This was a good month of reading. A really good month. And such a good mix. A lot of YA and a few fun romances, but it was really about non-fiction. Quiet was the best non-fiction book I’ve read in ages… I don’t remember the last time a book spoke to me in this intense of a manner. I felt so understood after reading it! If you are an introvert, particularly if you are an introvert who acts like an extrovert, you must read this book! But that aside, it was a really good month for books!
PS – my roundup of everything I read this year will be on the blog later this week!
TELL ME WHAT YOU ARE READING! I’m always looking for great recommendations… I love reading your comments!
IF YOU’RE NEW HERE AND ARE LOOKING FOR A BOOK, DON’T FORGET THAT YOU CAN ALWAYS CHECK OUT MY BOOK CLUB PAGE.
Every month I update it with everything I read – it includes every.single.book I’ve read in the past few years. The best part is that you can filter + search by genre (memoir, light read, historical fiction, thriller, etc!) to find exactly what you’re looking for. I always add whatever it is that I’m currently reading in real-time to my Amazon Shop. If you’re feeling like you need even more book recs, check out last month’s list.
Everything I Read in December 2019.
An Important Non Fiction Read.
Quiet by Susan Cain
I can’t stop talking about this book. Carly recommended it to me a while ago and I put off reading it (non-fiction takes me so much longer to read!) but over the break I had some time to really sit down and read and I just. loved. this. book. It delves into the science of introversion/extroversion, and the ways that we idealize extroversion (and act as though introversion is something to be fixed when in fact it really isn’t).
I felt a lot more confident and as though I understood myself better after reading it. I often find myself faking extrovert behavior and genuinely do love being social, but sometimes feel like such a weirdo in how I then need to recharge by being alone. This book explains a lot. I cannot recommend it enough. If you are an introvert, are married to/dating an introvert, or work closely with an introvert, it’s worth the read. One of the best books I’ve read in a while!
- Overall Score: A+
The Latest from a Favorite Author!
Regretting You by Colleen Hoover
This is Colleen Hoover’s latest and I absolutely devoured it but I need to caveat that it is NOTHING like Verity. I think when people see her name now, they associate it with thrillers, and while this book was definitely thrilling at points, it is more heartwarming than anything. It’s a mother-daughter bonding story and THE ABSOLUTE WORST THING IN THE WORLD happens to their family – I won’t give it away, but what happens is BAD. The mother and daughter couldn’t be more different, and secrets between them + the tragedy they face pulls them apart. It was pretty upsetting to read (maybe that’s more the theme with Hoover’s books… they’re upsetting?) but I couldn’t put it down and the ending was very warm and fuzzy. Definitely recommend!
- Overall score: A-
A Wild, Little Off the Rails Thriller.
The Wives by Tarryn Fisher
This one came highly recommended by Andrea Dunlop (the author of We Came Here to Forget). And I was instantly intrigued by the polygamy angle (why am I like this!?). It goes EXTREMELY off the rails. In a very dark twisty way. There’s a twist mid-plot, and several other twists throughout the back half of the book.
It’s hard to give you a proper synopsis without any spoilers so I’m going to have to be intentionally vague. Our main character, we’ll call her Thursday, is married to a man who happens to have two other wives. He sees one on Monday, one on Tuesday and her on Thursday. She’s desperate to keep his attention and be the star wife – though she knows nothing about the other wives.
One day she finds a crumpled piece of paper in his pocket with an address, leading her to one of his other wives. Upon meeting Hannah (Monday), she realizes that he’s abusing her (he’s never been abusive to Thursday). And a mystery and giant unraveling takes place. I know my description is strange and vague but I promise I had to be this way to keep it from giving spoilers. I enjoyed this a lot but it definitely went off the rails. A fun and crazy thriller you’ll read in a day!
- Overall Score: B+
The highly anticipated YA Thriller Sequel.
One Of Us Is Next, by Karen McManus (out 1/7)
This comes out in three days and is an absolute must-read! It’s a YA thriller, and it’s actually the sequel to One of Us is Lying, which came out a couple years ago and was actually our second EVER Bad on Paper book club pick! So definitely read the first one and then grab this (you could read this without reading the first one, but I think it’s more fun if you do that).
We’re back at Bayview High two years after Simon’s Death and a twisty game of Truth or Dare has taken place. The “original four” from the first book have moved on – they’re in college now and all play a peripheral role… so now we are dealing with their younger siblings. I tore through this and absolutely loved it!
- Overall Score: A-
A few upcoming titles!
Followers, by Megan Angelo (out 1/14)
Oh my – this book. I want it to be a Bad on Paper pick but Becca needs to approve it – she’s starting to read it this week. It’s such a wild ride and so crazy and fun. It’s set between modern day and 35 years from now and a lot of what it talks about is oh so relevant to our generation; especially the social media age.
