Books I Read In November

 I had such a great month of reading!  My book picks were a bit all over the place as I was trying to finish up some fun fall reads and some series I had started that were finally wrapping up. I also realized that there were some categories for my 52 book reading challenge that I needed to finish up before the end of the year so I pushed myself out of my comfort zone to read some books I would never normally have picked.  I was really surprised that I enjoyed them!



1.  Pumpkin Spice Peril by Jenn McKinlay-- This was such a cute story! I love that it is part of a series and I just know I'll be reading a few others (A Cupcake Bakery Mystery).  I have no idea how far into the series this book takes place but despite reading none of the other books I had no problems following along on the action.  Mel and Angie run the Fairy Tale Cupcake bakery and all is going well until their friend Rene ends up dead.  This fun murder mystery reminded me a bit of the Stephanie Plum series by Janet Evanovich-- cute and quirky characters, lots of sugary sweets, and both murder and mayhem just seem to find Mel.  



2.  Troubles in Paradise by Elin Hilderbrand-- I was so excited to finally get my hands on this third book in the series.  I had been dying to see how everything would get wrapped up in this breakout series from Elin that takes place on the island of St. John.  I read the story in just under 24 hours and really enjoyed it but don't want to say anything that will give key plot points away.  Irene, Cash, and Baker all find that living on St. John is vastly different without the villa.  They finally get answers as the true story of what happened the night of the fateful helicopter crash comes to light.  



3.  On Ocean Boulevard by Mary Alice Monroe-- I finished up this series this month too!  The Rutledge family comes together one last time in this novel.  Cara prepares for another wedding, Linnea is coming home to start a new career, and her parents are rebuilding their lives while building a new house on Ocean Boulevard.  


4.  Elevation by Stephen King-- I'm not typically a Stephen King fan but picked this up from our library because it was nice and short and small and I knew it would be a quick read.  My 52 Books challenge has "read a Stephen King" novel as one of it's challenges and I thought this would be a quick and painless way to cross it off my list.  I was surprised to find that I actually enjoyed it!  Scott has started losing weight-- about a pound a day and yet his clothes fit the same, the numbers on the scale don't change even when he wears heavy boots or brings weights onto the scale with him.  He's confided in his friend Doctor Bob but he is just as baffled as Scott.  Meanwhile Scott is having issues with his neighbors and trying to finish up a new and exciting online job he's been given.  As he continues to feel more and more weightless he makes changes to his life for the better. 


5.  The Space Between the Stars by Anne Corlett- I'm not usually a science fiction fan either but I was hooked on this story by the end of the first chapter.  Jamie is living on a distant planet in a small colony when they learn of a inter-galactic pandemic with a 99.999% death rate.  Surprisingly Jamie is one of the .0001 that survives.  She finds a few other survivors and they make their way through the galaxy.  I found this to be such an interesting read! It reminded me of a dystopian novel more than a sci-fi novel (other than the whole taking place in space thing).  There was a lot of focus on developing relationships, the greater good of all versus living life for oneself, & emerging society and it's rules.


6.  The President is Missing by James Patterson & Bill Clinton- I found this to be such a great book!  I am not really into politics but this book is was so fast paced.  There is a terrorist attack threat but no one knows when it will hit or where, the president is sick but he's keeping it under wraps, the president it facing possible impeachment when he suddenly goes missing... A real page turner. 

I also found it rather fitting that the media/ social media angle was talked about & how they are using conflict and division to divide the nation and drum up sales. Page 59 & 60 talk about how the media has become more and more about selling and sensationalizing than actually reporting facts and that has been my biggest complaints these past few years and why I've pretty much stopped listening to them altogether. It felt rather odd to be nodding along with a fictional story but I was.  Even at over 500 pages I finished the book in just a few days.


7. The Status of All Things by Liz Fenton & Lisa Steinke-- I had read a Liz Fenton & Lisa Steinke book before and while I didn't really care for it I thought I would give them another shot.  In this book Kate is about to get married but her fiancĂ© dumps her at their rehearsal dinner.  She can't believe it when her Facebook statuses start coming true when she wishes she could re-live the last month of her life.  I thought it was a pretty cute story even if was obviously completely far- fetched.  


8. Fortune and Glory: Tantalizing Twenty- Seven by Janet Evanovich--- Another fun Stephanie Plum book! Stephanie and her grandmother narrowly escaped after being kidnapped in book twenty-six but the treasure is still out there.  In book 27, Stephanie and her grandmother continue looking for clues as to where the treasure could be and what the treasure might be.. of course cars and buildings blow up and burst into flames. Stephanie attracts a few crazy lunatics and someone gets kidnapped.  



9. Wings of Fire: Moon Rising by Tui T. Sutherland-- I was looking for a fantasy novel to read and since my middle son just loves fantasy novels I asked him for a recommendation.  He loves this entire Wings of Fire series (which I believe is considered middle grade fiction) and assured me that since book 6 starts with new characters and a new prophecy that I could read it without having read the first 5.  It was such a cute story; I was really surprised by how much I liked it and now I want to read the next few books to see what happens with these main characters. 



