December: the list

On the first day of the year, I laid out my 2018 reading goalsHere’s what’s on the list for December:

NOTE: I’m all caught up on previous months’ books!

#1 Fat Fiction: Puddin’ by Julie Murphy. I’ll be listening to this one as I travel over the holidays with my husband and then finish it on a blue tooth speaker at home.

Brief Description: “It is a companion novel to Dumplin’, which follows supporting characters from the first book in the months after Willowdean’s star turn in the Clover City pageant. Millie Michalchuk has gone to fat camp every year since she was a girl. Not this year. This year she has new plans to chase her secret dream—and to kiss her crush.”

side note: Dumplin’ is coming to Neflix December 7th! Dolly Parton was a big part of the project!


#2 The Oldest Book Shelved: White Teeth by Zadie Smith has been on the list since August 2012. It’s lengthy, so I’m wondering if I’ll finish before the clock strikes midnight on December 31st.

Brief Description: “Set in post-World War II London. Dealing — among many other things — with friendship, love, war, three cultures and three families over three generations, one brown mouse, and the tricky way the past has of coming back and biting you on the ankle, it is a life-affirming, riotous must-read of a book.”

white teeth

#3 Newest Book Shelved: Let them Eat Cake by Ginger Lukas is a chapbook I purchased June of 2018. A tiny book, yes, but a good counterbalance to White Teeth.

Brief Description: “In this essay, Ginger Lukas chronicles her time working as a cake decorator at the bakery counter of a chain grocery store after realizing the ceramics career she was on track for just wasn’t working out. Lukas explores the precariousness of retail labor and how workers find ways to maintain their humanity and creativity in a dehumanizing environment.”

let them eat cake

#4 Random Pick: Return to Laughter by Laura Bohannan (pen name Elenore Smith Bowen at the time)

Brief Description: There’s not much in the way of a synopsis, but I do know the book is a by an anthropologist who took a fictional approach to her actual work. Here is what Rita from Goodreads wrote as a summary: “Written by anthropologist Laura Bohannon in 1954, based on living with the Tiv group of Nigeria in 1949-1953. Absolutely fascinating account of her struggles to learn and understand local culture and beliefs, and the conflicts with her own beliefs and morals.”

Return to Laughter


  1. I hope you enjoy White Teeth! I remember absolutely loving it, when it came out it seemed it was such a vibrantly different voice from everything else being written. Recently looked for our copy for a reread, but sadly seems to be gone. Look forward to your thoughts.


  2. I just heard that Dumplin’ was coming to Netflix! That’ll be interesting, and I’ll be interested in what you think of Puddin’. You’ve got some solid reads ahead of you, I think.


  3. White Teeth is one of those books I feel I ought to read but have never been inspired enough to actually do so. Maybe you’ll change that, or maybe you’ll take it off my radar for good!


    • It’s supposed to be this Very Important Book because not only is it so good, Smith wrote it when she was practically still in diapers. I just hope it’s more straight-forward that her rewrite of Howards End, called On Beauty.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I hope Puddin’ is worth that long library wait! I’m really looking forward to checking out Dumplin’ on Netflix. I didn’t realize it was just around the corner and now it’s literally just a few days away. Good luck with all you TBR books! I hope your December is wonderful.


  5. I have Dumplin’ bookmarked in my diary for tomorrow! Crossing my fingers the movie version is a good one. I’m yet to read the book but it is on my reading list as I have read so many wonderful things about it.
    White Teeth sounds like something I may enjoy reading as well. I’m looking forward to reading your review.
    Happy reading, Melanie. 🙂


  6. These sound like some super interesting books!

    Puddin’ is on my TBR but I haven’t gotten to it yet. I’m excited Netflix is coming out with an adaptation, though! I’ll definitely be watching that after it’s released (maybe it’ll be a good way to unwind from the craziness of Finals Week…).

    Let Them Eat Cake also sounds really cool! When I was a cashier at a chain grocery store, I found myself back in the bakery sometimes to help out when it was crazy because we did a lot of sales of our awesome in-store baked cookies. (Life hack: being friends with the people in bakery is the best thing you can do for yourself if you like stealing desserts they’d have to throw out otherwise; I got so many free cookies and donuts on closing shifts.) So, I would really love to check that out.


  7. White Teeth is brilliant and doesn’t read long, if you know what I mean. The Nigeria book looks like just my kind of thing – I do love a culture clash read. Happy December reading!


  8. Can’t wait to see what you think of Puddin’! I enjoyed Dumplin’ via audiobook this year despite the fact that the audiobook narrator was a tad annoying. I am interested in seeing the Netflix adaptation too. I do love me some Dolly Parton! Will she be appearing in the adaptation?!

    I’ve never read a Zadie Smith book, but I’ve heard her name a lot. Have you read any of her other books?


    • I literally just watched Dumplin’ in Netflix and thought it was great. They cut out a lot with Bo and there’s no Patrick. Callie is in the story, but doesn’t seem like quite a threat like she does in the book. But overall, the focus is Lucy, the pageant, and Willowdean being SEEN by her mom. Julie Murphy appears near the end. I don’t think Dolly is in the movie, but there are several drag queens dressed like Dolly… of them could actually have been her! She’s done so much with her hair and face that it’s a little hard to tell.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. I remember thinking that White Teeth was going to take forever (it was a library loan back when it was super popular and couldn’t be renewed) and I ended up finishing it in a couple of days because the characters really got under my skin. Now I’m not sure if I would be as won over by them, because I’ve read an awful lot since then, but even if it isn’t “all that”, it’s certainly an admirable first novel, so I’m betting you’ll enjoy it just from that perspective. There is one thing that I want to say that I will wait to say until you’ve finished because it verges on spoiler-territory but, on a related note, there are some very funny bits along the way!


    • I’m about 70 pages in, and so far the characters keep moving forward. It’s like this film I saw in which we start with one actor, but when he passes a couple of people on the street, we follow them. Then, when another person/people enter the previous person’s scene, we follow the new group. It’s an interesting method of storytelling. I have no idea what the arc is, but the novel seems made of up bits of story, which is good by me.


Insert 2 Cents Here:

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s