Monday, November 15, 2021

Quick Lit - November 2021

Happy November!  I've been reading a plenty, between a lot of Christmas prep and also yard clean-up.  November is a weird in between of our active outside life and our winter hibernating life! This month contains multitudes.

I post about books sometimes on Instagram here, keep my Goodreads very up to date here, and am linking up with Modern Mrs. Darcy!

A few other book posts in the past month:

My Christmas Picture Book Process (because OF COURSE I have a whole process)

Now the grown-up books I've been reading!

You Have a Match by Emma Lord
YA, summer camp, a bit of reverse Parent Trap because the girls are trying to meet each other instead of setting up their parents.  I like the summer camp setting (it always reminds me of the, total, FOUR NIGHTS I spent at 4-H camp over 2 summers when I was almost 10 and almost 12) and Parent Trap is a classic but it was just ok.  I couldn't get invested in the story and the romantic interests AND I have some THOUGHTS on how adoption things were handled.  2.75 Stars

The Nature of Fragile Things by Susan Meissner
I had put off this historical fiction for awhile just because it seemed like a downer of a book so I was pleasantly surprised to enjoy it.  Takes place around the Great Earthquake in San Francisco in the early part of the 20th Century (there was also a Molly Murphy book set during that which gave me the tiniest bit of familiarity with it).  Complicated family situations and women making stands and a historic event.  It made me a bit tense at times but appreciated the story. 3.25 Stars

The Vanderbeekers Make a Wish by Karina Yan Glaser
I really enjoy the Vanderbeekers and it's always fun to pick up one of their books.  5 kids living with their parents in a Harlem brownstone, the kids are about 14-8 now I think, around there.  They get into all kinds of adventures and "saving" things and making a difference while their parents are occupied on other things.  They are a bit precocious but also get things done.  3.75 Stars

Room to Dream by Kelly Yang
Another middle grade book, this the third in a series about a young Chinese immigrant working at her parents' motel in Southern California in the 1980s I think.  She is ALSO precocious and things works out just a tiny bit too nicely for her but it's also very based on the author's real life experience so maybe things just work out like that for some people?  3.5 Stars

Listen: Five Simple Tools to Meet Your Everyday Parenting Challenges by Patty Wipfler and Tosha Schore
I was all in on the tools outlined in this book for the first 50 pages or something and then I just got VERY ANNOYED with the parents who seemed to have ENDLESS hours to deal with their kids tantrums and with the kids who were magically cured of all bad behavior after their parents used these tools.  There are for sure some good tips in here but I almost got too annoyed to use any of them.  2.5 Stars

Ghosts by Dolly Alderton
This was a book about nothing.  I kept waiting for a big reveal or something and...nothing.  A British woman who is ghosted by her kinda boyfriend.  There were friends and a friendship falling out too and  Just not a lot happened.  2.75 Stars

Now That I've Found You by Kristina Forest
A YA that I enjoyed, it reminded me a bit of The Sun is Also a Star in that it was teens running around New York City even though this one takes place over a (slightly) longer time frame than that one.  A young aspiring actress wants to follow in the footsteps of her very famous actress grandmother but then said grandmother disappears and the granddaughter needs the help of her grandmother's very cute grocery delivery boy to find her.  Fun.  3.25 Stars

Pumpkinheads by Rainbow Rowell and Erin Faith Hicks
I read this last year on Halloween and enjoyed it so much that I made a point to reread it on Halloween this year.  Graphic novel about the most epic pumpkin patch and a few teens who are working their last fall there before they graduate high school and head off to college.  Just super festive, fun, and a quick read. 4.75 Stars

Finlay Donovan is Killing It by Elle Cosimano
This was more fun than I expected, about an author who, in describing her novel's plot to her agent, instead gets mistaken for a hitman for hire and gets hired to kill a woman's husband.  There are complications and I'm not sure this was the best book for me to read in a dark house when everyone else was asleep BUT it was fun, as fun as a book about murder can be.  It also stuck the landing which is a feat.  I'll read the sequel.  3.75 Stars

The Most Beautiful Girl in Cuba by Chanel Cleeton
I COULD NOT get into this book which was a disappointment after really enjoying another book by this author.  It also made me think A LOT about a group project on the history of Cuba that I had to do for my "Economic History of Latin America" class in college ( was as boring as it sounds for someone with NO INTEREST in economic histories of any countries besides perhaps our own).  Maybe reading this book BEFORE that class (over 15 years ago) would have helped me on the history part of the presentation I was in charge of but alas...I was just confused and couldn't get into it.  Although reading The Social Graces and, again, Molly Murphy did help with some context for the New York part.  2.5 Stars

Tokyo Ever After by Emiko Jean
This one I read pretty fast, like The Princess Diaries but Japanese royalty instead of a made-up European country.  Literally, exactly that.  Which was really fun and I read the whole thing over a weekend.  I especially like a fun book to read over the weekend. 3.75 Stars

Millennial Nuns: Reflections on Living a Spiritual Life in a World of Social Media by The Daughters of Saint Paul
This was a more contemplative read but I really appreciated reading about these Sisters' journey to becoming sisters, their discernments, their love of Jesus.  I immediately recommended it to my SIL and a few nieces.  It really helped focus my brain a bit, especially leading into this busy time of year.  It's not amazing writing but I really appreciated the message. 4.75 Stars

Everyone is This Room Will Someday be Dead by Emily Austin
This book was a strange juxtaposition to be reading at the same time as Millennial Nuns.  This was about an atheist lesbian who is trying to get free counseling sessions but ends up getting a job as a secretary at a Catholic parish.  She is rather confused about MANY things at the church while also battling some mental health issues.  There is also a murder investigation in there.  There were a few parts that made me laugh out loud but it also realllly bummed me out in parts because she was just SO SAD and confused for so much of the book.  3 Stars

Read with Luke
Holes by Louis Sachar
Luke really enjoyed this one even though it took us awhile to get through (it's a LONG book!).  I had read it and seen the movie 20ish years ago and had forgotten the ending and many of the details so it was fun to revisit with him.  Great read aloud and now we're going to watch the movie to see how it compared. 3.5 Stars

The Best Halloween Ever by Barbara Robinson
This is our 3rd fall in a row reading this and I enjoy it more every year I think.  It's longer and less heartwarming than the classic Best Christmas Pageant Ever but there are a few moments that really make me laugh and Luke always enjoyed the antics of the Herdmanns. 3.5 Stars

Sarah, Plain and Tall by Patricia MacLachlan
I wasn't sure what Luke would think of this one but it was the only read aloud chapter book on my list that our library branch had on the shelf so we went with it.  I've thought about the colors of the sea OFTEN in my life ("blue and gray and green") and Luke was much more interested in this than I expected.  It's also VERY short.  I was expecting about 150 pages but it was about 60.  I don't know how they got a whole tv movie out of this but maybe they combined it with Skylark? (That's on our list to read eventually.) 3.75 Stars

I have my final 25 books for the year all planned out, a lot of annual seasonal rereading and then some fun new holiday reads too!  What have YOU been reading lately?

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