what even was november? did it actually happen? i blinked and it was over.
how are you all going?
I’m okay – just looking forward to the hellish year ending.
so today’s post is going to be short mainly because i didn’t actually read all that much! recently, i’ve just been so meh with everything and it’s been taking me a lot longer to read books this month (and i think last month). I am still reading One Hundred Years of Solitutude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez that I started reading in the middle of November! and it’s now the 4th of December. Is anyone else going through something similar? It’s not entirely a reading slump but I am definitely not reading as fast nor as many as I used to.
let’s get this show on the road, shall we?
okay. I’m going to go through what I read in the chronological order that I read them. so the first book i finished in the month of November was Paradise Lost by John Milton.
What a book. I read this in a constant state of awe. I could sit here and say that the language was stunning but that honestly would be an understatement. Reading Paradise Lost was like being transported in another dimension – I have no idea how to describe my reading experience only that it was almost like learning a new language. I feel like we don’t get poetry written like this anymore, which is so incredibly sad.
I THEN RE-READ ONE OF MY FAV CONTEMPORARY ROMANCES FROM LUKOV WITH LOVE BY MARIANA ZAPATA. IT WAS AMAZING. 10/10 WOULD RECOMMEND. this was a buddy read with my lovely friend Tree.
If you’ve been following me this year on any social media, you would have seen that I discovered one of my new favourite authors, TJ Klune. Klune is an incredible author who wrote one of my now favourite series: the Green Creek series. This series took over my life during the middle of this year and I was pining for the last book to come out at the end of October. When it finally came, when I waited for the moment the package came to my front door – I could not wait to immerse myself back into this universe.
Brothersong by TJ Klune was a wonderful end to the series. It destroyed me. Klune writes with such an intense emotionality all the more poignant as a result of Klune’s lyrical writing. I don’t know how to describe this series; but if you enjoy found families, romance, gay werewolves and descriptive, poetic writing – this series is for you.
The last few months I have been on a quest to read all of Jane Austen’s full length novels.
November was dedicated to reading Mansfield Park, my fifth Jane Austen book.
This one didn’t wow me and I did not find it all that exceptional. I continued reading it because I love Austen’s writing – but I found the characters, the story and the romance to not be as engaging and interesting as her other previous books that I’ve read this year.
honestly, though I haven’t read all that much in November, most of the books that I did read are new favourites and/or 4.5 to 5 star reads. The next book is absolutely no exception.
Rebecca by Daphne Du Maurier.
Should I need any more words?
I freaking fell in love with this book. It was earth-shattering in the best way. The setting of this story, the characters, the atmosphere itself – everything was masterfully constructed and weaven together in such a way that in itself was a stunning testament to the talents of the author. I think I also realised this year that gothic fiction is a subset of fiction that I’ve been consistently enjoying; Mexican Gothic by Silvia Moreno-Garcia, Villette by Charlotte Bronte, Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte (though I read this years ago), Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen (though this is more a parody) and Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon. Now add Rebecca to the list. I don’t think I can point to just one thing that I adored – it was more of an amalgamation of everything – it was done so masterfully that I couldn’t help but buckling in for the ride.
I also think that my favourite character was Frank.
I may have also hunted down Jamaica Inn and My Cousin Rachel on ebay second-hand. I couldn’t help myself.
I then read The Cousins by Karen McManus. This was my first McManus book and it was a great solid read. I am not too sure if I would pick up her books again, but it was an easy and enjoyable read. I also wrote a full length review for a blog tour so you can read that here if you would like!
It was then during the month of November where I began to feel just ugh.
I needed a comfort read but I also wanted to read something that was on my physical tbr.
I turned to Nora Roberts. She is one of my all-time favourite authors and I felt like I needed to read one of her contemporary romance thrillers. So I did.
Homeport was an easy read and I enjoyed it. Though not one of Roberts’ best, it definitely was what I needed. I think one of Roberts’ key strengths is her ability to write authentic family relationships. Seriously. Not many authors can do this, but Roberts does it with panache. I also loved the fact that this story centred on history and archeometry. Super cool.
One of my most anticipated releases of the year was Archangel’s Sun by Nalini Singh. I think it was such a surprise (well, she’s one of my favourite authors) because the story centred on a random coupling: Titus and Sharine (the Hummingbird).
It was brilliant.
Titus is now one of my favourite characters in the Guildhunter universe. Not only is he a bad bitch, but he is hilarious and so freaking precious. Also, the fact that he is the youngest of four sisters is such an awesome aspect that is interwoven in the story. I don’t think we have ever had that aspect in this series – particularly concerning an Archangel. The fact that one of Titus’ sisters is in a polyamorous relationship (HELL YEA) was also SO FREAKING AWESOME. It always pissed me off to see angels and archangels in fiction be portrayed as abdiing by human constructions of sexuality and gender. In this case, angels and archangels are legitimately a different race altogether from humanity – so why are they mostly only heterosexual???????
The romance was perfect. Just perfect. Consent is sexy.
And now we’re at the last book of November.
Another anticipated release! The Awakening by Nora Roberts.
What do I say about this book?
I can say that Roberts’ has changed her formula in terms of how she constructs the plot arc for a series. Which is cool – she’s still changing it up even now. I haven’t read her most recent series so I’m going on my previous experience with her fantasy series, but each novel in the series is typically aligned to a different romantic partnership each book as well as building towards a major ‘battle’ that is the climax of the series.
The Awakening, though, is completely different. It is essentially 400 pages of a character study with a little bit of spice. And magic.
I wouldn’t find this an issue but I did not entirely love the main character, Breen as well as the main love interest Keegan. I loved the worldbuilding though and the side characters, especially Marcus. But Breen? and Keegan? I didn’t connect very well to. But there are dragons so…
The book ended and I kind of felt dissatisfied.
4 stars. But maybe 3.5 stars actually.
And we are done! November monthly wrap up is complete.
I know I usually write some statistics but I just realised that I need to write another 7000 words for my thesis chapter that is tecnically due to my supervisors in an hour.
I have to run!
Until next time, happy reading!
all the love,