Monthly Wrap-Up: December 2021

Thinking back to December it really feels like I didn’t get much reading done during the month. However, actually looking back at the month has proven me very wrong. I managed to get through four books and three graphic novels. Not too shabby if you ask me. 

The first three books in my wrap-up are the festive arcs that I have absolutely talked to death about so instead of sharing my thoughts (again) here I’m just going to link to my full reviews. Please check them out if you are interested. 

The Winter of Second Chances by Jenny Bayliss 

Read: 1/12/21 – 8/12/21

Rating: 4 out of 5.

The 12 Books of Christmas: The Winter of Second Chances by Jenny Bayliss

Goodreads synopsis: Annie Sharpe has it all – an acclaimed restaurant she owns with her handsome husband Max, and two gorgeous grown-up sons. But after one indiscretion too many, she leaves behind the only life she’s ever known.

In search of a fresh start, Annie takes up a position as a caretaker of Saltwater Nook, a creaky but charming beach house on Kent’s beautiful, wild coastline. The village community is an eccentric but tightknit bunch, and Annie is swept up in a whirlwind of their traditional festive celebrations, from pumpkin carving to bonfires on the beach. It soon feels like home – she even reopens the long-dormant seafront café.

The only thorns in her side are John, the owner’s rugged but totally unreasonable nephew who has his own agenda for the house, and a persistent Max, intent on winning her back.

Saltwater Nook has been the perfect escape, but Annie can’t run from her problems forever. Will she give her first love a second chance? Or step into the promise of a new life?

The Arctic Curry Club by Dani Redd

Read: 12/12/21 – 17/12/21

Rating: 3 out of 5.

The 12 Books of Christmas: The Arctic Curry Club by Dani Redd

Goodreads synopsis: Soon after upending her life to accompany her boyfriend Ryan to the Arctic, Maya realises it’s not all Northern Lights and husky sleigh rides. Instead, she’s facing sub-zero temperatures, 24-hour darkness, crippling anxiety – and a distant boyfriend as a result.

In her loneliest moment, Maya opens her late mother’s recipe book and cooks Indian food for the first time. Through this, her confidence unexpectedly grows – she makes friends, secures a job as a chef, and life in the Arctic no longer freezes her with fear.

But there’s a cost: the aromatic cuisine rekindles memories of her enigmatic mother and her childhood in Bangalore. Can Maya face the past and forge a future for herself in this new town? After all, there’s now high demand for a Curry Club in the Arctic, and just one person with the know-how to run it…

A Bookshop Christmas by Rachel Burton

Read:  21/12/21 – 23/12/21

Rating: 4 out of 5.

The 12 Books of Christmas: A Bookshop Christmas by Rachel Burton

Goodreads synopsis: A snowstorm. A stranger. A spark. And it’s Christmas!

It should be the perfect start to the perfect love story.

But real life is far messier and more complicated than in the pages of the books in Megan Taylor’s family bookshop – the last few years have left this young widow in no doubt of that. Moving back home to York should have been a fresh start, but all it did was allow her to retreat from the world.

When prize-winning author Xander Stone rams his supermarket trolley into her ankles and then trashes her taste in books, Megan is abruptly awoken from her self-imposed hibernation. It’s time to start living again, and she’s going to start by putting this arrogant, superior – admittedly sexy – stranger in his place.

Just as she is beginning to enjoy life again, the worst happens and Megan begins to wonder if she should have stayed hidden away. Because it turns out that falling in love again is about more than just meeting under the mistletoe…

Attack on Titan Vol. 3, Vol. 4 and Vol. 5 by Hajime Isayama

Read: 24/12/21 – 30/12/21

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

As I said in last months wrap-up, I am really enjoying working my way through the Attack on Titan mangas. I have been a huge fan of the anime for so many years now and I honestly don’t know why I didn’t think to read the mangas until now. 

I made my way through three volumes in December which puts me at around halfway through the first season where the anime is concerned. I’ve watched all of those episodes so it’s super easy for me visual the story playing out. Which is why I’m enjoying reading them so much. 

Goodreads synopsis: The last thing Eren remembers before blacking out, a Titan had bitten off his arm and leg and was getting ready to eat him alive. Much to his surprise he wakes up without a scratch on him, with a crowd of angry soldiers screaming for his blood. What strange new power has he awakened, and what will happen when the boy devoted to destroying the Titans becomes one himself?

The Subtle Knife (His Dark Materials #2) by Phillip Pullman 

Read: 29/12/21 – 31/12/21 

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

I have been putting off this book for so long it’s actually ridiculous. For some reason, I had convinced myself that I couldn’t remember what had happened in the first instalment and I really didn’t have time for a re-read so I just kept putting it to the bottom of the pile. Obviously, I stopped doing that as I did finish it last month. I realised that even though I read the first one so many years ago I did still remember what happened which was further helped by season one of the adaptation. 

This book was *chefs kiss*. Completely gripping and such an interesting world. I adore the characters and really cannot wait to get started on the final book. Not sure when that will be because I think I need some time to recover from the ending of this one, but I’m hoping to not leave it too long. 

Also, can we just appreciate how beautiful this edition of The Subtle Knife is? I have the entire series in these editions and they are stunning.

Goodreads synopsis: Lyra and Will, her newfound friend, tumble separately into the strange tropical otherworld of Cittagazze, “the city of magpies,” where adults are curiously absent and children run wild. Here their lives become inextricably entwined when Lyra’s alethiometer gives her a simple command: find Will’s father. Their search is plagued with obstacles–some familiar and some horribly new and unfathomable–but it eventually brings them closer to Will’s father and to the Subtle Knife, a deadly, magical, ancient tool that cuts windows between worlds. Through it all, Will and Lyra find themselves hurtling toward the centre of a fierce battle against a force so awesome that leagues of mortals, witches, beasts, and spirits from every world are uniting in fear and anger against it.


Like this post? Why not read this one too: To Be Read: January 2022

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