The 10 Books I Read In December

I just needed 5 last books to meet my reading goal of reading 120 books this year and I surpassed that!  Once I finished up all my holiday books by Christmas, I started sprinkling in other books I've had lying around for weeks but those will be included in my January book round up as I had all my posts schedule in advance to enjoy the winter break with my family.   



 
1.  The Christmas Swap by Melody Carlson-- Emma gets talked into spending Christmas with her friends family up in the mountains when they swap their home in Arizona for a cabin in Colorado.  While in Colorado Emma falls for West, not knowing he is the true owner of the house they are staying in.  West gets caught in Colorado after missing his flight to Arizona to be with his family and finds he is intrigued enough by Emma that he wants to stay and get to know her better.  It was such a cute and quick holiday novella. 

  


2.  The Guncle by Steven Rowley-- I thought this was going to be a light and funny summer-type book based on the cover.  Instead I found myself tearing up and really falling in love with all these characters. When Maisie and Grant's mother dies from cancer their father realizes he needs to head to rehab and get off the pills he's used to help himself get through his wife's illness and death.  He asks his brother Patrick to take the kids in for the summer.  The kids are excited to visit guncle (gay uncle) Patrick in his palm springs home (with a pool!) but Patrick has no idea if he can be parent to young kids dealing with grief and loss.  It turns out to be just what all three of them needed as they grow close and made some pretty startling discoveries about life, love, and loss. 



3.  Christmas Caramel Murder by Joanne Fluke-- Another book on CD I listened to in the car.  After reading one of her Christmas mystery books last month (#26) I decided to try another.  I randomly picked one off the library shelf and turns out this was book #20.  I didn't like this story nearly as much as the last one and I'm not sure if it was the storyline itself or something else.  Hannah discovers a dead body and her business partner and her husband are two of the prime suspects in the murder. Now Hannah is working overtime to figure out who the killer is so she can get her friends off the suspect list. 



4. Christmas at the Restaurant by Pamela Kelley-- I have been saving the second book in this series for the holiday season! I read book 1 earlier in the year and really enjoyed these sisters. I read this second book in just 24 hours.  It was a cute story (though I did enjoy the first one in the series more).  Jill, Mandy, and Emma are facing the Christmas Stroll crowd with their chef Paul and making sure the restaurant is as successful as ever. Add in a little love triangle with their bartender Gina and it was a cute little story. One of these years I really should make the trip to Nantucket to check out this seasonal event!



5. The Christmas Wedding Guest by Susan Mallery--Reggie and her sister Dena are home for the holidays helping their parents plan a vow renewal/wedding that their mother always wished she'd had.  They've pretty much given up on finding love themselves.  Reggie meets up with her old high school boyfriend Toby and find that there is still a spark between them.  Dena finds sparks flying between herself and a person staying at the B&B but he's a famous rock star and Dena believes that he'll never be able to fall for her.  It was a really cute story filled with Christmas cheer, drama, and love. 



 6. The Christmas Bookshop by Jenny Colgan-- I wasn't sure I was going to like this book at first but it ended up being one of my favorite Christmas books I read or listened to this year!  When Carmen finds herself out of a job and living back at home with her parents her mother coerces her sister to find her a job.  Only problem is that the job requires Carmen to move in with her sister Sophie and her three kids.  A local bookshop is going to go bankrupt and needs to turn their sales around in the last month of the season.  Sophie hopes Carmen is up for the job.  Sophie is 8 months pregnant and her husband is away on business, she needs more help than just her nanny but both sisters are reluctant with the arrangement as they have never been close.  At first I just didn't like Carmen much or feel sorry for her but as she grew and changed throughout the book and became a real part of the community and her sister's family, I found myself enchanted by the story and curious to see how it was going to end. 
 


7.  Mrs. Miracle by Debbie Macomber-- I knew the premise of the story (I think I saw a movie with the same name before) but didn't think I had ever read this particular book by Macomber before.  My mother in law had the copy laying around and gave it to me to read for the holiday season.  But I did wonder as I read if it felt so familiar because I had watched the movie or if I had in fact read the book years ago.  Anyway it was a cute enough story about a father who is struggling to raise his twin boys alone until Mrs. Miracle shows up and brings peace to his chaotic home.  




