Every December I look back on my year in books and realize that even though I met my goal for the amount of books I read, I didn’t necessarily reach my goal of certain books – or types of books – that I wanted to read. Maybe you are the same. Maybe you spent untold numbers of hours in the bowels of Kindle Unlimited, but you never got past the dust jacket flap on Ronan Farrow’s book. Maybe you re-read all of Jane Austen, but you didn’t pick up a single new release from the adult fiction section (you have NO IDEA who The Immortalists are, you failure!). Maybe you read a ton of best-sellers, but you didn’t do that deep dive into 70s genre fiction that you wanted to do, and now you can’t participate in the comparative study on elven lore in epic quest series of the mid-20th century. (Just me?)
Whatever your reading experience this year, if you are an avid reader, December can sometimes make you feel like a loser. We reading types give ourselves impossible standards to achieve. We want to READ ALL THE THINGS! And know all the details of all the things as well (RE-READS)! And have erudite conversations about the literary canon (OBSESSIVE FANDOM READING)! No one reader can consume it all.
That is why I usually take December off. Oh, I read. But I put absolutely no pressure on myself to read any one book for any reason other than my absolute comfort in picking it up. After all, cold weather is the worst and if I have to be miserable even in fleece leggings, I might has well be enjoying what I’m putting into my eyeballs. If the book doesn’t make me want to curl up with a cup of tea and a weighted blanket next to some twinkly lights, it can f*ck off til the New Year.
My Comfort Reads This December
I started this book the day it came out in 2012. I had really enjoyed Discovery of Witches, and a bunch of us from “book club” (what we called our Twilight fandom friends) were excited for the sequel. I couldn’t get into it. I marked it “Did Not Finish” at about 20% of the way through.
Thanks to the production of the Discovery of Witches show, my interest in the series was renewed. I started re-reading the first one last month, and immediately picked up Shadow of Night afterward. I’ve gotten quite a bit farther this time around; I’m at about 60% through. I’m excited to see where everything is headed. And now that my Twilight fanfiction years are quite a bit behind me, I can leave the similarities and familiarities behind and appreciate this book series for what it is.
In other words, I’m in a different place reading this now than I was in 2012, and that means I can read it comfortably. I don’t feel like I have to compare it to anything else. I don’t have a timetable to beat. I’m not trying to parse every mystery. I can just enjoy it. It’s a comfort.
Our girls Christina Lauren have a brand new book out this week, and it’s SO adorable and perfect. I read My Favorite Half-Night Stand back in October and fell in love with Millie and her group of dorky dudes and their text threads. This is another great contemporary romance from the queens of perfect contemporary romances.
Christina Lauren books are always on the list of late-year comfort reading. It’s no surprise as their Twilight fanfic used to be the TOP of my comfort fic reading as well. (Sometimes it still is). I’ve re-read Beautiful Player and Dirty Rowdy Thing and Sweet Filthy Boy and Josh and Hazel more than I care to admit. These characters feel real to me, and reading them again is so.much.fun.
So, between chapters of Shadow of Night, I will pull out my copy of Half Night Stand and laugh my ass off, snuggle with my yorkie and probably finish the book when I should have been making dinner. And I will regret nothing.
I feel absolutely NO SHAME in being the last person on the face of Planet Romancelandia to have never read The Bridgertons series by Julia Quinn. All that means is that I get to spend my last weeks of the hellscape that is 2018 enjoying a veritable MOUNTAIN of amazing regency romance. The Bridgertons is apparently one of the greatest romance series of the modern era, and I have never read a single one. I’m going to start with The Duke and I, and then I am going to while away the long, dark days of December curling up with every earl and viscount Julia Quinn has ever come up with. Does this decision have anything to do with Queen of TV, Shonda Rhimes, developing this series for Netflix? Of course it does. Historical romance is finally coming to our streaming services and you expect me not to know everything there is to know about it before it airs? I cannot WAIT.