We start out with Orla and Floss who are determined to make a social media name for themselves and achieve internet fame – whatever the cost. It alternates between their story and Marlow’s (set in the future, where Marlow lives in a town where social media stars are government employees and her whole life is available to those who want to tune in on social media). One day something snaps in Marlow and we see her deciding to make some big changes. It’s completely wild (and addicting) and such a fantastic conversation starter!
- Overall Score: A
A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder, by Holly Jackson (out Feb 4)
Another YA thriller! This one just didn’t grab me. I mean, it grabbed me enough to read the whole book but.. it was a little juvenile (and yes, that is normal for YA but I dunno, I think I prefer YA that’s actually written for grownups). It definitely had some fun plot twists and turn (and I did NOT guess the ending)… it just felt like a bit of a slog, getting there! Five years ago, beautiful (but mean + popular) Andie Bell was murdered by her boyfriend Sal, who killed himself after the fact.
Now, the tragedy still haunts the town and Pippa is doing her senior capstone project on the case, determined to find out what really happened as she believes that things just don’t add up. There are twists and turns as she’s determined to solve the case. It’s a fun read and definitely kept me on my toes but it was the young sort of YA which is not really my thing!
- Overall Score: B-
Anna K by Jenny Lee (out Mar 20)
This was recommended to me by Katharine McGee (author of The Thousandth Floor and American Royals) and I was incredibly excited to read it, especially upon hearing that HBO is already developing it into a TV show. It lived up to the hype! It’s Leo Tolstoy’s Anna Karenina reimagined and it feels a lot like a mix between Gossip Girl and Crazy Rich Asians. Anna K is living any teenager’s dream life on the Upper East Side. She has the perfect boyfriend (perfect, even if he is kind of boring), a great group of friends, and has always been the good girl (keeping her Korean-American father happy and proud of her). When she meets Alexia Vronsky, her whole world is jilted.
There are other wonderful characters: Anna’s party-boy brother Steven, his sweet but clueless girlfriend Lolly, Lolly’s sister Kimmie, and Steven’s best friend Dustin. There are love triangles galore, juicy dramas and even deaths… and I couldn’t put it down. It’s luxe and opulent, it’s engrossing but also heartbreaking, it’s just a really fun read.
- Overall Score: A-
The Honey-Don’t List by Christina Lauren (out Mar 24)
I absolutely adored this book. It was so cute and definitely one of my fav Christina Lauren books to date! Everything those two write is great, but this one was extra charming. So… imagine that Chip and Joanna Gaines actually really hate each other (despite having built a successful business on the foundation of supposedly being madly in love and a mutual love of design. Okay, now imagine what it likes being the personal assistant to each of these characters. Melissa + Rusty Tripp are remodeling + design gurus who have been married for over twenty years but secretly despise each other. And lucky James + Carey are their respective assistants.
NOT an easy job and the four of them all have to go on tour. Both James + Carey need the job for reasons I won’t share, but both are very disillusioned (and also secretly quite attracted to each other). So you have the recipe for the cutest romance to arise while on tour… but I won’t tell you about that! I absolutely loved this one, it’s such a fun read!
- Overall Score: A
Thanks for your reviews. I have put The Wives and Quiet on my reading list:-)
Hope you enjoy!
I am going to have to read Followers! I went to college with Megan! I actually remember having a few English classes with her.
No way! That’s amazing. Her book is great.
What a great month of reading, Grace! I also loved Quiet and Regretting You. I didn’t love the ending of The Wives but I did really enjoy Tarryn Fisher’s writing style!
Thanks Genevieve! xo
I’m so looking forward to Anna K! I just finished The Wives and think it’s the worst book I’ve ever read lol. I hate the twist, so many thrillers do that and it seems like such a cop out! Give me a strong woman in a thriller with a good head on her shoulders!! Haha okay rant over!
Hahahahha I didn’t hate it but it definitely went off the rails!
**adds all books to Good Reads list immediately**
GRACE I AM SO THRILLED THAT YOU READ QUIET!!!!!!
So many good recs this month!
Aw so glad you like the list!
Need to get my hands on some of these books! Always looking forward to your reviews! ❤️✨
Charmaine Ng | Architecture & Lifestyle Blog
Thanks so much, Charmaine!
One of Us is Next was SO good. I tore through it too! I need to read Followers and The Wives immediately!
Dana | The Champagne Edit
SO SO good! Glad you enjoyed it too!!!!
Love reading your thoughts on these books. Have you read The Dutch House yet? I just started it and love it already!
I read this last month and LOVED it.
Just finished this. Loved it. I love all Ann Patchett.
I haven’t! Morgan White from NYC Book Girl really loved that one!
