Read it in… December & Some Stats


Holy crap! It’s been a whole year since I dusted this blog off and also started logging books on Goodreads again. I thought it would be fun to go through some of my 2016 bookshelf stats before diving into what I read in the last month of the year.

2016 Books | Perks of Being a JAP |

  • Total books read – 79
  • Books I couldn’t force myself to finish – 8
  • Longest book read – 556 pages (Push Not the River)
  • Shortest book read – 113 pages (Petite Confessions)
  • Most amount books read in a month – 9 (June)
  • Least amount of books read in a month – 4 (May & August)
  • 5-star ratings – 31
  • 4-star ratings – 29
  • 3-star ratings – 13
  • 2-star ratings – 5
  • 1-star ratings – 1

In the end, I was one book short of my Goodreads reading challenge, but with 79 books under my belt, I’m pretty satisfied.

In December I read:

What I Read in December | Perks of Being a JAP |

The Wedding Shop by Rachel Hauck. I previously read The Wedding Dress by Rachel Hauck which I LOVED and I wasn’t surprised when I also LOVED The Wedding Shop. This book isn’t considered a sequel but it does tie into to the first book and brings characters from that story over to this one. Much like the first book, The Wedding Shop bops back and forth between present day and the past and intertwines the stories together. The main character Haley comes back to her hometown after her tenure in the Air Force is over and decides to reopen the town wedding shop that she and her now deceased best friend promised each other to open together. She relies a lot on faith and her best (male) friend to get the shop opened and goes from thinking it’s impossible, to realizing that it is feasible, with a little help from the previous shop owner (the past tense story heroine.) Overall Rating 5 out of 5.

Scrappy Little Nobody by Anna Kendrick. I freaking love Anna Kendrick. She is one of my favorite actresses and when her book came out I grabbed it in hardcover instead of kindle – much like the Harry Potter series I just wanted to own the actual book! I love how she details how she got started in the business (first on Broadway) and how even with an Oscar nomination she was still living in a gross apartment with a roommate. She’s so down to earth and honest about who she is in comparison to the characters she plays. I also appreciated that this wasn’t all humorous stories, just different snippets of her life and things that happened to her to make her who she is today. And how ridiculous she knows some celebrity things are. Overall Rating 5 out of 5.

The Leftovers by Tom Perrotta. Dave and I are big fans of this show and I snagged the book during a kindle sale. To give a simple summation, The Leftovers takes place in the town of Mapletown after a global, rapture-like event has taken place. People all over the world just up and disappeared at the exact same moment on October 14. Called the “Sudden Departure”, people from infants to the elderly vanished, breaking apart families and essentially destroying lives, even if a family was left intact. I enjoyed the book as it varied slightly from the television show’s storyline but felt that it droned on a bit in points. I also felt like the characters on the show came across as much more conflicted and messed up than in the novel, so kudos to the actors for that (and for Justin Theroux, because he is HOT.) Overall Rating 4 out of 5.

Everything We Keep by Kerry Lonsdale. Aimee, the main character, has to deal with the aftermath of realizing that the life she had planned out for herself is no longer after her fiance/childhood sweetheart goes missing and his body is found in Mexico. As she starts to put her life together she realizes through some twists and turns that maybe everything isn’t as it seems and the life she planned for herself wasn’t the happily ever after she imagined. I LOVED this book, it was a great, fast read and left off with such a cliff hanger that I immediately googled if a sequel was coming – AND IT IS! Can’t wait. Overall Rating 5 out of 5.

Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng. This book had been on my list for awhile and I snagged it during an Amazon Kindle sale for like, $5. The favorite middle child of a Chinese-American family in the 1970s is found dead and the family is left to put the pieces back together. Slowly, over time, they realize that Lydia – the daughter – was the piece holding them together and they have to try and become a family without her. It was also interesting to see how Chinese Americans were treated in the 1970s (even in a work of fiction) and how one little girl tries her hardest to keep her family together with a devastating result in the end. Overall Rating 4 out of 5.

The Bookseller by Cynthia Swanson. At first, this book reminded me of Valley of the Moon with the main character flitting between two worlds. However, in The Bookseller, Kitty’s other world is one she visits only when she is dreaming. This book had a great twist and also a glimpse into how lives differed in the 1960s. It was very Sliding Doors-esque. What happens when you choose one path in life vs another. Overall Rating 4 out of 5.

