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What did you read last month? > What I read ~~ November 2018

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message 1: by Alias Reader (new)

Alias Reader (aliasreader) | 17173 comments

Share with us what you read November 2018 !

Please provide:

~ A GoodReads link
~ A few sentences telling us how you felt about the book.
~ How would you rate the book


message 2: by Alias Reader (last edited Nov 30, 2018 05:03PM) (new)

Alias Reader (aliasreader) | 17173 comments I read three books in November.

Fear Trump in the White House by Bob Woodward Fear: Trump in the White House--Bob Woodward
Non Fiction
Rate 5/5
I thought this book was well written and researched. Well worth your time.

A Separation by Katie Kitamura A Separation---Katie Kitamura
Fiction
Rate 2/5
This book was the NY Times/PBS book club selection. I read it with Deb. I was disappointed in the book. I didn't care for the writing style or the plot. You can read more of our thoughts in the Buddy Thread here at BNC.

Grandma Gatewood's Walk The Inspiring Story of the Woman Who Saved the Appalachian Trail by Ben Montgomery Grandma Gatewood's Walk: The Inspiring Story of the Woman Who Saved the Appalachian Trail----Ben Montgomery
Non Fiction
Rate 3 Plus
This is the inspiring story of Emma Gatewood who in 1955 at age 67 decided to walk the 2050 mile Appalachian Trail. She suffered through a horribly abusive marriage. She was also the mother of 11 children. When they were grown she left her husband and decided to walk the trail after reading an article in a magazine. She left without fanfare and a pair of tennis shoes and a modest small sack of supplies. At that time very few had attempted the feat. She was the first women to accomplish it. She did it twice through and a third time in sections. She also hiked the Oregon Trail. She was a tough lady and quite modest. She became very famous in her time as word spread of her walk. It's a good read.


message 3: by Petra (new)

Petra | 982 comments I read an interesting mix of stories in November. I mostly pick up books at random and it's interesting to see which books get read.

Deadly Proof by M. Louisa Locke (3-star) - this is a very light and warm series. The mysteries are very light but the people draw me in and keep me reading the series. By this book (#4), I'm barely paying attention to the mystery and just following the lives of everyone I've gotten to know.
My review: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...

The Forbidden Worlds of Haruki Murakami by Matthew Carl Strecher (5-star) - Murakami writes such intriguing and mysterious stories. When I saw this brightly coloured, whimsical cover at the library, I had to read it and I'm glad I did. An interesting exploration of Murakami's major themes.
My review: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...

Kindred: A Graphic Novel Adaptation by Damian Duffy (2-star) - I have not read the novel and won't now. This story doesn't fit together very well.
My review: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...

Minding Frankie by Maeve Binchy (4-star; audio) - this was a perfect story to listen to while out jogging. I'd forgotten how lovely Maeve Binchy's stories are. This follows the same people as Quentins and Scarlet Feather, making these a loose trilogy.
My review: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...

Bone & Bread by Saleema Nawaz (2-star) - I think the author lost focus somewhere in the middle. It lost steam for me.
My review: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...

Barkskins by Annie Proulx (4-star; audio) - I really enjoyed this multi-generational story of 2 families from the early days of Eastern Canada & USA to the present. The forest played such an important part that it, too, was a family we followed through 300 years.
My review: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...

A Circle of Souls by Preetham Grandhi (3-star) - uneven but interesting enough to overlook some of that. A child is brutally killed; another child could help solve her murder.
My review: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...

There There by Tommy Orange (3-star) - this is a strong debut novel. The writing is so good, the characters are real. This book helped me understand some of the thoughts and troubles of Native Americans. There's so much more to learn.
My review: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...


message 4: by Samanta (last edited Dec 01, 2018 05:18AM) (new)

Samanta   (almacubana) | 189 comments My November reads:

Las puertas templarias by Javier Sierra
Genre: Historical Fiction, Mystery
Rating: C
Review: I am not really sure what to think about this book. I like to read an occasional historical fiction/mystery/ conspiracy theory fiction (cue The Da Vinci Code), but this is all over the place.

Bosnia Hercegovina: Monografia turistica by Alija Bijavica
Genre: Tourist Monography
Rating: A
Review: I buy and use this monographs to help me prepare for work, but I occasionally read them so that I could get to know the country better. I really think this is my favourite one yet.

The Matchmaker's Replacement by Rachel Van Dyken
Genre: NA Romance, Audiobook
Rating: A
Review: Much more interesting and funny than the first book in the series and the first audio book that I could actually stomach and understand well. The story is told through dual POV, and the actresses voice was great, but the actor's voice took some getting used to. Both did great impressions of different voices.

