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November was a great reading month for me! I read 13 books, DNF’d one, and found a new all-time favorite! I decided to participate in #Knowyourshelf2022, a reading challenge run by @bookswithmitch on Instagram.
The goal is to just read books that are already on your shelf, not new purchases. Of course new books are allowed, they just don’t count toward the challenge.
I have so many books on my shelf that I haven’t read so I figured this was a good way to get through some of them. My goal is 20 between November and December and I’m doing good so far with 13.
It was basically a month of thrillers, dystopias, and Nordiic Noir, which are all my favorites so I would say it was a good month even though there were some I didn’t fiinish or like very much.
A lot of these have been on my TBR for quite a while so II’m glad I decided to do the challenge and finally read them. I’ve also been trying to do a no book buy for the rest of the year and it mostly went well.
I had some PangoBooks crediits to use one day then stopped at a bunch of bookstore on my way to/from Orlando two different days for an airport run, then I got a few Kndle ones one day.
Overall not bad but my goal is none in December! Anyway, here is everything I read in November 2022!
- If you want to listen to some of these, consider trying Audible! You can get your first month free (one free book) plus tons of others they have for free. Get that Audible deal here.
- If you’re on more of a budget, try Scribd! You can get your first month free there. You can read books and listen to audiobooks. It is unlimited (especially the reading) but if you listen to tons of new audiobooks you may be restricted after a few. I don’t listen to enough to confirm this, but I do use Scribd myself and like it a lot. Sign up for Scribd here!
- Shop my collection of bookish goodies on Etsy! These aren’t my shop items, but other shops I’ve curated into a book-themed collection. Shop my Etsy bookish goodies here!
- If you want to read more on your Kindle but don’t want to buy books, Kindle Unlimited is a wonderful option. It’s $9.99 a month but if you read a lot and like to read more than just new releases, it could be worth it. Get Kindle Unlimited here!
- Get $5 off of $25 from BookOutlet! This is a great place to find new books for pretty cheap. They also have sales quite a bit, so keep an eye out for those. I tend to check here for books I want if they’re more expensive other places. They don’t have everything but they do have a lot. Shop BookOutlet here!
- Thrift Books has become my go-to when I’m looking for a book and want it cheap. It’s great if you like buying used books. With this you can get a free book after spending $30!
- Shop my book lists here! You can find every book list I have on Bookshop.org (except my monthly round-ups) and I add everything I can but they occasionally won’t have some. I do occasionally add extras though. If any lists are empty, they’ll be filled in shortly! Shop my bookshop.org book lists here.
The Women in the Walls
Author: Amy Lukavics
Genre: YA horror
About the book: Lucy’s mother died when she was three but lives with her cold father in a Victorian mansion in the middle of the woods. She grew up exploring the dark halls with her cousin Margaret.
Her Aunt Penelope disappears one day while walking around the woods and Lucy finds herself lost without the only mother she’s ever known.
Margaret becomes obsessed with the attic saying she can hear her dead mother’s voice coming from the walls. Her sanity slowly unravels and all Lucy can do is watch. Until she starts hearing voices, too.
Final thoughts: From Goodreads: I liked the last 70 pages of this more than the first 200ish. I feel like Lucy could have been fleshed out a little more, along with her relationship with Margaret. I don’t know how to even feel about Lucy because we don’t see anything we’re told about her, really. And there is nothing that makes it seem like she and Margaret were friends at all at any point.
The setting was also very strange. Everything about it makes you think this is a historical telling but it’s modern. The mentions of cars and the bus feel weird and jarring and out of place based on the way everyone acts and speaks.
Overall, I didn’t hate it but I didn’t love it either. I did like the last portion quite a bit though.
We Set the Dark on Fire
Author: Tehlor Kay Mejia
Genre: YA dystopian?
About the book: The Medio School for Girls trains young women for one of two roles in life: running their husband’s household or raising his children. Either will lend a life of luxury not found in the lower class.
Daniela Vargas is the top student but to keep from being sent back to the fringes of society, she must keep the lie of her pedigree hidden.
School could never prepare her for the difficult choices she faces after graduation, especially when she’s asked by a rebellion group to spy and bring equality to the school.
Final thoughts: First of all, don’t read the Goodreads reviews on this because so many of them mention a fairly major spoiler but it’s uncovered. That would have been a better surprise, though it does come out of nowhere but not in a great way.
