on the bookshelf – November

on the bookshelf – November

It’s funny how setting a goal can completely mess with your perspective. Sitting down to share my books finished in November, I’m feeling rather flat – I’m well behind on my goal for the year. This goal, admittedly, was rather optimistic, and set after a bumper start to the year. It was always going to be a long shot, and yet I’m not impressed, with four weeks left in the year, that it won’t happen.

Except then I look at what I actually did read in November.

Six books – four hard copy (or electronic version), and two audio books. Thats an average of a book a week, and half an audiobook a week. Considering reading is not my only hobby, that’s a pretty decent effort. Why should I feel like I’m “behind”, when I’ve got such a good tally behind me?

My November book finishes:

The Forgotten Garden (Kate Morton) – bought with an audible** bonus voucher, for the Bookish Knitter’s Society. I reviewed this book as part of my knitalong wrap up post, here.

The Hitchhiker (Gabriel Bergmoser) – this one was one of the monthly freebies with our audible sub. I picked it up after I finished The Forgotten Garden and was still in the mood for an audiobook. It was very much outside my usual style of read, requiring an overnight pause so I didn’t get nightmares! Overall though, it was a decent story. it provoked a lot of conversation in the ministry chat, so I think that can be considered a success of a book!

The Tulip Tree (Suzanne McCourt) – A family saga, set in Poland between the wars, into the Second World War and into the years of the Snowy River Scheme. It was hard going at times, and didn’t shy away from the impacts of the wars, or the moral conflicts many found themselves in. But like many books centred on that era, they are important stories to tell, and to understand. It feels wrong to say I enjoyed it, but despite the emotional themes of the book, it was a good read. (Kindle // Hardcopy)

The Secret Wife (Mark Lamprell) – I loved this book so much. Both the protagonists were relatable in their own ways. Frankie, the housewife who feels trapped by the demands of stay at home mothering and yearns for something greater. And Edith, who’s domestic neuroticism is endearing as she strives to find meaning in big events. Together they form an unconventional friendship and build a life that keeps everyone happy…until they’re not. (Kindle // Hardcopy)

The Prince Rupert Hotel For The Homeless (Christina Lamb) – if you only read one memoir this year, make it this one. The true story of a four star hotel, the covid pandemic, and the Everyone In program who brought London’s rough sleepers to stay in place of the usual lords and ladies. It was absolutely gripping, and a heartrending look at the systemic issues that can lead to vulnerable people slipping through the cracks. (Kindle // Hardcopy)

Christmas in Paris (Jackie French) – I picked this up on BorrowBox for my advent read along. It’s a short story, set between two other full length novels which I hadn’t read. It wasn’t a bad read, though I didn’t love the ending. Maybe if I’d read the main novels, it would be more enjoyable? But it was a quick read, and one book closer to my pre-Christmas goal! (Kindle)

I’m hoping to finish the year as strongly as I started it. I have my library apps and kindle and audible stacked with a heap of Christmas books. They’re a great way to bump my numbers, being most often light and fluffy and perfect for polishing off in a single setting. Are there any absolutely brilliant Christmas books you think I should add to my list? Drop a comment and let me know!

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