Walking in a Bookish Wonderland (Short Book Reviews for December)

Hi book friends!! I’m here today for the last *real* Show us Your Books link-up for 2020! I’m so appreciative of Steph and Jana keeping this link-up running all year because talking about books and adding to my TBR has felt like one of those most normal things about 2020. Head over to their posts here and here to see everyone else’s posts today. They’re also doing a best of 2020 link up on December 29 this year and I’m going to try MY BEST to narrow it down to 10 books this year (I always fail at this but I’ve started planning ahead haha).

My reading has been a total hodge-podge this year but particularly this month. Haha. I’m reading some shorter books because of my attention span, I’ve read a few books I wouldn’t normally ever seek out, and I feel like I haven’t read very MANY books at all because I’ve mostly sought out audiobooks. Anyway, here they are!

Books that were Excellent:

From the AshesFrom the Ashes by Jesse Thistle
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This memoir from Jesse Thistle was profoundly interesting, inspiring, heart-wrenching. moving, and WOW. His story is unlike any I’ve ever read. My online book club, The Canadian Book Enablers group, had the privilege of meeting Jesse on Zoom and hearing more about his experience since the book was published. It was so fascinating and made me truly feel like this is a book that needs to be in the hands of many.

Home for the HolidaysHome for the Holidays by Sara Richardson
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This little Christmas book was so sweet and heartwarming. I found myself instantly drawn into the lives of Rose (and her rich fiance’s family), Dahlia (and her role as a divorced mother to two sweet children), and Magnolia (who is just trying to find her way a bit with her husband and life). The idea of them all ending up at the Juniper Inn during a snowy Christmas season with their beloved but estranged aunt was fun and exciting. The secondary characters that were introduced were fun and intriguing. This book was predictable in all the ways I love – sometimes it’s just nice to read a cute family-focused-sister-based love story about the holidays when all the things you think and hope will happen DO happen. 🙂 Zero complaints from this Christmas romance lover!! Highly recommend it if you enjoy Sarah Morgan’s Christmas books that focus a bit more on life than SUPER sappy love (though I enjoy those books too ;)). This one is pretty PG.

Thank you to Netgalley and Forever for the ARC in exchange for an honest review.

Hollowpox: The Hunt for Morrigan Crow (Nevermoor, #3)Hollowpox: The Hunt for Morrigan Crow by Jessica Townsend
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Ahhh it took me a little while to get into this new addition to the Nevermoor series but I think I just needed a moment to re-familiarize myself with the characters and the ending of Wundersmith. Some early chapters were focused around the holidays and that was SUPER fun (spoiler alert: The Deucalian is a fun place to be for Christmas…wow!!!). Once the Hollowpox concept was introduced, I really started to get into the book and was wondering how it would all pan out with Morrigan. It did wrap up a little tiny bit too quickly at the end for me AND left us hanging a little bit but we do know that this is going to be a lengthy series so I wasn’t too surprised by that. Parts of this book reminded me a bit of our current pandemic – lockdowns, trying to keep citizens safe, etc. It was a bit strange that it hit home that way, honestly! I enjoyed learning more about Nevermoor’s history and the previous Wundersmiths and if you can’t tell by this rambling review I just really love this series and will always enjoy reading it.
(Half read, half-listened to this one – love the narrator)

The Brilliant Life of Eudora HoneysettThe Brilliant Life of Eudora Honeysett by Annie Lyons
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

4.5 stars – goodness gracious did I love the characters in this book. This reminds me of Eleanor Oliphant and A Man Called Ove and those types of books. Eudora and Rose and Stanley wormed their way right into my heart and won’t let go. If you adore books about seniors interacting with small children in any capacity, I would seek this one out but even that sentence does not do this story justice in any way.

Eudora enjoying pizza for the first time? Loved it. Eudora’s unwavering care for her mother during the flashback parts of the book? Admirable. Stanley’s family? Fabulous. Rose’s fashion sense and dismay about becoming a big sister? Totally relatable. Read it!!!

(Listened to most of this and enjoyed the narration immensely).

Books that were Fine and Dandy

Forever Wild (The Simple Wild, #2.5)Forever Wild by K.A. Tucker
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I adored this entire series and spending the holidays with Calla and Jonah and their families was a perfect way to end their story. There is a hint of future books to come for other characters though and SIGN ME UP FOR THAT PLEASE. I loved the storyline with Roy in this novella, it was lovely to have Agnes and Mabel around in this story and, of course, there were all the other lovely residents of Trappers Crossing to enjoy. All the warm fuzzies for this little love story conclusion.

Keep Moving: Notes on Loss, Creativity, and ChangeKeep Moving: Notes on Loss, Creativity, and Change by Maggie Smith
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I listened to this book basically in one sitting. It is very short but packs a powerful punch. I’m not necessarily the target audience for this one – it was focused a bit on moving on after divorce but I still found a lot of lines in it to be inspiring even just in the current climate we’re all in and accepting that things won’t be the way they used to be.

