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Thursday, December 03, 2015

Books of November 2015

November is over and we haven't had snow in Columbus– which is weird, even for the middle of the state. Let's see... besides reading books what did my November include? A birthday, some brunches, happy hours, freelance illustrations, runs with friends, and a PR. November was our most relaxed month, which was lovely.

I'm in the middle of a massive Stephen King book (Lisey's Story) so my reading slowed down quite a bit, but I surpassed my goal to read 65 books (I'm at 73). Here's what I read:
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Career of Evil by Robert Galbraith (J.K. Rowling)
Review: 5 of 5
My favorite of the three Cormoran Strike novels and the best book of the month. Without giving too much away: it was very exciting and even when it got a bit slow (with a lull in the case), it was never boring. I can't wait for the next one. Robin and Strike are great. And Shanker's a fun addition.

Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon
Review: 4 of 5
This is the story of a "bubble girl." Madeline can't leave her house because of a rare condition. She's almost finished with high school (home schooling) when a boy moves in next door. He's intriguing and she starts to take chances within her very confined world...  It was a different type of YA story and I didn't want to go to bed until I was finished. Madeline is a great protagonist and Hollywood would be stupid not to make this into a movie. Even if it's another sick kid in love type thing, her story is better.

Far from You by Tess Sharpe
Review: 3.5 of 5
This book was OK. It felt like a mix of Lauren Oliver and Sarah Dessen. I wish I could add Megan Abbott for the exciting subplot, but MA would have added a few more twists.

Sometimes the descriptions were too cliche or sweet. (I suppose a real teenager is a bit cliche when describing feelings of love or pain). Anyway, it was a different kind of friendship and a fairly interesting mystery. I wish there were more characters because I had it (mostly) figured out halfway through. When you've only got four people to choose from, it isn't that difficult (unless the book's written by J.K. Rowling - see above). In the end, a fine read and a great first book for the author, but I didn't get sucked into the way I do with the authors mentioned above.

Jacob Have I Loved by Katherine Paterson
Review: maybe a 3.5 of 5
It was mildly refreshing to read about someone so angry and accusatory. Sara Louise was jealous, passive aggressive, but still smart and I wanted her to succeed. Her ultimate path was a little too similar to another character within the story, but whatever. The writing was good. Not a favorite but I appreciate it as something different. (Oh, and when I was younger I thought this was a love story because of the title. Apparently I wasn't up on my Bible verses. Decidedly not a love story.)

The Grownup by Gillian Flynn
Review: 3 of 5
This started out pretty great, but slowly descended into... mehhhhhhh. It was written for an anthology, so I assume she finished it in a few weeks vs. a few months (or a year). It was entertaining for sure, but her normal level of polish was missing. Usually there aren't any holes in her stories, but that was not the case here. If I'd read it in a short story collection (instead of as a standalone book) I probably would have liked it more.

A Load of Hooey by Bob Odenkirk
Review: 3.5 of 5
I  recommend the audiobook. It was nice to hear the author and friends read the short stories. I enjoyed many of the shorts – especially in the second half. Unfortunately, it took me a long time to get over the first short... which it turns out, wasn't even written by Bob Odenkirk! It was read and written by Megan Amram (I know her via Twitter, and I do think she's funny), but that was a terrible intro to the book. It was one of the longest shorts and it wasn't funny.

Anyway, Bob Odenkirk is still funny. I wouldn't recommend this to many people, but folks who like McSweeney's would probably get a kick out of it.

Cabin Porn: Inspiration for Your Quiet Place Somewhere by Zachery Klein
Review: 4 of 5
I figured this would be a random sampling of images collected from the Cabin Porn tumblr. Luckily, they went a step further and provided backstories for half a dozen structures with varying purposes. Alex and I started with some mild eye-rolling directed at the hipster ideals (especially with the author's group... it probably hits close to home since we like nature so much), but in the end I enjoyed the different stories that came after the author's intro. There was a good mix of younger, modern millennials and older, legit folks building homesteads. Some where more appealing than others, but every story was interesting.

Alex had one complaint: the author misused the word 'deciduous' in the section about Idaho.

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As always, these reviews were taken from my Goodreads.

What did you read in November?
What are you reading now?


  1. Wow, you really read a lot of books. I use to before I started blogging. I subscribe to 3 different magazines and my goal every month is to read at least one of them cover to cover. I have not met that goal once this year. Perhaps I will in December when I have more time off!

    1. I haven't read a magazine cover to cover for a long time! I need to do that. I have so many months piled up. Whoops. ;)


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