I had a solid reading month in November. I read six books and enjoyed most of them (one will easily be my favorite book I’ve read this year, and possibly of all-time). I’m actually surprised I found time to read so much since I was also trying to complete NaNoWriMo and post regularly on the blog. As I always say, you make time for the things you love. I can always make time for reading, no matter how busy my schedule is.
I also managed to knock off three categories for the Book Riot Read Harder Challenge, so I may end up completing this challenge after all. I only need to complete two more categories.
This month, my favorite book was The Martian and my least favorite book was Bright Side.
Book club read: Bright Side by Kim Holden (3 stars)
I wasn’t a fan of this book, but I was in the minority in my opinions, as everyone else in my book club loved it. I just had many, many issues with the novel. I thought it wasn’t particularly well-written and could have used a good editor (an issue I often run into with self-published titles, as this one was). I thought the characters were completely stereotypical and the main character was so damn perfect that she wasn’t believable. And I thought the twist a little more than halfway into the novel was ridiculous and I didn’t understand the point of it. I guess if you’re a John Green fan (I’m not), you’ll probably like this novel, but the cheesiness of it was too much for me.
Book Riot Read Harder Challenge (a sci-fi novel): The Martian by Andy Weir (5 stars)
If I could give a book more than 5 stars, I would. I loved this novel. I couldn’t stop thinking about this novel for weeks after I finished it. (I still have residual book hangover moments, even now.) I’m not even sure why I loved it so much – was it the character of Mark Watney, who was incredibly funny and impossibly charming? Was it the fact that it took place in space and I am constantly fascinated by space and astronauts and NASA? Was it the way this story moved at a slow and steady pace, allowing you to truly sink into this crazy world, a world where a man is living on Mars? I’m not sure, but this might be one of the best books I’ve ever read. GO READ IT. And then lie to me if you didn’t love it because this is one of those books where I’m giving serious side-eye to people who don’t love it.
Book Riot Read Harder Challenge (a book that is a retelling of a classic story): A Kiss at Midnight by Eloisa James (3 stars)
This was a fun and easy story to read. It was framed as a retelling of Cinderella, though it didn’t resemble that story very much. I also found some of the dialogue to be inauthentic as to how people talked during the time period, so the novel didn’t always feel believable. I still enjoyed it, though, and I might even pick up some of James’ other fairytale retellings in the future when I need something light to read.
Book Riot Read Harder Challenge (a book that is by or about someone from an indigenous culture): The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie (4 stars)
I loved this novel! It was fascinating to read more about the Native American culture, since my knowledge of this culture has been tainted by media portrayals. Some of this book was very heavy and sad, but it was written from a teenage boy’s perspective, which made it seem a little more light-hearted than you’d expect. One of my favorite quotes from the novel was this: “When anybody, no matter how old they are, loses a parent, I think it hurts the same as if you were only five years old, you know? I think all of us are always five years old in the presence and absence of our parents.” I had to stop and soak that in, tearing up as I read it, because how true is it? Oh, so true. So much wisdom and heartache in the book. I completely recommend it.
Others (read for fun!)
Savor by Monica Murphy (2 stars)
Meh… I got this book for free a long time ago, and it’s just been sitting on my Kindle. I read it during bouts on the treadmill/elliptical at the gym. Fairly mindless, but not particularly well-written.
Magic Hour by Kristin Hannah (5 stars)
Kristin Hannah is easily one of my favorite authors and no, I haven’t read her most recent novels. I’m slowly working my way through her book list and am thoroughly enjoying myself. I didn’t know what to expect from this novel – some of her books are fantastic while others fall short – but this was the former. This book is about family and setbacks and learning from your mistakes. It’s about trust and finding hope and faith in people. It’s a novel that will inspire you and leave you totally and completely satisfied. One of my favorites from Hannah.
BOOK STATS // NOVEMBER
# of books read: 6
# of pages read: 1,926
quickest read: The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian (3 days)
longest read: The Martian (8 days)
formats: ebooks (4), physical books (2)
What was the best book you read in November?