The Books I Read in November

With the 13 books I read this month I only have 5 more to go to meet my yearly reading goal-- easy peasy! I typically don't read any Christmas themed books until after Thanksgiving but the last couple of years I have not been able to read quite a few of the books I had hoped to because I waited too long and they were all snapped up at our library before I got there.  So I added in some holiday books along with some of my standard reading and had a great time reading this month.  At one point I had 4 different books going!  




1. For Batter or Worse by Jenn McKinlay (Cupcake Bakery Mystery Book #13)-- When Mel is checking out the venue for her wedding reception she finds her old bakery assistant Oz standing over the dead body of his boss who has been murdered.  Mel knows that Oz is innocent and is determined to clear his name before she walks down aisle.  I've read this entire series in the last year and the books are so fun and such quick reads. 


2. The Falling in Love Montage by Ciara Smyth-- I enjoyed this story a lot! It was so cute and made me laugh but it also sad and made me cry.  It was like a wonderful rom-com movie in print-- the meet cute, the montages, the falling out, the making up... this story had it all.  Saoirse doesn't believe that love lasts; not after watching what has happened with her own parents and her first failed relationship.  She's determined to stay single... until she meets Ruby.  Ruby convinces Saoirse to plan one summer of fun using rom-com montage scenes to create their own romance without strings of forever.  I thought I might have a hard time reading about romantic love between two females (not having that frame of reference myself) but I found it to be such a sweet story.  After all love is love.  


3. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by JK Rowling-- My boys and I have been reading through the entire Harry Potter series over the last year or two and we finally finished it up this month.  In the last book of the series Harry and his friends are hunting down horcruxes so they can take down Voldemort for good. 


4. Finding Christmas by Karen Schaler-- Once my boys and I finished up our book on CD last month I realized that I spent over 40 minutes a day in the car by myself each day and that I should give audiobooks a try for myself.  I'm still struggling a bit with not tuning out the story when I hit traffic or start thinking of my to do list but I'm getting better and this story is one that I can easily pick back up after a bit of brain fog. Emmie LOVES Christmas and creates a fun holiday scavenger hunt for her boyfriend Grant who is less than enthusiastic about the holiday.  Sam is a writer struggling from writer's block nearly a year after his sister's death.  When he finds Emmie's clues he thinks they're from his editor to help him get over his writer's block.  Both are shocked when the wrong person turns up at the end.  It was cute and cheesy in that Hallmark movie kind of way but just perfect for not losing the storyline!


5. The Little Cafe by the Lake by Joanne Tracey-- Another cute story featuring a return of some of my favorite characters from her previous novels.  Richie and Max are about to have their baby, Jess and Nathan seemed to have worked out a solution to their long distance relationship problems, and all their respective family members seem to be settling down too.  Then a stranger shows up in town and threatens to reveal secrets that could throw Richie's whole family into turmoil. 


6. The Santa Suit by Mary Kay Andrews-- Another fun and light Christmas story!  When Ivy buys an old farmhouse sight unseen she may have gotten more than she bargained for.  She arrives to find the house fully furnished with everything in the cabinets and closets too.. including an old Santa suit.  She finds a note inside the suit and becomes curious about the story of the family.  She tries to track them down all these years later and along the way makes new friends in her new town. 


7. The Hope Chest by Carolyn Brown-- I almost put this book aside after the 2nd or 3rd chapter but something kept me reading a chapter a day and by the time I reached chapter 8 I was really into the story.  Flynn, Nessa, and April are cousins who have been left their grandmother's house under the stipulation that they all spent time working together to complete one last hand stitched quilt their Nana Lucy left unfinished.  At first the cousins are rather surly with each other but as they begin to get to know one another and reveal secrets and truths about their various childhoods they realize that they all need some healing and someone to call family. 


8. Game On: Tempting Twenty- Eight (Stephanie Plum book #28) by Janet Evanovich-- I love the Stephanie Plum series and read this book in just 24 hours.  Stephanie and Lula are teaming up with Diesel to take down a cyber criminal known as Oswald.  With assorted other messy takedowns of skips, the usual explosions and mayhem, and the help of Ranger and Stephanie's wacky family it was another fun read.


