The Books I Read in December

With the help of some audiobooks, I managed to knock another 7 books off my TBR list in December. I read 109 books in 2020 (with a goal of 100), but I don’t think I’m going to set the goal that high this year. I need to put my focus on reading some material and completing some courses I have invested in to better my blog and I don’t normally count such in my reading goal. I am aiming for 75 books this year.

What’s your reading goal for 2021? Maybe some of these will help you get there.

book reviews and recommendations

When No One is Watching by Alyssa Cole- I listened on Scribd. I thought the narrator matched the character well. At first I thought I was going to have to ditch this one- What grown adult still calls her mother “Mommy”? but I got past that and ended up enjoying this one. This was is supposed to be a thriller, but it’s not your ordinary thriller. It does pick up in the end into a whirlwind of craziness, but most of the story lopes along. Sydney has returned to her Brooklyn home to find it going through gentrification. The characters who are moving in were not at all likable to me, but that’s just part of the story. As people move in, old neighborhood people start disappearing. Sydney hooks up with Theo, one of the new neighbors to figure out what is going on. Although fiction, this story addresses racism, history, gentrification and social justice issues. 4 stars

On Ocean Boulevard by Mary Alice Monroe The Rutledge family endures more hardship, but growth in this next to last book of the series. If you want to live the low country life, read this series. Monroe has a charming way of introducing your to Charleston, SC and the surrounding islands. 5 stars

The Truth in Tiramisu by Rachel Bloome (Poppy Creek Novel #2) This is such a charming series and cast of characters. I can’t wait to read the next book. Eliza Carter has a secret. Her high school sweetheart comes back to town for the wedding of their friends, and as they begin to spend time together, her secret becomes obvious and needs to be shared. A charming story of secrets, forgiveness and second chances. Read on Kindle 4 stars

The Turn of the Key Ruth Ware Read and listened on Scribd. Ruth Ware knows how to do suspense well. Some reviewers say this is not Ware’s best work, as it is a little slow but it worked for me. Rowan takes a job as a live in nanny at a historic home the owners have turned into a “smart” home with all kinds of modern technology. Why have all the others nannies left on short notice? Why are the children so difficult? She is determined to make this work. There’s a twist to why she chose this job to begin with, but it’s not revealed until later. One of the children ends up dead and Rowan finds herself in prison for the death. She maintains her innocence and the story unfolds through her letter to her attorney. 5 stars

A Low Country Christmas by Mary Alice Monroe- This is the story of Taylor, a marine coming home for service at Christmas time and his struggle with PTSD. If you have read the Lowcountry Summer series, Taylor is a familiar character, but this book can stand alone. Taylor’s little brother is having some struggles of his own, as are their Mom and Dad, but all find the true meaning of Christmas in the end. Read and listened on Scribd 5 stars

Boundaries Updated and Expanded Edition: When to Say Yes, How to Say No To Take Control of Your Life Think Christians have to say yes to everything asked of them? Think again! This is an excellent book on setting boundaries with family, work, relationships and with yourself, all biblically based. I listened on Scribd and read my husband’s paperback copy. I ended up buying my own copy so I can read it again and make notes and highlights. 5 stars

My favorite 20 books of 2020 can be found here.

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Life According to Steph