Monday, April 12, 2021

What I Read in November

November was a month of mostly library rentals and audiobooks, so no book stack for this month. It was a pretty good month for books, though - I read a couple of my favorites of the year in this round up! Let's do it.

All the books I read in November | www.jennrych.comMy Own Words by Ruth Bader Ginsburg (4 stars)

I listened to this one as an audiobook, and though she didn't read the entire thing herself, I got to hear RBG through recordings of her speeches and as she popped in to read certain passages. I loved that - I always love when authors read at least some of their own books. This book was informative and empowering (even a little funny at parts, especially when her husband was a topic), but it is full of politics and legalese. It gets a bit dry at times, and certainly isn't gripping or overly entertaining, but it was definitely worth the listen! 

The Bakeshop at Pumpkin and Spice by Donna Kauffman (& others) (3 stars)

This one was...okay. This had a collection of romantic stories based around a small town in autumn, but I expected the atmosphere to be a bit more. More detailed, more cozy, more basic (haha). The first story was the only one I really felt connected to, but it was also a little unrealistic as far as how the romance came together. It felt rushed and fake, though some aspects of it were still enjoyable. It was cute, but a bit cheesy and a little disappointing for me. 

World of Wonders by Aimee Nezhukumatathil (4.5 stars)

This book was so gorgeous! As I described it on my post of my favorite books of 2020, "It's part memoir, part nature-based non-fiction, part poetry, and all beautiful. I adored it. Reading it was a whole vibe." That's the simplest way to sum it up, but here's a little more detail if that doesn't catch you: the book is written in little essay-like chapters centered around something special about the natural world. She beautifully ties the characteristics of a specific plant or animal to a moment in her life experience. It's so well done - a must read!

The Return by Nicholas Sparks (3 stars)

This is basically what you might come to expect from a Nicholas Sparks book - easy reading, an intriguing romance, and an atmospheric trip to coastal North Carolina. This one was layered with the usual family struggles and heartache, and a resolution that took the long way around. This story is centered on an injured veteran who is spending his time at his late Grandfather's home while he figures out his next steps. There he meets Natalie, who he seems to hit it off with, and the two become friends. The pair also work together to figure out a mystery surrounding a teenage local. Their relationship is complicated and feels like it has no good resolution, but you's Nicholas Sparks. You do the math. ;)

This Time Next Year by Sophie Cousens (4 stars)

This one was good! Such a cute love story. This unlikely couple starts out as rivals - and they have been since birth. They were born minutes apart in neighboring hospital rooms on New Years Eve. The main character, Minnie, has considered the fact that Quinn beat her out of the womb (and therefore stealing away the hospital's prize awarded to the first baby born on New Year's Day) to be the start of her unlucky curse. She prefers to spend her birthday indoors and away from others while she rides out her unlucky day. She gets dragged out to a party on December 31st - the eve of her 30th birthday - and bumps into none other than Quinn. The story then follows Minnie on a journey with friendship, running a non-profit, and coming to terms with the animosity she's carried for Quinn for three decades. I loved the way their lives had been intertwined as they went through life unaware, and it's such a great ride to watch Minnie realize that instead of fighting a curse, she may have been fighting fate.

Anxious People by Fredrik Backman (5 stars)

If you read one book from November's list, it should be this one. This also made an appearance on my favorite 2020 books list, and it's riiiight up at the top. Top 3 for sure. In my opinion, Fredrik Backman is one of the greatest writers of the moment, and this was one of his more quickly-paced and suspense inducing stories. This book revolves around a mystery bank robber who accidentally took an apartment full of people hostage. The hostages round out a diverse and complicated cast of characters as you try to work out who committed this crime and how each of them fit into the story. There are so many little sub plots and explorations into the human condition that it keeps you thinking and wondering and dying to know what happens next! I loved it so, so much - it's re-read worthy.

Have you read or loved any of these? Let me know!
One more post to finally round out all the books I read in 2020! Phew.

PS - A few of these are on Book of the Month for cheaper than Amazon, if you're interested! This link gets you a discount off your first box!

This post contains affiliate links. That means if you click through or shop from one of these links, I may make a small commission. It's teeny tiny, but still helps me support this blog and I am SO grateful! xx

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