Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Podcasts and Books of November

Happy December, everyone! I'm struggling to believe that it's the final month of the year! I know that is such a cliche statement to make, but I'm just stunned by how fast each successive year goes!

I've decided to skinny up these monthly recaps even further and am leaving out the 'looks' portion of the recap because, to be honest, I'm not too excited about how I look these days and I tend to wear the same things over and over and over again, so there aren't a lot of 'new' looks to share. ;) Someday I'll be back to sharing workouts and looks as part of my monthly recap, though!


Chatty Sisters Podcast - This is one of those podcasts where I will stop in the middle of a podcast and click over to this when a new episode drops! I know Kelly and Caroline, but even if you don't know them, you will enjoy this show. It's 2 sisters talking about a wide variety of topics from family traditions to goals to Myers-Briggs personality types.

From the Front Porch - This is a podcast hosted by the owner of a bookstore in Thomasville, GA and one of her employees. I started listening to this podcast when the owner was on What Should I Read Next, another 'must listen' bookish podcast. They talk about all things bookish. The most recent episode was about children's books, which is of particular interest to me now that I'm starting to build a library for Baby S.


November was a huge month of reading for me as I read 10 books! I had a lot of flares in November, which forced me to take it easy. And my favorite thing to do when I am taking it easy is read. My favorite book of the month was Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng. I can see why Amazon chose this as the best fiction book of 2017 as it was excellent! Ng's first book, "Everything I Never Told You" was also selected as the best fiction book by Amazon in the year it was published. So Ng is on quite a roll with her first 2 books!

Essentialism by Greg McKeown - 2 stars - This book, which is about simplifying your life, just didn't work for me.

Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng - 5 stars - This is excellent! Ng has this amazing ability to tell you what is going to happen at the end of the book on the very first page. The ending matters, but what's most interesting is what drives her characters to make the decisions they make.

The Course of Love by Alain de Botton - 3 stars - This is a thought provoking fiction read about the trials and tribulations marriage.

Everyone Brave is Forgiven by Chris Cleave - 2 stars - This is one of those books that I considered abandoning early on as I wasn't connecting with it, but it's gotten great reviews from others so I soldiered on. In hindsight, I should have abandoned it.

The Banks of Certain Rivers - 3 stars - This is an interesting book about a high school teacher that gets accused of physically assaulting a male student. The assault was captured on video but is the video showing what actually happened?

Young Jane Young by Gabrielle Zevin - 3 stars - I loved Zevin's last book, "The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry" so I was excited to check this book out. It was pretty good but didn't live up to my standards. It's about a young woman who has an affair with a U.S. Senator and then moves away to start over due to the scandal.

It's Okay to Laugh by Nora McInerny Purmort - 4 stars - This was a re-read for me and I think I enjoyed it even more the second time through because after listening to the author's podcast for the last year+, I could "hear" her voice. It's her memoir about dealing with the loss of her father and husband and a miscarriage, all in the span of about 6-8 weeks.

Exit West by Mohsin Hamid - 2 stars - I really wanted to like this book as it's an immigrant story, which is a genre I tend to love. But the detached writing style of the book did not work for me. This has been critically acclaimed and has made several 'best of 2017' book lists, but it just didn't resonate with me.

Mr. Rochester by Sarah Shoemaker - 3 stars - This is a re-telling of Jane Eyre from Mr. Rochester's perspective. It was interesting to read an imagined back story on how he came to marry 'the woman upstairs'.


Nora said...

I didn't love Exit West, either. I wanted to, but just didn't.
I still haven't read any of Ng's books so I'll need to get on that! I did finish (another) YA book this morning and really enjoyed it; a non-fiction/memoir type book just became available on my Nook for me so I think I'll do that before going back to my usual holiday fluff books I read this time of year :)

Stephany said...

Okay you are the fourth person I know who didn't love Exit West, so I'm taking it off my TBR! No sense in wasting time on books that don't do it for me.

10 books is an insanely good reading month! Nice job, even though it wasn't for the best reason why you read so much. Little Fires Everywhere was my favorite read for November, too!

Gracie said...

Aw, I love the "looks" part of these posts!

Kyria @ Travel Spot said...

I have Exit West on hold right now, but due to your comment as well as Noras, I am considering taking it off my list. However, I may still have to give it a shot, as it did seem like an interesting story line! Have you read Lincoln in the Bardo? It has really good reviews, but my colleague at work said he could barely get past the first couple of chapters due to the writing style.

I remember liking Everything I Never Told You and have had Little Fires on my hold list as well! I currently have a bunch of books on hold who have dozens of people in front of me, so it may be a while before I get a chance to read it. Although that is for the best, as I am not gobbling up books right now due to holidays etc...

Jolene - EverydayFoodie said...

10 books in a month! Incredible! I am super excited to do some reading while we're in Mexico. Last time we were there I read two books over the week, and it was blissful. I usually go for non-fiction, but I am thinking of getting a great novel for this trip, or perhaps a book of short stories, which I never, ever, read.

I am doing a short story unit with my class, and it has ignited a desire in me to read beautifully written, short pieces of fiction. There was a Canadian woman, Alice Munro, who won a Novel prize in literature for her short stories, so I am intrigued. It's fascinating how someone can develop characters in very few pages.

Amber said...

I also soldiered through Everyone Brave is Forgiven last year and wish I'd given it up. I know so many people loved it but I was just not a fan!! I'm so behind on podcasts because of my new life I don't spend as much time puttering around the house or walking the dog or commuting - my main times to listen to them before - but I recently started making sure my headphones are always nearby so I can listen while breastfeeding. I still use both my hands too much to really read a book during breastfeeding (I'm hoping this will change down the road and I'll at least be able to read on my kindle!) so catching up on podcasts while feeding has been perfect!

Jeanie said...

Interesting (and lots!) of reading. I'm curious about Mr. Rochester. Loved Jane Eyre.