Monday, December 19, 2022

It's Monday 12/19! What Are You Reading?

Hosted by The Book Date


  Still immersed in holiday preparations here, of course! We're making progress. I ordered the last gifts yesterday. My health was up and down last week, but I had a good day Tuesday and managed my local errands/gift buying. And we finally decorated our Christmas tree this weekend! Our ornaments are all memories: from when the kids were little, of family and friends, and lots of ornaments from our travels across the U.S. So, we always enjoy looking through them, reminiscing, and laughing as we decorate the tree. It's one of our favorite parts of the holiday season. We missed having our older son here to help!

We still have to decorate the rest of the house, buy food, write and send cards (haven't started that yet!), and wrap lots of gifts! But I'm feeling less frantic and starting to look forward to next weekend.

Merry Christmas to everyone who celebrates it!


On the Blog

I'm far behind on reviews, but I did manage a little catch-up last week:

Movie Monday: Licorice Pizza - this funny, nostalgic movie set in '70's L.A. is vibrant and a whole lot of fun!

Nonfiction Review: The Sun Does Shine: How I Found Life, Freedom, and Justice by Anthony Ray Hinton - this stunning story of an innocent man spending 30 years on death row is eye-opening and inspiring.

Nonfiction Review: Seabiscuit by Laura Hillenbrand - despite having no interest in horses or racing, I was engrossed in this fascinating story of a horse who made history and his rider. 


On Video

Just one book-related video last week on my YouTube channel:

 Friday Reads 12-16-22 - what I just finished and what I'm reading


What We're Reading
Focused this month on reading from my shelves and finishing past book gifts before I get more for Christmas!
I finished reading Daisy Jones and the Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid. I think I got it for my birthday ... last year! Also, it's my first Reid novel, after listening to everyone I know rave about her books for years now. I didn't think I'd be very interested in a book about a band in the 70's, and a young woman, Daisy, who joins the band, but it pulled me in immediately! It's written interview style, which I also wasn't sure I'd like, but it was completely compelling. I stayed up way too late every night last week reading it!

Now, I've moved onto a gift my husband gave me last Christmas, The Dreamers by Karen Thompson Walker. I loved her first novel, The Age of Miracles. In this one, a mysterious illness hits a remote college in the California mountains. One student at a time falls asleep and doesn't wake up. It starts on one dorm floor, and doctors can tell the sleeping students are dreaming, but they've never before seen anything like this. It's great so far--intriguing and engrossing.


On audio, I finished listening to Horse by Geraldine Brooks, one of my favorite authors. Ironically, having just finished Seabiscuit, Horse is also about a famous racehorse, though like Brooks' other books, it's historical fiction. It involves a painting of a horse and a horse museum skeleton, both recovered in 2019 by two different young people, and an enslaved Black boy in 1850 training a racehorse in Kentucky. Most of the history of the horse and his owners is based on historical fact. As always with Brooks, this story that didn't sound interesting to me is told in a fascinating, gripping way. 


Now, I am listening to Hidden Picture by Jason Rekulak. He was a Booktopia author in 2017, and my husband and I both enjoyed his first novel, The Impossible Fortress. I'm still figuring out exactly what this one is about, but so far a young woman who is in recovery from prescription drug addiction gets a job as a nanny. She lives in their guest cottage and cares for their sweet five-year-old son, Teddy. It seems ideal at first, until some odd things start to happen: strange noises at night, Teddy's somewhat menacing imaginary friend, and his increasingly gruesome crayon drawings. It's good so far!


My husband, Ken, just started reading Boundary Waters by William Kent Krueger, book two in his Cork O'Connor mystery series, about a former sheriff in Minnesota. We both like this author, and he enjoyed the first book in this series.


I checked with our son, 28, and he finished reading Warmage, book two in the Spellmonger series by Terry Mancour. He also finished book 3, Magelord, book 4, Knights Magi, and is now reading book 5, High Mage. I guess he likes this series! I can't wait to see him next weekend and give him some new books!


What Are You Reading Monday is hosted by Kathryn at Book Date, so head over and check out her blog and join the Monday fun! You can also participate in a kid/teen/YA version hosted by Unleashing Readers.

You can follow me on Twitter at @SueBookByBook or on Facebook on my blog's page.  

What are you and your family reading this week?


  1. Good that you are managing to do the main things for Christmas! Love your Christmas tree. Looks like your reading has been very horsey! I have avoided Daisy Jones and the Six for the very reasons you mention and honestly I don't think I'll pick it up. Have a really good Christmas.

    1. Thanks, Kathryn. My reading HAS been very horsey lately! ha ha Pretty strange for someone who isn't interested in horses, but a testament to both authors' talent.

  2. I love the ornament photos! I have so many ornaments that I need 4 trees, and I have tons of fun decorating them every year.

  3. I love a Christmas tree full of family memories. My children put ours up today but for the first time the oldest wasnt part of it as she has moved out so it was bittersweet.

    Wishing you a great reading week and a joyous Christmas

    1. I get it! Our older son will join us in the afternoon on Christmas Day, but we miss those special Christmas mornings with just the four of us. Hope you have a wonderful Christmas!

  4. I agree that decorating the tree and reminiscing about each ornament is one of my favorite activities. And some of my favorites are still the simple ones from my childhood.