Hello reading friends and welcome to my final monthly TBR post of 2023! Where has the time gone?
If you’re panicking about meeting your reading goal before the end of the year, please try not to stress. I hope that doesn’t sound patronising from me considering I have reached my goal already. I don’t want that to the point. Instead, the point is that we should all be enjoying the reading we are doing. It doesn’t matter how much you read, what you choose to read or how you go about it. The point is to have fun! Maybe to try and push the boundaries a little bit and try something new. But ultimately, it needs to be enjoyable!
That’s what I’ve been aiming for in my monthly TBR for December, and I have quite a range of books here on this list to see me in the new year. Am I likely to read them all before then? Not likely. However, I’m going to have a great time doing it.
Shall we check out the books on this monthly TBR?
November Carryover – The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes
I picked up The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes on a whim after DNF’ing another read last month. As of this post, it’s my current read.
So far, I’m loving the fidelity between the book, the characters and the film. Sure, there are some subtle differences. However, in contrast, some of the dialogue is very close to the film. That they wanted to make the two as close as possible makes me very happy!
As of this monthly TBR, I’m 36% into the book and loving every moment!
November Insta Poll Carryover – The Minders
Another carryover from last month is my current audiobook, The Minders.
I’m halfway through this conspiracy thriller and I’m intrigued by the plot. It’s an interesting premise and I have no idea how the plot will look to resolve. It’s a compelling listen and the audio casting of the book is working well for me.
As my first John Marrs book, it’s made a great impression so far! If it carries on this good, or gets better, then I’ll definitely be reading more of his books in future.
Chaos and Order
I received a review request to pick up another short story anthology, and I am excited to oblige. You may recall that I read a short story anthology called Taking Liberties earlier this year. As someone who doesn’t read short stories very often, I enjoyed diving into this anthology with a theme between the different stories as a break from typical longer narratives.
Much is the case with Chaos and Order, and the themes are pretty self-explanatory. Chaos and Order is a relatively short book, and being made up of plenty of short stories, this should be an easy read to pick up and put down if I want to… although I might want to binge it after all!
I’m looking forward to picking this up and sharing my thoughts with you very soon.
Insta Poll Runner Up – My Sister’s Keeper
In the last few months I have made a habit of posting a couple of books on my TBR in an Instagram poll and letting my followers decide my next read. To make sure the ‘losing’ book doesn’t fall off the radar, I’ve taken to reading this the following month after the poll.
This month is no exception! After reading The Minders, which won the poll in November, I will be picking up My Sister‘s Keeper this month.
I think the premise is an interesting one. Whilst I had heard of the title, I wasn’t really familiar with the storyline behind it. I think this book will do well to explore humanitarian issues, as well as personal identity. This would be profound enough in a book with a teenage protagonist. However, considering her perceived (and conceived) role as a donor for her sister, this could get even more interesting!
December TBR Jar – The Black Coats
The last TBR Jar pick of the year is The Black Coats.
It feels like ages ago that I added this book to my reading list. As I have other reads in this monthly TBR that explore morality to an extent, there’s something that feels right about this book and the premise of revenge getting out of hand.
I don’t know too much about the book and I’m excited to go in knowing that little. It will be a pleasant surprise and an opportunity to try a brand-new author to me. That’s something I always look for, and I hope that has already come across in my reading.
The Success Code
Another short read on this monthly TBR, and hopefully one of the last non-fiction reads of the year, is The Success Code.
Not only does reading this book work towards my non-fiction goal, but it also feels appropriate given that we’re going to be jumping into year end performance reviews and 2024 goal setting at work very soon.
I appreciate this isn’t everybody’s cup of tea, and to a certain extent, some of the formality around it isn’t my favourite either. However, I am the type of person who likes to push themselves and try new things. I’m not content unless I’m learning, and so these New Year opportunities have some appeal.
I might as well go into the conversation prepared, right?
How to Win Friends and Influence People
The very last non-fiction I intend to pick up this year is How to Win Friends and Influence People. I actually have a copy of this book on audio, so this is going to be my priority listen after finishing The Minders.
Again, this works of my reading goal for non-fiction. However, like I did after a communication training course at work, I have decided to pick up this topical book to add to what I learned in another workshop I attended through work. I did the same thing in picking up Surrounded by Idiots in October. Incidentally, those two mediums of learning went together really well, in terms of content. Having completed an ‘influence’ workshop a couple of weeks ago, I now hope How to Win Friends and Influence People can build upon and cement what I learned there into something I can put into practice.
Firefight is a book I have intended to pick up in the last couple of months, but not gotten to. There’s a few of those that have made it onto the reading list recently, and Firefight is no exception. Regular readers will know I am a big fan of Brandon Sanderson. I have read a variety of his books, some series in full, whilst others I have dipped into.
I read the first book in his Reckoners series a few years ago now. I enjoyed the action-packed narrative and I’ve been looking to get back into the series. Sequels are something I am trying to read more of as well, so I can tick another box with this pick!
Another sequel, and the last book on my December monthly TBR is Gemina by Jay Kristoff and Amie Kaufman.
I read the first book of this YA mixed media series, Illuminae, in February. Although the books are chunkier in length, they are nice and easy to get through considering the medium they are written in.
I’m looking forward to picking up Gemina, partly as a change from traditional prosaic writing, but also as it’s a series I have loved so far.
I wouldn’t describe myself as a particular reader of the young adult genre, but I don’t feel ostracised or out of place by picking up these books. They are written very well and the mixed media aspects of the book make them interesting. I enjoy reading between the lines, and that is something we get to do in this format more than traditional writing styles.
In my monthly wrap-up post for November, I shared my hopes to unofficially up my reading goal to 60 books by the end of the year.
Although I don’t expect to get through everything on this reading list, there is plenty of material here to get me to that goal… and maybe beyond!?
Have you read any of the books or authors I have featured in today’s monthly TBR? What do you think of my final choices for the year? As always, I would love to hear your feedback.