December Overview

It’s the end of the year, but also the end of the month. So, my monthly overview is here. (My yearly overview will follow soon).

In December I read 17  books, which is higher than average for a month. December seemed endless for me, reading-wise. I also caught up on reviews!

My favorite books for this month are Left Neglected by Lisa Genova and Vissen veranderen bij kou van zwemrichting by Pierre Szalowski [Canadian French, translated to Dutch]

Books I read

(Hover over the covers to see their titles and authors).

Left Neglected by Lisa GenovaMore Than You Can Say by Paul TordayVissen veranderen bij kou van zwemrichting van Pierre SzalowskiLittle Children by Tom PerrottaThe Flight of Gemma Hardy by Margot LiveseyThe Night Strangers by Chris BohjalianFar to Go by Alison PickEleven by Mark WatsonDon't Look Now by Daphne du MaurierLow Town by Daniel PolanskyA Twitter Year by Kate BussmannGarden Spells by Sarah AllenEen steek diep ["Six Feet Under"] by F. StarikCutting for Stone by Abraham Verghese Kitchen by Banana YoshimotoDodelijke Hobby by M.P.O. BooksXY by Sandro Veronesi

Titles in orange link through to their reviews.

Left Neglected by Lisa Genova. Great read about a career woman who has a car accident and gets a disability called Left Neglect. She tries to overcome her problems but it’s a struggle. Very good. 5/5

More Than You Can Say by Paul Torday. A man is abducted outside London and forced to marry a woman from Afghanistan. He tries to help her but becomes involved in terrorist activities. 5/5

Vissen veranderen bij kou van zwemrichting [Fish Change Swimming Direction when Cold] by Pierre Szalowski. A Canadian boy wants to stop his parent from divorcing and calls the sky for help. Several days of ice rain ensue and the whole town is in disarray. 5/5

Little Children by Tom Perrotta. About some thirty-something parents and their affairs. And a paedophile who’s moved into the area. 5/5

The Flight of Gemma Hardy by Margot Livesey. A Jane Eyre in the 1960s. Gemma, an orphan, is sent to boarding school by her awful aunt, ends up working as an au pair in the Orkneys, and meets the lord of the manor. Need I say more? A good read. 5/5

The Night Strangers by Chris Bohjalian. A family moves to a house in the countryside, with a basement that has a mysterious door locked with 39 bolts. And why do so many people in the area have greenhouses? Scary! 4.5/5

Far to Go by Alison Pick. Czechoslovakia, 1939. A Jewish family is suffering the consequences of the nazi regime and try to escape the country. A good read. 4.5/5

Eleven by Mark Watson. Eleven people are influenced by a chain of events started by a late-night radio host. A fun read with a narrator that not only knows what happens now, but also what will happen in the future. 4.5/5

Don’t Look Now by Daphne Du Maurier. Five long-ish short stories all with a twist. Good fun to read. 4/5

Low Town by Daniel Polansky. In an alternate world, a former policeman is a drugs dealer in a criminal part of town. He gets the chance to investigate the murders of some girls to prove that he wasn’t involved himself. An almost real, but fantasy world, with swords and magic. 4/5

A Twitter Year by Kate Bussmann. A year of events in tweets. Divided into current affairs, celebrity, sports, etc. Good fun for the devoted tweeter. 4/5

Garden Spells by Sarah Allen. About two sisters and their catering company that uses magical flowers to change people’s moods or attitudes. Some male interest, too. Fun book. 4/5

Een steek diep [Under the Ground] by F. Starik. A non-fiction book about “solitary funerals” (where there are no guests). The writer researches the background of the deceased and presents a poem (that is read at the funeral, made especially for the occasion). Quite interesting. 4/5

Cutting for Stone by Abraham Verghese. The story is told by one of twin brothers who was born from a nun and possibly the doctor she worked for. A good, but slow read. 4/5

Kitchen by Banana Yoshimoto. Three long short stories about love and loss. 4/5

Dodelijke hobby [Deadly Hobby] by M.P.O. Books (ebook). André is hoping for a quiet Christmas looking after the remote villa of his cousin’s who is gone on holiday. When there is a break-in through his fault, he is determined to find the stolen goods before his cousin comes back. Fun cozy mystery. 4/5.

XY by Sandro Veronesi [Dutch]. A number of people are found dead outside a small mountain village in Italy. All have been killed in a different way. Main characters: a priest and a psychologist in the village. I didn’t enjoy this very much. 2.5/5

Other Books Reviewed (click on the title to read the review):

Now you See Me by S. J. Bolton. A thriller involving a modern Jack the Ripper. Very good read. 5/5

The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie. A fun read about a teenage American Indian boy who goes to school outside the reservation and is then an outcast in both worlds. 5/5 stars

The Ugly Sister by Jane Fallon. A woman is spending her summer with her famous modelling sister in London. But is the sister really interested in her, the unsuccessful librarian? 4.5/5 stars

Skippy Dies by Paul Murray. Skippy dies in a donut restaurant while eating donuts with his friend Ruprecht. The book is mainly about what happened before and what happens afterwards. 4/5 stars

Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother by Amy Chua. Memoir about a woman bringing up her children the Chinese way. I didn’t like her much, but it’s an entertaining book. 4/5

The Secret Shopper Unwrapped by Kate Harrison. Three friends, who are secret shoppers, all have relationship problems. A bit tedious, but an easy read. 3.5/5

Other happenings on my blog:

I reached a milestone of 700 blog posts!

I took part in the Get Read-y For 2012 Challenge and did really well.

I did a Post about Myself. 🙂

What was you favorite book this month?


About Leeswammes
I'm owner and editor at In my free time, I read and review books on my two blogs, Leeswammes' Blog and De Boekblogger.

16 Responses to December Overview

  1. Wow, you read a lot of books in December! Well done on your milestone. I’m not sure what my favourite book of December was, I was working a lot (1 week x 24/7) so didn’t read a lot of ‘heavy’ books.

  2. Rikki says:

    Judith, how on earth do you do it? 17 books, wow! Well done!

  3. You read two books I loved this month: Cutting for Stone and Kitchen. It sounds like a super-productive month for you, Judith. Happy New Year!

  4. I also enjoyed Left Neglected!

    My favorite book read this month was most likely The Ruins of Us… I just finished reading it. Very good. I have SO many books that I want to read in January…

    Have a wonderful New Years!!!

  5. parrish says:

    Congratulations on the milestone, I think mines about 150 something, you’re obviously far more industrious than I. Of your list Eleven has the most appeal with its omniscient narrator, I also have Banana yoshimoto book which I intend to read next year, along with The Lake.
    Best Wishes for the coming year to you & yours.

  6. Great December! Congrats on 700 blog posts too – I don’t know how you managed to do one per day this year. I am struggling to do one per week at the moment.

  7. Leslie says:

    Another great month. And a few more books for me to add to the already too long wishlist.

  8. I’m impressed, Judith… 17 books in one month. I can only dream about achieving this.
    I hope this year will prove as good a reading year as the last for you.

    • Leeswammes says:

      Thanks, Nadine. I don’t mind reading a little less if there are other activities taking up my time. I certainly won’t aim to read *more* this year!

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