Thursday, December 1, 2016

Books I Read in November

Well, November was not my greatest reading month ever. I borrowed a bunch of my usual dedicated reading time for other projects (trying to get things done before baby comes), but mostly I'm just tired and distracted. I'm comforted by the fact that I've already hit my (expanded) reading goal for the year, so everything from November and December is just gravy on top. That's exciting for me.

Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman

This one was actually a hangover from my October seasonal reading that I didn't quite finish until a few days into November. In the past few months I've tried three Gaiman novels: American Gods (disturbing did-not-finish), The Graveyard Book (charming YA read), and this one. This book is definitely for adults, and it came close to crossing some squeamish lines for me, but wasn't nearly as violent or disturbing as I found American Gods. I quite enjoyed the story and most of the characters. So for now, I've really liked 2 out 3 Gaiman novels, despite getting off to a rough start with him. If you know you like Gaiman, this one is a general recommend. It's got some really good, creepy world building.

Leave Me by Gayle Forman

I've had conflicting, flip-flopping emotions about this one. See longer review here. Generally, I think it's worthy of a recommend, especially if you've enjoyed any of Forman's other novels.

The Wrath & the Dawn by Renee Ahdieh

So, I was generally intrigued by the premise of this one (a YA retelling of the Scheherazade tale), but in the end it felt like a fairly typical YA fantasy read, even down to the abhorrent love triangle. It wasn't bad, and if you like YA romance fantasy stuff, this one may be perfect for you. It just wasn't what I was hoping for and I don't feel any need to continue on with this series.

On to books in the infamous category of Did Not Finish!

Before We Visit the Goddess by Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni

This one has gotten a lot of hype this year in certain quarters, and it started off with such promise. I loved the beautiful writing, the characters were interesting and I was invested in the story. But as things progressed, I really began to lose interest. Lives kept falling apart in more and more depressing ways, bad choices were being made left and right, and then the story started shifting to tangential characters that I didn't care all that much about. I got through about 75% of this, but when it was due back at the library, I returned it with no desire to check it out again. I just don't care enough.

And now on to family Read Alouds:

Flat Stanley's Worldwide Adventures 1: The Mount Rushmore Calamity by Sara Pennypacker and Jeff Brown

You guys, we've been struggling a bit in the read-aloud department with a lot of false starts. Part of the problem is that it's taking a while for some of my holds to come in, and the offered selection at my local branch isn't great. I would've preferred to start with the first book in the original Flat Stanley series, but this is what my branch had to offer off the shelf. Still, it was our first non-animal centered read aloud success. My son really liked the characters and got super involved with the story-line. It was at a great level for him, and I will definitely be putting more Flat Stanley's on our holds list.

Have you read any of these? Thoughts and opinions welcome!


  1. Are you an Anne Bogel fan? Did you pick up Before We Visit the Goddess at her recommendation? She raved about it so much that I came with very high expectations. I was also disappointed. Jhumpa Lahiri writes about similar subjects and I much prefer her works.

    1. Yep, huge Anne Bogel fan. Also, I probably follow a lot of people who are Anne Bogel fans. The book started out with promise, but yeah, so disappointing. I haven't read any Jhumpa Lahiri, but she's definitely one I feel like I should read.