December was kinda slow for me. In fact, I finished four books during the last two days of the year. I love Christmas though, so prepping for that and enjoying the holiday season took on priority this month.
Casino Royale (Ian Fleming) ♠♠♠
My first Ian Fleming novel! I love, love, love the James Bond movies. I grew up watching the oldies over and over again, and I truly enjoy the newer ones as well. I always thought of 007 as a womanizer but one that truly respects what women bring to the table – including their intellect. Well color me surprised when I read this novel, which is written from Bond’s viewpoint, and I learned how truly sexist my favorite agent is. I know it reflects the time in which it was written but I am nonetheless disappointed. I also found Fleming’s writing sensational rather than literary, but that could be because of the genre – I am not too familiar with espionage lit. I think I am going to read another Bond novel in the future just to see, but thus far, the movies are much better and a lot more suspenseful to boost than this book.
The Girl in the Tower (Katherine Arden) ♠♠♠♠♠
What a surprise this book was! I felt so-so about the first book as it was long-winded and had too many side stories. But this one was captivating, heroic, feminist, and magical. I am so thankful the publisher send me an advanced copy to review. I cannot wait for the third book in the series!!!!
The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde ♠♠♠♠ and The Body Snatcher ♠♠♠ (Robert Louis Stevenson)
I quickly read these two short stories and they were very entertaining. Both creepy and mysterious, I preferred Jekyll and Hyde because 1) it just plainly was a better story and 2) it was enriched by a series of letters which allowed the reader to discover the truth along with the characters.
Lab Girl (Hope Jahren) ♠♠♠♠♠
This book was amazing! I first tried it as an audiobook but kept missing plot points. I am so glad I started over in print. I devoured her story. I saw myself in her. As a female scientist, I think I often face similar hurdles. As a fellow perfectionist, I definitely have to censor myself frequently and force myself to let it go. And as a paleobiology enthusiast, I gobbled down all the extra facts she alluded to in between her life story. All in all, this was a fascinating read.
Little Women (Louisa May Alcott) ♠♠♠♠♠♠
Gah, how I love this book. This re-read started off a little slow and low-and-behold I was already thinking I had to remove it from my all-time favorite list. And then I cried when Beth almost died, I cried again when she actually died, and I cried some more when Teddy told Joe he loved her so. Of course, I see myself in Joe. But I also admire Meg’s kindness, Beth’s wisdom, and Amy’s zest for life. The March family is dear to my heart and I am so glad this re-read manifested that again.