Maybe Matilda: December Reading Recap

Monday, December 29, 2014

December Reading Recap

Don’t tell my children (if they catch wind of my hopes and dreams, everything will be jinxed), but I’m hoping I can manage to squeeze in another book or two before the new year. I have a gift for timing library holds juuuust right so they all come pouring in within two or three days of each other, and that is exactly what happened this week. Which means if I don’t get some serious reading time in, I’ll have to pull a Sophie’s choice and pick favorites and send the rest back to the library unopened. Serious heartbreak.

December reading recap and short + sweet book reviews //

Big Little Lies Despite all the praise it has received, I had extremely low expectations for this book because I was so annoyed by What Alice Forgot. To my surprise, I loved it. Lovable characters and a perfect mix of fluffy, laugh-out-loud chick lit with dark family/community secrets. And currently $3.99 for Kindle.

Necessary Lies I think the characters and execution left a little to be desired, but the plot gets 5 big stars. A small Southern town, a near-destitute family, and a young social worker’s determination to protect them from state-mandated sterilization (which sounds too insane to be true, but actually happened . . . here in America).

Station Eleven made my list of favorite reads of 2014. I think it’s tough for an author to handle a storyline that spans decades and jumps back and forth between time periods, but it was done flawlessly in this novel which follows a handful of characters both before and after a pandemic decimates civilization. It was nothing like I expected, and absolutely fantastic. The characters were wonderful, the plot was incredible, the pacing and timeline were flawless. I loved it. If it sounds like your type of book, heads up: currently $5.99 for Kindle.

The Girl With All The Gifts Such a departure from my typical ‘type,’ but I tell you, it’s not easy for a Joss Whedon fan to ignore him when he tweets effusively about loving a book, so I’ve had my eye out for this one for quite some time. I don’t want to give too much away, but I thought this was exciting and unexpected and hard to put down. I liked it a lot. (Jeff, however, is listening to the audiobook and says he may not bother finishing it.)

Night of Cake and Puppets Now, you know how I love Laini Taylor and the Daughter of Smoke & Bone trilogy, right? Lots of love. All the heart emojis. But this little novella, telling the story of Zuzana and Mik’s first date, really didn’t do much for me. I almost feel bad saying that—Laini, if you’re out there, can we still be friends? Best friends? But I should have foreseen my lack of enthusiasm for this one: I am a heartless monster, and am rarely drawn in to romance stories. It has gotten high praise from other fans. Just not this one.

So long, Harry. It was with deep regret that I reached the end of the Harry Potter series on audio. Even the books I don’t remember loving much on the first read—books 5 and 7, I’m looking at you—were so much better than I remembered. I feel so lost without them . . . what to listen to when I run and crochet and fold laundry?!

What did you read this month? Any great audiobook recommendations?

Links to all my monthly reviews from 2014:

And find my favorite books of 2014 HERE.


  1. I always love these posts! I looked up "Girl with All the Gifts" online and am now thoroughly creeped. :-/


  2. It's totally creepy! But in a cool way :-)

  3. Just added your new suggestions to my library wish list :)

  4. I'm a newer follower to your blog and am super excited to see this post! I will add these to my read/listen list! Thank you for the rivews!

  5. I want to read through the HP series again. No idea what box they're packed in (yay moving). There was a marathon on Sunday. My husband shot down my suggestion that we view all 16 hours...

  6. I loved re-reading them! 16 hours of Harry Potter, though . . . :-P

  7. So funny that you're re-reading the HP series! I just finished Deathly Hallows for what has to be my 8th time through the series AND have been crocheting a Gryffindor colored blanket for my little wizard that's due in February from your Granny Strip pattern! I've heard the audio books are awesome; I'm trying to get my husband to agree to give them a try on our next road trip!


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