This month I found my groove back was November. It was probably a combination of the momentum I caught toward the end of October and the fact that I love November weather – rain and wind. Dreariness is perfection for reading! I had a few milestones this month: I finished reading Uncommon Type, I finished listening to One Hundred Years of Solitude, and I dwindled it down to only  more empty categories for the Popsugar reading challenge.
Uncommon Type (Tom Hanks) ♠♠♠♠♠
I loved these short stories. I kinda had high hopes for Tom Hanks – I mean is there something the man can’t do? – and he did not disappoint. I loved the retro feel of the tales. I loved that he wants to revive old-timey things. Writing an entire book on a typewriter is now one of my goals. He expertly snuck in a different type of typewriter in each story without it being obvious. The themes of his plots were super varied making this an ideal book to read for a bit and then put away and grab again weeks later (hint, hint: that’s exactly what I did). Tom Hanks is talented. His writing is easy going and effortless. He plays with words the right amount to keep the reader engaged but doesn’t push it where the words overpower the story. Honestly, the book felt like he had fun writing it, and isn’t that really refreshing?
This book would make an amazing Christmas gift. There is a story in it for everyone.
Fragile Things (Neil Gaiman) ♠♠♠♠
I began listening to this during my social media time during Dewey’s readathon and finished the book over the next few weeks at work. I find Neil Gaiman’s voice so soothing and he seems like the perfect work companion. I’ve only recently (last two years) started to appreciate audiobooks and Neil himself was a big driving force. This collection of fantastical Gaiman tales was very adult – just how I like it. I quite enjoyed the American Gods connection and several of the stories were weird, gross, and dark – so right up my alley!
Listen to this audiobook if you: love magical oddities, are looking for a fun narrator
Don’t listen to this if you: are underage or just immature :p
The Crossover (Kwame Alexander) ♠♠♠♠♠
Guys! This book was such an amazing surprise. It honestly was sheer perfection. It did mess me up for a while though. I had no idea I would get so emotionally involved and I honestly think it was the poetry that drew me in. Writing the story in that medium was pure genius – it made the tale raw and so real.
This should be a must read for everyone!
Three Fates (Nora Roberts) ♠♠♠♠♠
And thus begun my Ireland Nora Roberts marathon … This book was fantastic. It combined mythology with strong female characters and an amazing villain. Of course, there was love, it is Nora Roberts after all, but there was no over the top romance; just badass characters and an adventure filled plot. I think this would be a great introduction to the Robert universe if you haven’t read any of her books.
Pick up this book if you: are looking for a fast=paced journey, enjoy mythology and love stories, love a female villain
This book is not for you if you: are looking for realistic human interactions
The ‘Born In‘ Trilogy (Nora Roberts) ♠♠♠♠ and ♠♠♠♠♠
I specifically sought out this trilogy because I wanted more Nora Roberts and more Ireland in my life. Well, Born In delivered! The descriptions of Ireland were so decadent and luscious, I immediately wanted to book a plane ticket and visit the country myself. I liked the Concannon sisters and I specifically liked the grumpy half-sister! The characters in this trilogy were actually quite flawed and seemed very human. I cherished the small glimpses in old Irish folklore as they provided just the little extra to these stories. My favorite romance was between the homely, yet strong-minded Brianna and the nerdy writer in book #2. So Stephen King :p
This is a good trilogy for you if you: are looking to know what happens after they fall in love, like family sagas, enjoy plentiful descriptions of countrysides
This is not going to be your thing if you: don’t like cheesy and happily-ever-afters
The Picture of Dorian Gray (Oscar Wilde) ♠♠♠♠
I chose this book as it has my favorite color in the title and belongs to the 1001 book list. No surprise here that I liked it: it was perfectly weird and Gothic, it splendidly represents the old England through the most delicious social gossip, there was some odd pact with the devil, and oh so much despair! The only drawback the story has is that it was quite long-winded at times. There were several super dry passages that did not make for easy reading. But isn’t that almost required for British lit? The interactions between Dorian Gray and the painter give this book a very important depth that we can only appreciate knowing Oscar Wilde’s presumed sexual orientation.
Read it if you: like Victorian life England, enjoy Gothic tales with devilish undertones, life for social commentary
Don’t read it if you: get easily bored
Supernatural Tales (Vernon Lee aka Violet Page) ♠♠♠♠♠
Gahhhh! This was so damn good! Thank you, Popsugar reading challenge, for making me find this book to fulfill a category. Violet Page sets a mean stage for the perfect scariness. Her eerie language, her delicious imaginations, and her sarcastic voice gave me the perfection reading experience. I flew through these short stories and of course, I have my favorites. I want everyone to read this book so we can chat about our most loved parts.
This is a must read if you: are into horror, Gothic, or creepy tales at all … also if you’re a feminist!
Don’t read it if you: want to keep the current patriarchy alive … women writing under male pseudonyms are just one symptom of what’s wrong with it