I love reading a good book while drinking a cup of coffee in front of the Christmas tree. Talk about relaxing!
I guess it’s no surprise, then, that December was a busy reading month. You have to take advantage of that beautiful, sparkling tree while it’s up.
I read 14 books in December. Of those, I gave four non-fiction and five fiction books perfect grades. Read my reviews below.
Anyone who leads a team should read this book, which gives advice for how to build and sustain a great team culture, using examples from companies like Pixar and Google.
I enjoyed the format of the book, which is a chapter introducing a concept, several applicable, real-world examples, then step-by-step instructions on how you can implement the concept within your own team. Practical takeaways are important.
This book gives you tools to help you create a strong group culture, regardless of size, that can accomplish great things together. It will change the way you think as a leader.
Many Americans know what it’s like to live paycheck to paycheck, but even most of them don’t know the struggles when even those paychecks aren’t close to enough money to live.
A single parent in the U.S. cannot survive on minimum wage. That’s the reality Stephanie Land, 28, comes to terms with this as a single mother of a young daughter, working as a housekeeper and trying to make ends meet.
Stephanie, who had no family support, used government programs for housing, food and subpar medical care. She lived in fear that her daughter’s father would take her away because the little girl was constantly sick from the poor living conditions, unhealthy food and terrible healthcare.
In the meantime, all of Stephanie’s clients lived in excess they didn’t fully understand while something as small as offering her a sandwich for lunch while she was cleaning or giving a small Christmas tip made a big difference in her life.
I love Anne Bogel’s book blog, Modern Mrs Darcy, but even an avid reader like myself was skeptical of a book about reading. How interesting could that possibly be? The answer: extremely.
I’ve finally found someone as nerdy as I am! Another person who understands the crush of recognizing there aren’t enough hours or days to read all of the great books out there.
Anne’s writing is super relatable and easy to read as she takes the author through discovering and feeding her love of reading.
For many years, reporters tried to get to the truth about Harvey Weinstein’s treatment of women. But in 2017, when Jodi Kantor and Megan Twohey began their investigation into the prominent Hollywood producer for the New York Times, his name was still synonymous with power.
During months of confidential interviews with top actresses, former Weinstein employees and other sources, Kantor and Twohey proved the importance of solid journalism and an unwillingness to give up. They exposed Weinstein as a serial predator who paid off anyone he feared may expose him.
But Kantor and Twohey did more than expose Weinstein in their Oct. 5, 2017 story. They empowered women all over the world to come forward with their own traumatic stories of sexual harassment, sexual assault and rape. They ignited a movement that hopefully will continue to empower women around the world to say enough is enough.
Kate Bennett vanished from a parking lot, leaving behind her husband and young daughter. When she shows up at a Montana gas station 11 years later, clutching an infant and screaming for help, investigators believe she was abducted by a cult.
Kate’s return flips her family’s world upside down—her husband is remarried and her daughter barely remembers her. Kate herself doesn’t look or act like she did before, and her husband’s new wife isn’t willing to blindly accept everything Kate says about where she was and what she is doing. She’s right. Kate is still hiding things, and those secrets endanger the life her family built without her.
Helena Pelletier has a loving husband, two beautiful daughters and a business that fills her days. But she also has a secret. She is the product of an abduction.
Helena’s mother was kidnapped as a teenager by her father and kept in a remote cabin in the Michigan marshlands. Helena, born two years after the abduction, loved her home in nature, and, despite her father’s brutal behavior, she loved him, too, until she had to choose between him and her mother.
More than 20 year after sending her father to jail, Helena finds out he has escaped. She knows he’s headed for her and her family. She also knows it’s a reunion they won’t all survive. Can she stop him before he kills what’s most important to her?
Maggie Cabot answers the door to find two detectives there looking for her husband.
Maggie knows what the detectives want. Her husband, James, used to date a woman who disappeared 25 years before. It’s a tragedy that James doesn’t like talking about, but now remains have been found at a campsite in the Florida Keys and James is the prime suspect.
Hannah Nilsson, 21 at the time of her disappearance, was last seen on a camping trip with a group of friends—including her fiancee, James. Everyone on the trip assumed a drunken Hannah wandered off and drowned while they were asleep. But the discovery of her body, buried half a mile away from the campsite, makes it clear that Hannah was murdered.
After the discovery, Maggie begins her own investigation, desperate to discover the truth and clear her husband’s name.
No visitors, nights spent away from the apartment or bothering the guests. These are the only rules for Jules Larsen’s new job as an apartment sitter at the Bartholomew, one of Manhattan’s most high-profile and mysterious buildings. Aside from her best friend, Jules doesn’t have anyone who would want to visit or anywhere to go, so the job seems like a great fit.
Jules, who is broke and sleeping on her best friend’s couch, sees the apartment sitting job as a way to press reset on her life. The pay is excellent, the location is one of her dreams and the offer seems too good to be true. Maybe because it is?
As Jules learns more about the Bartholomew, she begins to discover that apartment sitters there disappear. Will she be one of them?
Francis Gleeson and Brian Stanhope, rookie cops in the NYPD, live next door to each other outside the city. It’s more than being on the job together that weaves the families together, especially Kate Gleeson and Peter Stanhope, who are born six months apart and become best friends.
Is their friendship enough to survive the tragedy that Peter’s family causes Kate’s? Is it possible that two people who seem meant to be together have the odds stacked against them from the beginning?
There they are, my favorite books of December. I hope you find something here to read and love.
This is the final post of my reading year, but, don’t worry, I’ll be back with more reviews in January.
As always, happy reading!