El guardagujas by Juan José Arreola
Genre: Short Story
Rating: B
Review: A magical realism short story that, in a way, is a metaphor of life.

Cathedral by Raymond Carver
Genre: Short Story
Rating: B
Review: A very interesting account on what your reaction would be if you found yourself confronted with something that is unfamiliar or not really comfortable for you and when you try to experience it first-hand.

'Salem's Lot by Stephen King
Genre: Vampire Fiction
Rating: A
Review: This is my first time reading Stephen King and given the fact that I do not like horror, it might have been for the best. I had this book on my shelf, but not having read the synopsis, stupidly thought that it had something to do with THE Salem and the witch hunt. Turned out to be modern day and vampires.

The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon by Stephen King
Genre: Fiction
Rating: B
Review: I did like the book and I was pleased with the ending, but I wasn't completely feeling it. It was kind of lukewarm compared to the above mentioned book. I did like Trisha and how she found the strength and resourcefulness to find her way out of the situation. I'm sure I'd be just as scared as she was.

Kradljivci ljepote by Pascal Bruckner
Genre: Fiction
Rating: D
Review: This is, by far, one of the weirdest books I read in my life. Every single character in this book is a selfish, self-centered a**hole, with the exception of one person, but you only find that out in the end. One of the narrators also redeems herself in the end, in a way.

El Aleph by Jorge Luis Borges
Genre: Short Story
Rating: C
Review: This is my first Borges short story, or any kind of story, for that matter. I had to read it in Spanish as part of my Spanish Reading Club, and I have to say that it was a bit hard for me, although the language and descriptions are lovely. He does tend to wander off too much into philosophy during a scene and suddenly you do not know what the heck is going on.

The Verger by W. Somerset Maugham
Genre: Short Story
Rating: A
Review: Education is important, but it's not necessarily a prerequisite for success.

Židovske narodne priče i bajke I by Zoran Milović
Genre: Jewish Folk and Fairy Tales
Rating: C
Review: Found this by accident in the Children's section of my favourite local library and only when I came home, figured out there are two books. Don't be misled by my rating; I actually quite liked the book. It's just that my mindset was against many so-called morals of the stories.

Židovske narodne priče i bajke II by Zoran Milović
Genre: Jewish Folk and Fairy Tales
Rating: B-
Review: So, the second book is a little bit better than the first one. I found some really lovely stories with a wonderful message that don't involve making a pact with demons. There is still a lot of kidnapping of women and fathers promising their daughters to valiant knights and princes, which miraculously fall in love with the prince that kidnapped or won them as a prize...to much for my taste, but...times and places, Samanta...


message 5: by Alias Reader (new)

Alias Reader (aliasreader) | 17173 comments Petra wrote: "I read an interesting mix of stories in November. I mostly pick up books at random and it's interesting to see which books get read."

Nice eclectic month, Petra !

Petra wrote :"Minding Frankie by Maeve Binchy (4-star; audio) - this was a perfect story to listen to while out jogging."

This reminds me I need to get back into listening to audiobooks as I exercise. I do enjoy it but for some reason I forget and return to music. Thanks for the reminder.


message 6: by Alias Reader (new)

Alias Reader (aliasreader) | 17173 comments Samanta wrote: "My November reads:

Las puertas templarias by Javier Sierra
Genre: Historical Fiction, Mystery
Rating: C
Review: I am not really sure what to think about this book. I l..."


Wow ! You've been busy, Samanta ! Nice reading month.

As to Stephen King It is generally accepted, and I agree, that The Stand is his best.


message 7: by Samanta (new)

Samanta   (almacubana) | 189 comments I've been unemployed, Alias. That's why I finally had time to read. :D

I'll have to see if I have stomach for more King, but what I definitely know is that I do not want to read It. I hate clowns!!!


message 8: by Alias Reader (last edited Dec 01, 2018 06:42PM) (new)

Alias Reader (aliasreader) | 17173 comments Samanta wrote: "I've been unemployed, Alias. That's why I finally had time to read. :D

I'll have to see if I have stomach for more King, but what I definitely know is that I do not want to read It. ..."


The Stand has no clowns or vampires. :) It's apocalyptic fiction.

"A patient escapes from a biological testing facility, unknowingly carrying a deadly weapon: a mutated strain of super-flu that will wipe out 99 percent of the world’s population within a few weeks. Those who remain are scared, bewildered, and in need of a leader.

