We’re almost ready for a new year but first, December! I’m planning to read a few Christmas novels this year. How about you?
My December Word of the Month
My December Haiku of the Month
Contentment in life
Simple pleasures will suffice
Time to be real
Bible Verse of the Month
Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, goodwill toward men!” – Luke 2:14
My December reading diary is at the bottom of this page, after the book list.
My Goodreads page: https://www.goodreads.com/lindajm
☆ – I own the book and am ready to read.
★ – I’m reading it.
✓ – I finished reading it. Yay!
⇗ – Still reading at the end of the month.
DNF – I did not like it or finish it.
∅ – Stalled – I started but didn’t finish.
↓ – I didn’t even start. Complete fail!
My Personal Challenge This Month
My December goals are to finish the 2021 PopSugar Reading Challenge, update my page on that, and to read at least one Christmas novel this year.
Getting Serious About the 2021 PopSugar Reading Challenge
I have only one month left to finish this challenge!!
Right now I’ve read 46 books out of 50 – so, 4 more to read. Here’s my Goodreads list of PopSugar Reading Challenge books.
A few book choices for this month
✓ Christian Art: Prophetic Art: A Practical Guide for Creating with the Holy Spirit, by Matt Tommey
I just started Matt Tommey’s artists mentoring program this past month. As part of that I received a copy of each of his books. I’m planning to read all of them and started with this one. I included it in my plan for 2021 PopSugar Reading Challenge prompt #31: A book by a blogger, vlogger, YouTube video creator, or other online personality.
✓ Christian Fiction: Leota’s Garden, by Francine Rivers
My current audiobook in progress. This is fiction about an elderly woman whose children have deserted and neglected her for many years. Then her granddaughter, age 18, has a falling out with her mother and decides to seek out her grandmother and get to know her. The story takes place in Oakland, California – the city I was born in! I love to read fiction based in California.
↓ Christmas Fiction: The Ghost of Christmas Past, by Rhys Bowen
This is one of the Christmas novels I’d like to read this month.
⇗ Christmas Fiction: A Redbird Christmas, by Fannie Flagg
Another Christmas novel I hope to read this month.
✓ Juvenile Fiction: Zlateh the Goat and Other Stories, by Isaac Bashevis Singer
This is for 2021 PopSugar Reading Challenge prompt #32: A book whose title starts with “Q,” “X,” or “Z”. Those are few and far between so I was thrilled to find one on the Newbery list. This is a Newbery Honor Book from 1967.
✓ Juvenile Nonfiction: The Story of Mankind, by Hendrik Willem Van Loon
This is being read for 2021 PopSugar Reading Challenge prompt #45: The book that’s been on your TBR list for the longest amount of time, because it was the first Newbery Medal winner. It won the Newbery Medal in 1922.
✓ Juvenile Fiction: Bright Island, by Mabel L. Robinson
This is a random book pick. I’m reading this for 2021 PopSugar Reading Challenge prompt #48: A book from your TBR list chosen at random. I used a random number picker to choose this from the Newbery list. It was a Newbery Honor Book in 1938.
⇗ Art: Artists’ Journals and Sketchbooks: Exploring and Creating Personal Pages, by Lynne Perrella
This is my current art book, for inspiration.
∅ Health: Thin Within, by Judy Wardell Halliday
My sister recommended this weight loss book. I actually have an older edition, not the one pictured.
My December 2021 Reading Diary
December 1 – Oh good, another month. We get to start over. I’m currently listening to an audiobook: Leota’s Garden, by Francine Rivers. It is about an old woman in her early 80’s living in Oakland, California. Her two children have neglected and avoided visiting her for years, but her 18-year-old granddaughter, a born again Christian, is interested in learning who her grandmother is. She’s also an art student. This novel intersects with my life and interests a lot. I have a daughter who has neglected and abandoned me (over 20 years now) though I do have four other children, several of whom I’m very close to. One lives only a few doors away. There’s also the artist angle in this novel – something that’s often on my mind. And then there’s Oakland… the city I was born in. I’m very familiar with it. And they are both Christians – the grandmother and her granddaughter. So, great novel. It hits close to home for me.[Later] I just started reading Zlateh the Goat and Other Stories by Isaac Bashevis Singer, a Polish Jew. There are seven short stories written for children. The first short story was wonderful – it is called “The Fool’s Paradise,” about a lazy young man who needed to be cured. Pictures are by the art master, Maurice Sendak, another Polish Jew. What an amazing artist he was! My copy of the book was bought used but it looks like it has never been read before. It came from an elementary school in Tampa, Florida. There’s an 8 on the front page so I’m thinking they had at least 8 copies of this book. Maybe many more. Well, it is in my home now, 3072 miles away, in Northern California.
December 2 – I just finished reading Prophetic Art: A Practical Guide to Creating with the Holy Spirit by Matt Tommey, and reviewed it on Goodreads. I recommend it for Christian artists.
December 12 – I’m surprised I haven’t updated this diary in ten days. This shows how preoccupied I’ve been with paperwork matters. I’m still striving in that area of my life. I finished reading Zlateh the Goat and Other Stories and am nearly done with Leota’s Garden. I’ve started reading The Story of Mankind and Bright Island, both in paperback.
December 19 – Still reading The Story of Mankind … a long history for a slow reader. Currently learning about the rise of Prussia, after crazy Swedish warmongering and Russian response in kind. Can’t believe how much barbarian behavior was involved in the development of Europe.
December 26 – I just finished reading The Story of Mankind by Hendrik Willem van Loon and I could not be more happy about it. The End. Here’s my Goodreads review. Five stars.
December 27 – Great news – I am almost finished with the 2021 PopSugar Reading Challenge. I just have 1/2 of an old 1936 children’s novel to finish before January 1… Bright Island. There’s nothing more motivating than the last minute!
December 30 – I finished reading Bright Island and finished the 2021 PopSugar Reading Challenge at the same time. That was my 50th book for the challenge this year. My intention for 2022 is not to do the PopSugar Reading Challenge at all. They’ve gone overboard with the gender dysphoria prompts, three of them, and I’ve lost interest in participating because of it. This is not something I like to read about.
December 31 – At the end of the year I’m still reading A Redbird Christmas – it is sweet and amusing. Happy New Year!