Books of the Month: November 

This was a good reading month! There was one more book that I was working on, but my loan from the library expired for the SECOND time so I gave up on it. See if you can spot the book requested by my dad just by the title. 😏

  • The Other Daughter, Lauren Willig, fiction

I’m reading a lot of Lauren Willig recently. This is the story of Rachel, an English governess living in France in the 20s. She’s called home unexpectedly, and then makes some discoveries about her past that lead her to all kinds of experiences in London. The story was interesting, but not gripping. I liked the characters but didn’t move any of them. It was enjoyable to read, but not an all-time favorite.

  • A Man Called Ove, Frederik Backman, fiction

I LOVED this book. It’s the first I’ve rated five stars on Goodreads in quite a while. Ove is a curmudgeon who gets new neighbors one day, and they derail all his plans and change his life. I laughed out loud more times than I can count and found myself smiling through most of the book. I finished it in about 24 hours. At the beginning I wasn’t sure if I was going to enjoy it, but the grumpy old man along with the rest of the cast of characters stole my heart.

  • Hot Rod, Henry Gregor Felsen, young adult fiction

This one was brought to you by request from Bud Schrock. It was published in 1950, and he remembers reading it as a kid and it having a pretty big effect on him. He couldn’t remember what it was about, so he asked me to read it for him. It’s basically a cautionary tale about reckless driving, written to encourage teenagers to be courteous and careful drivers. Several characters died in car accidents. The main character was a teenager named Bud, addicted to driving fast. It was easy to see why my race-car-driving father was impacted by it. I told him I will keep it to pass along to my nephew, since he presumably has the same speed-loving genes.

  • Watch Me Disappear, Janelle Brown, thriller

It’s been a year since Billie Flanagan disappeared on her solo hiking trip, and she is presumed dead. Her daughter Olive begins having visions of her mother saying to come find her, and believes her mother is still alive. Billie’s husband Jonathan begins digging into her past and finds some surprising things about the wife he thought he knew. This kept me interested for a while, but it definitely wasn’t the best thriller I’ve ever read. You do find out at the end what actually happened, which I always appreciate.

  • The Perfect Stranger, Megan Miranda, thriller

I read All the Missing Girls by this author in September and loved it, so I was really excited about this one. Leah Stevens is the main character. She is a former journalist, currently living with her friend Emmy in western Pennsylvania to escape a career disaster that happened back in Boston. Then Emmy disappears, and Leah discovers she doesn’t know her as well as she thought. The first part of this was interesting and I was really intrigued, but I felt my interest waning as it went on. The end was not particularly satisfying and it felt a little incomplete.

  • The Ashford Affair, Lauren Willig, historical fiction

This was my favorite Lauren Willig book so far. It’s a generational saga, ranging from England in the early 1900s to Kenya in the 1920s to New York in 2000. I listened to the audiobook because the library didn’t have an ebook copy, and I found myself just sitting in my car after I parked in order to finish a chapter. I liked the characters and there’s a bit of mystery. I bought a copy of it after I finished the audiobook because I wanted it to be in my library.

  • The Temptation of the Night Jasmine, Lauren Willig, historical fiction

Number 5 in the Pink Carnation series, and one of my favorites so far. I really like that each book focuses on a new person or couple. Charlotte was a great heroine.

  • The Girl in the Red Coat, Kate Hamer, thriller

I did not love this. It’s about an eight year old girl who goes missing, and the story is told from both her point of view and her mother’s. I didn’t like any of the characters and the whole story felt disjointed to me.

  • The Forgetting Time, Sharon Guskin, fiction

This was excellent. It’s very different from anything I’ve read recently, and maybe ever. It’s about a four-year-old boy named Noah who begins to talk about his memories of a past that doesn’t exist for him and asks to be taken to his other mother. There were excerpts from a nonfiction book about the same topic. I found them to be fascinating and really enjoyed reading them. I would recommend this one.

  • Every Last Lie, Mary Kubica, thriller

This took me a while to get through. It’s told from the perspectives of a husband and wife, Nick and Clara. The story starts with Nick’s death. All of Nick’s chapters describe the events leading up to his death, and Clara’s chapters describe the aftermath. I was excited to read it, but couldn’t get into it. I didn’t love the ending, and I disliked Clara more and more as the book went on.

Reading Challenge Progress: 75/75 books completed. 🎉

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2 thoughts on “Books of the Month: November 

  1. November was a slow reading month for me! I think partly because one of the books was 600+ pages and took a while to get my attention.

    1) The Name of the Wind, Patrick Rothfuss – Stephanie recommended this novel. I think I would put it in the fantasy genre. It deals with “magicians” essentially, but in a more realistic way. The story is told by Kvothe, who is a man of many legends, and now runs a bar. He tells his story to a scribe, so the novel goes back and forth between the story of his life and current day running the bar. Overall it was interesting and I am glad I read it, but I am not sure if I will read the second one. Lin Manuel Miranda is going to be a part of turning it into a TV show I think, so that is interesting.

    2) The Light we Lost, Jill Santopolo – This novel starts with Lucy, the main character, meeting a boy in college on September 11th, 2001. The events of the day lead to them bonding. The novel follows the next 10ish years of their lives and the way the world brings them together and apart. The book definitely kept me reading, but I found myself disliking most of the characters. It is also one of those books that I think confuses love and lust and makes them out to be the same thing.

    3) See Me, Nicholas Sparks – After not reading anything by Sparks in years this is my second book of his in as many months! Sparks has a formula that works for him, and in it’s own way, this novel follows it. However, I still think he is a compelling author, and I liked this story. It follows Colin, a bad boy turned good, and Maria, a 1st generation American who put herself through law school. I think this novel took a darker turn than some of his, but I probably enjoyed it the most out of the three books this month.

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