December 2023 Wrap-Up & Favorites

December Wrap-Up & Favorites
Source: personal collection

Hello fellow readers, we've finally come to the end of the year. Reading-wise, I think I did okay. I had free days from work which I didn't use wisely. I ended up sleeping or just staying in bed scrolling through social media instead of going out with friends or reading books or even finishing those illustrations that I said I would work on during the end of the year holiday. Man, time goes by so fast. I'm considering putting that on my new year resolution, to be more discipline with my time and use it wisely. Anyway, these are the books I read in December 2023.

Books read in December

The Underground Railroad The Underground Railroad - Colson Whitehead (★★★★)
This book follows Cora, an enslaved African American running away from a plantation in Georgia. The book is inspired by the real underground railroad, a network of secret passages and safe houses which used by the enslaved to escape to the free states and Canada back in the 19th century. From the premise, it's clear that this book is difficult to read with all the sadness and horror in it. Nevertheless, since the topic is sadly still relevant in current days, I still recommend this book to read.
Goodnight Punpun Omnibus Vol 4 Goodnight Punpun Omnibus Vol 4 - Inio Asano (★★★)
This volume still follows Punpun in his highschool year. After what happened in the previous volume, Punpun is trying to get his footing again. However, it turns out he still hung up on his childhood love. Man, this manga is still as depressing as it can be. I still want to read the next volume though, because I'm rooting for Punpun somehow.
Before We Say Goodbye Before We Say Goodbye - Toshikazu Kawaguchi (★★★)
Before We Say Goodbye is the fourth book in the Before the Coffee Gets Cold series. This book has four stories in it which revolves around people who have regret and try to get closure by going back to the past through this magical spot in a small cafe. If you've read the previous books in the series, you'll be familiar with some characters who work on the cafe. You will also be familiar with the rules of the time travel in this cafe. However plot-wise, this one can be read as a stand alone because there's no callback to the previous books in the series. I think that how the time travel works in this book is explained well so you won't get confused if this is the first book from the series which you read. The stories are as heartwarming as the stories in the other books. One in particular hits close to home which revolves around the relationship of a father and a daughter. If you like the previous books or you're looking for stories which will move you, you might want to pick this one up also.
Work-Life Balance Work-Life Balance: Malevolent Managers and Folkloric Freelancers - Benjamin Chee, Wayne Rée (★★★)
I picked this book up on a whim. I've never heard of it. I didn't know the authors. I picked this up simply because of the premise, which sounds oh-so-relatable for an office worker like me. Also, this book presents it in a setting that I've never read before. What if all of the ones who experience those concerns are supernatural beings instead? I didn't expect that the characters would be even more familiar to me because as it turns out, the setting is in South East Asia and the supernatural beings are those which have been haunting me since my childhood. It's even more relatable to me. This book is a combination of proses and comic. Although the illustration itself is amazing to look at, I still don't think that they fully utilize the mixed media format. That is because the comic kind of repeat what is described on the prose. If only the comic would add something new to the story, I think it would elevate the story more. Still, if you're an office worker living that corporate life like me, looking for something to laugh about (bitterly), you might want to try read this one.

Review Posts in December
Waiting - Ha Jin

December Favorites


Before We Say Goodbye

There you have it! My last wrap up on 2023. I know it's way too late but I'm still going to post it anyway.

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