Annnnnd somehow it’s already November (happy November!) and we are back with another reading list. But guys.. I didn’t read as much as usual this month. I’m really sorry about that. I can’t quite explain it, other than to say that I’ve had a lot going on and just haven’t had as much time to read. Promise I’ll be back on track next month. The books I did read were pretty great though. I really, really loved Waiting at Hayden’s. If are looking for a cute book similar to Love & Other Words you are going to love this one!
In case you’re new here! If you’re looking for a book, don’t forget that you can always check out my Book Club Page. Every month I update it, so it includes every.single.book I’ve read in the past few years. The best part is that you can filter + search by genre (memoir, light read, historical fiction, thriller, etc!) to find exactly what you’re looking for. (You can also reference October’s reading list – I do these every month!) Lastly, just in case you can’t wait til next month, I always add whatever it is that I’m currently reading to my Amazon Shop as I read.
AND! Please comment and tell me what you are reading… your suggestions are my THE BEST… I always shop off of your suggestions – you always have such good recommendations for me, which I really appreciate!
November 2018 Reading List
If you want to be really creeped out.
Our Kind of Cruelty, by Araminta Hall. It’s been a minute since I felt really disturbed by a book. Like not in the sense of a great thriller with a shocking twist, but more of… “I can’t sleep, I need to know what happens, holy sh*t the main character is insane.” That sort of creepy. This was a Book of the Month pick, Gillian Flynn had endorsed it, so I needed to read it. But somehow I forgot about it until now, when I read it in a single day. Mike Hayes grew up neglected by an alcoholic mother bought fought his way out to a successful banking career.
Fixated on his ex-girlfriend, he becomes more and more delusional by the day (she’s getting married). He becomes convinced it’s all a game (or maybe it is, I won’t spoil it for you). The book opens with him in jail so you know something bad has happened… then it goes back in time sharing bits and pieces of his relationship with V, cut to modern day. It’s really, really disturbing and upsetting but a great read nonetheless.
- Overall Score: B
If you loved Love and Other Words Last Month.
Waiting at Hayden’s, by Riley Costello. Okay guys hear me out. You know I’m always reallllly honest here. This is the first “shoppable book” which in all honesty was a pretty big turnoff, making me not want to read it. The author links back to her website where you can go and purchase outfits the characters are wearing. This annoyed me for two reasons. One, I like to picture the characters outfits in my head and certainly don’t need to shop them. Two, it felt gimmicky + distracting and I hate feeling like I’m being sold anything. YES, I see the irony here as a blogger but shopping the characters’ clothing from a book felt like a pretty big stretch. It makes sense for TV or a movie but a book not so much.
I guess to me, reading is sacred and one of the only times I feel like I’m not being sold something, so I was irritated by the idea of it. That being said, I’m glad I didn’t let that stop me (several of you kept recommending it) as the book is really, really cute and save for the call to visit her site at the end of each chapter, the shopping part isn’t too in your face or sales-y. I loved it and stayed up late one night to find out what happened. It reminded me quite a bit of Love and Other Words which I read last month and also LOVED.
This is the story of Charli and Jack – childhood best friends and college sweethearts. After college they’re madly in love but realize that they are young and need to follow their own passions (which lead them to opposite coasts). So they go their separate ways to follow those dreams (Jack heads off to play in the MLB; Charlie goes to Charleston to get her PhD). They promise to reunite in 5 years at their favorite restaurant. A lot happens along the way and we find out whether they actually meet up. Meanwhile there is Gianna, the 37 year old restaurant owner who is dating someone she’s not entirely sure about. (You know, the safe, perfect on paper guy.).
Thinking of Charli and Jack and how in love they are causes her to question her own relationship. Is there something bigger and better out there? Anyway, I really loved the book and could see it being a great romcom movie.
- Overall Score: A-
If You Loved Hunger Games or Divergent!
Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyami is an amazing epic fantasy YA read. So many of you suggested it in the Bad on Paper Facebook group that we decided to read it for this week’s podcast episode. It did not disappoint. This takes place in a magical country that Becca and I both envisioned being a lot like Africa. It’s the story of Zelie and her family as well as the prince + princess of Orisha, which used to be a magical land.
The king destroyed magic in their land (and killed all of the magi – including Zelie’s mother. Then an artifact (that could bring magic back) is discovered and it changes everything. It’s hard to put the entire plot of the book into words (it’s so good, and 500+ pages of magic and adventure). It’s going to be a trilogy (book 2 comes out in January) and I hope they make it a movie as I really, really loved it! I personally think that this could (or should!) be the next big YA fantasy trilogy.
- Overall Score: A-
Happy November, Grace! Three books is already a lot, don’t worry! Might pick up Waiting at Hayden’s, it sounds interesting, especially being a shoppable book! I agree though, it might just irk me a bit… but I’m curious haha! 🙂
Charmaine Ng | Architecture & Lifestyle Blog
Thanks Charmaine! Think you’d really love it!!!
I read two sad but excellent books this month, The Lilac Girls, a WWII novel based on historical characters and Waiting for Eden, a little book that really packs a punch.
Lilac Girls has been at the top of my TBR pile for WAY TOO LONG!!!
Lilac Girls is SO good!