The Roanoke Girls by Amy Engel. I was able to read this book before its release in March through NetGalley and I am SO GLAD I got access to it. This book is such a page-turner and while I want to say the book is awesome (which is it) it’s got some gross subject matter that makes me not want to put the word awesome in the same sentence as it. But I LOVED it. The author has a great way about how she reveals plot twists that just slips them in there, making you read the sentence two or three times before you realize what you just read. Great book. Effed up, but great book. Overall Rating 5 out of 5.

The Nazi Officer’s Wife: How One Jewish Woman Survived the Holocaust by Edith Hahn Beer. While she wasn’t sent to a concentration camp, Edith Hahn Beer is a survivor of the Holocaust all the same. She shares her story of how she escaped a work (slave) program, shedding her Jewish star from her coat, eventually to wind up marrying a Nazi soldier who wanted to marry her even after she told him she was Jewish. She took over a friend’s identity and lived years as a meek housewife and nurse before the war was over. I rarely see books about survival without the subject/author having been in a concentration camp – this was a new take on the atrocities people witnessed and different ways of survival. While it was an interesting story at points it ran dry and I found myself skipping over pages of material. Overall Rating 3 out of 5.

Honorable Mention – (Books that I started and could not finish.)

The Happiness Effect: How Social Media is Driving a Generation to Appear Perfect at Any Cost by Donna Freitas. I have to give this book an honorable mention because it is taking me MONTHS to read but it’s really interesting subject matter. It’s just such dense reading that I have to put it down now and then, but I find the interviews with all of the college students (the subject matter) fascinating.

Breaking Busy: How to Find Peace and Purpose in a World of Crazy by Alli Worthington. I, unfortunately, did not read the description of this book well before adding it to my queue. What I thought would be a great self-help book about making better use of my time and not relishing on being busy was just that… but with a Christian message spread throughout. There’s nothing wrong with that, but as a non-Christian and someone who wasn’t expecting that in this book, it just wasn’t for me.

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  1. I loved Everything We Keep too! I am going to be reading the Roanoke Girls soon too. People think I read a lot – you read way more than I do!
    Dara recently posted…Lee Stafford CHoPstick Curler Review + GiveawayMy Profile

  2. Wow, 79 books is awesome! My goal for last year was 40, but I only made it to 30. I’m a slow reader and tend to only read right before bed which means that most of the time I fall asleep before I get much read. I also pushed through some books this year that I really wanted to finish when I would normally have abandoned them to read something more exciting or a quicker read. Some of my favorites this year were The Nightingale, When Breath Becomes Air and A Man Called Ove.

  3. Woot woot!

    Feisty Harriet recently posted…Financial Detox: January Spending FreezeMy Profile

  4. I want to pick up Anna Kendrick’s book and your review just sold me on it! I just love her!
    Shannon recently posted…2017: Year of The Goal Getter!My Profile

  5. My books in 2016 were WAY less than 2015, but I think 2017 will be better because I’ve started doing audiobooks too! I listened to Anna Kendrick’s book on audiotape (narrated by her) and I loved it. I used to think audiobooks were a copout, but now I’m hooked, even though I’ve only ever listened thus far to non-fiction narrated by the author. I’m not sure how I’d enjoy fiction on audio, vs. reading.
    Aubrey recently posted…Jeff Ruby’s Steakhouse NashvilleMy Profile

  6. Wow, I am so amazed at all you guys who manage to read so many books each year. I am desperately trying to make more time for books, but I have so many competing interests that I always struggle with making reading the top priority.

    Thanks for all the suggestions though. I will add some to my “want to read” list 🙂
    San recently posted…A year in review: 2016My Profile

  7. Hey, one book under your goal isn’t too bad! I’d say that’s basically meeting your goal!
    Colleen recently posted…Color Story: Alaskan Dog SleddingMy Profile

  8. Nice job on the Reading Challenge! Also, I can’t wait for the 3rd (and final) season of The Leftovers. I plan to read the book once it ends. Even if I’m kind of bummed that the show can’t continue on forever. 🙂
    Melinda recently posted…A Year of Running: 2016 Best/Worst RecapMy Profile


  1. […] – this is the sequel to Everything We Keep which was an AMAZING book. I reviewed it here. EWLB picks up from James/Carlos’ POV and when he wakes up from his fugue. I loved how the […]


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