Thursday, November 30, 2023

November 2023 Reads

What I read in November

Hope you all had a great Thanksgiving! 

As we are in a buying season, I wanted to say out loud again please avoid buying books from Amazon unless they are unavailable elsewhere. Our indie bookstores need us if we're buying books, and Amazon does not ever need our book money. Buying books from Amazon or Target is killing the small local bookstores. If you are not near a local bookshop or can't get there for whatever reason, you can order on and choose a bookstore to support, or just have your purchase support a small bookstore in general as every purchase donates money to local bookstores. Buying from a small shop will cost you a few extra dollars and/or extra shipping, but it keeps bookstores alive. 

Purchasing books from Amazon kills bookstores, flat out. Here's a little more info on that.

If you're not buying but are reading (which is what I'm doing most of the time), there's also my lifelong favorite the local library - it is free for every single person and it is never too late to get a library card. You can also check out Netgalley for advanced copies.

Thanks for coming to my Don't Buy Books from Amazon or Target TED Talk.

Engrossing Reads

The Locked Door by Freida McFadden - A yearly shore rental guest dropped a boatload of Frieda McFadden books off to me in October and I've just started making my way through them now. I feel sort of like they are an assignment? LOL I've avoided this author thus far, not sure why. I liked this one. Paperback, gifted

'Till New Year's Day by Breonna Brownlee - As you all know by now, I am not a standard romance reader but I do like to pepper mysteries and lit fiction with romance and I love to support a fellow blogger (am I a former blogger at this point?). This novella was the perfect hour read before bed for me. Also loved Bre's novel Two Too Many - check that out if you're looking! Kindle, purchased

The Spy Coast (The Martini Club #1) by Tess Gerritsen - That rare Amazon First or whatever they're calling the monthly free book now that actually slaps. I don't know what future ones in the series might be like but I'll try them if she writes them because I like the characters assembled here. Also loving me some main characters in their 60s and beyond who are still actively living not solely reflecting on the lives they've already lived. Well done, Tess. Free Amazon First or whatever reads, digital 

The Heiress by Rachel Hawkins - Quick and enjoyable. One of those layered try to figure it out reads with a few red herrings that were clever. Thanks to Netgalley for the free advanced copy in exchange for an honest review, book publishes January 9

The Lies You Wrote (Raisa Susanto #1) by Brianna Labuskes - I didn't see that coming. I'm glad to see this is a #1 - I liked Raisa and will definitely read more, hoping this becomes a series. I wouldn't mind seeing Kilkenny as the supporting character in future books. Thanks to Netgalley for the free advanced copy in exchange for an honest review, book publishes January 1

Christmas Presents by Lisa Unger - I got sucked right into this - quick moving and a little scary at times - one of those books that is not winning any literary accolades but is getting an A+ for keeping me invested Thanks to Netgalley for the free advanced copy in exchange for an honest review

All the Little Truths (Finley O'Sullivan #3) by Debra Webb I’ve read all three in the past few weeks and have really come to love these characters. The books are simultaneously easy and intense and kudos to Webb for pulling that off. I’d definitely read more of these Thanks to Netgalley for the free advanced copy in exchange for an honest review

Tom Lake by Ann Patchett - Already sung about this from the rooftops in Instagram stories, but big, big love for this book despite standardly not having big love for Ann's novels. I read a copy from the library and then bought myself a copy for Christmas. As I get older, I buy less physical books with plans to keep them because I do not want shelves and shelves of books I didn't love - I only want to keep the ones I really loved. This was purchased with plans to keep. OCNJ library hardcover, now own a hard cover copy

Passed the Time Just Fine

Never Lie by Freida McFadden - The thing about these is that I can read them in a few hours, which is good? Totally fine way to pass a few hours. Paperback, gifted

Only If You're Lucky by Stacy Willingham - I'd clock it at a four, rounded up from 3.5, if we're going by a five star standard. Very passable and readable, but I did not devour this like I did her other two novels, probably because this was very slow out of the gate and also read younger to me and also had a similar setting to a book I just read and loved. I liked how things tied together throughout. Thanks to Netgalley for the free advanced copy in exchange for an honest review, book publishes January 16

Today Tonight Forever by Madeline Kay Sneed - Whew! I knew nothing about this going in and for some reason thought this was a light romance and it was absolutely not LOL. It was a lot. Some heavy AF topics in here, people dealing with deep shit that felt a little surface at times because there was so much going on, to go in depth on all of it would have been like three books. I was not prepared.
I loved the introspection of each character and the bits of overlapping perspective in POV shifts. Also loved the Deacon and Mollie characters immediately and fiercely. Thanks to Netgalley for the free copy in exchange for an honest review

Not For Me**
**This usually means if I knew now what I knew before I started it, I would not pick the book up in the first place
Held: A Novel by Anne Michaels - First, this book is absolutely beautiful in both its writing and its undercurrent of despair. Second, it begins after WWI and I tend to avoid that time period for some reason? It does span many years after though. Third, it reads like a college lit assignment and I feel like I should be sitting around with others trying to discuss themes and appear intelligent. Thanks to Netgalley for the free advanced copy in exchange for an honest review, book publishes January 30

What We Kept to Ourselves by Nancy Jooyoun Kim - Again, beautifully and carefully written. Again, undercurrent of depressing and despair. I’d read a whole book focused entirely on Sunny. The plot, eh, the kids, eh, husband, eh. The best parts of the book were the Sunny parts. Thanks to Netgalley for the free copy in exchange for an honest review

The Ex by Freida McFadden - What the hell was this, really. At the end I was like say what now? You want me to think what happened? Paperback, gifted

The Perfect Son by Freida McFadden - This was a little too boring and obvious for me and felt like a phone-in. Paperback, gifted

Did Not Finish

Clover Hendry's Day Off by Beth Morrey - Netgalley, publishes January 30


What have you been reading?


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