What I Read in December 2020
As we enter the New Year – although it looks an awful lot like the previous one – it is time to share what I read in December 2020.
I managed to read quite a few books during December despite Christmas and work. Most of them were audiobooks, and surprisingly – or unsurprisingly – quite a few of them were Greek Myth Retellings. I do love my ancient Greeks.
I received a proof of Ariadne from NetGalley. I enjoyed this book, but I would re-title it to Ariadne and Phaedra because the story follows the two sisters, and princesses of Crete. Whilst Ariadne’s story is slightly more focused upon, Phaedra’s story is just as important. This was a four-star read for me. I did enjoy it, but I feel like the beginning and ending were written separately as the tone shifts midway through, and not in a purposeful way. The cover is gorgeous, the characters are really well developed, but there was a disconnect within the writing which made it easy to put it down when I wanted it to be unputdownable. Still, it’s worth reading in 2021.
I read/loved the essay that the Pound Project produced a few years back called Sabotage by Emma Gannon. So, I was really excited to see that a full-length book had been commissioned by Hodder & Stoughton as a result of the good response that the essay got. I got the audiobook edition of Sabotage from Audible with one of my credits. It’s only about 2 hours in length, a really easy listen and there were moments that really resonated with me. If you’ve read the Pound Project version then you’ve probably already read most of the lessons and don’t need to buy it, but if you haven’t then it’s well worth a read.
I’ve had 84 Charing Cross Road on my to-read list for a while. A book about booksellers that’s entirely based on real-life letters?! Of course I had to read that. It’s a really lovely look at the differences between Americans and the English – specifically American and English book lovers – but also how close relationships can be formed between strangers, simply through the love of books. It packs an emotional punch whilst also being incredibly simple. A really lovely read, or listen in my case as this was another audiobook.
I wasn’t planning on picking up Dorian Gray, but when I saw that the audiobook was being removed from my audiobook service of choice – BookBeat – I thought I would read it before it left the app. I’m glad I did. For only a 3 hour listen it’s really detailed and an enjoyable look at extreme vanity and morality. Whilst it’s Oscar Wilde’s most famous work, it doesn’t feel like Oscar Wilde to me. Wilde is much more sarcastic and humorous than this book reveals.
And, of course, there’s another Greek myth retelling. This is the story of Atalanta, the only woman who fought alongside the Argonauts on the legendary quest for the Golden Fleece. This is a retelling of Atalanta’s untold experiences and the general treatment of women in Ancient Greece. It’s the second in the three-book Golden Apple trilogy by Emily Hauser, and I look forward to reading the first and last book in the series, as they can be read entirely as standalones.
And that’s what I read in December 2020. What did you read in December? Let me know in the comments below. I love a good book recommendation and I look forward to sharing what I read in January 2021 next month.