 

9. Under the Southern Sky by Kristy Woodson Harvey-- I have been waiting for this book to come in through my library for what seems like forever.  I enjoyed it so much too!  Amelia is covering a story on infertility when she sees her childhood's friend and wife's name on a form of embryos that have been labeled as "abandoned."  Parker is still grieving over the loss of his wife 3 years later; reading through old journals she has left behind. When he heard about the embryos he decides he wants to use a surrogate to have his wife's baby.  The story really takes off from there and I found these two to be such sweet characters. Both reeling from losses and life changes they find hope in their friendship. 


10. Christmas Cupcake Murder by Joanne Fluke-- I was really happy to realize that this book is part of a series; it reminds me a bit of the Cupcake Bakery Mysteries that I just caught up to at the beginning of the month so I have another fun series of murder mysteries set around a baking aficionado complete with recipes!  When Hannah and her mother stumble upon a body in an old building they are so relieved to find that he's sill alive!  Only problem is that even after medical treatment John Doe can't remember who he is or where he came from.  He does know he doesn't like the name John and asks to be called Joe.  Determined to get to the bottom of the mystery Hannah and her friends all pitch in to help Joe regain his memory.


11. Christmas at Little Beach Street Bakery by Jenny Colgan-- Polly and her fiancĂ© Huckle live in an old lighthouse on a spit of land called Mount Polbearne.  Running the Beach Street Bakery is a labor of love for Polly but she's really looking forward to a quiet, lazy, cozy Christmas at home with just Huckle and the puffin that seems to have adopted them as family.  However, things don't turn out quite that way.  With demanding friends, an unexpected family member turning up, and her best friend about to give birth, Polly's holiday season is busier than ever. 


12. In a Holidaze by Christina Lauren-- Another book I've been wanting to read that I just could not get through my library last winter; this one was worth the wait. First off I enjoy the movie Groundhog Day with Bill Murray and this book reminds me of it-- just set at Christmas.  Mae and her family have always celebrated Christmas at a cabin in Utah with her parents' friends from college and their families.  It's a tradition she usually enjoys but everything seems to be going wrong this year. When they are heading back to the airport after their disappointing trip, Mae makes a wish that the universe will show her what will make her happy... just before the car crashes and everything goes dark.  Mae gasps awake to find herself on the plane on her way to Utah to celebrate Christmas...again!  And so it goes over and over.  I've only read two other books by Christina Lauren and enjoying this third book by her makes me want to start reading through them all! 


13. Dear Santa by Debbie Macomber-- This was such a cute story! Lindy is spending two weeks at home with her parents for the Christmas holiday and the break is just what she needs.  After a difficult few months at work and with her old boyfriend, Lindy is looking to relax.  Her mother hands her a box of old letters Lindy wrote to Santa and encourages her daughter to believe again in the magic of Christmas. Lindy reconnects with an old school friend and former classmate.  She feels her Christmas spirit returning in no time. 


Linking up with:




















Comments

  1. What a great selection of books!
    I do love the Harry Potter series x

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    1. Me too! I am an unabashed Harry Potter nerd.

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  2. It's great that you are picking up audio books. I really miss listening with my sons when we were doing the constant commuting!

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    1. It's been a fun way to get more "reading" in!

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  3. I will admit that I listen to most of my books while I get on with my crochet. You've got through lots of stories this month.

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  4. I don't really see much evidence of Christmas over here so may take a look at your Christmas list. I quite fancy a cheesy Christmas story :)

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  5. I read and liked In A Holidaze. I generally like their books!

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    1. They definitely seem like a great writing team.

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  6. These all sound terrific, I loved the Santa suit! Thank you for introducing me to a couple to add to my list!

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  7. Adding a few of these to my queue- thank you for sharing!

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  8. Thanks for the shout-out!I'm about to begin my annual Christmas book fest and Jenny Colgan is at the top of my list.

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    1. You're welcome! I had never read any of her books before but really enjoyed this one.

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  9. I love that you got a head start on the Christmas novels. I started one the day after Thanksgiving and I couldn't be more giddy about it.

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    1. I haven't regretted starting my holiday reading early at all. I am loving having so much time reading more great holiday books.

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  10. Oh yay! So many wonderful festive reads. I will have to add them all to my list although I've been very slack in the reading department this year. I love anything by Jenny Colgan and I can't wait to read Jo's new book!

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    1. I have another of Jenny's books up to read next!

