s ability to weave humor and romance into heavy real-life situations is at its best here. Ashley returns home to Tennessee for the first time in eight years after “escaping” her life and starting over in Chicago. She arrives home to meet Drew, a man who has become prominent in her family during her absence. Ashley is confused by her feelings for Drew that develop during a time of grief. This story demonstrates how we are never in control of life even when we think we are. I highly recommend this one for readers of romance. And while this could be read as a stand-alone, I suggest you start with book one or even with The Winston Brothers series, which is where I started!

Solutions and Other Problems by Allie Brosh

Comic/memoir/humor

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This book is so funny, and heartbreaking, and honest. I already loved Brosh but I am absolutely in awe of her vulnerability in this collection. These stories cover topics from benign childhood experiences to more serious arguments with loved ones and then on to heavy topics like grief and contemplation of mortality. It’s bleak at times and silly at times, all woven together to give a gorgeous portrait of a life. It’s a must-read for Brosh fans and those who enjoy humorous memoirs.

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