This was a lighter month of reading, but still a good one. If I’m being really honest, there was a lot of GREAT TV that took me away from reading. My reading and TV consumption definitely swings back and forth. This was more of a TV month than a books month and that is okay. I have a feeling December is going to be a more reading heavy month now that I have no more Undoing, Queen’s Gambit, and Virgin River!!!!
EVERYTHING I READ IN November 2020
I have three books that I am still reading (A Promised Land, Joyful, The Star-Crossed Sisters of Tuscany) that will be reviewed in next month’s (probably longer) reading list! I’ve found I really enjoy having three books going at a time. Usually a fiction book (a faster read), a non-fiction book that I’ll read a few chapters of every week, and an audiobook for walks.
TELL ME WHAT YOU ARE READING! I’m always looking for great recommendations… I love reading your comments!
IF YOU’RE NEW HERE AND ARE LOOKING FOR A BOOK, DON’T FORGET THAT YOU CAN ALWAYS CHECK OUT MY BEAUTIFUL BOOK CLUB PAGE.
Every month I update it with everything I read – it includes every book I’ve read in the past six years. The best part is that now you can filter + search by genre (memoir, light read, historical fiction, thriller, books by Black authors, etc!) Now you can also filter by GRADE to find exactly what you’re looking for or just peruse my top picks. If you’re feeling like you need even more book recs, check out last month’s list and everything I read in 2019!
Stamped: Racism, Antiracism, and You: A Remix of the National Book Award-Winning Stamped from the Beginning, by Jason Reynolds and Ibram X. Kendi
This was my November anti-racist read, and I listened to it via audiobook. It is, to use Jason Reynolds’ words, “not a history book,” but rather “a book about the here and now to help us understand why we are where we are”. It is a book about race, and how the construct of race has been used to GAIN and KEEP power; and in my opinion, an important read for everyone. (It’s also quite short. Only a little over 4 hours on Audiobook.)
As we strive to learn and do better we have to revisit history and take an honest look at the things many of our history books gloss over, and again – understand how we got where we are today. It’s very fast-paced (I may listen to it again), taking us through history from the birth of America all the way through modern day. I highly recommend it. There is a longer version as well, which I may also listen to but I chose the shorter version in this case as my attention span was not great this month!
- Overall Score: A
In a Holidaze by Christina Lauren
I’m going to be really honest: Christina Lauren (it’s two writers!) are one of my most favorite authors. I love everything they write. I’m fanatical about them as authors. It kills me to say this (and know that Becca and my mom both really enjoyed it) but this one was not for me. I am not going to say don’t read it (especially if you are a big romance person and love the Christmas genre – I know a lot of people do!!!) but this is probably my least favorite of their books. Again, I don’t want to drag it as I love their books SO much… this one just fell flat for me.
I think that this is mostly because it was really hard to identify with the protagonist (I was annoyed by her a lot, maybe it was because she was so young but I found her whiny and loathsome), and I didn’t like the ending. I also hate time loops (a specific thing I know but when life feels like a time loop – hello, quarantine) it makes me antsy. So, this was not my favorite but I think if I were younger I probably would have enjoyed it more!!! I will say that I did really like the theme of “what makes you happy?” which is what she asks herself at the beginning of the book and is something we all need to be really thinking about right now.
- Overall Score: B-
The Cousins by Karen McManus
You know by now that Karen McManus is one of my favs! She writes the best YA thrillers. (If her name sounds familiar, you’ve probably read One of Us is Lying or One of Us is Next). This one kept me on my toes and I did NOT guess the twist, which you know I love. Cousins Jonah, Milly and Aubrey Story have grown up not knowing each other. Their extremely wealthy grandmother cut their parents off before they were born (she left a brief and cryptic note: You know what you did!) and they didn’t make an effort to stay in touch after that.
Now, the cousins are all around the same age and are summoned to their grandmother’s island resort (off the coast of Cape Cod) to spend the summer working, and getting to know their grandmother. But when they arrive, it’s clear she had different intentions for them. And everyone has some pretty big secrets, past and present. I really enjoyed this. I liked the relationships between the cousins and the family dynamics that arise throughout (I can’t say much more!). And I loved the mystery, and of course I loved that it kept me guessing throughout! Highly recommend for a fun, “read it in a day” sort of thriller.
- Overall Score: A-
The Talented Miss Farwell, by Emily Gray Tedrowe
OH did I love this book! This is probably my favorite book from this month. This one was a recommendation from the comments section here (THANK YOU to those who recommended it), and it was a combination of so many of my favorite things. Art. Cons. Glamour. Rags to riches… small town to big city. I will say that reading it gave me a major case of secondhand anxiety. (Similar to the feeling I got watching The Talented Mr. Ripley- does anyone else find themselves stressed for the characters when reading a book about a con artist?)
This is the story of how Becky Farwell, a practical and trustworthy girl living in a small Illinois town, where she works tirelessly as the town’s financial controller. It’s also the story Reba Farwell, art collector extraordinaire – living the glamorous life in New York with a multi-million dollar collection. Becky is embezzling I found Becky/Reba to be such a compelling and interesting character, and the book was just so compulsively readable (I found myself wanting to abandon everything else I was doing to just READ, which is a great sign). I didn’t realize it until the author’s note at the end but it’s actually inspired by the true story of Rita Crundwell who committed off the biggest municipal fraud in history. That in itself has led to it’s own little rabbit hole!
- Overall Score: A
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photo by Allie Provost.