I am so happy to say that November was a fabulous reading month for me! After these past few months of severe reading slumps and book hangovers, it was amazing to get back into my usual swing of things! This was especially exciting because I was also in the midst of NaNoWriMo and I was expecting that to get in the way of my reading. It probably helped that my hubs was gone for almost two weeks, so I had sooo much uninterrupted reading and writing time.
Anyway, this month I was able to finished 16 books and 2 audiobooks, for a grand total of 18 completed works!!! Those 16 books spanned 6539 pages! The audiobooks added up to 28 hours and 31 minutes of listening time! I can credit that to several trips to visit my parents while Ian was away.
Let’s take a look at everything I read this month!
Lair of Dreams by Libba Bray
613 Pages. 4/5 Stars. Reread.
“For dreams, too, are ghosts, desires chased in sleep, gone by morning. The longing of dreams draws the dead, and this city holds many dreams.”
I had such a hard time getting through this book. Not because I didn’t enjoy it, because I definitely did, but because it has a lot of heaviness to it. I am not a fan of horror as a genre, nor suspense, and this definitely toed the line between YA Paranormal Fantasy and straight up Spooky. This meant it was much harder for me to get sucked into. But I refused to DNF and I am very glad for it! I do think, however, that I will be delaying reading the next book in the series. Just until I recover a bit.
The Bookworm Crush by Lisa Brown Roberts
400 Pages. 5/5 Stars.
Such a fun read! I did a full review of this here, so check it out! If you love YA Contemporary, you will love this fun little book, which follows a bookstagrammer/booktuber/book blogger and a hottie surfer as they fake date. So many pop culture references, so many tropes, so many heart eyes from me!!! I will definitely be snagging basically every other book Lisa has written because, if this is any indication of what she has to offer, they are clearly going to join the ranks among my favorite contemporary reads!
Eragon by Christopher Paolini
509 Pages. 5/5 Stars. Reread.
Reading The Fork, the Witch, and the Worm last month created a deep seated need to revisit the Inheritance Cycle. It’s been a few years since I did a reread of this series, and I am sooooo glad I did it now. Coming back to this world has been such a breath of fresh air, especially after the rough reading months I’ve had of late. Sometimes it’s great just to jump into a book you KNOW you will love.
I always forget that this book made the NY Times Bestsellers list when Christopher Paolini was only 18 years old, and it never ceases to amaze me that he wrote this at such a young age. It definitely makes me feel like I should have started writing earlier, but also inspires me a bit; if he can do it as a teen, I could do it as a thirty-something!
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl
155 Pages. 5/5 Stars. Reread.
“So please, oh please, we beg, we pray,
Go throw your TV set away,
And in its place you can install
A lovely bookshelf on the wall.
Then fill the shelves with lots of books.”
This was a completely random read for me, as I happened to pick up a beautiful B&N Hardcover Classic that featured this and two other Dahl stories. I grew up reading Roald Dahl, and it has probably been decades since I read any of his works. It was wonderful to revisit, AND it made me realize how different the book is from the movie (no surprise there, really). In fact, I never realized that the whole “fizzy lifting drink” scene from the original movie was added in, and was never even part of the book. The more you know, right?
James and the Giant Peach by Roald Dahl
146 Pages. 4.5/5 Stars.
Another of the stories from my beautiful B&N Hardcover Classic, I realized that I don’t think I ever actually read this story! I have seen the movie a few times when I was young, but didn’t recognize a single part of the book as I was reading it.
One thing that I was reminded of as I was reading these was just how dark of a writer Dahl really was. All the baddies in these books come to pretty gruesome ends, to the joy of the main characters. For example, in this one James’ aunts get squashed flat by the peach, and then they sing a song about it. I would hazard to say that Dahl was a big fan of the Brother’s Grimm.
Eldest by Christopher Paolini
668 Pages. 5/5 Stars. Reread.
“Live in the present, remember the past, and fear not the future, for it doesn’t exist and never shall. There is only now.”
