December Reads

I know this is super late, but I want to get this up before it gets even later. Also, I sort of like having a record like this of all the books I’ve read. Compared to November, I didn’t finish nearly as many books this month.

A Man Called Ove (audio) by Frederik Backman

I LOVED this book. I’ve been waiting for my hold to come through for what feels like forever at the library, but it was so worth the wait. Ove is a crotchety old man whose attempts to commit suicide keep getting foiled by his neighbors. It both hilarious and heartwarming. Ove is going down as one of my favorite literary characters. I gave copies of this book away for Christmas.

The Lifegiving Home by Sarah and Sally Clarkson

This book has been sitting on my shelf, half-read, and I finally got around to finishing it this month. The description says its about the different ways to create a loving home- from building traditions to cultivating at atmosphere, and its written by a mother/daughter team. I liked it a lot, I found it inspiring and took away a few ideas I’m excited to implement. I can even see myself revisiting this book in the future. BUT. It read more like a memoir of how one family made home, with very strong Christian themes and references throughout. And even I got sick of the multiple references to shared cups of tea and reading aloud from only the very best books. It just felt a little too idealistic for my everyday life.

This is Where you Belong by Melody Warnick

I can’t remember where I heard about this book, probably online, but it was great. Its all about placemaking- doing the things that help make you feel at home in your city and neighborhood. It was a good balance of research and experience. The author decides she wants to learn to love her town more, so embark on a mission to study and do as many of the things that studies have shown make people more attached to the towns. She talks about things like walking instead of driving to become familiar with our surroundings, supporting local businesses, volunteering, and getting to know your neighbors. There were a lot of takeaways, but the big one for me is that we can learn to love anywhere we live if we put in the effort.

Station Eleven (audio) by Emily St. John Mandel

This is the audio-book I got specifically to listen to on our long drive this month. We drove down to California with our kids, my brother, and his wife. This book was so engrossing and the narration so well-done that it made the drive pleasant. It takes place in a post-apocalyptic world and follows a troupe of actors and musicians who travel from settlement to settlement putting on shows. At the same time, we get flashback into the past and see how people’s past stories and lives, pre- pandemic,  intersect with the current story. Probably on of the better books I’ve read this year,  I would recommend this book to anyone- we all really loved it.

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