Favourite Read of the Month: December 2019

During December, I read a combination of library books as well as some books I own. The library books were books I had put on hold as I had seen recommendations on Instagram.

The other novels I read were ones that I had at home. Three of them I chose because they were Christmas-themed and I felt they would put me in the mood for the Holidays.

My total for the month was 7 novels. Even though I was on break for the last week of December, going on a family vacation meant that I did not do too much reading and instead spent the time with my family. Below is the list of books that I read. To read my reviews (if you haven’t already), click on the title and you will be able to visit my post:

  1. Joanna Goodman The Home for Unwanted Girls – Historical Fiction ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ stars
  2. Sarah Morgan A Wedding in December – Romance, Women’s Fiction ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ stars
  3. Sarah Smith Faker – Romance, Women’s Fiction ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ stars
  4. Melissa de la Cruz Pride, Prejudice and Mistletoe – Romance, Women’s Fiction ⭐️⭐️ stars
  5. Kristen Rockaway How To Hack A Heartbreak – Romance, Women’s Fiction ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ stars
  6. Karen Swan The Christmas Secret – Romance, Women’s Fiction ⭐️⭐️⭐️ stars
  7. C. J. Tudor The Taking of Annie Thorne – Thriller, Mystery, Horror ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ stars

Even though I read a number of enjoyable novels in December, the one that stood out for me was C. J. Tudor’s novel The Taking of Annie Thorne. Not only was the story perfectly paced, but the writing was spot on. I was really impressed.

I hope you enjoyed a number of novels in December. What was your favourite read? Share your choice, or the link to your post, in the comments below.

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2020

Guiding Lights

Natural light leaves quickly in the Dominican Republic! On one of our first beach walks, my husband and I were caught unawares and needed to make our way back to our room in the dark. Luckily the way back from the beach was beautifully lit.

The night lights give the resort a different feel and added another dimension to our explorations.

Do you enjoy walking at night while on vacation?

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2020

(This post is linked to Becky’s Square Challenge. In the spirit of the New Year, why not join in the challenge and share some square photos featuring light.)

CityLights

As the sun sets on the city, natural light vies for attention with man-made light.

During the winter, I often notice the earlier setting sun as I move between evening chores. During that in-between moment, I find the city-lights to look almost beautiful.

Do you often notice the lighting at twilight?

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2020

(This post is linked to Becky’s Square Challenge. In the spirit of the New Year, why not join in the challenge and share some square photos featuring light.)

Christmas Tree Glory

The resort we stayed at in the Dominican Republic featured a beautiful Christmas tree in the lobby of each hotel.

I loved the vibrant red that had been placed on the tree as well as the glittery decorations.

At night time, though, the tree’s glory really shone through.

I could never have a Christmas tree like this at home as we do not have the space. So every time we passed the lobby or entered in the space, I enjoyed the tree’s beauty.

I saw this tree most often as it stood in the lobby of the hotel I stayed at. I did have the chance to see many other decorated trees around the resort but this was the one I saw the most.

Do you prefer the tree lighted or unlighted?

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2019

(This post is linked to Becky’s Square Challenge. In the spirit of the New Year, why not join in the challenge and share some square photos featuring light.)

First Read of 2020

For my first read of 2020, I chose a Young Adult Fantasy novel by Courtney Alameda and Valynne E. Maetani titled Seven Deadly Shadows. The story is set in Japan and embraces Japanese mythology. I am loving the story and the snapshot of a culture that is so different to what I know and experience every day.

Yesterday I met up with a friend and while travelling on the public transit, I took the opportunity to delve a little into the world of yokai, kitsanes, and shinigamis.

My first read of 2020 is a perfect fit for me and hope that Seven Deadly Shadows will be the first of many good stories I enjoy this year.

What is your first read of 2020?

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2020

Angels on High

When at the resort last week, I admired some of the Christmas decorations that had been put up. I much preferred the more delicate and more ornate ones to the tacky Santa Clause and Christmas tree blowups that sprinkled the resort.

I loved the angels set in the garden of our hotel lobby. During the day, the frames were nothing special to look at, but at night their light shone brightly.

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2020

(This post is linked to Becky’s Square Challenge. In the spirit of the New Year, why not join in the challenge and share some square photos featuring light.)

This Time Last Week

Sun. Sand. Sea.

This time last week my family and I were on a beach vacation in the Dominican Republic. For the last few years now, my husband has wanted to spend the Christmas period in the sun at a resort. This year we decided to agree with his wish and chose to go to the hotel we had chosen to celebrate our wedding anniversary.

I loved being back at the beach. I missed the warm sand and roaring sea so much yesterday as I was walking the cold, streets of the city yesterday.

What were you doing this time last week?

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2020

(This post is linked to Linda Hill’s #JustJotJan challenge.)

Journaling in the New Year

One of the things I plan to do in the New Year is to spend some time with my daughters each week preparing our bullet journals. I have tried bullet journaling for one month now and I find that I enjoy the creativity of it. The bonus, for me, is that I get to spend time with my girls. Now that they are older, we no longer work around the table in the afternoons. Doing this activity with them remedies that and I get to have a chance to chat with them on what is happening in their personal lives.

Today on the first day of 2020, we spent time setting up our journals for the month. It was a perfect way to bring in the New Year.

What did you do (or plan to do) on the first day of January?

© Colline Kook-Chun, 20120

(This post is linked to Linda Hill’s #JustJotJan challenge.)

New Year's Light

I cannot believe that it is the start of a New Year – and a new decade! No longer do I celebrate the New Year with parties and fireworks. Instead, I welcome it with a gentle light and the anticipation of new experiences.

I wish you, my readers, a wonderful 2020. May it be filled with light and wonderful experiences.

Happy New Year!

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2020

(This post is linked to Becky’s Square Challenge. In the spirit of the New Year, why not join in the challenge and share some square photos featuring light.)

Book Review: The Taking of Annie Thorne by C. J. Tudor

While vacationing in the Dominican Republic, I picked up one of the novels in the resort’s library – The Taking of Annie Thorne by C. J. Tudor.

Genre: Thriller, Mystery, Horror

Blurb:

One night, Annie went missing. Disappeared from her own bed. There were searches, appeals. Everyone thought the worst. And then, miraculously, after forty-eight hours, she came back. But she couldn’t, or wouldn’t, say what had happened to her. Something happened to my sister. I can’t explain what. I just know that when she came back, she wasn’t the same. She wasn’t my Annie. I didn’t want to admit, even to myself, that sometimes I was scared to death of my own little sister.

My thoughts:

When I picked up C. J. Tudor’s novel, I expected to read a thriller. A couple of chapters in, I came across a scene that reminded me a lot of Stephen King’s work. It had been a long time since I had read horror and I settled in to enjoy the story. It was not the perfect time of year to read this type of story but I had not brought any other book with me on my vacation.

Right from the start, Tudor’s writing drew me in and impressed me. I enjoyed reading the way she put words together as well as her observations of human nature and society. The story is also perfectly paced and kept me wanting to read despite the many distractions I encountered while on vacation. Despite being inspired by Stephen King, C. J. Tudor has her own voice. Her characterisation is strong, her description of human nature spot-on, her storyline believable.

If you are a fan of horror fiction and of Stephen King, you need to read The Taking of Anne Thorne. The story is chilling and compelling. It grabs your imagination and pushes you through to the basis of human nature. I am now a fan and look forward to reading both her debut novel as well as her next.

I give this novel ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ 5 stars

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2019

(This novel was the 116th in my book pledge for 2019)