Well, I didn’t quite make my goal of being caught up with reviews by the end of the year, but I’m only a month behind so that’s something, right? :-D
December has been a lovely month for the most part – lots of just chilling, reading complete fluff, and riding the range on Red Dead Redemption 2 with my husband. January is also hopefully going to be a quiet one before the greenhouse work starts in February.
Favorite November Read
For first-time reads, definitely Bellewether, which actually ended up being one of my favorite reads of the year. Rilla of Ingleside is close behind, but since it’s a reread I’m letting Kearsley’s book take the slot.
Most Disappointing November Read
Even though it isn’t my lowest star-rating for the month, I think The Illyrian Adventure takes this spot, mostly because I love the Prydain Chronicles so much, so it was pretty disappointing that this one was a bust.
Other November Reads
- The Cats of the Louvre by Taiyo Matsumoto
- Swamp Thing: Twin Branches by Maggie Stiefvater
- A Wolf Called Wander by Rosanne Perry
- Complete Home Landscaping by Catriona Tudor Erler
- Total Number of Books Read: 18 (all physical)
- Total Pages Read: 5799
- Average Star Rating for September: 3.7
- Longest Book: Moby-Dick (663 pages)
- Shortest Book: The Illyrian Adventure (132 pages)
- Oldest Book: Northanger Abbey (published 1817)
- Newest Book: Point of Danger, The Tea Dragon Tapestry, The Wild Path, Swamp Thing: Twin Branches, and Room-Maid (all published 2020)
- Number of New-to-Me Authors: 5
- The Kingdom of Back by Marie Lu was my original choice for my traveling book club book, but I just literally couldn’t get through it. I think my notes say it all: First off, dead boring. Secondly, just all problems are because of the “THE PATRIARCHY!!!!” Thirdly, Nannerl is a self-absorbed b****. Fourthly, their dad is a JERK. Finally, B O R I N G!
- Forced Alliance by Lenora Worth was a Love Inspired Suspense book that I just couldn’t get into.
- Lord Fairchild’s Daughter by Maggie MacKeever was from that box of Regency romances I got on eBay back in the day. Most of them have been mildly entertaining, but I couldn’t deal with this one. The names were just ludicrous, the plot unbelievable, and by the time I got to a character named Mrs. Snugglebutt (yes, seriously) I just couldn’t go on any more.
This I keep updated as I go, so it’s current as of today, rather than as of the end of November. Still a million years behind on reading blog posts, though!
For those of you who don’t know, I’m weirdly obsessive with organizing the TBR, and have it on a spreadsheet divided into five different tabs:
- Standalones: 513 (up 20!!!)
- Nonfiction: 124 (holding steady)
- Personal (which includes all books I own (fiction and nonfiction), but lists any series I own as only one entry…): 646 (down six)
- Series (each series counted separately, not each book within a series): 256 (holding steady)
- Mystery Series (each series counted separately, not each book within a series): 118 (holding steady)
Reading Challenges Updates
- #ReadingEurope2020 – visited Greece – this challenge is NOT going to get completed this year but I’m still tracking it for fun (total 9/46 complete)
- #ReadtheUSA2020 – visited nowhere new (total 33/50 complete – this one isn’t getting done this year, but I’m going to try again in 2021!!)
- #SeparatedbyaPondTour – visited Somerset, England. (Total 58/159 complete – this is still on the 3-year track. If anyone has books they love set in Canada, Ireland, Scotland, or Wales, let me know!!)
- #LitsyAtoZ – 0 books (22/26 complete – only weird letters left. Specifically Q, X, Y, and Z, so let me know if you have suggestions for titles or author last names that start with those letters!)
- #BackwardsAtoZ – 17 books (No N through No U on my fifth list – I’m trying to do this one in order and to see how many times I can get through the alphabet!)
My last day of December fluff-binging and I’m almost finished with White Christmas Wedding by Celeste Winters.
The probable next five(ish) reads –
More challenges set up for 2021, which I’ll get into in a separate post, but I’m focusing on monthly challenge books at the beginning of the month and then everything else once those are done.
- Devil’s Cub by Georgette Heyer – okay, actually I lied because this one isn’t for a challenge, but Heyer rarely did sequels, so when I read These Old Shades recently I was surprised to see this one listed as a sequel to it! Apparently this one is about the son of the couple who got married in Shades, so I think it will be fun.
- The Fifth Season by N.K. Jemisin – on Litsy there is an #AuthoraMonth challenge where participants voted on authors they wanted to read this year and the top 12 each got assigned a month. I’m focusing on trying to read books that are already on my TBR by each author and was surprised to find that I have the Broken Earth Trilogy by Jemisin (January’s author) on my list. The Fifth Season is the first book in that trilogy, but if I like I’ll read all three.
- Active Defense by Lynette Eason – I don’t read a lot of ARCs, but since I’ve already read and reviewed the other two books in this series this past year, it only seemed natural to request the third installment as well.
- The Flip Side by James Bailey – I signed up for the #NewYearWhoDis match on Litsy as well – one of the members matches the people who sign up with each other and each pair trades their lists of favorite books from the past year. The host does a great job of pairing you with someone whose tastes match your own. Last year I tried to read a bunch of the books all in January, but this year I’m just going to try reading one a month. This one looks pretty cute.
- Brazil by Eyewitness – Yet another Litsy challenge this year is #FoodandLit. We’ve chosen a different country for each month and are trying to read books and try recipes from that country. There’s a great world-wide community on Litsy so we also have members who live in each of the countries who are posting various aspects of their culture to share throughout the month. My goal is to read one nonfiction and one fiction book from each country each month and see how that goes.
So that’s a wrap for November – up next, loads of Christmas fluff reviews!!!