December Reads

Month Count: 1.5 texts, 0.5 audiobook, 2 total
Year to Date: 54 texts (2020 updated goal – 50), 17 audiobooks, 71 total

Goodreads profile HERE!

Bookstagram profile HERE!

Catch up on Jan/Feb reads here, March reads here, and April reads here, May reads here, June reads here, July reads here, August reads here, September reads here, October reads here, and November reads here.

Alrighty, not really a doozy here, probably my slowest month for reading since January or February, but I knew that going into the month. With crazy work schedules for end of year, and the holidays I really didn’t want to put pressure on myself to try and read a gamut of books. My only goal was to finish Barack Obama’s A Promised Land.

Well, my final book of 2020. I have to say I wanted to love this more than I really did. But honestly, I found so much of it to be policy-centric and political jargon that it was hard to keep motivated. It turns out, that was a HEFTY goal and half way through the month I realized I was not only going to need some help getting through it, I was also going to need a reprieve. I downloaded the Audible version and switched between that and the text to make it through.

Don’t get me wrong, it was enlightening to have an inside peek at the presidency. I never thought Obama took it lightly, and I certainly appreciate hearing from a POTUS who was torn with balancing parenting and partnership with his wife, and the never-ending drama of leading one of the most powerful countries in the world. I loved the moments where he reflected on time with family and questions his daughters, so young at the start of his presidency, had for him.

I did not know going into it that this was one of a two-part series and couldn’t figure out how we were STILL reading about the recession and mid-term election drama 24 out of 27 chapters in!!! I finally took the time to look it up and adjusted my expectations. It was never hard to follow, so there’s that, but sections get pretty dry. Like Sahara Desert dry. Like, trying to eat saltines with cotton mouth, dry. Specifically, for me anyway, far too much info on the recession, the backstory behind the bailouts, the controversy of ACA. It started to feel like he was making a case why it was his mess to clean up, but not his fault. In fact, there were a couple of sections that I disliked for similar reasons… this wasn’t my mess to begin with, but I’ll be the one that cleans it up and probably still get blamed for it. Or well, here’s what I tried to do, but partisanship be damned and we’re too close to an election to do anything about it.

Some parts, I really did love! The fight to repeal Don’t Ask Don’t Tell… The drive for LGBTQ+ community equality efforts… How close they got to the DREAMERS act for undocumented immigrants… And when he basically hunted down the alliance of Premier Wen of China, Prime Minister Singh (India), and Presidents Lula da Silva (Brazil) and Zuma (South Africa) to confront them on their ducking him at the climate change summit in Copenhagen. He caught them off guard, called them out on dirty political-media antics and “on one of the biggest stages, on an issue that mattered and with the click ticking…pulled a rabbit out of a hat”.

It gave me a rare appreciation for the complicated tenacity Barack Obama has had to have to make his career what it was. It really – and I mean REALLY – sheds a light on how complicated the presidency is. A gifted writer, someone who enjoys policy and politics might be more drawn to this than the average person.

Layla by Colleen Hoover was a new, December 2020 release that I had been anticipating thanks to the buzz on Instagram’s bookstagram community. I’ve fallen in love with Colleen Hoover this year, and have devoured several of her books, starting with Verity as a quick 2020 favorite. She takes on a new genre in this book, exploring the paranormal capacity and it took me a little bit of pep-talking to keep reading once I realized it.

In true CoHo style, she hooks you so quickly with a head over heels connection between Leeds and Layla, the main characters. She also grips your heart strings with a devastating tragedy that puts their love to the test. The book flip flops seamlessly between flashbacks and present day drama, until those two plot lines converge and things really get crazy!

It wasn’t my favorite CoHo, but I trusted her writing, enjoyed the push out of my comfort zone, and would recommend it with a caveat that it varies from her traditional writing slightly enough to test you.

Well that’s it for 2020! I’ve already dabbled in my 2021 reading goals and will announce my January hopefuls on my @Beers_AndBooks IG tomorrow! Thanks for following along this year, and let me know what your favorites were!

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