Thursday, January 5, 2017

Turning the Page on December 2016

december 2016 collage

*I started a new job at the beginning of the month, at the Air Force base library here in Hawaii. It's been an adjustment after a few months off from work, but I'm glad to be back in a library. I worked there last time we were stationed here, so it's been a little less of a learning curve and that's been positive bonus!

*We had a really nice, quiet Christmas. On Christmas Eve evening, we picked up holiday drinks from Starbucks and drove around to look at lights and stop by the Honolulu City Lights display (and Shaka Santa) while listening to Christmas music. On Christmas, we had a wonderful day of relaxing, eating, talking to friends and family on the phone and watching Christmas movies.

*We made a chalkboard for our front porch from scratch! I'm really excited to change up the message each month.

*I had a great time participating in The Broke and the Bookish's Secret Santa again. I absolutely loved everything my partner sent me, and I had a blast shopping for my recipient. (You can read more about it -- and see photos -- here.) I'm already excited for next year!

*We finished up season 1 of "Westworld" (weird but intriguing) as well as this season's "Poldark" (sooooo good!). I watched a few Hallmark Christmas movies and finished up my re-watch of the last few seasons of "Gilmore Girls." I'm excited to finally start "GG: A Year in the Life" soon.

december 2016 books read

Books read: 5 (not great, but it's been a crazy month with starting work and adjusting to 8-hour shifts three days a week)

Favorite book: "Maybe in Another Life" by Taylor Jenkins Reid. I will most definitely be reading all her other books!

Biggest let-down: "The Couple Next Door" by Shari Lapena. It's pretty popular, but I didn't find much to like in this kidnapped-child "thriller."

Weird as fuck: "Vassa in the Night." I had to read it for the library's book club, which I'll be co-facilitating. I still cannot get over the minor plot point of a guy abandoning his wife and kids to become a German shepherd -- as in literally be turned from a human into a dog (by means never explained). And it had zero bearing on the rest of the story, which made it even more bizarre. Also, there is a talking pangolin (of all animals?!) who also happens to be a lawyer. WTF is going on in your head, Sarah Porter?

January release I'm most excited about: "Carve the Mark" by Veronica Roth, the first in her new sci-fi series.

Book I'm most looking forward to reading in January: Since I'm still trying to get adjusted to my new work schedule (and its negative effect on my reading time) I'm probably going to be sticking pretty closely to my reading list, which includes several advance-read books that come out in January and February, like "The Fire by Night" by Teresa Messineo, "The Second Mrs. Hockaday" by Susan Rivers, "The Young Widower's Handbook" by Tom McAllister, "The Gilded Cage" by Vic James and a few more. I'm not particularly excited to read any of them (I hate e-books!) but I'm hoping there are a few gems on the list.

Reading challenges signed up for: The Backlist Reader Challenge, hosted by Lark at the Bookwyrm's Hoard. It focuses on reading pre-2016 releases already on your to-read list. I picked 25 books that I'm going to (finally!) endeavor to read this year. You can see them in my sign-up post here!

Books added to my to-read list: 12

Books added to my maybe-to-read list: 15

Most intriguing TBR addition: "Himself" by Jess Kidd, which comes out in March (and sadly, I didn't get approved for the advance-read copy -- sniff, sniff). Here's the first line from the Goodreads blurb: "Blending strange kindnesses, casual violence and buried secrets: an unforgettable debut from a dark new voice in Irish fiction."

Favorite bookstagram: This is a little more knitstagram than bookstagram -- and it features the book I liked least this month -- but I just love this photo! Find me on Instagram @knittinglindsay.

bookstagram december

I had a yarn-filled December! I spent the first part of the month working on my Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life mystery knit-along cowl (which I actually ripped out and re-started when I was nearly done because I didn't like the shape). Then I whipped up a cozy little owl ornament for a last-minute Secret Santa gift for work, and since then I've been enjoying knitting Christmas ornaments from the "55 Christmas Balls to Knit" book.

december 2016 knits

Year-end posts:
The Best Books I Read in 2016
2016: My Bookish Year in Review

Favorite post: A Very Merry Christmas Survey. I decided to come up with a holiday questionnaire and I had a wonderful time brainstorming questions and reminiscing about Christmases past!

Book reviews:


  1. Sounds like a great month. Glad the new job is working out but I'm sure it does take some adjustment. OK, I have wanted to read Vassa in the Night since it's release and have heard mostly good things but now I think I HAVE to read it for this German Shepard thing. I know you said it's unresolved, but I really need to know how it ended up in the book at all.

    Love the chalk board and I bet it's a great porch addition. We are expecting our first major snowstorm here today (1-3 so not really major I guess) so it's nice to enjoy sunny warm pics.

    1. Don't get too excited about the German shepherd... the father's abandonment of his family is slightly more important, but the dog thing is mentioned like one time and has no bearing whatsoever on the story. My problem with the book wasn't the overall weirdness (the original fairytale it's based on is pretty weird), it was the random bizarre stuff -- like the dog -- added in and never explained. For instance, I wanted to know how one goes about getting turned into a dog. How much does that cost? Will the dog be sentient and realize he was once a human? Is it common in this world for people to be turned into animals? Not the slightest bit of info was given, and that's how I felt about the whole book. I felt it utterly lacked in worldbuilding. That's not to say you shouldn't give it a try -- if you do, let me know what you think! (And I highly recommend reading the fairytale that inspired it, Vasilisa the Beautiful, at the same time or right when you finish "Vassa.")

      Enjoy the snow for me! I desperately miss seasons, though I'm ashamed to say I've already lost my cold tolerance. It's like my body remembered being here before and adjusted super-quickly! It's been a little cooler than usual here -- highs in the upper 70s instead of the 80s, with lows in the 60s -- and it's definitely feeling chilly at night!

    2. Sounds like your questions about the German Shepard angle could make a whole book in itself. I think I'll see if my library has it so I'm not out anything if I am disappointed.


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