I really love this installment, as it’s where we first get to see Du Weldenvarden and see Eragon get actual training as a Rider. We also get an added POV from Eragon’s cousin Roran, as he and the whole town of Carvahall flee the Empire. We see plenty of action and adventure in this one.
We also see some pretty epic reveals, most of which caught me off guard the first time I read it! This might be my favorite book in the series, but I will hold my judgement until I have read them all and compared. Brisingr is also pretty epic, so it’s a tough race.
Muse of Nightmares by Laini Taylor
Audiobook narrated by Steve West. 15h 54m. 5/5 Stars. Reread.
“Once upon a time there was a silence that dreamed of becoming a song, and then I found you, and now everything is music.”
I have said it once and I will say it again, Steve West has the voice of an angel and he could record the dictionary and I would buy the audiobook. The fact that he is the voice behind one of my very favorite series by one of my very favorite authors makes it all the better!
I haven’t actually reread this since it first released, so it was awesome to come back to it for another go! I had forgotten some of the finer details, and was definitely brought to tears a few times (always fun while driving, which is when I listen to audiobooks). I had to resist the urge to pick up my physical copy of the book and read ahead, making myself take the time to listen to it in it’s entirety. It was SO good, and I cannot recommend it enough!
Hitching the Cowboy by Kennedy Fox
250 pages. 4/5 Stars.
I got an eARC of this in exchange for a fair review, and as part of a blog tour. I have read a few Kennedy Fox books in the past and liked them well enough. I really only end up reading Adult Romance when I just need something relatively mindless to read, and this definitely fits into that category. I definitely don’t mean that in a bad way, just know this isn’t a book that is going to overwork your brain at all.
I did do a full review of this, which you can check out here!
Brisingr by Christopher Paolini
748 Pages. 5/5 Stars. Reread.
“They enveloped each other within the folds of their thoughts, holding each other with an intimacy no physical embrace could replicate, allowing their identities to merge once again. Their greatest comfort was a simple one: they were no longer alone. To know that you were with the one who cared for you, and who understood every fiber of your being, and who would not abandon you even in the most desperate of circumstances, that was the most precious relationship a person could have, and they both cherished it.”
This just might be my most favorite book of this series. I can’t really pinpoint why, exactly, but I do know I love the scene where he helps to make Brisingr. I really do adore this series, and doing this reread has been awesome.
Breakup Boot Camp by Beth Merlin
277 Pages. 4/5 Stars.
I got an eARC of this to review in exchange for a fair review, and it was a delightful read! I actually wrote a full review, which you can read here, so I won’t ramble on about it!
After weeks of training to whip Joanna Kitt into shape for her big day, her picture-perfect engagement to her high school sweetheart is torn in two, and Joanna is left out on her perfectly toned rear end. To put the past and her heartache behind her, she sets off for two weeks at the renowned Retreat House Breakup Boot Camp in Topsail Island off the coast of North Carolina. (Synopsis from Goodreads)
Lip Smacker by Alison G Bailey
171 Pages. 5/5 Stars.
Another eARC I got in exchange for a review, this one had me laughing and crying and feeling all of the feels I could feel. Usually I would be turned off my a 249 page count. but this book managed to make those 249 pages feel like 400. If you want a book that will hit you in all the right places, then I would definitely suggest giving this one a try! I will definitely be reading more from this author! You can check out my full review (and an excerpt!) here.
Inheritance by Christopher Paolini
849 Pages. 5/5 Stars. Reread.
“She lowered her head until it was at his level. He stroked the line of her jaw, and then pressed his forehead against her hard snout and held her as tightly as he could, her scales sharp against his fingers. Hot tears began to slide down his cheeks.
‘Why do you cry?’ she asked.
‘Because… I’m lucky enough to be bonded with you.'”
I have reached the end of my full series reread and it was a glorious time! These books never fail to make me happy, and I know I will read them again and again. PLUS Paolini has said we will definitely be getting more from this world, and that makes me SUPER excited!
