Books I Read in November 2017

November was in many ways a disappointing reading month for me; I felt like I was in a slump most of the month, although the books I finished I mostly enjoyed.

“Having” to read anything I’m not enjoying really does keep me from reading other things instead. I drag myself through the must-read book, but feel too guilty to spend any time reading something I’d prefer.

While I know I don’t truly “have” to read anything now that I’m out of school, when it’s a book club pick that I selected for my own book club, I do feel obligated. Plus, I made it through The Diamond Age; I wasn’t going to let Swear on This Life stump me.


  1. Glass Houses by Louise Penny

    I loved reading this latest in the Armand Gamache series, and did my best to savor it, as now I have to wait until another one releases. I love how she’s developed the characters, and always enjoy spending time with them.

  2. Around the World in 80 Days by Jules Verne

    Read for bookclub, as it’s our January selection. We’re kicking off an around-the-world theme, and I’m excited to select books from various countries for us to read all year long.

    We’ve got some good ones lined up already (Burial Rites!), and other strong possibilities we’re still debating.

    I enjoyed this one, especially the excellent narrating job Jim Dale did.

  3. The Bloody Tower by Carola Dunn

    The next in the series, and I didn’t like the setting of this one quite so much – I was fairly confused by the description of what was happening when, as well as the organizational structure (which ended up not mattering at all to the plot).

    I’d probably have liked it more if I’d ever been to the Tower of London, but I had to satisfy myself with some Googling and looking at pictures online to get a better sense of the locale.

  4. Swear on This Life by Renée Carlino

    Book club selection for December, and the only reason I finished it is because it is a book club selection. It was not a good fit for me, and I thought it was poorly written and plotted, even if the style of the book had been a good match for my tastes. Overall I was super disappointed with it, and hope the discussion proves to be better than the book.

  5. Christmas with Anne by L.M. Montgomery

    Another book club selection, and I listened to these stories. They were all very sweet, and very fitting for this time of year; I’m debating keeping an eye out for a print copy of the book to be able to reread it in future years.

  6. The Red Door by Charles Todd

    Continuing on with the Ian Rutledge series, and it’s always fairly disappointing when I figure out the solution. Although I guessed the big secret, and who was behind events, I don’t fully understand the motivation behind the one murder. I probably mised it while listening to the audio with my kids playing nearby; sometimes they get pretty loud and it’s easy to miss details on the audio books.

  7. Nonfiction

  8. Finish: Give Yourself the Gift of Done by Jon Acuff

    My first Acuff book, and hopefully not my last. I also think I’d like to get this in print, as that’s easier for me to make notes from. This was really good, as much of what he says is what I need to hear (so good at starting; so bad at finishing).

  9. Medium Raw: A Bloody Valentine to the World of Food and the People Who Cook by Anthony Bourdain

    Uneven, but when it was good it was so good. I laughed many times, and was very glad I was listening to it via earbuds. Way too much profanity and drug and sex mentions to be comfortable listening when my kids might hear.

  10. The B.T.C. Old-Fashioned Grocery Cookbook: Recipes and Stories from a Southern Revival by Alexe van Beuren and Dixie Grimes

    I spent the worst two years of my childhood living in Mississippi, and have never once felt any desire to go back there. This book actually made me wish I lived close enough to stop by their grocery, to try some of the delicious-sounding dishes. The contrast between her experiences moving there as an outsider and mine were striking.

  11. The 5 A.M. Miracle: Dominate Your Day Before Breakfast by Jeff Sanders

    Checked out accidentally, and read more or less randomly. It’s very rah-rah motivational speaker in tone, and the contrast between some of what he advised, and what Acuff advised in the Finish book I’d just completed before reading this one was striking. Spoiler alert: I liked Acuff’s book more, and found it more inspiring in a “I might put this into practice” kind of way.

  12. Thug Kitchen: The Official Cookbook: Eat Like You Give a F*ck

    Another one kind of randomly checked out, when I was in the mood to peruse a cookbook. The writing style was amusing initially, but I got tired of it before I was even halfway through the book. I’m also not vegan, and very few of the recipes motivated me to want to go to any effort to try their dishes that involved ingredients I don’t already own.

  13. Kid Lit

  14. Love that Dog by Sharon Creech

    Super cute middle-grade novel-in-verse.

  15. Hate that Cat by Sharon Creech

    The sequel, which was just as enjoyable.

  16. Ghosts of Greenglass House by Kate Milford

    It’s so hard to follow a book that completely wows me as a reader. This one was good, but it lacked the “THIS IS AWESOME” factor that the first one had. And it couldn’t have it, because it was a follow-up. Still worth reading, and it still makes me wish this was a real location I could visit.

  17. Waiting for Normal by Leslie Connor

    Probably unrealistically optimistic and happy considering the situation the main character finds herself in, but I loved the main character and so many of the secondary characters.

    This is why I love middle-grade fiction because if this had been a young adult or new adult book, the happy ending wouldn’t have happened. Sorry if that’s a spoiler to you, but there was never any doubt in my mind how things would end up for her; it’s a middle-grade title. 😉

  18. North of Nowhere by Liz Kessler

    Kind of an odd book, and hard to say more about it without running into potential real spoilers (unlike the not-real spoilers I gave able). Overall I liked it, and think most middle-grade fans would.

  19. Wishtree by Katherine Applegate

    Beautiful book (as in, the book itself, and the story too). You’ve got to suspend disbelief quite a bit, but as long as you can manage that, you’re in for a fun read.

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  1. You sure managed to read a lot of books for a “disappointing” month! 😉

  2. I loved Glass Houses and Wishtree!!

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