December 2017 Reading List.

I was not as good about reading every day as I usually am (blame it on a hectic work month), so I only read three books this month. I realize that’s still pretty good, but for me it’s low!!! I’m hoping January’s reading list will be a little longer as I’m going to take some time off during the holidays. Regardless, these three books are all great! A thriller, a YA novel, and another incredible political memoir. Katy Tur’s book is a must… it took me a while to read as there were so many details I didn’t want to miss but I really loved it.

If you’re looking for a book, don’t forget – you can always check out my Book Club Page. I have literally listed I’ve read in the past few years…. and you can filter + search (memoir, light read, historical fiction, thriller, etc!) to find exactly what you’re looking for And of course, you can also take a peek at last month’s reading list, which was one of my favorites to date.

AND! Please comment and tell me what you are reading… your suggestions are my favorite… I literally shop the comments section of these posts (so many of you suggested Unbelievable!!!)… you always have such good recommendations for me, which I really appreciate!

The Dark Lake, by Sarah Bailey, is a thriller – I chose it from my Book of the Month subscription. A local woman (the beautiful, magnetic teacher Rosalind Ryan) turns up dead in a lake and her old classmate Gemma (now a detective) is put on the case to solve the murder. The book takes us through the case, as well as Gemma + Rosalind’s past… with lots of secrets. Overall, I really enjoyed it, though I did have a few mixed emotions. It’s well written and interesting, and kept me guessing. And the ending threw me. All positives. BUT once I had finished it I realized that there was so much information in the book that wasn’t really necessary. I know the author put all of that in there to throw us off, but at the same time I felt a bit frustrated that I’d paid such close attention to little details that ended up not even mattering in the slightest. But that may be just me… when I’m reading a thriller I become hell bent on solving the mystery myself. So I got annoyed by that. But I still really liked it!

Unbelievable, by Katy Tur, is a really important read. I could not put it down. It was indeed, unbelievable, but sadly all indeed very true. Katy Tur is a journalist for NBC who was assigned to cover Donald Trump’s campaign from the very early days when no one thought he was actually serious. It is fascinating… alternating between the night of the election and moments along the campaign. Trump called her “disgraceful,” “third-rate…” amongst other things. She was spat on, frequently demeaned, and often singled out by the president himself. (He’d call down to her from the stage!!) You get a firsthand look at how volatile his behavior is – we see it on twitter, but it was really interesting reading Tur’s account, experiencing it herself. His behavior is just plain strange and weird. Some days he’d try to charm her, other days, he’d tell her they should be friends, and others, he’d shame or intimidate her. It was really hard to read at times (I don’t know about you but election night was pretty emotional for me), but also extremely difficult to stop reading. I highly encourage you to read this one!!!

Devil in Ohio, by Daria Polatin was the perfect palette cleanser after reading Unbelievable (reading about the election is STILL stressful!) If you are looking for a fun YA thriller that will keep you up all night reading, pick up this one. What’s probably ultra crazy is that it’s all based on a true story! Jules is a fifteen year old growing up in a small Ohio town. One day, she arrives home to find that her psychiatrist mom has taken in a girl her own age (one of her patients). It is supposed to be for just a few days but she stays and stays… flirting with her crush, wearing her clothes, basically doing a little SWF. We come to learn that Mae ran away from a devil worshipping community – enduring unbelievable violence and abuse. A wild ride ensues. I couldn’t put it down and you won’t be able to either!

photography by Trent Bailey.

Leave a Comment

Leave a Comment


  1. Thank you for the book recommendations. I’ll check them out. Devil in Ohio sounds like a fun read. I love thrillers!

    Charmaine Ng | Architecture & Lifestyle Blog

    12.15.17 Reply
  2. Even though it’s a short list, these all sound like ones I really must read, especially Unbelievable!

    12.15.17 Reply
  3. sharon:

    I am currently reading ” Before we were yours” and it is really good. Unbelievable that is is based on true events/situation. I also recently finished ” The heart’s invisible furies” which was fantastic. One of my favourite reads this year!