I was so excited about this one but it just didn’t do it for me. I read the first half and listened to the second half but I should have just stopped instead. I don’t even have the energy to complain about this one, it just wasn’t for me.
Author: Samira Ahmed
Genre: YA dystopian
About the book: Layla and her parents are forced into an internment camp for Muslim American citizens. Now she’s fighting for freedom with the help of new friends in the camp and her boyfriend outside of it. They’re leading the revolution in the camp against the director and his guards.
Final thoughts: I enjoyed this one. It wasn’t quite what I expected even though reading the description again it’s exactly what it says so I’m not sure what I was thinking. It’s been on my TBR so long I forgot everything other than wanting to read it, I guess.
I’ll admit, her fixation on her boyfriend and constantly risking everything (for herself and her parents) was very annoying but also, she’s a teenager so I can only let myself be annoyed that so much.
The dialogue was also a little weird at times but not enough to really bother me. And the middle section felt a little boring and repetitive but for the most part, I enjoyed it.
I do think the idea and topic are both great and very important, more relevant than ever (maybe) and something people should read about but the overall execution could have been a little better. Didn’t hate it by any means though. I think it’s worth reading and would still recommend it.
Author: Emma Haughton
About the book: Kate North has been knocked out by a personal tragedy and jumps at the chance to be the emergency replacement at the UN research station in Antarctica. The previous doctor died in an accident on the ice.
It’s the perfect opportunity for her but as darkness and winter descend, she starts to suspect his death wasn’t an accident at all.
Final thoughts: I definitely liked this more than not, particularly the second half, but the fixation on weed in this was really bizarre when she has a prescription drug problem herself. And the weed isn’t even relevant!
Something I’ve mentioned before on here is that I’m literally the worst at guessing the villains. Like, I can probably count on one hand the number of times I’ve been right and I’ve read a lot of thrillers, but I guessed this one as soon as we met them with not an ounce of doubt.
I still enjoyed it though and would still recommend it, especially if you enjoy either (or both) Antarctica and locked-room mysteries.
Author: Sara Shepard
Genre: YA mystery
About the book: I won’t put a description because it’s book eight in the series.
Final thoughts: LOVED this one! This was for sure the best book in the series so far. So much happens and the whole thing is exciting. **SPOILERS IN THE NEXT PARAGRAPH**
The only complaint I have is that firefighter at the end who just shows up and is like Yeah, that fire was so hot she probably incinerated instantly. She’s dead. without even going in!! Like, what? You won’t even wait until it’s put out to look for remains? Just, she’s dead? No. Also, no way you could be incinerated instantly.
Fragments of the Lost
Author: Megan Miranda
Genre: YA contemporary mystery
Rating: 1/5 DNF
About the book: Jessa knew she didn’t belong in Caleb’s room but she can’t deny she was everywhere in it. His mother blames her for his accident and asks her to clean up his things for their move and how could she say no?
As she packs his things, memories are triggered that make her see their relationship wasn’t exactly as she remembered it and she starts to wonder if she even knew him at all.
Final thoughts: DNF at page 173. I like the concept of this a lot, that as Jessa cleans out his room we get a memory related to something she finds but sweet baby Jesus was I bored.
Apparently, it picks up around page 270 but I didn’t have it in me to keep going. I have too many other things to read. I love Megan Miranda but this one wasn’t it. Cool idea, could be better executed.
I’m on a mission to read all of Megan Miranda’s books so I can do a Megan Miranda book ranking. I have a lot to go but even after this one I’m excited to read them. She’s one of my favorite authors!
This is Not a Ghost Story
Author: Andrea Portes
Genre: YA horror
About the book: Daffodil has no plans before her freshman year of college, just to find a job so she can afford to go at all, and housesitting a mansion is the perfect opportunity.
As the summer progresses, though, she starts to question what’s really going on here as she realizes the house is more than it appears.
Final thoughts: I loved this. It was weird. I liked the writing style (except for the random “dear reader” that we got). The setting was interesting and I was curious the whole time of what was really going on. **MAJOR SPOILERS IN THE NEXT PARAGRAPH**
There were some complaints in the reviews that her version of heaven is with her boyfriend who wasn’t even that great but like, she’s 17. Her mom abandoned her. She has no dad. Her boyfriend was the love of her life and SHES 17! It’s not that weird that being with him is her heaven when she basically has no one else.