A master storyteller."
--Los Angeles Times

"[The Stand] has everything. Adventure. Roman. Prophecy. Allegory. Satire. Fantasy. Realism. Apocalypse. Great!"
--The New York Times Book Review

"As brilliant a dark dream as has ever been dreamed in this century."
--Palm Beach Post


message 9: by Petra (last edited Dec 01, 2018 07:09PM) (new)

Petra | 982 comments Samanta, I agree with Alias. The Stand is King's best book, in my opinion. Very dystopian but of this world; no vampires, crazy clowns or weird pets from the dead.

As always, you've read a great selection of books this month. I really enjoy your lists.


message 10: by Petra (new)

Petra | 982 comments Alias Reader wrote: "This reminds me I need to get back into listening to audiobooks as I exercise. I do enjoy it but for some reason I forget and return to music. Thanks for the reminder. ..."

You're welcome, Alias, although you would have remembered on your own. I find a story helps me forget that I'm running (at least for a little while).


message 11: by Samanta (new)

Samanta   (almacubana) | 189 comments Alias Reader wrote: "Samanta wrote: "I've been unemployed, Alias. That's why I finally had time to read. :D

I'll have to see if I have stomach for more King, but what I definitely know is that I do not want to read [b..."


Thank you, Alias and Petra. You are not the first ones to say that [book:The Stand|149267] is his best work. I'll put it on my TBR.


message 12: by Samanta (new)

Samanta   (almacubana) | 189 comments Petra wrote: "Samanta, I agree with Alias. The Stand is King's best book, in my opinion. Very dystopian but of this world; no vampires, crazy clowns or weird pets from the dead.

As always, you've read a great s..."


Thank you! :)


message 13: by madrano (new)

madrano | 9742 comments Alias, good comments on the Woodward book. I was wondering what you would think of it. I liked Grandma Gatewood's story, perhaps because she tackled the project as an older person. It's rather inspiring, imo. And i like learning about those earlier days along the historic trail.

Petra, i was sorry to read your comments about the Kindred graphic novel. I very much liked the Octavia E. Butler novel of the same name ( Kindred ), so am sorry the graphic version didn't compel you to explore the other one.

Your review of Barkskins was amusing, Petra, in that you wanted more about the generations/people, despite knowing it would dramatically increase the 700 p. length. It's a frustrating feeling, i know. I've been reading a good book about the way trees have been a major part of the success of the US ( American Canopy: Trees, Forests, and the Making of a Nation by Eric Rutkow ) and thought i'd like to read a novel about the impact of the. I'm going to add this to my list but am hoping i'll find one less long. :-)

Samanta, what a varied list. I must repeat myself by stating that reading comments about short stories encourages me very much. Thanks for including them.


message 14: by madrano (new)

madrano | 9742 comments I've really stretched my reading in hopes of making a bigger dent in my 2018 Determination List. In what may be a first for me, the result is that in addition to completing the following, i am still in the middle of several books--American Ulysses: A Life of Ulysses S. Grant, the above-mentioned American Canopy: Trees, Forests, and the Making of a Nation, and The Fifth Risk (about the Gov't under Trump), to mention the three still on my iPad.

ANYway, here are my November completions.

A Canticle for Leibowitz by Walter M. Miller Jr. was on my DL because it was one of the first science fiction book people told me about when i started. I'm sorry i waited so long, as i enjoyed this. Initially i began by listening to an audio version but found that confusing because my mind wasn't conjuring up imagines. Once i held the book, all was well. Go figure. ANYway, it's in 3 parts and is about post apocalyptic societies here in the US. Sacred writings are from an electrical engineer and include manuals and even his grocery lists. Instructive story, in many ways, about what we hold holy and how we betray our faiths.

A Separation is a novel by Katie Kitamura which i really couldn't enjoy, despite it being primarily set in Greece, a country i like visiting. The narrator was the major problem and i think that had the author created the story from a different vantage point, it would have been much, much better. Worse, there is an apparent murder which was frustrating!

Morning Girl is a children's book by Michael Dorris. Told by two Native American sibling children on an island in alternating chapters, i liked the story very much. Both children grow as the story develops and that aspect was well presented. The ending was disturbing because those with a modicum of knowledge about history know what's ahead. Heavy ending, imo.

I don't know why i added Rain Fall by Barry Eisler to my TBR list but i added it to my 2018 DL list because i wanted to see why. LAS (Laughing At Self)! It was a decent mystery set in recent past of Tokyo (published in the '90s, i think), about a former US solder who is part Japanese and part US citizen. It is a dark story but jazz saves it from being uninteresting, so to speak. What i didn't know is that this is the first in a series, which i will not be pursuing.

