book report: december 2018 + christmas at hogwarts reading challenge

GOAL PROGRESS: 57/50

We’ve reached the final book report post of 2018 and I’m excited to say that I surpassed my fifty books goal by reading 57 books total this year. That means I need to up my game next year by aiming to read 70 books. I’ve been doing the 50 books challenge for the past few years, so I definitely think it’s time to stretch myself a little more.

At the start of next year, I’m going to share my top ten books that I read in 2018 but for now, let’s get into what I read this December:

Factfulness by Hans Rosling
You will definitely see this on my best books of the year list because I think it may have actually been the best book of the year and one of the best books I’ve ever read in general. You have to read this book. It’s all about how wrong our negative world views are and how the media skews data to make the world seem much worse than it is. Furthermore, it will make you recognize how blessed you are and how extravagant most of our lifestyles are compared to many others in the world.

The other four books I read this month were part of the Christmas at Hogwarts Reading Challenge. In the new year, i’d definitely like to keep doing these themed challenges because they really are a lot of fun. I followed the map below to chart out what I read.

One Day in December by Josie Silver
This was my first Book of the Month book and I had to get this one because the cover was so cozy and beautiful. I actually wasn’t sure of the book at first when I started reading it, but then I got hooked and probably read 3/4 of it in one day because it ended up being really cute. It’s the story of a girl named Laurie who locks eyes with a guy on the street through the bus window and has an instant connection only to find out months later that he’s her best friend’s new boyfriend. The story spans several years after that and it’s really the perfect cozy winter love story.

Christmas at Hogwarts Reading Challenge

Finish Your Coursework - Homebody by Joanna Gaines
INSTRUCTIONS: Finish your current read.

I absolutely loved Joanna’s new home design book. Obviously, all of her design work is stunning but what I appreciated most was the layout of the book and her organized approach to combining styles to find your own personal style. I always thought my interior design style was Traditional-Modern-Bohemian, but it was made very clear by this book that I’m definitely Traditional-Modern-Rustic. I got so many ideas from this book and if you’re in need of some home design inspiration, definitely check this one out.

Visit the Three Broomsticks for Mulled Pixie Wine - The Little Book of Lykke by Meik Wiking
INSTRUCTIONS: A book that should only take you a day/evening.

I read The Little Book of Hygge a few years ago when it came out and then again this year before gifting it to a friend, but this year I finally got ahold of The Little Book of Lykke was even more interesting! While Hygge was all about how the Danes stay cozy, Lykke is about the ways Denmark has set up their public society to enhance the happiness of its citizens and ways that other countries do similar things. It was so good and honestly made me want to pick up and move to Denmark.

Exchange presents in the Common Room - Heart Talk by Cleo Wade
INSTRUCTIONS: Book featuring friends or friendship.

This maybe wasn’t conventionally a ‘story’ about friendship as it’s a book of poetry and thoughts from Cleo Wade but it really feels like it’s written by a friend for a friend and it’s all about self-love and positivity, so I think it counts. This is a book you need to buy a physical copy of to put on your table and read daily.

Fly around snowy Hogwarts grounds - Seven Days of Us by Francesca Hornak
INSTRUCTIONS: Book with a building on the cover.

I really liked this one! It’s such a good story for the Christmas season, too. This is all about a family who are quarantined for the week of Christmas at their country estate in England because the eldest daughter has just returned from treating contagious patients in Liberia. Over the course of the seven days of quarantine, secrets come out and drama ensues. Although most of the characters were fairly unlikable (save for Jesse), I still really enjoyed seeing what happened to them over the course of the story. My only complaint is that I’m really tired of books that subtly shame women who choose their careers over traditional concepts of marriage and family. Can we stop doing that all the time?

Attend the Christmas feast -
INSTRUCTIONS: Watch a Harry Potter movie.

I’ve, of course, seen all of the Harry Potter movies many, many, many times but I have tickets to the studio tour in London this spring so I wanted to see them all yet another time, in order to get ready! We watched The Sorcerer’s Stone, which I actually hadn’t seen in awhile (meaning like a year maybe lol), and for some reason, this time around was really magical. It was like seeing it again for the first time, so I’m glad we did it.