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My bookish heart gets so excited about new releases, but I try to read a lot of older, non-new release books (aka backlist) too. This month, my reading consisted of mostly older books with a few new releases sprinkled in, and it has been one of the best reading months so far this year. Continuing my Fall creepy reading, many were in the horror genre, and THAT has been a fun ride. Still, I am ready to switch gears and do a little holiday reading soon. I am an extremely eclectic reader, loving pretty much all genres (ok, maybe romance not-so-much) so jumping around between different types of books is my specialty.
Below are the books I read in November with one that stands out as a favorite of the month (and of the year!), and two that follow close behind (and that I got to read all in one day!)
Best Book of November
I love dark and scary, but I have my limits and the premise of NOS4A2 has scared me away FOR YEARS. After seeing many of my book friends talk about it, I finally dove in and man, I am kicking myself for waiting so long. It is definitely scary, but I loved the complexity and underlying themes as well as Hill’s writing style. If you have been holding off on this one, move it up your list!
Two Books Read All in One Day
With time at our farm in East Texas and the Thanksgiving holiday, I was blessed to have more down time this month than normal. That meant that I got a little more reading done, but it also meant that I had the chance to read a book all in one day, almost in one sitting. A rare and precious activity that this mom of littles rarely gets the chance to do. Astonishingly, I did this not just for ONE but actually for TWO books this month – The Thicket and The Bottoms, both by Joe R. Lansdale. He is a new-to-me author that I am so excited to have discovered. Both of these books hooked me from the start, had compelling and likable characters (alongside the extremely unlikable ones) and told a crazy good story all while set in an amazing place that I truly love – old East Texas. I am a sucker for a Texas story and devoured these two amazing and dark (with some light) books which will likely be added to my favorites of the year.
Brief Thoughts on the Rest
This Tender Land – I read and loved Krueger’s Ordinary Grace, but this one fell flat for me. It was beautifully written with some lovely themes about faith and God, but otherwise my thoughts on it were largely lukewarm.
Imaginary Friend – This was one of my most highly anticipated new releases that I could not wait to get my hands on and in the end it was….just ok. Maybe it was a case of expectations being too high, but the repetitive nature of the story combined with the length (700 plus pages!), did it in for me.
End of Watch (Bill Hodges, #3) – I love and adore this trilogy (listened on audio and the narrator, Will Patton, is ridiculously good). I am happy to have rounded out my reading with the third book, but it was definitely my least favorite of the three.
Gwendy’s Button Box – I stumbled onto the audio of this novella when searching through Libby (library app), and I thoroughly enjoyed the story which was very unique and an easy, fun Fall read.
The Poacher’s Son – I will just say that I typically do not favor books that are largely pessimistic and unhopeful. This one, while it contained a pretty good twist at the end that I did not see coming, mostly left me feeling sad and despairing. Also, trigger warnings for sensitivities to violence against animals. I am an avid outdoor person and hunter with a strong stomach for these things, but for some reason, the descriptions in this book really rubbed me the wrong way.