Another month and 14 books down! And the biggest milestone of all, I officially hit 100 books finished for the year – the most I’ve ever read, and probably ever will read again for the rest of my life. This year has been such a weird year, and reading has truly become my solace and way to escape from the craziness of everyday. Below are what I read in November. What did you read this month?
WINTER STREET BY ELIN HILDERBRAND – 5 STARS
This is my second time reading the Winter Street series from Elin Hilderbrand all the way through, and I’m just smitten with the Quinn family. These books are unique from many of Elin Hilderbrand’s books because they are all focused around Christmastime on Nantucket rather than giving off beachy vibes. Family drama, major Christmas spirit, more racy than a Hallmark movie, but still with that happy vibe that you want out of a holiday read! Highly recommend!
THE SECOND HOME BY CHRISTINA CLANCY – 4 STARS
I started this book in September and it took me so long to get into, but I finally sat down and flew through the last half! This book is reminiscent of an Elin Hilderbrand novel also, if only for its small town, beachy setting, secrets, and family drama. One event changes the lives of a family forever, and no one knows why or what really happened all those years ago. It keeps you guessing and jumps back and forth from past to present.
THE ONLY PLANE IN THE SKY BY GARRETT M. GRAFF – 5 STARS
This book should be recommended reading (listening?) for everyone in our generation to learn about the events that unfolded on September 11, 2001, and what followed. I was literally glued to this book, most of the time with chills, and some of the time in tears. The format, the hundreds of different accounts, the details that were included. I couldn’t stop talking about it to everyone I crossed paths with, asking them questions about what they remembered. I think it has something to do with a historical event that I was alive for but remember very little of that causes me to want to learn everything I can. It was a very tough, but very necessary read.
THE HORSE AND HIS BOY BY C.S. LEWIS – 4 STARS
This was actually my favorite book in the Narnia series since Prince Caspian! Perhaps because I didn’t know anything about it, but I really found myself enjoying this one. I will finish this series soon, and then I think that’s it for me and the Chronicles of Narnia until I have kids to read them to LOL.
DARING GREATLY BY BRENE BROWN – 4 STARS
Brene Brown is such an inspirational powerhouse, but I really think I need to read her books 10 times each to truly get everything out of them. Daring Greatly was a wonderful, eye-opening look at shame and other emotions that we feel and how to overcome them. I found it very insightful!
WE WERE LIARS BY E. LOCKHART – 3 STARS
I’ve seen so many rave reviews for this book and so many “I couldn’t stop crying!!” comments, so I decided I’d torture myself with a sad book lol. Honestly, I didn’t understand a lot of the hype. I think I would’ve rated it even less had I read the physical book. I listened on audio, so I didn’t see the poetry-like format that the book was laid out in. The language was so overly poetic and full of random metaphors that at times, it was hard to discern what was real and what was just artful language. (Example: in the first chapter of the book, the narrator states that on the day her father left her and her mom, he pulled out a gun and shot her in the chest and her heart fell out onto the ground AKA he broke her heart. But it caught me so off guard it took me a minute to understand her dad didn’t actually murder her.)
ON THE CORNER OF HOPE AND MAIN BY BEVERLY JENKINS – 2 STARS
I will fully take the blame for so strongly disliking this book – I won this book on Goodreads, it looked cute, and I didn’t understand that it was book twelve in a series! Some authors write their series so that a reader could theoretically jump in in any place, but this was absolutely not the case. I’m just stubborn and can’t quit books, so I finished it even though I did not enjoy it.
IT’S NOT SUPPOSED TO BE THIS WAY BY LYSA TERKEURST – 5 STARS
Lysa TerKeurst is a beautiful writer and person, and this book was a very in-depth look at her life and a reminder that we are all human. She finds out her husband of many, many years has been having an affair and has to come to terms with the aftermath of his decision and ultimately learn how to forgive. I learned so much here – so many notes that I will be going back to often.
THE CRUELEST MONTH BY LOUISE PENNY – 4 STARS
Okay, like I said last month, I gave Three Pines another chance, and I think I’m here for it. This is book three (of maybe like fifteen?) mysteries set in a picturesque Canadian village where somehow murder is very rampant. I really enjoyed this book, and truly had no clue who did it until the end. I’m about to start book four!
LINCOLN IN THE BARDO BY GEORGE SAUNDERS – 3 STARS
What a strange, wonderful, unsettling book? I have seen so many rave about Lincoln in the Bardo. I knew absolutely nothing about it, but picked it up on audio. Let me just say I was completely confused until I pulled up a review and familiarized myself with the plot. Lincoln in the Bardo is part historical research, part fantasy? Abraham Lincoln has become president, and his young son is sick and ultimately passes away. The book flips back and forth between historical references to Lincoln and his administration and an evening in a graveyard where a group of ghosts welcome young Lincoln into their fold.
WINTER STROLL BY ELIN HILDERBRAND – 5 STARS
Book two in the Winter Street series, this book follows the Quinn family as they navigate the heartbreak of last Christmas and the year that followed. I can’t give many details of the rest of these books without spoiling the series, but they really are wonderful.
WINTER STORMS BY ELIN HILDERBRAND – 5 STARS
Like I said, read this series!
WINTER SOLSTICE BY ELIN HILDERBRAND – 5 STARS
I was worried I wouldn’t like how Winter Solstice wrapped up the story that I have loved to follow, but it really ended things beautifully. I love the Quinn family and wish there were more books about them from Hilderbrand!
CONVICTION BY DENISE MINA – 3 STARS
My book club read earlier in the year, so I figured it was time to finally pick it up! To be honest, it wasn’t my favorite. I found it hard to follow the different, interwoven plotlines. I did find myself hurrying through to see how it ended, so three stars for a surprising end that I didn’t expect!
You can follow along with all of my 2020 reading here:
What I Read in January
What I Read in February
What I Read in March
What I Read in April
What I Read in May
What I Read in June
What I Read in July
What I Read in August
What I Read in September
What I Read in October