December books

81. Girl Interrupted – Samantha Kaysen
Story – A girl spends nearly two years in a mental institution in the late 60s.
Thoughts – I didn’t like this book that much. The stories about the institution seemed quite random and pointless, and mainly concerned the other girls and not the protagonist.

80. Early Daze – Jennifer Gilby Roberts
Story – Jess is shocked when she unexpectedly gives birth to her daughter at 26 weeks. This is the story of her time in the hospital with her premature daughter.
Thoughts – Meh. I love babies and birth and stories about this, so I was quite looking forward to this one. Unfortunately it was a bit of a letdown. Jess was a pretty terrible character who made some stupid choices that were just irritating to read about. I really didn’t feel very sympathetic towards her. The book also didn’t describe what the baby went through very well, and failed to make me have any real emotional connection to her. Just kind of boring overall I guess.

79. Club Dead – Charlaine Harris
Story – Sookie’s boyfriend Bill has been distant for a while, but when he disappears Sookie is concerned enough to seek out Eric. Along with the help of werewolf Alcide, Sookie and Eric go to Jackson, Mississippi to try and rescue Bill.
Thoughts – Another good one. I like Alcide, and I like Eric…although that may be more because I picture Alexander Skarsgaard from True Blood in every scene than because Eric the character is so great.

78. Living Dead in Dallas – Charlaine Harris
Story – Sookie’s bad luck is piling up. Lafayette at work is killed, then she’s attacked by a maenad. When the vampires save her life she reluctantly agrees to do a favour for them and goes to Dallas to use her telepathic powers in searching for a missing vampires.
Thoughts – This book holds the seeds of a lot of stuff that is explored more in the tv show, and some of it suffers from the brief way it’s dealt with here. The Fellowship of the Sun is the main thing I’m thinking of, as it’s barely even given a name.

77. The Growing Pains of Adrian Mole – Sue Townsend
Story – Adrian, continuing to grow and comment on the world around him- parents who don’t get along, pensioner Bert Baxter, sexually ambiguous friend Nigel, Grandma Mole, and of course the ever lovely Pandora.
Thoughts – Still rereading, still Adrian. Love it.

76. Adrian Mole: the Wilderness Years – Sue Townsend
Story – Adrian is working for the Department of Environment (having lied about having his A-level in biology) and living in Pandora’s box room as she is married to a (gay) man and working as an Oxford academic. In very typical Adrian style he bumbles through his day to day life.
Thoughts – It’s so funny to have adult Adrian. He’s so pompous and obnoxious and weird, but so easily related to his adolescent self.

75. Dead Until Dark – Charlaine Harris
Story – Sookie Stackhouse is a telepathic waitress in the small Louisiana town of Bon Temps, who is thrilled one night when a vampire walks into her bar.
Thoughts – Another reread, prompted by my watching of the tv series True Blood, which is based on this book series. I love the character of Sookie, and the world building of the vampires ‘coming out of the coffin’ and trying to mainstream now that there is a synthetic blood available is really well done.

74. Adrian Mole: the Cappuccino Years – Sue Townsend
Story – This book continues Adrian’s adventures, this time as a chef in a restaurant in Soho (????) and as single parent to his son William. Pandora is campaigning for election as a Labour representative and Adrian’s parents once again fall into marital crisis.
Thoughts – I seem to be in a rereading phase at the moment, and I love Adrian Mole. Always an easy, fun, hilarious read.

73. A Breath of Snow and Ashes – Diana Gabaldon
Story – 6th book in the Outlander series continues Claire and Jamie’s story in North Carolina.
Thoughts – This book really starts to get overly complex in terms of characters to remember and too much of the story revolves around the politics Jamie gets caught up in for my taste. Even so I enjoyed it, although it might be the last one in the series I read for a while (I think there are 8 Outlander books so far?)

72. Yours til Niagara Falls, Abby – Jane O’Connor
Story – Abby and her best friend Merle have the summer all worked out. They’re going to camp together. But then Merle breaks her leg, and Abby has to endure camp on her own.
Thoughts – I always loved camp stories, and this was one of my favourite ones back in primary school. When I found it online I had to read it again. It’s a cute, fun read about Abby learning about herself and what it’s like to stand on her own feet and make new friends.