Reading in November 2019

06 December 2019

Towards the end of the year, I always get a huge burst of motivation to read everything! It's that last push to squeeze in as many books as I can before the year draws to a close. It can be hard to find the time to do as much reading as I'd like to with this being the same time as final projects and exams. But I'm reveling in the fact that this will be my last ever fall and winter drenched in school work! For now, I'm more than happy to have somehow completed seven books this past month.

I read some really great books this month in a wide variety of genres that I don't typically pick up very often, from sci-fi to memoirs. I also had an equally diverse month in regards to my ratings. The range was all over the place from a one-star read, a couple amazing five-star books, and some in between.

It was a great reading month, and I'm super excited to share my first impression thoughts on the seven books I read!

This book was a crazy ride, and it scratched the itch I had for a dark sci-fi novel. However, I have heard so many people rave about how mind bending this is, and personally I didn't get that. The best way I can describe this book is a sci-fi It's a Wonderful Life. It explores themes of choice and the consequences our choices have on the trajectory of our lives. The plot and concepts were definitely well thought out and executed with care. But I wasn't ever blown away. I also found all the character except Jason to be two-dimensional, and I didn't care for them. The ending was also underwhelming as I finished with questions still unanswered. I didn't get that satisfying Wow-It-All-Makes-Sense-Now feeling. I can totally see why there's a bunch of hype around this book, though, and would highly recommend it to people who want to give sci-fi a try.
Rating: ★  

The Patron Saint of Pregnant Girls - Ursula Hegi
*I received a free ARC from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review*

The premise of this book initially intrigued me, but unfortunately it wasn't what I expected it to be. This one just wasn't for me. When I started I thought the story was a little strange, but the writing was beautiful, so I was willing to see where it would go. Eventually, though, the writing became the biggest obstacle while I was reading. It's lyrical and rich, but heavy handed. I couldn't follow the plot because it was smothered by the thick prose, metaphors, and the strange shifting perspectives between first and third person. The wording was also very weird for some sections. There were far too many character and plot points going on at once. I know the author was trying to weave all the threads of plot together, but it just got messy and made it even more confusing to understand. I feel like either half of the characters and plot points needed to be cut out, or maybe this book should have been made into an anthology in order to follow all the characters in this world. I understand this is an early copy, and I'm sure there's time for the author to edit and improve this story to make it palatable. But for me, I don't think there could be a dramatic enough change to shift my rating. This book comes out June 9, 2020.

Talking as Fast as I Can - Lauren Graham

This was such a lovely, charming memoir. I'm a huge fan of Gilmore Girls and Parenthood, and being able to learn more about what happened behind the scenes was so fun! I listened to this book on audio while doing work and I flew through it! It's so intimate an poignant. There are equal parts wisdom and comedy, and listening to Lauren Graham herself recount it all made it amazing to listen to. I typically get skeptical towards celebrity memoirs, but I really loved this! Lauren Graham is an inspiration. I want to re-watch Gilmore Girls so much!
Rating: ★

Daisy Jones & the Six

Oh my goodness! I expected to like this book, but nothing could have prepared me for how amazing this turned out to be. The hype is real. I wasn't expecting this story to hit me as hard as it did. It had a slow start, and it took me awhile to keep all the characters straight in my head, but once I got into it I got really into it! With the unique interview format I got to know all the characters so well, and by the end I cared about the band so much. Even Daisy Jones, who I hated at the beginning, grew on me since her development was so well done. I listened to this one on audiobook, which I don't do very often, but it was probably one of the best audiobook experiences ever. The full cast brought the characters and the emotions to life and now I desperately want to read it again in print so I can soak up the words and take my time. I loved this book so much!

The Fall of Gondolin - J.R.R. Tolkien

I needed some Tolkien in my life, so I picked this one up since it's been sitting on my shelves for over a year. I expected this to be a more detailed retelling of The Fall of Gondolin, but this wasn't exactly that. It's a deep look at the evolution of this story, describing how Tolkien crafted it over time, with different iterations of the story sandwiched between the explanations. My favorite part was the end when all three versions of the story were synthesized and compare against one another. It was interesting and I enjoyed it. I felt similarly to this as I did when I read The Silmarillion, I love this world and I appreciate Tolkien's creativity and attention to detail so much, but I feel like a lot of it went over my head. I would love to take a full on college course on the works of Tolkien with a scholar who could explain it all to me. But I was still able to enjoy this. This is just a fun way for Tolkien nerds to get more Middle Earth and a better look at how he crafted his intricate world.

Le Tartuffe - Molière

This is a play I had to read for my French class. I don't have too much to say about it, but it was frustrating. I hated all the characters (especially Tartuffe and Orgon). Nothing super interesting happened, and in my opinion, the ending was a little too convenient and sudden. However, it was fun to read the older French vocabulary and get a taste of the culture surrounding French theater at the time this was first written and performed. I might have to try some more Molière in the future to see if I like his other plays better than this one. 

This is another book I had to read for school. I'm taking a career development course, which has been super helpful, and this is the book my classmates and I read together throughout the semester. I don't read many self help books, but this one was very good! It gives you an approachable way to reflect on your life. I found the advice the authors give to be so reassuring as I enter a big transition in my life, graduating college and moving on to the elusive real world. This is the type of self help book that can be read at several different times during your life and you'll be able to get something new from it every time. If you're struggling with what to do with your life, if you're entering the job market for the first time, or if you're simply unsatisfied with the way your life is going and crave change I would highly recommend this!

What did you read in November?


  1. Designing your life sounds perfect to me right now!

    Honestly, I didn’t read much of anything in November. I wanted to read Resurgence but never got to it. Life’s just been so busy, but I’m already thinking about the books I want to read in 2020.


    1. I've totally had many of those months when reading just doesn't happen. But it's okay! Just soak up life, reading will come back eventually!
      You should definitely get to Resurgence soon!
      Happy future reading in 2020!