What I Read: November 2016

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I fear that this is the year the Internet dictated what I would read. Is that a bad thing? I don’t know. What I do know is that I have read more new releases this year than ever before. (As quickly as the library could get them to me; I VERY rarely buy books, especially new.)

My lists this year have been very heavily influenced by Modern Mrs. Darcy and her podcast as well as a book-chatting community I am part of on Facebook.

It’s not necessarily bad. It’s just different. And I feel like I’m plowing through a lot of new releases and not reading the mountain of books already published that are on my TBR list. It’s fun to keep up with what’s new; but what’s new is not always the best. Just an interesting conundrum.

That said, here’s what I read in November: three new releases (two BRAND new and one from June) and one book my husband loves.

threebodyproblem

The Three-Body Problem by Cixin Liu – So, I’ve made it clear that my husband and I are pretty different in terms of interests: he’s a mathematician and I am a writer. He became obsessed with this trilogy this summer that starts with The Three-Body Problem. He wanted to read something by a Chinese author, and this series has been wildly popular in China. It was translated and released in the U.S. in late 2014 (and the third one this September). I knew from how he and his friends talked about it that the book was VERY math-and-sciencey. But he also was raving about the book. And I knew I’d have an easier time than most with the Chinese names (I studied Chinese for 7 years).

All that to say, I should have heeded the warnings that this one would be too mathy for me. The story is very interesting, but it’s VERY saturated with physics and other science stuff. Trying to read it while I had a brand-new baby was also not the best plan! I trudged through, and I don’t think I’ll attempt to read the second one, despite the fact that my husband insists it’s less technical. I think it’s a good book if you are into the sciences. It was just really NOT for me.

heartless

Heartless by Marissa Meyer – After loving the Lunar Chronicles so, so much, I will definitely read anything Marissa Meyer writes. This is an Alice in Wonderland retelling. I hadn’t really read anything about this book other than that, and I guess I was expecting it to be more of a modern retelling, like the Lunar Chronicles. (OK, those aren’t modern, they’re futuristic, but it feels like a modern age.) Heartless is framed in the original Alice setting: Victorian era, with talking animals, a vanishing Cheshire Cat, and dreams that become reality.

I felt iffy about it at first, but as the story went on grew enchanted with the main character, Catherine. Her story is fun, romantic, and heartbreaking. If you like a taste of fantasy or fairy-tale retellings, I think you will love this one.

brindedcat

Thrice the Brinded Cat Hath Mew’d by Alan Bradley – This is the eighth book in the Flavia de Luce series by Bradley. I am still amazed at his ability to write about a 12-year-old British girl in the 1950s when he is a modern-day man in Canada! I was glad to have Flavia returned to her home and sisters at Buckshaw in England for this new mystery. It was a good one, with a cliffhanger at the end. I don’t consider myself much of a mystery series reader, but I will stick with this one til the end!

allthemissinggirls

All the Missing Girls by Megan Miranda – This thriller has received a good bit of hype since its June release. What really stands out is the format: the narration is in reverse order, from Day 15 to Day 1. The main character and narrator, Nicolette, has returned to her small hometown to help sell her dad’s house; he is in a care facility with the beginnings of Alzheimer’s or dementia (it’s unclear). But Nic is immediately plunged into the past as history repeats itself: her young neighbor goes missing, just like Nic’s best friend did 10 years prior.

As the days go backward, your mind will be fumbling for answers and trying to remember what happens in the future. It is an intriguing format and an interesting story with a multifaceted main character.

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What did you read in November? I have been working my way through a big old stack of library holds and I’ve already finished two books in December! (More 2016 releases … I can’t seem to help myself.)

This post will be added to Quick Lit at Modern Mrs. Darcy. 

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One thought on “What I Read: November 2016

  1. I get a lot of my recommendations from the internet, too, especially Modern Mrs. Darcy and her podcast. I don’t have a lot of bookish friends around me. I do have one, and we exchange recommendations. I always enjoy our chats about books. 🙂

    I can understand the tension between your ongoing list and the new things coming out. So many books, so little time!

    I only read one non-fiction in November- “Hillbilly Elegy” by JD Vance. It had been on my TBR list for awhile, and it’s one my husband had read. After seeing MMD recommend it as post-election reading, I finally got around to it. My husband is from Eastern KY, and I could relate to so much in the book through seeing that part of our extended family (and some from my own family of origin.) I do think it’s eye opening to consider all the different cultures in America, and many people don’t realize the diversity in America and how that influences lifestyles, etc. I also really wanted to read “White Trash: the 400 year old untold history of class in America.” My husband also read this one and recommended it as better than Hillbilly Elegy for understanding the class divide and the “poor” white population. I started it, but it fell by the wayside. Maybe eventually!

    I also read
    “Here’s to Us” by Elin Hildebrand (Good, I love seeing the “behind the scenes” of what people are thinking and how they are motivated.)
    “The Kitchen House” by Kathleen Grissom (Excellent, but hard to read. I took a couple of months to read this one, because it would start to feel too heavy. I would have to take a break when I got too emotionally involved. I would recommend this to everyone as an excellent story as well as important in remembering this part of our country’s history.)

    I also read some lighter things- “Turbo 23” by Janet Evanovich (I read all of this series). And I read some of the LIss MacCrimmon mysteries by Kaitlynn Dunnet. (They are great for light, escapist reading.)

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