My Month in Books: December 2022

The Hobbit by J.R.R Tolkein

Sometimes when the world gets a little bit busy and all feels a bit too much, you just want to curl up in a cosy little Hobbit hole and enjoy the comforting familiarity of a world you know well. The run-up to Christmas always feels like the perfect time to revisit Middle Earth and The Hobbit never gets old. If you haven’t already followed Bilbo Baggins on his big adventure with the company of Thorin Oakenshield to defeat the dragon Smaug and reclaim the lost treasure under the Lonely Mountain, I advise that you rectify this immediately. Bilbo is such a loveable character, just a hobbit who loves the comforts of home doing his best to get by in a world filled with wizards, trolls, goblins and dragons and you can’t help but root for him every step of the way. I could never choose favourites out of Tolkien’s works, but The Hobbit will always have a special place in my heart as my ultimate comfort read.

Carrie Soto Is Back by Taylor Jenkins Reid

Taylor Jenkins Reid is so good at writing immensely readable novels and Carrie Soto is Back is no exception. The novel centres around the titular Carrie Soto, one of the greatest female tennis players the world has ever seen as she comes out of retirement to reclaim her record number of grand slam victories. This novel deals with heavy themes such as the cost of greatness, misogyny in sport and complex parent-child relationships, but Jenkins Reid handles them with such a light touch that the book never becomes weighed down and remains a highly entertaining read. While this novel definitely wasn’t earth-shattering and the plot was often quite predictable, it was still and engrossing read and I would highly recommend it for anyone looking to break a reading slump.

The Obelisk Gate by N.K. Jemisin

Just when I thought N.K. Jemison couldn’t ruin me any more than she already has, she hits me with this. This is the second book in the Broken Earth trilogy and picks up more or less exactly where The Fifth Season left off, with Essun in Castrima, working with Alabaster to understand the origins of the cataclysmic events that kicked off not just this Season but all of the ones that proceeded it and how she can potentially harness the power of the obelisks to save the human race. These sections were immersive and gripping but felt mostly like set up for the final novel in the trilogy. The sections that really pulled me in were the chapters from the perspective of Nassun and Schaffa. It was fascinating to get outside of Essun’s viewpoint and start to understand who Nassun really is and how she has been developing as a person since the start of the Season as well as the impact that Essun’s trauma has had on every member of her family. I cannot wait to see what the reunion between mother and daughter eventually looks like. I don’t know what is coming in The Stone Sky but I am ready to be an emotional wreck by the end of it.

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