December was a fairly slow reading month for me – some of things going on in my personal life (you can read about that in my 2017 round up here if you want to know what I’m referring too) but I still manged to get through three, very different books in the month.
First up I read The Underground Railroad by Colsen Whitehead as part of my continuing mission to read all the Manbooker Long List. This book follows Cora as she tries to escape the cotton plantation where she is a salve. Along the journey on the Underground Railroad she settles at stops along the way trying to rebuild a life to varying degrees but she continually has outrun ‘the slave hunter’. It gives a raw and at times difficult to read account of the differing views and treatment of black people in America in the 1800s. There was one moment in the book my heart dropped in disappointment thinking that it was going to wrap up nicely and have a somewhat of a happy ending however it proved me wrong – I was satisfied that the ending was fitting to the tone of the rest of the book. Saying I enjoyed this book feels wrong, but I think its important, brilliantly written novel and I highly recommend it to anyone.
Next up I read Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng – it focuses on the Richardson family – a perfect from the outside family however it starts with younger daughter Izzy having burned down the family home. Also involved are Mia and her daughter Pearl who become intertwined with the Richardson family after moving into their rental apartment. As the family’s relationships develop between the children, the adults get locked in a battle over another neighbours adoption of a Chinese baby. There is a great air of mystery around this book which is steady but remains intriguing making it a pretty page turner. This was gripping but still to read and digest – I would definitely recommend picking up I really enjoyed it.
Lastly to fill the ‘crimbo limbo’ between Christmas and New Year I decided to pick a book off my pile that was a little lighter so I went for Giovanna Fletchers book ‘Some Kind of Wonderful’. This book centres around the internal struggles of Lizzy who after being left mid-proposal by her fiancé Ian struggles to figure out who she is. After exploring her university self, she tries to figure out where and who she is now by putting herself out her comfort zone. What I liked is this didn’t turn out to be another love story – it was about self-discovery and healing. I read this in three days and frequently found myself smiling and even letting out a giggle at the great 90s references which reminded me of my childhood and the very real style of writing, swearing and all. It made Lizzy a relatable character and I really rooted for her. If your looking for something that is an enjoyable read and fairly light (perfect for holidays or a lazy weekend reading) read I really recommend it.
I have also decided to take on the 50 book challenge next year – so I am already getting stuck In – I have a pile of around 20 books on my bedside table but if there is any that I need to add to my list please leave them below!