Friday, December 1, 2023

What We Read in November

Yay! It's December! I read a lot during November but I was home bound with sick family members for quite a bit and had flights to and from NYC earlier in the month. I finished 9 books! 


These are my favorites of the month and I'd recommend them pretty broadly. It was an Ugly Couch Anyway is a collection of essays with a through line so it reads like a memoir. There are themes of faith in it. It is not preachy, but I mention that for those who don't want any mention of Christianity in their reading. Faking Christmas is a light, easy-breezy romantic comedy that helped put me in the Christmas spirit. Kill Show is a fictional oral history (similar to Daisy Jones and the Six) about a couple whose daughter goes missing. They agree to let a producer make a reality TV show about the search process (which is absolutely BANANAS and something I think most sane people would not agree to). The Many Lives of Mama Love is a memoir about a women who steals/commits identity theft to fund her drug habit. The Museum of Failures is the latest by a favorite author of mine (Thrity Umrigar). I didn't love it as much as her past novels as it ended a bit to tidily for my liking, but it was still a great read.

Pretty good:

I didn't think I was going to read Yellowface but I got sucked in by all the buzz. It didn't really live up to the buzz for me, though. The main character was just SO INCREDIBLY UNLIKEABLE. Everything's Fine was an uncomfortable read about a mixed-race/mixed-politics relationship - a Black liberal woman and a white guy who voted for Trump. It's another one I read out of curiosity. How to Stay Married is a memoir about a marriage in crisis. The wife cheats on the husband - this is not a spoiler, we find out right away - and he divulges all the gory details of their marital conflict, but with a very HEAVY dose of humor. Too much humor, IMO. This one also has major major themes of Christianity and is very anti-divorce. I mean no one is pro-divorce but there are marriages that should end in my opinion... so don't read this if you've gotten divorced or are strongly contemplating it. To be clear, my marriage is as healthy as a marriage can be when you have young children who have been sick for months at a time... I did not read this for marital advice. I read it because I am nosey and kind of like to be the fly on the wall in other people's lives at times. Lastly, Now is Not the Time to Panic is my selection for my book club. I didn't like it as much as I thought I might/hoped I would. It was fine. 

The boys' reads:

Paul had some really successful reads in November!

First, The Mysteries of the Universe which, as the cover and title suggests, is a book about outer space. It has beautiful 2-page spreads with photos and a paragraph about the concept such as supernovas, black holes, the planets, solar eclipses, etc. I actually learned a lot reading this. My earth science education in high school was a bit lacking.

We also finished reading Kate DiCamillo’s first children’s novel, Because of Winn Dixie. It is a HEAVY novel but I think a lot of it went over Paul’s head. It’s a heart warming found family - including a dog - kind of story. We liked it so much that are are currently reading The Tale of Desperaux. I do the chapter book reading and Phil often listens in the background. I've gotten some raised eyebrows and "what are you guys reading?" comments over the content of both books (the mom abandons the daughter in the first book; there are lots of detailed discussions of a dungeon in Despereaux). There are big words and heavy themes. But Disney movies kill a parent in nearly every movie it seems... so I think Paul will be fine with this heavier content, all in all. TL;DR - your mileage may vary with these books. 

How was your reading month? 

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