I am dying to read Anna K! I’m currently reading Dear, Edward and it’s SO good. I love that it switches between present-day and the flight the main character (Edward) was on that changed his life. I can’t wait to read The Wives and Such a Fun Age after!
You are the second person to suggest Dear, Edward! It sounds amazing!
(And you’re going to love Anna K – it’s SO FUN!)
Such a great list! I’m first in the library queue for Followers, and am so excited.
Just finished reading Know My Name by Chanel Miller. So powerful.
I agree on Know My Name. Also powerful is Catch and Kill by Ronan Farrow about a Harvey Weinstein (and some on Matt Lauer, too).
Ooh I hope you love it as much as I did.
Know My Name is at the top of my TBR pile! I keep wanting to start it and then choosing something lighter… but I’ve heard such amazing things about it.
Agreed on Know My Name!! While it’s upsetting, I thought so highly of it, and would still want to recommend it to anyone. And am interested to read Catch and Kill.
Last month I reread Persuasion by Jane Austen (a favorite), Wild Life by Keena Roberts (a memoir about growing up in Botswana and the US–really enjoyed it), and Trick Mirror by Jia Tolentino (essays on modern life–interesting, even if we had different perspectives on things). Would recommend them all!
I am excited to start reading “Why We Can’t Sleep” by Ada Calhoun, which comes out today! It’s about the unique stresses on women in middle age as they deal with changing hormones and financial, family and societal pressures that their mothers and grandmothers never had. I’m only in my early 40s but I’m already finding mid-life to be an unexpected ass ache at times–both physically and emotionally. It’s nice to know that there are other women out there who can relate and offer guidance.
That sounds really interesting!!!!
Can’t wait for The Honey Don’t List! I just finished another fun romance called Love Lettering that I really enjoyed.
It’s such a cute one! Will check out Love lettering!
I just started the wives and I’m already hooked! Thank you for the great recommendations!
You’re so welcome! Curious to hear how you like it!!!
In December I read One Day in December and LOVED it!!!! I also finally read Circe, and I LOVED it! I’m not crazy about thrillers, but I may try one of the above to read next.
Two of my favs!
Definitely adding Quiet to my list! Hope your week is off to a great start, friend!
You must! Thanks Jenn, hope the same for you!
I read a galley of Dear Edward (by Ann Napolitano) 6 months ago and I still am obsessing over it. The hype is REAL
Oooooh I am intrigued! Thanks for the suggestion.
I am finishing The Good Girl by Mary Kubica. I was so excited to read it, and about 30 pages in I realized I have already read it HAHA oops! But I am finishing it because it is SO good. A really twisty thriller that reads very quickly. I NEED to read Quiet. I have a hard time reading non-fiction sometimes and usually prefer to listen to non-fiction on audio book. Did you feel that the book was a page turner or hard to focus on?
I loved that one! And that’s an easy mistake to make! I feel like every thriller I read has “wife,” “girl,” “good,” etc. in the title!!!!
The book was hard to focus on but worth it… I felt like I learned so much so I kept going!
Looks like a great month of reading! I just finished A Keeper and starting Such a Fun Age which I have been very excited to read. Adding Anna K and Regretting You to my reading list!
Ooh I really loved both of those!
Have you read My Friend Anna? So far I’m really enjoying it!
Yes! I reviewed it back in September! https://thestripe.com/everything-i-read-in-august-2019/
Loved it / obsessed with all things Graham Norton!
Quiet changed my life!!!!! I felt EXACTLY the same way as you-I’m bubbly and not shy-but always feel exhausted after too much socializing. I felt like a complete misfit. I read it about a year ago and I’ve become so much happier with myself. I’ve never commented, but just had to let you know!!!!
I am so glad you feel the same way!!! It was really a life changer and helped me feel a lot better about myself/my personality quirks!
I loved The Wives at the start because I am also oddly obsessed with polygamy but it honestly took too abruptly of a turn for me and then just kinda got too chaotic and predictable in a way… and the very end I was like what? It felt unrealistic in the last few pages. I don’t know… I also read it right after Verity haha.
I’m currently reading ‘The Starless Sea’ for my book Club, beautifully written but so long! I am also reading ‘The Knockoff’ by Lucy Sikes and Jo Piazza, I like it so far but I just started it
OK, I think I’m going to have to read every single one of these!! They all sound AMAZING.
I read six books over the holidays, and the standouts were The Piano Teacher and The Expatriates, both by Janice Y.K. Lee. The latter is going to be a movie with Nicole Kidman, so I wanted to read it first. Both are set in Hong Kong – one in present day, the other in the past. Really enjoyed both of them!
dear edward was moving, as was The Stationary Shop, and I loved City of Girls