December is the most festive month, and whether you celebrate Christmas or not, it’s hard to avoid the festive feeling. I wanted to read at least one Christmas-related book this month…and I read two!
So let’s wrap up 2016 with the books that kept me company at the tail-end of this very eventful year…
Persepolis – Marjane Satrapi
Paperback, 343 pages
Published March 6th 2008, by Vintage
Despite being published in 2008, this book still has relevance today, possibly even more so. It deals with series issues such as war and explores the author’s life in terms of her childhood, womanhood, religion and relationships. However, the book is made easier to grasp by not only being funny and lighthearted in places, but by being told through the form of a comic strip. This is a memorable and insightful read, that if you haven’t read yet then you should quickly go and change that! You won’t regret it. Then you can watch the film version.
Read my full review: Persepolis
Wonder – R. J. Palacio
Paperback, 315 pages
Published January 3rd 2013 by Corgi Childrens
This book had been sat far too long on by pile of books to be read, but I finally decided to give it a go…and my verdict is: I should have read it sooner! This is a beautiful, moving book that deals with real issues that aren’t usually found in books for children/young adults. I expected this book to be completely different, but I was pleasantly surprised, and Auggie is one of the best characters I have come across this year. In fact, I appreciated each of the characters, all for different reasons. This book teaches us what kindness really means.
Read my full review: Wonder
Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children – Ransom Riggs
Paperback, 352 pages
Published June 7th 2011 by Quirk
Really, this book should have been among the books I read around Hallowe’en, because all you have to do is look at the cover to know there’s something creepy about it. A levitating girl? Is that real? Well yes, all the photos in this book are real, and they are the main reason I enjoyed reading it. However, I only gave it four stars, and that’s because the creepiness wears off a bit towards the end. It doesn’t make me want to read the rest in the series straight away, although I have no doubt that I will (eventually). Read this is you want something different and imaginative, with a little bit of creepiness thrown in.
Read my full review: Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children
The Melancholy Death of Oyster Boy & Other Stories – Tim Burton
Paperback, 115 pages
Published December 1st 2005 by Faber and Faber (First published 1997)
This was a re-read, but I hadn’t marked it as read on Goodreads, so I decided I’d re-visit it this month because there are some Christmas-related poems in this collection. This is a book that influenced my own poetry writing years ago when I first started to explore my more creative side. It’s a must-read for all fans of Tim Burton, as the poems come fully illustrated, and in colour too! Its a lovely little book which takes maybe 15 minutes maximum to read.
Read my full review: The Melancholy Death of Oyster Boy & Other Stories
Hercule Poirot’s Christmas – Agatha Christie
Paperback, 335 pages
Published September 1st 2001 by HarperCollins Publishers
A few months ago, if you’d have asked me what books make good reading around seasonal/festive seasons, I wouldn’t have said Agatha Christie books. But the only two I have read have both been seasonal. I read Hallowe’en Party for Hallowe’en, and I read this one for Christmas. If you want a locked room mystery to fill your dark December evenings, then look no further! I thoroughly enjoyed this, and it kept me guessing right up until the end – I certainly didn’t see that murderer coming.
Read my full review: Hercule Poirot’s Christmas
We Carry the Sky – McKayla Robbin
Paperback, 158 pages
Published December 5th 2016 by CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform
I received this book from the author for review, and I’m so pleased she sent me a copy. This is a collection of short-form poems that made me love this kind of poetry even more. They are very short poems but each of them deals with bigger issues that have wider relevance both social and political. The words in this book are strong, and in one particular case, made a huge impact on me when I read it. It’s a great little collection, give it a go!
Read my full review: we carry the sky
The Elephant in the Room – Jon Ronson
Kindle eBook, 48 pages
Published September 27th 2016
I don’t usually read books on the Kindle, but this one was only available in that format, and I always read Jon Ronson’s books. I wasn’t as excited about this one as I have been about his previous books, but I felt I should give it a go, particularly as I’m a training journalist and should get my head into politics. I decided this would be a reasonably sized dose of political writing to get me started. It was okay, Ronson referred to his previous works, which I am familiar with, so understood the references perfectly. But I struggled to be interested in the politics. I’m on the fence with this one, but it was worth reading anyway!
Read my full review: The Elephant in the Room
The Twelve Days of Dash Lily – Rachel Cohn & David Levithan
Paperback, 233 pages
Published October 6th 2016 by Electric Monkey
This was the festive book I had in mind back in November. I bought it a few days before Christmas and ended up reading a good chunk of it on Christmas Day itself. It was the perfect read, and I’m sure I can’t have been the only one indulging in it on the big day. Dash & Lily are the ideal festive companions, and once you get into it, this book will make you realise just how much warmth can come from such a traditionally cold season, if you’re around the ones you love and who care about you. I wouldn’t have had any other book in my hands for Christmas Day.
Read my full review: The Twelve Days of Dash & Lily
The Knife of Never Letting Go (Chaos Walking #1) – Patrick Ness
Hardback, 479 pages
Published May 5th 2008 by Walker
My very last book of 2016! And what a book to end on. I’d been waiting ages to read it, and I can’t tell you how worth the wait it was. If you haven’t read this book or the Chaos Walking series then PLEASE READ IT IN 2017. The dystopian setting is one of the best I’ve encountered, the characters are endearing, characterful, and I was genuinely on the edge of my seat while reading this. The ending in particular was incredible. There aren’t many endings as good as this, and it means I need to read the rest of the series very soon. I just need to know what happens next!
Read my full review: The Knife of Never Letting Go
Goodbye 2016, Hello 2017…
Thank you to everyone who had read my reviews this year, and I’m looking forward to reading lots more books next year, and I already have a book being sent to me by another author for review, so watch this space!
Have a wonderful start to the New Year everyone, and stay safe my bookish friends.