Monthly Updates

December’s Monthly Round-Up

Happy New Year! I’ll be doing the obligatory 2019 Round-Up post next week, but first I want to do my usual monthly round-up and talk about December real quick, because boy, was I busy.

At the beginning of the month I helped out at an event at work about dystopian literature. There was a panel discussion which included Sophie Mackintosh, Season Butler and Franscesca Haig talking about their books. It was really insightful, and Sophie kindly signed my copy of The Water Cure. It’s got me even more excited for her upcoming novel.

Later that week, I took a day trip to Oxford with two friends I live with. We had a delicious roast dinner in The Eagle and Child pub, which J. R. R. Tolkien and C. S. Lewis used to frequent. Then we took a stroll around the Christmas markets and browsed all the Harry Potter merch in the shops. It was very chilly but we had a lovely day which ended with us putting up our Christmas tree and decorating the house!

The month took a bit of a miserable turn with the general election, which was followed by a very sombre couple of days. I’m not going to talk about politics but it’s hard to ignore how much it dampened December for a lot of people.

The last couple of weeks of December were packed with festivities. I had two Christmas parties at work before heading north to spend some time with my parents. I then headed back to London few days before the end of 2019, as I had tickets to see Hamilton on New Year’s Eve. Whatever your expectations are for this show: quadruple them. The best way to ring in the new year if you ask me!

So December has been such a busy month. I didn’t read as much as I would have liked because I had so much going on, but I still managed several short books. Here’s everything I read in this busy month:

What I Read in December

  • The Stopping Places by Damian Le Bas (Review) – 5 stars
  • Neverwhere by Neil Gaimain (Review) – 4 stars
  • The Pisces by Melissa Broder (Review) – 2 stars
  • We Were Feminists Once by Andi Zeisler (Review) – 3 stars
  • A Life’s Music by Andreï Makine (No review) – 3 stars
  • The Weak Spot by Sophie Mackintosh (No review) – 4 stars

I had a few DNFs this month because with it being so close to the end of the year, I wasn’t willing to read something I thought I’d struggle to get through. That means I put down A Girl is a Half-formed Thing and The Beauty Myth before getting really stuck into them. The latter was a surprise for me as it has become somewhat of a classic of feminist literature but it felt quite outdated and I didn’t think I was going to learn anything I didn’t already know. We Were Feminists Once did teach me a lot though, so I’m glad I made the time to read that finally. I also squeezed in a little novella, A Life’s Music, which my boss kindly bought for me as a Christmas present. It’s a beautiful, short read.

My Unread Shelf Project prompt for this month was the shortest book on my TBR, which after a late addition, was The Weak Spot. I haven’t reviewed this as it’s just a short story that you can read for free here, but I really enjoyed it and it felt very reminiscent of The Water Cure. Sophie Mackintosh has a very distinctive voice and I’m really excited to see what she does with her next book.

Upcoming Reads

My first read of 2020 is Adults, which is one of the four ARCs I have to read in the upcoming months. It also happens to fit neatly into one of my remaining Magical Readathon prompts.

Missed some posts?

Here are some other things I’ve been enjoying this month.

On the small screen

  • I signed up for the free trial of Apple TV+ over the Christmas period and binge-watched SEE with my family. I wasn’t sure about it at first but as it’s written by Steven Knight (the man behind one of my favourite shows of all time: Peaky Blinders) I wanted to stick with it. After the second episode I was hooked, and it’s probably one of my favourite debut shows of 2019. I can’t stop thinking about it. I’m not keeping Apple TV+ but will definitely be signing up again when season two comes out!
  • I finally watched Unbelievable on Netflix. I watched the first episode some time ago, but didn’t get back to it until recently. This is another one that got me hooked, and made me so furious. I hate that it’s a true story.
  • On my mum’s recommendation, I watched The Last Czars, also on Netflix. It’s a weird mash up of period drama and documentary. I will admit that there were some episodes I didn’t really watch but more just had on in the background whilst I did other things, but I did enjoy it, especially after reading The Romanovs earlier this year.

I also saw Cats at the cinema but I don’t wanna talk about it. It was like a day-four-of-the-flu fever dream that’s haunted me ever since.

Making (sound)waves

  • As per usual, I’ve been listening to a lot of Hozier, especially since Spotify Wrapped dropped and he was not only my artist of the year, but also my artist of the decade. Is anyone shocked?
  • I did listen to a couple new crime podcasts though! The first is a true crime podcast called The Clearing, in which a woman who believes her father may be a murderer tips off the police, leading to his arrest and admission to multiple crimes.
  • I’ve also started working my way through All Killa No Filla with comedians Rachel Fairburn and Kiri Pritchard McClain, who look at a different serial killer each episode, though I had to stop for a while when I got back to London because I had too many hours alone in my house to be comfortable listening to a podcast about serial killers…
  • After seeing Hamilton on New Year’s Eve, I’ve been hooked on the soundtrack! I actually hadn’t listened to it prior to seeing the show – a conscious decision once I booked my ticket, as I wanted the performance to be completely novel to me – so now I’m listening to it on repeat!

What was your favourite December read?
Anything else you’ve been loving this month?

3 thoughts on “December’s Monthly Round-Up”

  1. Ooh, so exciting that you were able to meet Sophie Mackintosh and have her sign The Water Cure for you!! Thanks for posting the link to her short story as well, I’ll definitely want to check that out, and I’m so excited for her upcoming release.
    I hadn’t heard much about SEE yet, but I thought it looked intriguing so I’m glad to see you liked it! Unbelievable was engrossing but infuriating for me as well.
    I hope you have a good January, reading and beyond!

    1. Sophie Mackintosh was really lovely, it was a great event. I’m so looking forward to Blue Ticket!
      Thank you, hope you have a great January too!

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