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Winter Reads 2020

My reading goal for 2020 was to complete 30 books. I am happy to say that I crushed it and finished 37! Below are the 7 books that I read during these last three months of 2020.

Finding Freedom: Harry and Meghan and the Making of a Modern Royal Family- by Omid Scobie and Carolyn Durand: I typically only read fiction, and I am not a huge royals fan or follower. However, I was very intrigued when this book was published, and my new found obsession with The Crown lead me to a quick click on Amazon. The book had mixed reviews when it came out, and I would have to agree that my feelings on the book are mixed as well. I enjoyed most of the story, with the behind the scenes scoop on how Harry and Meghan met, and their love story, being very touching to read. The book also goes into some more of the heartbreaking parts of their lives, that really make you feel for anyone in the public eye. You get a great understanding on what they go through and how the media has really affected their lives. That being said, you can clearly tell that the book was written to shed a very positive light on Meghan and Harry. I would love to believe that everything that was written is all true and that they are truly wonderful people, but you can tell there is a bias towards them in the writing. Worth the read, but take it all with a grain of salt.

Clandlands: Whisky, Warfare, and a Scottish Adventure Like No Other- by Sam Heughan and Graham McTavish: Watching Outlander, correction binging Outlander, got me through the first few months of quarantining solo in Chicago. To say that I am obsessed with the show, the books, and the leading character, is an understatement. So when this duo came out with a book, based on their time filming their upcoming documentary, I quickly pre-ordered it. The book was full of witty banter between Sam and Graham, while they explored the Scottish Highlands, diving into its rich history. I really enjoyed the book and it was surprisingly an easy read. Every few pages/chapters, the book would switch between Graham and Sam telling their side of the story. I truly cannot wait to return to Scotland and explore more of the beautiful country. Bonus points if I run into Sam!

In a Holidaze- by Christina Lauren: I read this book in 48 hours. It would have been completed in less time, but there is this little thing called work that got in the way of my finishing it in one sitting. It is the perfect, easy, holiday chick lit! Mae and her family, along with her parent's best friends from college and their families, spend every holiday together in the perfect snowy cabin in Utah. Things are going well until Mae is torn between two brothers, and mistakenly (thanks to the eggnog) picks the wrong one. Upon leaving the cabin after the holidays, Mae is devastated and begs for the universe to give her a sign. She is then transported back to day one of her vacation, over and over again, being stuck in a holidaze (aka Groundhogs Day). During each trip back into time, Mae attempts different things, in hopes of putting an end to these weird time lapse. The book is full of nostalgia, holiday cheer, comedy and it would not be a Christina Lauren novel without a bit of romance. This is my second book by Christina Lauren (I read The Unhoneymooners and loved it), and I cannot wait to read even more!

Pieces of Her- by Karin Slaughter: It has been a little while since I read Thriller, so I opted to pick up this book (which had physically been in my to be read pile for over a year) and it did not disappoint! While I typically get annoyed at books with multiple timelines, the story lines in Pieces of Her were easy to follow in the two different decades they took place in. The characters from both story lines were somehow intertwined, but it wasn't as easy to figure it out as I expected. Murder, cover up, a (wo)man on the run, and a little bit of a whodunit, all wrapped into one very interesting thriller. I have read another Karin Slaughter in the past, and The Good Daughter, is another book that I would recommend. The best news, Netflix is developing Pieces of Her into a series! Here is to hoping the show is as good as the book!

Untamed- by Glennon Doyle: #1 New York Times Bestseller and one of Reese's Hello Sunshine picks, this book was selected as our final book of our 2020 book club and it could not have been a more perfect book to end our year on. I have not read a biography in ages, but I am so glad that I read this one! There were so many parts of the book that I loved, as evidence in the multiple dog eared pages, where what Glennon was saying really just struck chord in me. The book hits on so many wonderful topics, that are just so relatable as a woman in today's society, I truly cannot recommend it enough. I also cannot wait until book club next week to discuss how everyone felt about it. 5 stars! Pick up this book ASAP.

Mistletoe and Mr. Right by Sarah Morgenthaler: This book is actually the second in a series, with The Tourist Attraction, being the first, which I read earlier in the year. In the small town of Moose Springs, Alaska, a pool hall owner, falls for the wealthy property development businesswoman, who now owns most of the town, including his business where he is behind on the rent. To make matters worse, there is a moose on the loose, destroying Christmas decorations all around town. A cute, yet cheesy novel, takes you on the journey of the town's hatred towards the company that now owns all of their land, with a bit of romance and moose catching sprinkled in. An easy holiday read. And who am I kidding, I will likely read the third installment once it is released in 2021.

My Favorite Half-Night Stand by Christina Lauren : After finishing In A Holidaze earlier this month, I quickly ordered another Christina Lauren to end my year on. Always an easy read, books by this dual author are quick reads, fun, and most certainly always have few steamy sex scene. While My Favorite Half-Night Stand didn't disappoint, for some reason I just didn't love it as much as others by Christina Lauren. Don't get me wrong, it is a super cute story! In a group of best friends, the only woman Ellie, gets a ride home from her bestie Reid, where things escalate- hence the half-night stand. At the same time, the group of friends all join the same dating app, where you guessed it Reid matches with Ellie. However, Ellie's profile is a bit of an alter ego, and Reid is unaware that he has been chatting with his bestie. Will he ever find out Ellie has been catfishing him? Will the two friends become more than friends? You have to read it to find out.



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