    12.15.17 Reply
  4. Emily:

    I agree with you on Dark Lake…overall I enjoyed it but I thought her writing was just not subtle at all…she really hit you on the head with details that ultimately didn’t matter. I ended up figuring out who the murderer was half way through. Definitely check out The Wife Between Us…really good twisty thriller, and I’m reading The Chalk Man right now and loving it 🙂 Thanks for your recs as always!

    12.15.17 Reply
    • So glad you agreed, and thank you for the recs!! I just got The Wife Between Us and can’t wait to read it.

      12.15.17 Reply
  5. Maggie:

    I am still working on Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s book & by that I mean that I put a dent in it over Thanksgiving weekend and haven’t touched it sense. I just downloaded my book club’s book for December, The Lying Game by Ruth Ware. I need to get to it quickly, my book club meets on Tuesday. Once I get through RBG’s book I think I’ll read Unbelievable.

    My Pod Save America tour tickets arrived in the mail yesterday! I’m old fashioned and like to opt for physical tickets if it’s an option so that I have a souvineer.

    12.15.17 Reply
    • Maggie:

      *since (not sense)

      12.15.17 Reply
    • I loved the Lying Game! You should definitely be able to read it in a few days!!!
      And hooray for tickets! So exciting.

      12.15.17 Reply
      • Maggie:

        You were right, the Lying Game was a very quick read!

        I noticed that a commenter below referred to this as a fashion & beauty blog and I wanted to voice my perspective regarding that. While your outfits are great and I’m sure the beauty info/tips are valuable too, I have the most minimal makeup/skincare routine possible and most of the outfits you share don’t have a place in my lifestyle or budget. I’m here for everything else, especially the cat pics, the book recommendations and your honest and reasonable concerns about the direction that our current administration is heading in. Even if this was solely a fashion & beauty blog you have the right to voice your opinions & concerns on your own blog, I just want you to know that I see it as much more than that.

        12.17.17 Reply
        • Thank you so much Maggie, that means the world to me!!! I don’t actually consider myself a fashion/beauty blogger. I consider The Stripe to be a lifestyle blog as I really just aim to write about all the things I love (including more serious issues that are important to me).

          Marcia’s comment bummed me out but at the same time I have NO plans to back down on politics (not that I even talk about it much on here!!!) and my criticisms of the president.

          Also for the record I LOVE how much you love the cat pics… every time I see that I have a comment from you I know you’re going to either crack me up, say something about cats, or have something thoughtful to say.

          Thank you so much for your comments here, your encouragement, and your love of Tyrion!!! 😉

          12.18.17 Reply
  6. Unbelievable sounds SO interesting! Happy Friday, G!

    12.15.17 Reply
  7. When you said you had read another political memoir, I was expecting you to say it was David Litt’s book (“Thanks, Obama”)! But, Katy Tur’s book sounds amazing. I’ve added it to my reading list along with Devil in Ohio 🙂

    briana |

    12.15.17 Reply
    • Maggie:

      I’m adding David Litt’s book to my To Read list!

      12.17.17 Reply
    • I just ordered Thanks, Obama! Cannot wait to read.

      12.18.17 Reply
  8. I liked The Dark Lake too – it reminded me of The Dry, one of my favorite books of the year. Best book I’ve read this month: The End We Start From. A sparsely written post-apocalyptic type of story that manages to be totally engrossing but also really beautiful, focusing on the bond between a mother and her baby.

    12.15.17 Reply
  9. Em:

    While not exactly a thriller, I couldn’t put The New Mrs. Parrish down! Highly recommend!

    12.15.17 Reply
  10. Carrie:

    I’m listening to “Life After Life”, about an English woman who keeps reliving her life and may be able to change the course of history during WWII. I always have one audiobook for my drive to work and one to read in the evening. I love the narrator, which helps, but the story and writing are really great so far too.