Interesting post – it was nice to see what you’ve been reading lately! Waiting at Hayden’s sounds super intriguing and I’ve never heard of shopping for the characters clothes before. I recently finished reading Thrifty Ways for Modern Days by Martin Lewis which has some excellent tips for living better for less. I found it a fun and insightful read. Happy November and happy reading! 🙂 xx
Helen | Helen’s Fashion, Beauty & Lifestyle Blog
I will have to check that out. Thank you Helen! xo
I look forward to your reading lists every single month, and quite often I find myself adding many of the books you recommend to my Goodreads list (can’t remember if you’ve ever mentioned if you’re on Goodreads or not- but if you’re not, it’s lifechanging!). Thanks for the recommendations- I can’t wait to read all of them!
I don’t use Goodreads but I do list every single book I read here: https://thestripe.com/reads/
To be honest, one of the key ways I monetize my site is through affiliate links and I can’t use them on Goodreads. So I’ve built out my own little platform here! So if you do shop my book recs, I would really love for you to shop them from my blog vs. Goodreads, though that’s up to you! xo
Goodreads is such an amazing community for readers!
I found “Waiting at Hayden’s” in your Amazon Shop, and I immediately placed it on my birthday list! It’s in five days, and I too will be 37. The fact that this book made such a positive impression on your makes me look even more forward to reading it!
Aw good! Let me know how you like it!!! It’s really, really cute.
Three books I read last month that I really enjoyed and would highly recommend are The Tattooist of Auschwitz by Heather Morris, My Year of Rest and Relaxation by Ottessa Moshfegh and Marilla of Green Gables by Sarah McCoy. Happy reading!
I was sent Marilla of Green Gables and really want to read it! xo
Love reading your reviews and have enjoyed a number of your recommendations. Just finished “Where the Crawdads Sing”, wonderful coming of age, mystery and set in coastal North Carolina that you might enjoy.
Thank you so much for the suggestions!
I was intrigued by Our Kind of Cruelty and it was shockingly available through my library – blew through it in a day! Definitely disturbing, but really well-done. Reminded me of You by Caroline Kepnes (now apparently a show with Dan from Gossip Girl!), but thankfully less creepy/murder-y!
Soooo distrubing! That reminded me that I want to watch You!!!
I really, really want to be reading more but I just wanted to pop over to say I love your book page… WHEN I have time or start getting into a reading groove I’ve used that as a resource and love it. Thanks!!
Oh good I am so happy to hear that – we put a lot of work into building it! xo
Hmmm good to know on that first one – I’m not so much for the disturbing, so now I know I can skip it! I’ve got Children of Blood and Bone on my shelf though, and now more excited to get to it…
If you like mysteries at all, I loved The Ruin recently (I’m a big fan of British/Irish detective stuff), and in YA I loved Far from the Tree.
Thank you so much for the recommendations!!
The Lost Vintage by Ann Mah – historical fiction that flips between present day and 1940s occupied France. There’s romance, intrigue, family drama and a hidden wine cave……if you enjoyed The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah then you will love this book. Pour a glass of Domaine Serene and grab a weighted blanket and you’ll be set for a cozy afternoon!
Thank you so much for the rec – sounds right up my alley!!!
I recently read The House Swap by Rebecca Fleet. Good and creepy! Currently reading Sweetbitter.
Thank you for the suggestion! LOVED Sweetbitter!
Ooh Children of Bone and Blood is on my list. I read The Shining (okay), The Woman in the Window (not bad, pretty good thriller, very slow), The Notorious RBG (very good), The Haunting of Maddy Clare (okay) and The Discovery of Witches (loved, which really surprised me). Have you read The Discovery of Witches? It is fantasy romance and I do not like romance. I now have to read the two other books in the trilogy – like, stat (which secretly means, maybe in the next 6 months – so many books, so little time).
I’m currently reading Dr. Sleep and looking for Washington Black for a buddy read I’m doing this month.
Thanks for all of the suggestions!!!
Are you excited to read the new Lianne Moriarty that comes out tomorrow!?
Yes! I preordered!!!
Thanks for the recommendations as always! Definitely adding Waiting at Hayden’s to my reading list!
Life has been insane so I haven’t been reading as much.
I just finished Us Against You by Fredrik Backman last week and I cannot recommened it enough!
Currently reading and absolutely loving China Rich Girlfriend. I stopped at the bookstore for a copy the same night I watched Crazy Rich Asians!
Also reading Hindsight by Justin Timberlake. I am reading this one slowly on purpose because I dont want it to end. I’ve been a fan for 20+ years! A beautiful read with lots of gorgeous photos.
Thank you for the recommendations! I want to read Us Agaisnt You!
Africa’s not a country.
Yes, I realize that. It’s a continent. f you read the post, I said that that the book was set in a magical country that I imagined being a lot LIKE Africa.
I recently read a young adult novel called One of Us is Lying by Karen McManus. It is a combination of the Breakfast Club with a sinister twist, a murder. It kept me guessing who had done it until the very end of the book.
Haha I LOVED One of Us is Lying!
Check out episode 4 of our podcast, Bad on Paper – we talk about it there… it’s such a fun read!!!
Have you read One in a Million by Lindsey Kelk? I just ready it and loved it. It’s a super light hearted rom com book, but it was delightful. If you need an easy, fun read, you should check it out!
I haven’t, but thank you so much for the tip Lynn-Holly! xo
Have you read anything by Kate Morton? I absolutely love her books! She has a new one out called the Clockmaker’s Daughter which I am about halfway through and it’s so great! I love all and any of the other books she has written. She does a really great job weaving together past, present and current story lines. It feels like historical fiction, with some mystery vibes (there are usually long lost or buried family secrets!) They also play out against the backdrop of romantic English countryside manors.
Hey Eliza! I haven’t – thanks for the rec, sounds like something I would like! xo