16 In Book Lists

What To Read & Skip – December 2019

I didn’t get a chance to share a second mini book review post in November, so I’m coming at you today with lots of recommendations!! The library really came through for me on a few new releases from this year. As usual, since I rarely post full reviews, these are mini reviews of what I’m reading in December 2019.

I also slightly changed the format of this post. I still read books during lunch at work, at home and while out and about. However, I’ve started to mix and match them all. I’m breaking down the books by format instead to show how I read (or listened to) them. So let’s get to what to read and what to skip in December! I’m linking up with Jana Says and Modern Mrs Darcy as usual to share what we read this month!

*Disclosure – I earn a small commission for any items purchased through the links above at no extra cost to you. Thank you for supporting my book blog!!


Physical Books:

25 Days Til Christmas by Poppy Alexander – I feel like I’m talking about this book everywhere. It made my Best Fiction of 2019 list and an extra copy is currently being passed around at work. It’s a new favorite Christmas novel that I’d happily reread each year. Single mom, Kate, is trying to muster up some joy for Christmas this year to give her son the holiday he deserves. There’s a sweet slow building relationship and a realistic take on the stress the holidays can bring.

A Curse So Dark and Lonely by Brigid Kemmerer– Another standout from 2019. This is a YA fantasy retelling of the Beauty and the Beast fairy tale. It’s super fast paced and sets up perfectly for the sequel. I’m so excited to keep reading the series in 2020!

Ninth House by Leigh Bardugo – When Alex is offered a lifeline in the form of a Yale scholarship, she can hardly refuse. In return for giving up drugs and her former lifestyle, she’s being trained to police the Yale secret societies. Each society deals in some form of dark magic and her ability to see ghosts helps keep the dead where they belong. It’s hard to articulate my thoughts on this one. I enjoyed the ride quite a lot, but it did get a bit too paranormal for my taste by the end. Skip if you have no interest in paranormal fantasy.

Relish: My Life in the Kitchen by Lucy Knisley – Lucy has a whole series of graphic novels that focus on different aspects of her life, marriage, first few months with kids, etc. So I wanted to start at the beginning with her childhood memories. She grew up surrounded by foodies and shows how that influenced her. I haven’t read many graphic novels and I’m just starting to delve into the non-superhero options. This one has me excited to read many more next year!


eBooks (reading on Netgalley / Kindle Unlimited):

I’d Rather be Reading – A Kindle Unlimited winner! I’m a longtime fan of the Modern Mrs Darcy book blog.  Owner, Anne Bogel’s, second book is I’d Rather be Reading, a collection of bookish reflections. It’s a delight for any book lover, since they’ll find much of themselves written in these pages.

Bibliophile by Jane Mount – After the success of the previous book, I was eager to dive into another book for book lovers. Unfortunately, this was a DNF (Did Not Finish). It’s a rather haphazard collection of bookish facts and book lists, but there’s almost no depth to the writing. The showcase is clearly her beautiful book stack drawings. While these were fun to admire, it got a bit stale after the first few chapters.


Audio Books (listening on Kindle Unlimited / Audible):

Born a Crime by Trevor Noah – This book is essentially the reason I joined Audible. Well, this and the amazing holiday discount Amazon offered 🙂 He weaves incredible tales about growing up in South Africa during the late 80’s and 90’s. I had no idea how horrendous the situation truly was in the country. Admittedly, the reason this is a five star book is Trevor’s narration. He uses different voices and various languages to help bring the stories to life in your mind.


Around the Web:

The Booklist Queen’s 2020 Reading Challenge – Rachael of The Booklist Queen (formerly Pingel Sisters) always puts together amazing reading challenges.




For more mini book reviews, check out What I Read in November 2019!



Books Available on Book Outlet

A Curse So Dark and Lonely – $6.49

I’d Rather Be Reading – $5.49


  • Reply
    Brittany Always
    December 10, 2019 at 9:06 am

    Loooooooved Noah’s book! He has the best way of being humorous while discussing very serious topics. ACSDAL was a fun read, looking forward to the sequel.

  • Reply
    Rachael | Booklist Queen
    December 10, 2019 at 9:09 am

    I was on the fence about Bibliophile, but now I think I should skip it. I’m getting Anne Nigel’s Reading People for Christmas, but I’d Rather Be Reading is definitely on my TBR.

  • Reply
    December 10, 2019 at 9:24 am

    I love Relish and all Lucy’s books – she’s a favorite comic of mine! I’m curious about 25 Days til Christmas – I’m glad you loved it so much.


  • Reply
    December 10, 2019 at 10:25 am

    This is the second reference to Ninth House I’ve seen this week.

  • Reply
    December 10, 2019 at 1:40 pm

    The Christmas book looks good!

  • Reply
    December 10, 2019 at 1:41 pm

    i’ve heard amazing things about trevor noah’s book, i own it and have done for quite some time lol. hoping to get to it next year.

  • Reply
    Jana @ Jana Says
    December 10, 2019 at 7:03 pm

    Born a Crime was excellent!

  • Reply
    December 10, 2019 at 7:12 pm

    25 Days and A Curse both sound like books I’d enjoy. I’ll also have to check out that challenge! I love reading all the time. If only my family and job didn’t cut into my reading time so much 😉

  • Reply
    December 10, 2019 at 9:47 pm

    Yes to Trevor Noah on audio! I went old-school and tracked down the CDs at my library and listened to all of it in one go on a road trip in the spring – those miles just sped by! And I haven’t read any graphic novels for grown-ups (my son is super into all the ones geared toward younger kids right now though) but I’ve been intrigued, so thanks for that recommendation. Sounds like a fun place to start.

  • Reply
    Amy D.
    December 11, 2019 at 10:13 am

    I really want to read the graphic novels by Lucy Knisley. Thank you for sharing your thoughts!

  • Reply
    December 11, 2019 at 1:15 pm

    I am looking for a quick holiday book and I think 25 days till Christmas will fit the bill!

  • Reply
    December 13, 2019 at 12:27 pm

    25 Days Til Christmas sounds fantastic! It will probably have to wait till next Christmas, but I will be adding to my TBR!

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    Jill K
    December 13, 2019 at 12:44 pm

    I haven’t listened to Born A Crime yet. I really need to fix that.

  • Reply
    December 16, 2019 at 5:39 pm

    I am dying to read Born A Crime, and I’m stoked to see that you enjoyed it. I didn’t know that Noah narrated the audio version himself–I love when authors do that. Levithan reads some of his own too, and it really makes the book pop for me. We just got rid of cable for streaming, and I haven’t been able to watch Trevor Noah anymore. It’s killing me. We used to watch him every single day.

    • Reply
      Rachel Kamery
      December 17, 2019 at 1:32 pm

      I love when authors read their own too. Joshilyn Jackson is another favorite of mine who reads her own. I just listened to Never Have I Ever and she brought the characters to life so well!

  • Reply
    Elena Wiggins
    December 17, 2019 at 8:45 am

    Born a Crime is one of the best audiobooks I have listened to! His narration is perfect! I love it when authors read their own books because they can put a special spark to their sentences.

    My November reads are linked in my name if interested!

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