Books I Read December 2021

by - Monday, January 03, 2022

Happy New Year friends! I hope you were able to enjoy some time of rest and relaxation over the holidays. I greatly appreciated being able to unplug for two weeks and enjoy time with friends and family. And now, I'm looking out the window enjoying the pretty snowfall we got in DC today. We got somewhere between 7 and 9 inches, and it's the biggest snowfall we've seen in a few years. I also hope this is the first and last snowfall we get this year. 

And now onto the books. I read seven in December and enjoyed most of them. I've been on a big mystery/suspense kick lately, and you'll see that reflected in a lot of my book choices from this month. 

Dec 2021 books

Four Stars

The Secret Place (Dublin Murder Squad, #5)The Secret Place by Tana French
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This was just the mystery I needed for over the holiday break. One year ago, a boy was found murdered on the grounds of an elite all-girls school. The case has gone cold until a student at the school brings a detective a new potential piece of evidence. The detectives head back to the school determined to find the real killer amidst different girl cliques needing to sort through the lies to get to the bottom of things. Another great Tana French read!

Final GirlsFinal Girls by Riley Sager
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I continue to really enjoy Riley Sager's suspense/thrillers. While I didn't love this one as much as some of the others, it was still good. This book focuses on three women who are the sole survivors (or final girls) of brutal murders. When the book opens one of those final girls has died and it brings the two remaining girls together to figure out what happened. This book took some turns, but I did eventually see the final twist coming. Still, it was good and I'd definitely recommend it for a fun and fast read.

Things We Lost to the WaterThings We Lost to the Water by Eric Nguyen
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This was a really beautifully written book about a Vietnamese family that settles in New Orleans after fleeing their country. The mother, Huong, attempts to create a new life for herself and her two young sons while worrying about her husband who is still in Vietnam. The book follows the family over the course of many years, and you hear the story from each of their viewpoints as all three of them attempt to find their own identities in the U.S. As a fun fact, when I was reading the UMD alumni magazine, I saw the other was also a UMD graduate!

Three Stars

Anna K: Away (Anna K, #2)Anna K: Away by Jenny Lee
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I really enjoyed the first Anna K book, but the follow-up wasn't nearly as good since I found myself not incredibly invested in the characters beyond Anna. I also thought the ending felt a bit rushed.

Breathe In, Cash OutBreathe In, Cash Out by Madeleine Henry
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I don't remember putting this book on hold at the library, but I think I was intrigued by the "Devil Meets Prada" comparison. This book was a fast read, but it was also kind of weird -- though I did appreciate the gently jabs at Instagram influencer culture.

The Hunting PartyThe Hunting Party by Lucy Foley
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This book really picked up toward the end, but I thought it was a little bit slow to get started. When a group of friends (or maybe better described as frenemies) makes NYE plans at a remote wilderness lodge, they expect a few days of relaxation away from their lives in the city. But then one of them is murdered and a massive storm hits meaning the authorities can't get to them. So they are trapped together with a killer in their midst. If you can get past the slower start, this book is a fun read.

Two Stars

Dream GirlDream Girl by Laura Lippman
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

I usually love Laura Lippman's books, but this was just kind of bad. The premise sounded interesting. An acclaimed author starts getting mysterious phone calls from a mystery woman claiming she knows secrets about him and knows who one of his most famous characters is based on, though he claims the character is based on no one. But I don't know this book was just a dud and not at all interesting and engaging like most of her books. Not sure why I finished reading.

View all my reviews

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