Of Curses and Kisses by Sandhya Menon
384 Pages. 5/5 Stars.
I am extremely fortunate to be a member of Sandhya Menon’s street team and, as such, got the change to read this before it comes out! Sandhya is one of my very favorite YA contemporary authors, and also one of my auto-buy authors, so I was super stoked to see she is working on a new series of books that are all modern day fairytale retellings! I won’t say too much here, other than that this is inspired by Beauty and the Beast and that I loved every minute! I will definitely have a full review up closer to the actual release!
Redwall by Brian Jacques – Audiobook
12h 37m. 4.5/5 Stars. Reread.
It has been a long time since I last revisited the Redwall series, and I am so glad I decided to do so! I’d def forgotten how vicious these books get sometimes, and then I noticed them in the Adult fantasy section at B&N as well as the children’s section, so they def span all ages!
This is the more current recording (there is another, older, one as well, with a full cast) and the narrator does a great job. I will definitely be listening to the whole series in turn, and am already halfway through Martin the Warrior!
The Art of French Kissing by Brianna R. Shrum
256 Pages. 4 Stars.
I highly recommend having some French Macaroons on hand when you read this book, because you will definitely crave them after. I ended up going out and buying a dozen from my local Macaroon bakery (Sweets by Coolwoka, which you 100% should visit if you ever find yourself in Southern New Hampshire!) and have been savoring them in the days since.
As for the book, it was a fun little YA contemporary that I definitely enjoyed and finished in one sitting. I didn’t always love the main character, Carter, but I adored Reid and the side characters. I will likely have a full review out soon (she says knowing that’s only a 50/50 change based on her history).
Light Years by Kass Morgan
377 Pages. 4.5/5 Stars. Reread.
If you loved Aurora Rising and Skyward, you will definitely want to read this book (and the sequel). It came out before either, but has such a similar vibe and is a great read! Kass Morgan def knows science fiction (hello, The 100) and this is a perfect example of her skill. It follows four cadets in the Quatra Fleet Academy, one from each of the four planets in the system. Except this is the first time cadets from any planet other than Tridian have been allowed to attend. We get class divides, love stories, conspiracy, and of course a little bit of impending warfare. Well worth the read!
Supernova by Kass Morgan
352 Pages. 4/5 Stars.
The sequel to Light Years, I have no idea why I waited so long to read this other than just the fact that I suck at completing series. However, I have been craving Sci-Fi lately for some reason, and neither book in this duology is super long so I figured it was the perfect time to finally finish it!
I will say that I didn’t like this one quite as much as the first, although it was still good. I was less attached to the characters, and felt like there was maybe too much packed into the 352 pages. Another 50-100 pages might have enabled the author to pace the book a little better. HOWEVER, it was still a great read and I really enjoyed this duology! I will be putting this on my Sci-Fi shelf for a future reread!
The Merciful Crow by Margaret Owen
384 Pages. 5/5 Stars.
Look! An actual book from my actual TBR!!!!! It’s a Christmas miracle!!!! I’ve had this book since it showed up in my FairyLoot box months ago. I was browsing my shelves for a book to read and decided I should probably knock something off my TBR this month. My TBR cart is overfull right now and the holidays are upon us which means I need to make room!
This. Book. Was. AMAZING! I absolutely loved it, from start to finish. Margaret Owen has such a great writing style, and the story was well paced and kept me hooked the whole time. I wasn’t able to read it in one sitting (stupid family obligations and prior engagements), but I kept thinking about it even when I wasn’t reading it, dying for the chance to pick it back up. SO GOOD! I will probably need to do a full review on this one, because I have so many thoughts!
And there we have it! All 18 books for the month of November! We have one month left in the reading year and I am sitting at 169 books on my goal of 150! Last year I was able to finish 192 (including audio), and my all-time record was in 2017 when I finished 202. I definitely think I could come close to last year’s record if I push, although breaking 200 would be some sort of miracle. My plan is to just read anything and everything I want, with no regard to what I think I “need” to read. With any luck, I’ll have a great month! Feel free to check in on my progress every Wednesday when I do my weekly WWW check-ins!