    12.15.17 Reply
    • Melissa:

      I loved this book! It’s not a light read by any means, but so so great.

      12.16.17 Reply
  11. Devil in Ohio sounds fascinating. Adding to my goodreads list.

    I’m currently reading a weirdly fascinating book about the whole Beanie Baby craze: The Great Beanie Baby Bubble by Zac Bissonnette. I knew the founder was caught on money laundering charges but there’s a whole lot of other iffy stuff going on. It’s an entertaining read.

    12.16.17 Reply
    • Oh my gosh, Beanie Babies!!! Hahahaha this made me laugh because when I was home for Thanksgiving with my family, my mom revealed that she’d donated all our beanie babies (even the “rare” ones that we had held onto, hoping that they’d appreciate in value.) I couldn’t believe she had held on for them that long and we both had a good laugh.

      12.18.17 Reply
  12. Marcia:

    You are are beautiful woman and your posts are very enjoyable and informative. I realize that everyone has a right to their personal opinions,however at times you to be extremely negative towards President Trump. Maybe your fashion, beauty blog is not the right venue for political jabs toward our ( yes our) Commander in Chief.

    12.16.17 Reply
    • Hi Marcia,

      Thank you for sharing your perspective. I’m sorry we have differing views on the president and his behavior.

      While I am always, 100% open to a healthy debate and hearing the other side, I have to respectfully disagree. I think sharing our views is so incredibly important, and as this is a personal blog am going to do so.

      I’d encourage you to be open and hear the other side as well. Katy Tur’s book was an incredible read… while you may not agree with her, it’s an interesting behind the scenes look at the campaign.


      12.18.17 Reply
  13. Annette:

    I always enjoy seeing what you have been reading. You give me ideas about books I might not have heard of. Thanks so much

    12.16.17 Reply
  14. Nicole Wren:

    Thank you for recommending “The thousandth floor”!!! I loved it and can’t wait to start the 2nd one! I found your blog page after following the design darling, and fell in love with your book list! I’m currently reading “The futures” by AnnaPitoniak. I’m enjoying it, and will let you know my final thoughts on it when I finish.

    12.19.17 Reply
    • Oh GOOD – I am so glad! It was one of my favorites!!! You are going to love her second book! x

      12.19.17 Reply
  15. Kathryn:

    Hi Grace,

    I’ve recently read both Unbelievable and Who Thought this was a Good Idea?. Both were very interesting (although Unbelievable was a little more stressful!). I love your book recommendations and podcasts too!

    I’m starting the Last Mrs. Parrish tonight.

    12.20.17 Reply

    Just discovered your blog and two of your recommended books are already on my list (“The seven husbands of Evelyn Hugo” and “The Thousandth Floor”).
    A book that I would definetly recommend is “All the Bright Places” by Jennifer Niven. It tells the story of Violet and Finch, who go through days of loveable adventure while dealing with mental-health issues .
    It impacted me on SO many levels! It is beautiful, heart warming and broke me down to tears.

    12.26.17 Reply
  17. Love this list! Thrillers and political memoirs are my fave! Definitely checking out Devil in Ohio and Unbelievable.
    Currently reading What Happened by Hillary Rodham Clinton.
    Read and loved Michelle Obama: A Life by Peter Slevin the night of the elections. With top-notch reporting and an eye for detail, Slevin follows Michelle Obama from her humble beginnings on Chicago’s segregated South Side to the halls of Princeton University and Harvard Law School to the corporate law firm where she met Barack to the White House. Beautifully written, engaging, thoughtful, revealing, and hopeful.
    Also recommend Who Thought This Was a Good Idea? by Alyssa Mastromonaco.

    2.7.18 Reply
    • Thanks for the suggestions!!!

      2.8.18 Reply
      • You’re welcome! Michelle Obama: A Life is definitely one of my all-time favourite reads!

        2.8.18 Reply