December is an odd month for reading. I’m always so sure I’ll have lots of time to curl up by the fire and read all of those festive reads that I seem to collect up throughout the year. The tree will be decorated, the house will be ready for visitors, and the cupboards will be full of food that won’t dare crumble into the pages of my book. When in reality; December is a hot mess of getting ready, a jam-packed few days festive cheer, a week of sleep, then New Years. And it’s a miracle any reading gets done at all! Here’s what I managed…
The Fellowship of the Ring by J. R. R. Tolkien
I’m going to do a review of all the Lord of the Ring books together when I’ve finished the series but so far- wow. Unsurprisingly amazing. I listened to this on audiobook, read by Rob Inglis, who is just a perfect narrator and I’m currently enjoying The Two Towers about as much.
The Curse of the Gloamglozer by Paul Stewart & Chris Riddell
I took The Curse of the Gloamglozer with me to Munich and finished it while I was out there, so it was a pretty quick read. Now, I’ve been harping on about re-reading this series for a while now so believe me when I’m as surprised as anyone when I say- eh. It wasn’t bad. But it wasn’t this amazing thing that I remembered from being a kid. I’m putting this down to Quint being my least favourite of the main characters within the world.
The art was unbelievably beautiful, as I always expect from Chris Riddell. I just thought the story was a little loose and lacked the world-building of the other books. I’m going to finish this trilogy too though because I think as soon as Quint leaves the floating rock city, it’ll perk up.
Better answer with silence than indignation, as the saying went.
Shakespeare’s Christmas by Charlaine Harris
This was one of the Christmas books that I wanted to read pre-the big day and actually another book I took to Munich but didn’t get to. I expected it to be like Christmas episodes of TV where the holiday it completely central to the story but this was really more about a holiday vibe! I really could’ve read this October onwards and I wish I had read it earlier because it ended up being my favourite of the series so far. The mystery wasn’t a murder like usual, but a missing child, although Harris does manage to shove some murder in there for good measure, and it was nice to get a bit of a switch on the usual motives.
Lily is right up there with my favourite female protagonists as well. She’s so straight-talking, no-nonsense, and kicks butt.
Can I also just mention how much I love Charlaine Harris when she was writing this book? Not only did she make a very strong point about the police profiling of black men, she was shading annoying white men left and right. Case in point:
“‘A girl Friday, though I guess “girl” is politically incorrect now.’ He gave the strained smile of a conservative paying lip service to liberality.
‘Yes’, I said.”
All The Little Liars by Charlaine Harris
Two Charlaine Harris books from two different series in the same month? This was weird for me. I normally finish a series by an author before starting another, especially when they’re the same type as both the Aurora Teagarden and Lily Bard books are both cosy crimes. However! The first new Aurora Teagarden book in 13 years comes out? You know I was going to read it. I adored the original eight. And it was Christmas themed so you know I was going to read it in December.
Again, like Shakespeare’s Christmas, it was centred around missing children- but this time, Aurora’s own half-brother and his friends. And less murder. It was quite a ride and although I had some inklings towards the ending, Harris hasn’t lost her touch and Aurora still surprised me. That, and all the references to books and reading that made me fall in love with this series in the first place, made this a fun read for me.
Harris has mentioned in the past that the opportunity to write and publish the two new Aurora Teagarden novels comes from the success of the TV movies and I love that she doesn’t shy away from referencing that- having a writer character; “-any association with the movies threw a handful of glitter on a writer.” I like a little self-awareness.
Also- there was a The Walking Dead reference that my nerdy little heart loved.
I had never been able to fathom what people did with their free moments, if they didn’t read.