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  11. Dang, you read a lot this month. I always love the Stephanie Plum series, but I haven't read this one.
    XOXO
    Jodie
    www.jtouchofstyle.com

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  12. So many great reads here Joanne! I've read one or two Jenny Colgan's and enjoyed them. #lifethisweek

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  13. I just finished Dear Santa and loved it! The Santa Suit is next on my list. Thanks for the reviews.

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    1. Dear Santa was so cute. I really enjoy Debbie's books.

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  14. I'm halfway through The Santa Suit now, and In a Holidaze has been on my list for months! I'm hoping to read that one next if I can get it at the library!

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    1. I think In a Holidaze might have been one of my favorite holiday books ever. But I like those whole repeat and get better type scenarios.

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  15. What a wonderful list of books! I put in a request for "The Santa Suit" at my local library-it looks like something I'll enjoy. My kids and I are reading Harry Potter together (first time for them) too but they aren't nearly as excited about it as I am lol.

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    1. It took my oldest a long time to care about Harry Potter but my younger two have always been big fans of the series.

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  16. You've read a lot of books for November Joanne. I will be adding these to my book list.

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    1. I have been having lots of fun reading and listening to books.

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  17. Wow, I am impressed. You are not only an awesome reader but share your thoughts so well. Good seeing a fellow blogger's book there too. My books are almost 100% via Audible. I love listening as I drive. It was great reading your post today after linking up for #LifeThisWeek on my blog. Thank you! I can’t believe we are in December! Now “only” 3 more Mondays for #lifethisweek in 2021. See you next week too I hope. Denyse.

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  18. So thrilled you enjoyed Under The Southern Sky!

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    1. I'm currently reading the latest Peachtree Bluff book too! Thanks for writing them! :)

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  19. Lots of cute holiday reads. The Santa Suit looks good. I enjoyed In a Holidaze overall.

    Lauren @ www.shootingstarsmag.net

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  20. In a Holidaze was such a great read! I need to get The Santa Suit. Mary Kay Andrews is a fave and everyone is talking positively about it.

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  21. I also enjoy reading holiday books at this time of year. I really liked Finding Christmas and In a Holidaze.

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    1. I may have fallen down the holiday book reading hole though as I have already read 8 or 9 more of them for December!

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  22. I'm glad you got your Christmas books in this year!

    It's been a while since I've checked in with Stephanie Plum. I should pick off some of those that I've missed!

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  23. From your list, I have read and loved The Little Cafe by the Lake (I am a huge fan). I do have Debbie Mccomber's Starry Night on my TBR Christmas Book pile. That will be my first venture into her books.
    Thank you for joining us at WOYBS. Good luck with reachign your reading goal.

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    1. Debbie's books are great; my favorite are her Rose Harbor & her Blossom Street series.

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  24. Hello Joanne! Thanks so much for joining us at our What's On Your Bookshelf? Link Party. So many books from your list which I know I would enjoy. I recently discovered Jenny Colgan and as my tradition is to read Christmas themed books during December I will definitely be adding the Christmas Cupcake Murder which sounds like a cozy crime read. Good for you almost reaching your Goodreads target you will get there! The Little Cafe by the Lake is a favourite of mine for many reasons but most of all because Jo is a good friend of mine. Wishing you a very Merry Christmas and New Year and I look forward to you joining us at the next WOYBS Link Party in January. x Sue L

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    1. I just discovered Jenny Colgan this winter and am loving her books! I really loved the Christmas Bookshop by her too.

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  25. I inhale anything by Jenny Colgan and read this one last Christmas. I've heard excellent things about The Santa Suit and can't believe I've never read anything by Debbie Macomber. Finally though, thanks so much for the shout out.

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  26. The only ones I've read here is Jo Tracey's and the Janet Evanovich. I'd missed a couple of the Stephanie Plum series but like that you can pick it up without missing too much.

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    1. You really can just pick them up anytime since the "formula" for each of the Plum books are very similar but I do enjoy them so much.

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  27. What a great list of Christmas books Joanne. This year in particular I'm seeing a lot more books in this genre and how much they are enjoyed. Thanks for linking up with us, it's so good to see what everyone is reading. Enjoy the holidays :)

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    1. Thank you! I have spent all of December so far reading Christmas books too!

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  28. Lots of holiday books! I'm not generally a fan of them, but occasionally I'll try to read one and I 100% pick it by how pretty the cover is. I'm glad you were able to get them in!

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    1. Yep, I am totally guilty of judging all books by their covers.

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