Cold as Hell
Author: Lilja Sigurdardottir
Genre: Nordic Noir
About the book: Arora and Isafold are sisters who lost contact, living in England and Iceland. When their mother doesn’t hear from Isafold, she becomes worried and Arora heads to Iceland to track her down.
She is baffled by the details of her sister’s life as she confronts her abusive, drug-dealing boyfriend and questions her friends and neighbors. With the help of police officer Daniel, she tries to track down her sister but she isn’t the only one watching.
Final thoughts: From Goodreads: Arora is giant like a troll, but super beautiful. She goes to Iceland to look for her missing sister but mainly investigates the finances of a criminal she’s sleeping with while she has the hots for her not uncle.
I didn’t care for the Hakon storyline, it really felt unnecessary as did making Daniel her uncle who isn’t her uncle anymore? Just weird. But overall I still enjoyed this and I liked the ending. I’ll definitely read the second one.
The Woman in Cabin 10
Author: Ruth Ware
About the book: Lo writes for a travel magazine and has been given the assignment of a lifetime: a week on a small luxury cruise. Everything is perfect when the Aurora sets off but things start to get worse as the week progresses and then a woman is thrown overboard. But everyone was accounted for so they sail on even as Lo protests but it’s clear something is very wrong.
Final thoughts: I actually really liked this one. Ruth Ware is an author I want to love but I feel like the endings are always a letdown. (I did like The Lying Game, too, though.) I didn’t really like Lo at the beginning but liked her more at the end.
I’m on a mission to read all of her books (I have three left now) so I can do a whole Ruth Ware books ranked post. Hopefully, I’ll finish them soon!
Author: Jeff Vandermeer
About the book: Area X has been cut off from civilization for decades and was reclaimed by nature. The first return expedition saw an edenic landscape while the second ended in mass suicide. Expedition eleven returned as shells of themselves and died from cancer within weeks.
We join four women on expedition twelve whose mission it is to map the terrain, record all observations, and most of all, avoid being contaminated by Area X itself.
Final thoughts: I had no idea what genre this would really be. It’s shelved under sci-fi, horror, fantasy, mystery, AND dystopia. And a lot of each genre, not just once or twice. I would probably go with sci-fi and horror the most.
I had high expectations for this and I loved it! It’s unsettling and creepy. It’s not super sci-fi, but just enough. It’s mysterious and atmospheric. So good.
I actually got the third book, Acceptance, years ago when someone left it at the hotel I was working at and I just went to read it a few months ago and realized it’s the third book so I had to get the first two when I saw them visiting home.
Author: E. Lockhart
Genre: YA mystery
About the book: This description is right from Good Reads because I honestly don’t know how to summarize this even after reading it.
“Imogen is a runaway heiress, an orphan, a cook, and a cheat.
Jule is a fighter, a social chameleon, and an athlete.
An intense friendship. A disappearance. A murder, or maybe two.
A bad romance, or maybe three.
Blunt objects, disguises, blood, and chocolate. The American dream, superheroes, spies, and villains.
A girl who refuses to give people what they want from her.
A girl who refuses to be the person she once was.”
Final thoughts: I actually liked this one! My expectations weren’t too high since it has a low rating but I liked it. It feels more mystery than thriller though. I liked that it was told in reverse and actually didn’t realize the chapter numbers were in reverse until II had like, three left.
I understand why people might not like this one but I enjoyed it. Not an all-time favorite but I still liked it.
The Bird Tribunal
Author: Agnes Ravatn
Genre: Nordic Noir
About the book: Allis Hagtorn, a TV presenter, leaves her partner and job for voluntary exile in a remote house on an isolated fjord in Norway. Her new job as a housekeeper and gardener isn’t quite what it seems, though.
Sigurd Bagge, her 44-year-old surly employer isn’t the old man she was expecting. As they wait for his wife to return from her travels, their uneasy encounters turn into an obsessive relationship and it becomes clear atonement for past sins may not be enough.
Final thoughts: This didn’t feel like most Nordic Noir I’ve read so far. I like the idea of it but it fell a little flat for me. From Goodreads: 2.5 I liked this enough but was also a little disappointed? You can tell something is off pretty much the whole time so I was expecting a lot more of an ending but the actual “exciting” ending is like, two pages long and exactly what I thought it would be. I’m glad it was short.
Have you read any of these? Which ones? What did you read in November?