November Reading Summary

Favourite books read in November:

I enjoyed all of the books I read in November, but have chosen three favourites. The first is The Snow Child, a beautiful, enchanting story by Eowyn Ivey set in 1920s Alaska and inspired by a Russian fairy tale. The second, Nine Coaches Waiting, was my first experience of Mary Stewart and turned out to be one of the best books I’ve read all year. And I decided to try something completely different with Patrick deWitt’s The Sisters Brothers and I’m glad I did because it was so much fun to read.

Other books read in November:

The second Mary Stewart book I read last month was Rose Cottage. It was good, but I would describe it as a pleasant book rather than a thrilling one like Nine Coaches Waiting. Blow on a Dead Man’s Embers by Mari Strachan was my most surprising read of the month as I wasn’t expecting to love it as much as I did. It’s a moving and absorbing story set in Wales in the aftermath of World War I and I can highly recommend it.

I also enjoyed The Ghost of Lily Painter by Caitlin Davies, which combines a ghost story and a family mystery with an account of ‘baby farming’ in Edwardian London. The Rose Garden by Susanna Kearsley was another great read. And I was gripped by Dreams of Joy, the sequel to Lisa See’s Shanghai Girls which I read in October.

In New York by Edward Rutherfurd I learned about the history of New York City via the stories of some fictional families who lived there. Rutherfurd’s books are a good example of how historical fiction can be both educational and entertaining. I read some historical non-fiction in November too: The Women of the Cousins’ War: The Duchess, the Queen and the King’s Mother by Philippa Gregory, David Baldwin and Michael Jones. This is the companion book to Gregory’s Cousins’ War series of novels and helped fill some of the gaps in my knowledge.

Also last month, I decided it was time for another Agatha Christie book and thought I’d try The Murder of Roger Ackroyd. I loved it, but did have a slight problem with it which I’ll explain when I post my review! I also read The House of the Wind by Titania Hardie, a dual timeframe story set in modern day San Francisco and 14th century Tuscany. And I read the third book in Alan Bradley’s Flavia de Luce mystery series, A Red Herring without Mustard, which I was pleased to find was as enjoyable as the previous two.

As you’ll have noticed, I haven’t posted my thoughts yet on some of these books, but I’ll get to them eventually. I’ve decided to stop worrying about how many books I still need to write about, though it would be nice to catch up before January!

Did you read any good books in November? What are you hoping to read before the end of the year?

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16 thoughts on “November Reading Summary

  1. Richard Reeder says:

    Yes “The Sisters Brothers” was a fun read. And this is from one who normally eschews the Western genre. The language kept my attention, despite the preposterous story. I finally got around to reading “The Sense of an Ending” and it was indeed desrving of the Booker. Barnes seems to have the best sense of writing style today.

    • Helen says:

      I don’t usually read westerns either, Richard, so I was surprised to find I enjoyed The Sisters Brothers so much. I now have a copy of The Sense of an Ending so hopefully I’ll get around to reading that one soon too.

  2. Anbolyn says:

    The book I finished on the last day of the month, Silver Sparrow by Tayari Jones, was my very favorite book of November and one of my favorites of the year. I always love seeing your round-up posts – you read such an exciting variety of books!

  3. Sue says:

    I enjoyed The Stranger’s Child by Alan Hollinghurst and a rather strange book, Visitation by Jenny Erpenbeck about a succession of people who live by a lake in what becomes East Germany over a period of years. It covers about 10 years of turbulant history (from about 1930s) and was informative and heart wrenching. She has a distinctive style which took a bit of getting used to. Afraid Bryant and May did little for me which is unusual as our tastes are usually pretty similar! Next month looking forward to reading Lorna Doone, A Language of Flowers and The Traveller by John Twelve Hawks which is right out of my comfort zone! Will also look out for The Snow Child after the reviews! Thank you for them – they certainly enrich my reading.

    • Helen says:

      I’ve never heard of Visitation but it sounds very intriguing! Sorry to hear you didn’t enjoy Bryant and May but I suppose no two people will ever like exactly the same books. I hope you enjoy your reading this month – I know I read Lorna Doone when I was younger but it was so long ago now that I can’t remember much about it.

  4. Jo says:

    A real good selection of books and I will look forward to the upcoming reviews.

    Who knows what December will bring just more reading I think! Time to start thinking though of all the best books read in the year as well.

  5. Charlie says:

    That’s a good lot of books! You’ve reminded me to keep Shanghai Girls in sight – I’ve had a few books to read lately and completely forget I’d put it on the soon list.

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