I had three books that I started and just could not get through--

1. The Southern Book Club's Guide to Slaying Vampires by Grady Hendrix-- waay to gory or something for me. I only made it to page 57 when the first vampire showed up and I was gagging.  LOL.  

2. Marrow: Love, Loss, and What Matters Most by Elizabeth Lesser-- I typically love memoirs and this sounded like it was going to be such a powerful one as Elizabeth Lesser wrote this book after her sister died.  Lesser had donated her bone marrow to help save her sister's life and in the process the two uncovered a depth of love that they didn't know they had.   I can't pinpoint why but it just didn't hold my attention.  

3. Book of Two Ways by Jodi Picoult-- I LOVE Jodi Picoult and I was really enjoying this story so much until 2 pages of facts about ancient Egypt and their death rituals just sort of slammed me in the face from out of nowhere.  I could not get through the facts to the heart of the story after that.  I almost felt like Jodi should have written two book-- one the fiction story with little teasings about Egyptian history sprinkled in and then a second book about all she learned while touring Egypt in preparation for this book.  Or maybe separated the bulk of the facts out to an addendum in the back of the book.  I'm pretty sure if I had fell in love with the story I would have continued reading but it felt like such an abrupt change of topic in the story and just didn't flow well at all. 

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Comments

  1. I put a few of these on hold from my library -- they sound good!

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  2. I just finished reading Deception Point by Dan Brown. Robin Cook, Michael Crichton, Agatha Christie, and Dan Brown are my favorite authors :)

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    1. I don't think I've ever read anything by any of those authors.

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  3. I also enjoyed reading Elevation. So many good books so little time.

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  4. So impressed with how many books you get through in a month! My goal is to read 12 books in 2021, LOL. I need to start putting my phone down and picking up a book more often!

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  5. So many good books-- and I was interested in your thoughts on the unfinished books.

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    1. Thanks! I like to ready why people do & don't like certain books as it gives me a better idea as to whether or not I'd like it.

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  6. I'm sorry you couldn't get through The Book of Two Ways. It was definitely tough with all the facts!

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    1. I think if I didn't have so many other great books waiting I would have slogged through it all but I just felt like I had better things to do with my time.

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  7. You really did read a broad cross section of books last month, Joanne. I so enjoyed your take on them! Thank you also for being honest about the books you were not so keen on and why too. It's really helpful when I'm building my reading list! Thank you for being a part of the Hearth and Soul Link Party community. Take care and have a lovely week!

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  9. The Status of All Things sounds really cute.

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  10. I have been reading the Beach House Series and I'm down to Ocean Boulevard. I can't wait! The Stephen King book sounds interesting.

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    1. Did you know Hallmark made the first book into a movie?

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  11. I had fun reading Fortune and Glory too :) Elevation sounds quite curious. Thanks for sharing and enjoy your holidays!

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    1. I love that series; it's easily one of my favorites.

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  12. I love that you got a fantasy recommendation from your son :) My kid's favorite fantasy series these days is the Wingfeather Saga, but the one he REALLY wanted me to pick up was The Wild Robot, and it was so sweet and excellent.

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    1. He picked out the Wingfeather Saga as a Christmas gift! He really wanted me to read Morrigan Crow but he didn't own book 1 and our town library doesn't have it either.

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  13. You had me with the first one when you said it was like Stephanie Plum series, and then I see you read the most recent from the series!! I haven't read that one yet, but I have read the 26 previous ones!

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    1. That really is what it reminded me of; if Stephanie Plum worked in a bake shop and stumbled over dead bodies all the time.

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  14. I did not enjoy The Book of Two Ways. I wanted to but no. I did not.

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    1. I wanted to enjoy it too; I usually LOVE her books!

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  15. I love that the Stephanie Plum books are still going! I used to listen to those in the car when I had a long commute several years ago and they were so fun!

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    1. They are so fun! They always make me smile.

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  16. I'm in the minority of those who liked The Book of Two Ways. The Egypt stuff was way too much, but I did like the storyline. The Status of All Things looks like a fun read. It's been awhile since I've read a Patterson book. He's always good for a quick, thriller.

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    1. This one wasn't at all like Patterson's other books; it was more of a suspense than a thriller.

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  17. Great month all around, though I'm sorry about the DNF's. It happens! Not all books are made for all people.

    -Lauren
    www.shootingstarsmag.net

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  18. You've read so many books for November Joanne. I can't seem to concentrate on reading right now. I hope to get back into reading books in January!

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    1. I really did! I'm trying to finish up the year with 10 final books.

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  19. I was really thrown off by the name change in the Stephanie Plum series! Glad to know the books themselves don't change.

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    1. I was surprised that the number wasn't front and center with this latest book too but it read just like all the other ones.

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