BOOKENDS: What I Read in December 2023

I made a very dedicated effort to finish off my 23 in 2023 reading list, which lead to three DNFs (The Night Ocean, The Luminaries, and A Tree Grows in Brooklyn) because they were three I was got iffy about by the middle of the year and dreaded reaching next for them (which should have been an indication at the beginning of the year! I think because I’d carried them around for years and multiple moves, I felt obligated to give them a try, but this was a lesson in letting go of something no matter how much weight (physically and metaphorically) it carried.

The rest of the reading month was great!! I giggled and kicked my feet at the three romances I opened up the month with (even if The Dead Romantics has a dose of millennial cringe in it). Cemetery Boys made me love what YA can do, Where Peace Is Lost made me want to read more science fiction in 2024 (which I strangely haven’t???), The Genesis of Misery is Pacific Rim meets Joan of Arc with all of the strangeness of kaiju and religion combined, and The Odyssey translated by Emily Wilson was so engaging and I loved her introduction at the beginning. It’s made me excited for the paperback release of her translation of The Iliad later this year that I will definitely pick up.

Overall, 2023 was a decent reading year. I focused more on what I wanted to read and requested much less from publishers overall (and getting access to Edelweiss as a bookseller helped with that immensely because I can download most upcoming titles I’m interested in or want to review without having to go through the waiting/approval thing). I also realized that I very much enjoy reading a finished product, because so much can change between the advance reader copy and the finished book.


💖 purchased/owned | 🌠 library/borrowed | 🔮 review copy | 💞 reread | 👻 dnf

💖 The Duke’s Rules of Engagement, by Jennifer Haymore
💖 The Dead Romantics, by Ashley Poston
💖 My Lady of Misrule, by Amy Rose Bennett
👻 The Night Ocean, by Paul La Farge
👻 The Luminaries, by Eleanor Catton
💖 Cemetery Boys, by Aiden Thomas
💖 Where Peace is Lost, by Valerie Valdes
👻 A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, by Betty Smith
💖 The Genesis of Misery, by Neon Yang
💖 The Odyssey, by Homer, trans. Emily Wilson

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