December Bookshelf Updates

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This is one of my favorite book months to date!  I was a huge fan of all of the books I read and I am loving all of the books I currently have my nose in too.  I’d love some of your book recommendations for the new year in the comments! 🙂

December bookshelf updates// what did I read this month? Reviews on: The Girl Who Chased the Moon, My Story by Elizabeth Smart, The Illustrated Book of Sayings, and Midnight in Austenland

This is the rating system I am going to use from Goodreads; you’re welcome to add me by clicking here.


The Girl Who Chased the Moon  by Sarah Addison Allen// 3 stars

Emily Benedict comes to the small town her mother left after she passed to live with the grandfather she never met.  She finds the town is very odd as the intense story weaves throughout the fast page turner.  I am a sucker for small town southern novels, romances, and fantasy.  Somehow, this book seemed to be able to merge all of those categories into one book.  The book is told from an alternating main character’s view which I always enjoy reading and has very strong back stories that are woven throughout.  The characters are very likable and the characters were unique.  However, I raised my eyebrows at some of the fantasy elements because they were just odd and a little overly dramatic.  There are a few scenes in this book that were easily skipped due to detailed sexual content and topics like abortion and cutting popped up making this book recommended only for books.


My Story by Elizabeth Smart // 5 stars

14-year-old Elizabeth Smart was abducted by Brian David Mitchell and his wife in 2002.  I remember vividly watching the news reports from this as a child and admired Elizabeth from afar when I would see her on campus at BYU; what I always found amazing was what a happy and normal life she had.  After reading the book, despite how sad and traumatic so much of the book is, Elizabeth shows a remarkable hope, resilience, and strength that is unmatchable.  Elizabeth is really just an amazing person;  I think we all can be inspired by how Elizabeth turns undoubtedly the hugest trial of her life into a launching point for her advocacy for children.  While the topic of this book is extremely heavy, I think it is one that can really inspire you to be more grateful for your life and appreciate what you have.


*The Illustrated Book of Sayings: Curious Expressions from Around the World by Ella Frances Sanders // 5 stars

I have been looking for a good coffee table book that would be both interesting and broadly applicable to a wide variety of people who would pick it up.  As a linguistics nerd, I loved the idea of having a book that has illustrated idioms from over 150 languages.  I thought I would enjoy this book, but I didn’t imagine I would love it as much as I did.  This book is absolutely darling and everyone who has picked it up has spent quite a bit of time looking at the beautiful illustrations, the descriptions of the idioms from different languages, and it has always led to funny conversations about the odd things people say.  I am a huge fan of this book and would gladly give this to a fellow word nerd for a present.  This would be a great gift for a friend or loved one who has any of the interests listed above.  However, I’ve found that most people who have picked it up have been equally entranced.  


Midnight in Austenland by Shannon Hale// 5 stars

Jane is a recent divorcee who is grappling with sacrifices she made for her family and being able to take care of herself.  She books a vacation to Austenland to give herself a reboot, but finds herself in a mystery that only she is smart enough to completely crack.

Shannon Hale is one of my favorite authors because her books vary widely enough that I can read her books back to back without feeling that I am reading the same book.  Midnight in Austenland is equally witty and page turning as the prequel Austenland.  Although reading the prequel makes this book more enjoyable as there are definitely references to the first book that make reading very enjoyable, it isn’t required to fully enjoy this book.


 What is a bookshelf update you have made recently?

  • That book of expressions sounds so cool! I will definitely have to check it out.

    • It is such a cute one!! I enjoy it so much and everyone who has seen it has picked it up and loved it too.

  • That book of expressions sounds so cool! I will definitely have to check it out.

  • I LOOOOVED My Story!

    • I loved it too, but it was kind of like reading a book about the Holocaust. You read it to learn, and you do, but it is as depressing as it is something you learn from haha.

  • I LOOOOVED My Story!

    • I loved it too, but it was kind of like reading a book about the Holocaust. You read it to learn, and you do, but it is as depressing as it is something you learn from haha.