New Puppy!: From New Puppy to Brilliant Family DogNew Puppy!: From New Puppy to Brilliant Family Dog by Beverley Courtney
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I read this book really quickly and highlighted half of it so that I can print it off and encourage my husband to help train our new puppy!! He thinks I’m taking this too seriously but I think NOW IS THE TIME to research how to do this. When I became a parent, I sought out a lot of advice and this is no different. I’d actually say this is a bit less intuitive so I want to do the best I can!!!

So excited to read her other books and cement my plan for puppy training. 🙂

Stuck On YouStuck On You by Portia MacIntosh
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This is a perfect fluffy rom-com set around the holiday season. To me, Portia MacIntosh books are a less steamy and English version of Lauren Layne’s books. They always make me chuckle, I know what I’m getting, and the covers are gorgeous. Sadie and Damian were fun characters and I loved the way that Sadie’s family celebrates Christmas. Overall this book was a bit predictable but it didn’t stop my enjoyment during this season where my brain needed a little break. 🙂

Please Like Me [But Keep Away]Please Like Me [But Keep Away] by Mindy Kaling
My rating: 4 of 5 stars


This short little book really made me chuckle! I can relate to so much of what Mindy describes in this little story about social anxiety and wanting to spend time with people but not quite knowing how to find your people, etc. She also mentions her friendship with BJ Novak and I love that friendship so am always happy to read about it 🙂 This took me about 20 minutes to read and there are a few others on KU written in short story format like this so I’ll seek them out too! All the Mindy, please. Are you a fan of hers?!

Crazy Stupid Bromance (Bromance Book Club, #3)Crazy Stupid Bromance by Lyssa Kay Adams
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I really liked the first book in this series, was a bit more lukewarm about the second, but I have to say that I really, really enjoyed this third installment in what seems to be a series that will continue. I LOVE when friends to lovers is done well, as it was in this book. I LOVED Noah and Alexis. I loved the Bromance book club boys in this book. The storyline about Alexis’ birth father and family was well done if not a *bit* unrealistic, potentially? Overall, this book held my attention better than many others I’ve read in recent months and was an enjoyable escape 🙂 This series doesn’t HAVE to be read in order but might be better if it is.

Nothing Special but Not too Bad

Mistletoe and Mr. Right (Moose Springs, Alaska #2)Mistletoe and Mr. Right by Sarah Morgenthaler
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

After enjoying the first in this series, I was antsy to get to this one too. Lana and Rick were adorable and it was fun to watch Lana navigate Moose Springs in all of her wonderful ways. It was a joy to read more about Zoey and Graeme from The Tourist Attraction, and of course there is a moose in this book too! (Or several, haha). I enjoyed these characters’ backstories and the role Rick’s nephew Diego played in the story as well. A fun Christmas read set right around the holidays with some laugh-out-loud cute moments 🙂

Thank you to the publisher and Netgalley for the ARC in exchange for an honest review.

A Lady's Guide to Mischief and Mayhem (A Lady's Guide, #1)A Lady’s Guide to Mischief and Mayhem by Manda Collins
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I had high expectations for this book and unfortunately, it fell just a tiny bit flat. I did enjoy the characters and the plot but I found the pace to be a little bit strange overall. I’ll wait to hear more about the continuation of the series before jumping into a future book.

Thank you to Netgalley and Forever for the ARC in exchange for an honest review.

Currently reading: An Ember in the Ashes, Share Your Stuff, I’ll Go First (arc) and some more puppy books!!! Any recommendations for more puppy books?! Lol. I’m also reading The Vanderbeekers of 141st Street aloud to my kiddos and it is SO GOOD.

Hope everyone is having an excellent December and has a very very happy holiday season 🙂

12 responses to “Walking in a Bookish Wonderland (Short Book Reviews for December)”

  1. I’m glad you enjoyed Hollowpox too. Nevermoor Christmas sounds so totally magical. I loved that part!

    The Eudora book sounds like something I would like.


  2. I swear one of these days I’ll get to the K.A. Tucker books! So many fun reads this month – I’m all for the cute Christmas novels!



  3. I definitely had a nothing special but not too bad book this month too. The Christmas ones I either love or quickly forget about, you know? I do love Mindy and have read all her previous books. Adding Home for the Holidays and the Bromance series to my TBR!


  4. My reading is always a weird eclectic mix. I think it’s what makes reading so fun and interesting and why I never get bored of it.

    YAY FOR PUPPIES!!! I can’t wait to see all the pictures!


  5. I’ve been trying to read some holiday books too. I got my son the first Nevermoor from the library to read….I’m going to try to read it too!


  6. I just finished #2 in the Bromance series, waiting on #3. I love them!


  7. Ok so this post made me want to read some holiday romance!


  8. Okay I need to get on the other Wild books! The second was a soft landing for me this year and I could use more of those to wind down the year LOL.

    The Canadian Book Enablers name made me laugh. I love it.


  9. shootingstarsmag Avatar

    I really loved Nevermoor – I need to get the second and third books ASAP!



  10. Sounds like a fun reading month 🙂 I liked your description of Eudora Honeysett – I may need to check that one out. Thanks for sharing and enjoy your holidays!


  11. Mindy Kaling is so funny! I plan to read all of her short stories!


  12. Puppy training is a must! Getting a new puppy, truthfully, was more challenging that a baby in many ways. Congrats on the puppy!


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