8. A Wedding in December by Sarah Morgan-- Rosie gets engaged at Thanksgiving and decides she wants to get married at Christmas, in Aspen, Colorado. When she calls home excited to tell her parents she has no idea her parents are planning to divorce and were hoping for one last Christmas at their Oxford, England home.  Her sister reluctantly agrees to be maid of honor but secretly thinks Rosie is being impulsive and plans to try and break up the wedding.  With all her sister's doubts swirling around in her head, Rosie begins to have second thoughts as well. With lots of tension under the surface and multiple storylines, I thought this was a great book. 


9. Christmas In Peachtree Bluff by Kristy Woodson Harvey-- Oh I was so happy to be back with these ladies from Peachtree Bluff.  With the whole family gathered together for Thanksgiving and making plans for Christmas it seems like everything will be just fine... as long as hurricane Pearl doesn't make landfall.  But since the whole family is leaving with plans to reconnect at Christmas they are all just thankful that no one will be in Peachtree for the "storm of the century."  But when circumstances change and three of the family members are left to shelter in place through the storm the rest of the family concocts a plan to help.  The story takes us right through the storm, the aftermath, and up through Christmas.  It was fantastic! 


10. Home with My sisters by Mary Carter-- I had completely forgotten about this book I had in my nightstand since last Christmas!  Sisters Faith, Hope, and Joy are reunited by their grandmother's wish for one last Christmas together. The sisters grew apart as they grew older and had been content living their own lives.  Then they make the trip to Leavenworth, Washington.  Hope is charmed by the area and by her grandmother's neighbor. Faith is just waiting for the holiday to be over so she can announce to her family (and children) that her marriage is over.  Joy is hoping to secure start- up funds for her new business idea.  A story of family, forgiveness, and the bonds of sisterhood with lots and lots of drama thrown in. I really enjoyed it.  
 


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Comments

  1. Replies
    1. They were! And they helped keep me in the Christmas spirit too.

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  2. What a great December collection! I LOVED the Restaurant Series :)

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    Replies
    1. I just need to read the last one now!

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    2. Nevermind... I thought it was a trilogy not just a set. I guess I have read the whole series! LOL.

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  3. Well done with all of the reading you have done. I love the sound of all the Christmas books that you have read x

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  4. I really like the variety of the books you read. I need to pick up some of these.

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  5. I love all these Christmas-y looking reads. Maybe I should try that next year lol I had absolutely no Christmas fiction on my list! Great job reading this year, my friend!

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    1. I usually just pick one or two Christmas-y books to read each year but overloaded my wishlist this year.

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  6. I have been meaning to read Guncle. Now, you make me really want to read it! Good job on all of the reading you've done!

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  7. Congrats with all the reading you have done!

    Gotta check out some of these.

    Happy 2022, Joanne!

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  8. The Christmas Bookshop is ready for me at the library when we get home. I'll be reading Christmas books in January since I clearly didn't plan well :) And I am waiting impatiently for my hold on The Guncle to come in since I've heard such great things about it.

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    Replies
    1. I've had that happen a few times myself! I nearly gave up on getting The Guncle though our library; I'd had it hold since June!

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  9. Wasn't The Guncle so good? It was my favorite of the year.

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  10. A Wedding in December sounds so good! I'm going to add that one to my list now!

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  11. I heard really good things about Guncle, but I also heard that it was so emotional, rather than a "fun, easy beach" read... so I've kept it on the sidelines for now. I had a friend who really enjoyed The Christmas Bookshop as a light holiday read. I love how many seasonal books you found to read in December!

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    Replies
    1. It was definitely not a fun, easy beach read but I did love it.

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  12. I don't typically read Christmas books but I do like the look of the peach tree bluff Christmas. Maybe next year.

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    1. I tend to go in spurts with reading Christmas books; some year I love them and want to read them all and other years I avoid them altogether.

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  13. You read so many holiday reads! I just added Christmas at the Restaurant to my want to read list for next year! The Guncle was such a good read!

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  14. What a lovely Christmassy collection of books! A Wedding in December sounds really good.

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    Replies
    1. It was such a nice family- centered story!

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  15. I love the Peachtree Bluff series! I read the Christmas book last month too. I need to read some of your other recommendations next Christmas season.

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  16. I've heard so many good things about The Guncle!

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