Disclaimer: this post includes images of books (Swing Time and Ways of Seeing) from Penguin, and Everything Under from Vintage. I have previously received PR products from Penguin, who also own Vintage. Books marked with a [PR relationship] denote books that published by companies I have previously worked with.
New year, same wrap up! Let’s take a look back on how I did in December, and what I’m hoping to read in January. I have a 2021 Reading Goals post planned, coming up soon, so keep an eye out for that! For now, what did I read last month?
Books on the December TBR: 7
Books Read in December: 7
Books Read from the TBR: 7
Books Read Not From the TBR: 0
Left on the TBR: 0
What a way to end the year!
December Wrap Up
- [PR relationship] Red Dragon – Thomas Harris. 3.5 stars.
I read the Hannibal series as part of ReadByBeth’s readalong! I’ve watched the NBC show, but I didn’t realise quite how close the show was to the book. The series obviously had to add a lot of storylines, but almost everything in the book was also in the show. The writing wasn’t the best I’ve read, if I’m honest, but the characters and storyline were so gripping that I still really enjoyed the book overall.
- [PR relationship] The Confession – Jessie Burton. 4 stars.
Jessie Burton is one of my favourite authors, and I really enjoyed this one! It’s sapphic, and features a multi-generational, cross-period storyline. One narrative follows the sapphic couple in the 1980s, with all the glamour and darkness of Hollywood, and the other follows a young woman seeking her mother in the 2010s and her act of deception. I devoured 350 pages of this in one evening, which is how you know a story is good! Review here.
- [PR relationship] Silence of the Lambs – Thomas Harris. 3.5 stars.
Again, another gripping plot and really interesting characters, but the writing was just lacking something for me! This was the second book I read for ReadByBeth’s Hannibal readalong, and I’m so glad I’ve had the chance to give these books a try. I thought Hannibal himself was a bit more developed in Silence of the Lambs, so I can’t wait to read Hannibal!
- [PR relationship] Good Omens – Terry Pratchett & Neil Gaiman. 3.5 stars.
This was really quite a way out of my wheelhouse, but I’m glad I gave it a go! It’s sort of fantasy, definitely satire, telling the story of the unlikely companionship between an angel and a fallen angel, both sent down to Earth to watch over the Antichrist as he grows up, and the Apocalypse draws ever nearer. Needless to say, it’s not the usual serious type of book I’d read, but if you’re looking for something irreverent and funny, give this a go!
You can find my review here!
- A Christmas Carol – Charles Dickens. 4 stars.
If A Christmas Carol can’t get you in the Christmas spirit, what can? OK, it’s a book about a total grump, but he learns the true value of Christmas! And being nice! So while 90% of the book is somewhat harrowing, the last few pages are so heartwarming it almost makes it all worth it. I have to ask, though — couldn’t the spirits have visited Scrooge a few years earlier?
Review can be found here!
- [PR relationship] Hannibal – Thomas Harris. 3.5 stars.
Finally! A lot of Hannibal content! This is finally where we get Hannibal as a real character, in my opinion. I have to admit, it wasn’t really what I expected. I always thought of Hannibal as a brutal, if cold and calculating, killer, but even in this, where he’s free, he tends to really kill as self-defence. And, rather than the threat being Hannibal, the main threat is towards Hannibal, which I did think was an interesting way to look at the story. And — that ending! Again, though, I wasn’t overly impressed by the writing style itself, which is why I haven’t rated it 4 stars.
- [PR relationship] Hannibal Rising – Thomas Harris. 3 stars.
I heard Thomas Harris was kind of pushed into writing this one, and I agree with a lot of people’s opinions that it suffered as a result. I actually preferred the story we get here to the story of Hannibal, because we do get to see that ruthless side to him. While I enjoyed that element more, the book did seem to suffer from a bit of fatigue, and it did seem a bit repetitive at times. I also would’ve liked more of an exploration into how he got into cannibalism as an adult, because that wasn’t explored as much as it could have been. Obviously the trauma of his past is explained, but then it isn’t really addressed in terms of how that led to his later cannibalism.
- Rebecca – Daphne Du Maurier [REREAD] (Let’s Get Classical Book Club)
- Cannonball – Joseph McElroy
- [PR relationship] Ways of Seeing – John Berger
- The White Book – Han Kang
- [PR relationship] Swing Time – Zadie Smith
- [PR relationship] Everything Under – Daisy Johnson