Wednesday, December 30, 2015

December 2015 Chapter

Welcome to the Read.Write.Repeat. monthly wrap-up.  Every month, I give a quick overview of what books I read, the progress made on the 100 Best Novels goal, a few book-related links, and general blog news.  

December News 

As always, the holiday season flew by this year. It was absolutely divine to stay at home and not travel. Thanks a million to my parents for making that possible. I loved having a full house and celebrating Christmas in our very own home.

A definite highlight for me this month was participating in the 6th Annual TBTB Secret Santa. This was my second year and I had even more fun than last time. I had the privilege of packing up some books and goodies for Lois over at You, Me, and a Cup of Tea. I sent her copies of Quiet and Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, per her request, along with some small batch chocolate and some loose leaf tea from right here in the Triad. Meanwhile, I got completely spoiled by Lindsay from Lindsay's Library. She sent both a copy of Wool and Harper Lee's Go Set a Watchman, which I'm crazy excited about! (I also got a copy of GSAW from my parents on Christmas, so I'll be swapping one of those copies out for one of my favorites from 2015: The Royal We. Win-win for me!) Lindsay also included chocolate goodies, Harry Potter bookmarks, and a beautiful hat she knit herself! I'm telling you...I was spoiled. Thanks, as always, to Jamie for organizing and for all those who make this such a fun tradition!

This time of year is always packed with so much stuff, including end-of-term grading, so I did not get much reading done until this final week of the month. I am so looking forward to the winter months. The start of the year is always such a fresh start motivator for me and I typically blaze through quite a few books. Before we get there, though, here are the updates for the month of December:

Books Reviewed

  1. Three Cups of Tea - Greg Mortenson & David Oliver Relin
  2. The Magicians - Lev Grossman
  3. Russka - Edward Rutherfurd
  4. The Dead Lands - Benjamin Percy
  5. Jesus Feminist - Sarah Bessey
  6. Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore - Robin Sloan
  7. The Grapes of Wrath - John Steinbeck

Books Read

  1. Jesus Feminist - Sarah Bessey
  2. Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore - Robin Sloan
  3. The Grapes of Wrath - John Steinbeck
  4. Jurassic Park - Michael Crichton
  5. Landline - Rainbow Rowell
  6. Liar, Temptress, Solider, Spy - Karen Abbott
  7. Tobacco Road - Erskine Caldwell
  8. Light in August - William Faulkner
  9. The Reason I Jump - Naoki Higashida
Pages Read: 3,096

Favorite Book Read: Sarah Bessey's look at gender and Christianity had some wonderful thoughts in it, the most moving of which had nothing to do with gender issues at all. I definitely recommend Jesus Feminist.

100 Best Novels Progress

  • I finally finished The Grapes of Wrath! I also completed Tobacco Road and Light in August.
  • 47% complete

2015 TBR Pile Challenge Progress

I finished! So proud to say that I made it all the way through this challenge. I'm poking around for other challenges to join in 2016. Any suggestions? Any challenges you have done and loved? And to steer clear of?


A great interview with the authors of The Royal We.

Literary Baby Names (this is not an announcement)

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child (the play coming to London next year) has been cast. Some people found the casting controversial (Hermione will be played by a black woman), but I love it. Kudos to the director for being willing to think outside the box.

24 Best Fiction Books of 2015
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As we wrap up this year, I'd love to hear your reflections on what you read in 2015. Anything I should put on my TBR for next year? Anything you're excited to be reading in the near future?


  1. Alise, I'm so glad you liked the Secret Santa box. I'm already looking forward to next year!

    I had heard of "The Royal We," obviously, but I only recently put it on my to-read list. Hopefully I'll get to it in early 2016. It seems like you and a bunch of other bloggers I follow just loved it!

    One of my friends at work (a fellow Potter-head) and I were looking at photos of the HP play cast the other day and I actually love the casting of Hermione. Not so sure about Harry and Ron, though -- looks-wise, it almost seems like they should be switched!

    1. Definitely read The Royal We! I expected to like it on at least a surface level because I have a small royal obsession, but the writing ended up far exceeding my expectations. Clearly I'm not the only one who had that experience!

      And, yes, I thought that about Ron & Harry, too. For a while, I couldn't figure out which actor was supposed to be playing which part. It will be interesting if and when we get shots of them in costume and in character.