November Reads: What’s on your nightstand?

What's on your nightstand? November

Jean-Honoré Fragonard [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Let’s talk about books!

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To recap what I read last month, you can read the post or I can just tell you:

The Story of a New Name, Dad’s Fat, and Hungry Heart: Adventures in Life, Love, and Writing

I am happy to say that I kept up with the good pace and read even more for November- and soooo I have a bunch of great titles to share with you. Honestly, the reason why I am reading so much is that I sort of panicked! I have just 30 more days to complete my Book Riot 2016 challenge and I still haven’t read quite a few books.

After a dive into my TBR (to be read) pile, I now am happy to say that I have just a few (omg- still too many to finish!) for December.

 Here’s what I read for November:

The Story of a New Name, by Elena Ferrante (finished!), 2013
Not part of the challenge, so it takes up a lot of my reading time, that doesn’t “count” toward anything but is probably the most fulfilling…As I finished this book, I found that this is pulling me completely to the next in the series. I have to say, I am tired of series in general though. It limits you to having to read the next one if you liked it. I feel like I need to get on with other books already but am tied to having to read the series! The third book in the Ferrante books is on my pile of to-read books now, so I will start it this week.

Girl on the Train, by Paula Hawkins (audio), 2016

I loved this! what a great audiobook! It did win the 2016 Audie award for book of the year(!) so I knew other people thought so, and I had always wanted to read it, but never had. It was so compelling and fun to read that my commute was all but over before I wanted it to be! I finally finished it by sitting in my driveway until it was done! Highly recommend as audio, but as a book as well. Now I just have to watch the movie to complete my book challenge of both reading the book and movie of the same name. Do you ever try not to do that? I always shy away from a movie if I loved the book, so that I am not disappointed. But this time, I couldn’t stop thinking about the face of Emily Blount whenever her character was read. Hazards of books turned into movies, I guess! It’s a who-done-it type of book, that keeps you guessing as the story line is told from several points of view, that track time backward from a terrible event. Yes. Just get this one!

Amityville Horror, by Jay Anson, 1979
I had never read this true story, but I remember when the movie came out and was super scared by the concept.  This was the “horror” book that I challenged myself to read this year, and since it is a true story that occurred in 1975, I wanted to know about it. As told in a journalist style, the book details how after moving into a house where a horrible event occurred, a family experienced several repeated occurences and situations that left them terrified and running from the house after just 28 days of living there! This is a non-fiction book, my friends. So if you are interested or intrigued by poltergeist, exorcisms, or things of this nature, then maybe read this when you want to be spooked. It is a fast read- I read it in a day, which says a lot on it being super fast to read! Overall, I liked it. Very different from what I would normally pick, so it was a push to explore something I know nothing about.

Wild Seed, by Octavia Butler, 1980.
This is the first in a series of 4  in the Patternist Series, about two immortals who live in constant struggle with each other: one as a healer, the other who only exists by killing others.  The “wild seed” is the healer, Awaynyu, who Doro, the tyrant wants to breed, in order to finally create a people who are like them: special powers of mind reading, shape shifting, and long lives. The time period of the book is during slavery in Africa to America and presents a different existence based on the lives of these two beings. This books is both a historical account of the atrocities of slavery and also a futuristic look of what our world would look should these books be reality. Very much a science fiction pick here. If this is your type of book you will love it. It definitely would compel me to read the next in the series if I didn’t have so much to read already!

My Grandmother Asked Me To Tell You She’s Sorry, by Fredrick Bachman, 2013

A story about a very different and lonely little 7 year old, who has a very connected relationship with her crazy grandmother, who tells her wonderful fairy tales and stories to make the very best of some very hard situations. It is brilliantly told- the best stories unfold as the book progresses. I love the sense of peeling back of the layers of the onion to find the best part at the end of the story. This is such a great book. The author wrote the bestselling, A Man Called Ove, and also the book, Britt-Marie was Here…which I of course now have to read both of these!

What’s on my eBook reader- reviews?

I am in the midst of reviewing for its January release, Selection Day by Aravind Adiga. He wrote a great book, White Tiger, which won the Booker Prize in 2004, about a poor boy living in Bangalore, India who grows up yearning to be a part of what he deems the true Indian culture of entrepreneurship. It is a dark and funny book, that I loved, so I decided to review Selection Day, which is also a book about Indian culture, but one much different. This book is about two brothers who play game of Cricket and how their lives are shaped by their intense upbringing and lives together. Review to come!

What are my kids loving?

11 Year Old

Now done with #3 of the Harry Potter books, she is onto #4 and in deep love with these books.

10 Year Old

The Thea Stilton books feature a girl-mouse who encounters a dilemma and then figures out an answer. Very cute, straightforward middle-reader here, but the way that the text is written and with scattered pictures is compelling for an 8-10 year old- the beauty is that she is reading harder books, and this is a fun read that she can finish. This series is one that she will re-read when there is nothing else. Fun and cute.

6 Year Olds
Still love their Richard Scarry books. It  is funny, but my guys love the character of Mr. Frumble. He’s such a pain in the neck for the Fire Fighters and for whatever reason, it compels the boys to read this over and over. I am partial to these books too, since I read them when I was a kid and remember loving Lowly the worm and his apple-car.

I have trying to find books with a theme for the boys, so last month we were Fall-themed and this month, in the lead-up to winter we picked some snow-books that we’re liking:

Blizzard, by John Rocco

This author accounts his own experience in the “Blizzard of 1978” as a young boy. My kids love this book because the pictures are from a little-one’s viewpoint…like 4 feet tall and covered in snow! Their dad has a few stories and pictures from when he was little and sitting on a mountain of snow from the blizzard and they love that the book is true and also a great story. Nice pictures and a fold-out that is a fun, map of his world type of picture.

Sooooo. That is IT! A lot, right? Well, for me, it was!

What’s on YOUR nightstand? Comment below to share– I am not a book snob, clearly, so bring it on! I love hearing what’s out there: good, bad or ugly!

Check out these nightstands at : 5 Minutes for MomBookDate, &  Booknificient on Thursday!

What are you reading and loving right now?

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2 thoughts on “November Reads: What’s on your nightstand?

  1. Lisa notes...

    I’ve recently looked at my book challenges too and was disappointed. My “Read Harder Challenge” page is looking sparse. You’re doing much better than I am! I’ve been shying away from Girl on the Train because the movie looked scary. ha. So I’m glad you survived the book. 🙂

    1. Post author

      I didn’t think I’d like it, but as an audio, it wasn’t scary…it was problematic as the characters are so flawed, but it wasn’t scary. Thank goodness, because I really don’t do books that keep me up at night worrying! I’d very much recommend it as audio!

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