Before commencing with my 2022 reading lists posts, I’m here with a better-late-than-never What I read In December 2021 piece. It includes children’s literature, Gossip Girl, and of course, some fantasy fiction.
In December 2021, I read 19 books. Yes, 19 books. Can you believe it? It’s a Christmas miracle indeed. So without further ado – 19 books, coming at you. Are you ready?
If you do want to follow along with what I read in real time or pick up some reading recommendations, please follow me on Goodreads.
Only In Your Dreams, Would I Lie To You, and Don’t You Forget About Me – Cecily von Ziegesar
My ninth, tenth and eleventh Gossip Girl reads by Cecily von Ziegesar were: Only In Your Dreams, Would I Lie To You, and Don’t You Forget About Me. This trio really brought the high school-based series to a head. While being trashy, problematic and extremely questionable, you just cannot help but be obsessed. If you want easy reading fodder, then the Gossip Girl novels are it.
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button – F. Scott Fitzgerald
I can’t be the only one who didn’t know F. Scott Fitzgerald (of Great Gatsby fame) also wrote The Curious Case of Benjamin Button? This is a super short read – good for raising your Goodreads reading stats. It didn’t change my life by any means. I would actually only recommend it for crossing the short story off of your classic F. Scott Fitzgerald bingo card. Next.
The Sun and her Flowers – Rupi Kaur
After November’s scathing review of Milk & Honey, I surprisingly came back for more Rupi Kaur in December. The poetry in Sun and her Flowers follows similar themes to its predecessor (love, loss, abuse) but seems more structured and therefore more thought out. Its older sister may have the beauty of being iconic, but The Sun and her Flowers has the substance.
Let Me Tell You What I Mean – Joan Didion
It’s queen Joan Didion’s sharp wit and visionary outlook which makes Let Me Tell You What I Mean a captivating read. A collection of discussions, Let Me Tell You What I Mean journeys across America’s landscape, touching on Didion’s favoured topics such as press, writing, and women. It’s satirical, somewhat scathing, and immaculately written. A true parting gift.
Persuasion – Jane Austen
A second chance love story from one of histories most eloquent writers, Persuasion is Jane Austen at her finest. Featuring loveable, flawed characters, a wholesome subject matter, and a classic Austen satire of vanity, Persuasion is moving, mellow and mature.
The Wolf Den – Elodie Harper
The first in Elodie Harper’s Wolf Den trilogy tells the story of desperate situations, female friendship, and the desire to survive. Centred in a seedy Pompeii brothel, The Wolf Den is fast, funny, and moreish. This book is addictive. I couldn’t finish it fast enough.
Six of Crows – Leigh Bardugo
No deaths, no funerals. Kaz and his gang of mischievous rebels have their eyes on a prize; an impossible heist which could well cost them their lives. Return to the Grishaverse with Leigh Bardugo’s fast-paced YA fiction, Six of Crows. It’s the first in a Duology and also the base of Netflix’s Shadow and Bone series. It’s so good.
Lady Susan – Jane Austen
Jane Austen’s Lady Susan is an early, experimental novel. This short story sees Austen’s titular character to be provocative and unconventional; toying with affections of several men and making opportunities bend to her command. She’s dislikable and fun, a far cry from the innocent, tender beings of Anne Elliott and Catherine Morland. A quick, unconventional read told through an epistolary narrative (through letters) – Lady Susan is a breath of fresh air.
Rebecca – Daphne du Maurier
The Gothic genre would be nothing without Daphne du Maurier’s contributions. Rebecca, her globally-adored novel, is eerie, intoxicating, and a true work of gothic art. As the nameless protagonist becomes drunk with obsession over her husband’s dead wife, the narrative becomes darker, closer, and filled with mystery. It’s scary yet brilliant. The question you’ll forever find at the tip of your tongue – who really was Mrs Rebecca de Winter?
A Line To Kill – Anthony Horowitz
Back in action, Anthony Horowitz’s third instalment to his murder mystery series (Hawthorne and Horowitz mysteries) is the fast-paced and funny, A Line To Kill. A charming island hosts a literature festival, but someone at the promotional event is about to draw their last breath. Mysteries within mysteries, A Line To Kill poises unanswerable questions and makes distinguishing friend from foe impossible. A great lose-yourself novel.
Legends: Beasts and Monsters – Anthony Horowitz
Mythology, folklore, and Anthony Horowitz are three of my favourite things. When blended together, this glorious cocktail creates the informative, easy-read Legends: Beasts and Monsters. Offering a humorous spin on Grecian tall-tales and British fables, Legends: Beasts and Monsters is a charming short read.
Beautiful World, Where Are You – Sally Rooney
Beautiful World, Where Are You is a mature departure from Sally Rooney’s earlier fictional works. It consists of captivating character studies, explorations of unconventional relationships, and quick quips on subjects such as capitalism, religion, and monogamy. Books that imprint on my brain are few and far between, but there is something about Sally Rooney’s writings that always change my life. I wish I could read BWWAY for the first time, everyday.
Mailbu Rising – Taylor Jenkins Reid
A sun-kissed shower of lust, Malibu Rising is simply spellbinding. Its cool characters allow themes of bereavement, estrangement, and the weight of expectation to be fully explored through the form of flashbacks and foreshadowing.
While its themes and subjects are ambitious, Taylor Jenkins Reid’s writing is elegant and easy, making the flip between drug-fulled raucous partying and first-love flutters a breeze. A historical romance novel to satisfy the itch of summer, whatever the weather. Malibu Rising is cover-to-cover beauty.
Medusa – Jessie Burton
A misunderstood myth about the wrongfully punished, Medusa by Jessie Burton is a heartbreaking story. Rewriting the Grecian fable of Medusa and Perseus, this short novel tells of woe, strength, and of putting your faith in the wrong person. A fresh take on a famous tale, Jessie Burton seemingly has an eye for heartfelt retellings. I can’t wait for more.
Comet In Moominland – Tove Jansson
Tove Jansson’s charming Moomin family are back and this time, they are facing impending danger and doom in Comet In Moominland. This children’s adventure novel is jam-packed with charming illustrations, explorations of friendship, and builds the world of Moomin Valley so cleanly. Comet In Moominland is a real saccharine read.
Peter Pan – J. M. Barrie
Second to the right, and straight on ‘till morning. Peter Pan by J. M. Barrie is as wildly uncensored and questionable as you can imagine. A dark foundation and funny characters, Peter Pan is by no means a must-read novel, but it was enjoyable to see the legendary origins of this family-favourite story.
Finn Family Moomintroll – Tove Jansson
A hobgoblins hat, a mysterious Groke, and the Hattifattners reappearance; Finn Family Moomintroll is a busy book. The third in Tove Jansson’s Moomin series finds her family of Moomin Trolls steering clouds, brokering a ruby, and a game of hide-and-seek which goes dreadfully wrong. A charming read for children and adults alike. I love this world so much.