I want to mention A Hidden Secret, a small almost short story mystery by Linda Castillo, which Barbara reviewed last month. I liked it but wasn't drawn enough to read the series, of which this is a sort of insert (#6) into the line of books. One appealing aspect is that the police chief must call upon her Amish roots to understand the society in which the mystery revolves.

The Library Book is a treasure for the book and library lover, imo. Author Susan Orlean explores the history of the Los Angeles County Library system, its 1986 fire and the issue of arson. I learned so much about libraries, arson and people in this book. Thank you, PattyMac, for your review, which compelled me to locate this book immediately. It will be among my favorite nonfiction for this year.


message 15: by J.G. (new)

J.G. Cully (jgcully) | 5 comments Heralds of the Siege by Nick Kyme
Heralds of the Siege

Part of the Horus Heresy series of Sci-Fi novels.

My own review is below

This book does exactly what it says on the tin, for the stories truly are heralds of the final epic siege of Terra. So many story threads are brought together, on both the loyalist and traitor side. Anyone following the series, particularly from the very beginning, will be very pleased. Well worth the read.


message 16: by madrano (new)

madrano | 9742 comments Wow, J.G., that book is 52 in the series! What a saga, indeed. It's nice to know you found this one rewarding.


message 17: by Alias Reader (new)

Alias Reader (aliasreader) | 17173 comments madrano wrote: "Wow, J.G., that book is 52 in the series! What a saga, indeed. It's nice to know you found this one rewarding."

Wow !


message 18: by J.G. (new)

J.G. Cully (jgcully) | 5 comments It's a massive series, dozens of authors yet keeps a very consistent narrative. A good read :)


message 19: by madrano (new)

madrano | 9742 comments What a refreshing idea, to use different authors for a series. Thanks for that additional info, J.G.


message 20: by Stephanie (last edited Dec 06, 2018 07:50PM) (new)

Stephanie | 289 comments Yikes... I only read 3 books in November 😩 here’s hoping December goes better!

Doggone Christmas rated 3 stars

Cute, easy and quick read. Polly is a pet sitter who stumbles upon a homeless man (with his dog) being verbally accosted by a police officer. Polly jumps in the middle of things but little does she know what’s about to happen.

There’s a bit of romance in this book and it was quite easy to figure out what was going to happen. I got this book for free for kindle through bookbub or book gorilla some time ago.

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone a 5 star reread! It’s very interesting to come back to this series and see how different the movies are.

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets 4 stars. I found that I didn’t enjoy this one as much as I did the movie :)


message 21: by Alias Reader (last edited Dec 07, 2018 07:58AM) (new)

Alias Reader (aliasreader) | 17173 comments November December are busy holiday months. So reading three books are great. I haven't read the Potter books but if I recall correctly, they are not slender books. So I think you did really well !

Thanks for sharing your November reads with us.


message 22: by Petra (new)

Petra | 982 comments I agree with Alias. These are busy months and any reading is a successful endeavor. Well done.

I so liked the Harry Potter books. I'm getting nostalgic at seeing your post.


message 23: by Stephanie (new)

Stephanie | 289 comments Thank you :)

It has been quite interesting to reread them again.


message 24: by madrano (new)

madrano | 9742 comments As one who has had a couple of 3-books-read months this year, Stephanie, i know how time gets away from us. The good news is that you liked the books you read! Glad you shared here.


message 25: by Marie (new)

Marie | 160 comments November 2018 was a so-so month - didn't read a whole lot, but here is what I did read.

Harvest Deep (Harvest Deep, #1) by Trent Pettry by Trent Pettry = 4 stars.
My review:
https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...

The Demons of Cambian Street by Catherine Cavendish by Catherine Cavendish - 4 stars.
My review:
https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...

Tales Of Horror On Halloween Night by Samie Sands by Samie Sands - 4 stars.
My review:
https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...


message 26: by madrano (new)

madrano | 9742 comments I like the anthology idea. Sometimes one is busy in October but wants to get in the Hallowe'en mood--this would be the book to do so.

Not that the other two don't sound good. Even reading the review, my heart was aching for the Cavendish character who just wanted to recover from her cancer in peace. Poor dear.


message 27: by Marie (new)

Marie | 160 comments madrano wrote: "I like the anthology idea. Sometimes one is busy in October but wants to get in the Hallowe'en mood--this would be the book to do so.

Not that the other two don't sound good. Even reading the rev..."


I did enjoy the Halloween read - I have read a couple of other books by Samie Sands and she is really good. :)


message 28: by madrano (new)

madrano | 9742 comments Neat.


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