What I Read: November Edition

If you’ve been following along, I finished my Winter Reading Challenge. Additionally, I read a lot more books. If you wonder how I read so much, check out my tips for how I read so much! I hate to say that I actually chose TV over reading towards the ends of the month, which did cut down on how many books I read; however, I have started listening to audiobooks in the car, so that helps!

what i read last month october


beautiful ruins

Rating: ****

I read Beautiful Ruins as part of the Blogger to Blogger Book Club. You can read my full review here!


big little lies

Rating: *****

I waited on this book to come in from the library for months. It was very interesting. I always enjoy books by Moriarty because they make me glad that I don’t have kids or have to deal with a PTA. I overhear women at the gym reading each other snarky emails that other PTA moms have sent them and it just sounds horrible.



breakfast of championsRating: ***

I only read this as part of The Winter Reading Challenge because I needed a book with a meal in the title. Otherwise, it was kind of boring.


east of edenRating: *****

Wow. I loved this. Not only did it clear one book off of my full shelves, it was an amazing book.

fall of giantsRating: *****

My mom has been recommending this book to me for about a year. I read the first book of another trilogy that Follett wrote, which was just ok. This one was amazing. I loved that it took place right before, during, and after WWI. So, not only is the history fascinating, the way that the families from all sides of the war and from different social classes are woven together is fantastic! I highly recommend this book, if you don’t mind a long read!


fredericaRating: ****

This was more of a 3.5. I love Georgette Heyer, but I think that if I read too many of her books in a row, they start to blend together. I absolutely loved the first two books of her’s that I read, but I think that they get very predictable. My next Heyer book will be Cousin Kate because I read that it was Heyer’s only attempt at a Gothic novel. And I love Gothic novels!

gileadRating: *****

Again. Wow. I can’t believe that I kept putting this book off!

mr. penumbra's 24 hour bookstoreRating: ****

Such a fun read! Not a brilliant work of genius, but it was definitely fun.

one more thingRating: *****

Do yourself a favor and read this now. You should probably get the audiobook. I know that I love them, but B.J. Novak narrates this book with the help of an all star cast. It’s not family friendly, so don’t listen with the kids around. I could not stop laughing!


still life with breadcrumbsRating: ****

Not my favorite book ever, but I really did enjoy this. It felt like Quindlen was trying to get at some deeper points about domestic life, but the novel wasn’t quite long enough to really dive into the subjects that she hinted at. But, it was an interesting story!

the blind assasianRating: *****

I have owned this book for years, so I finally read it. It fits in a little bit with the sci-fi category, which threw me off. The novel switches back and forth between the past and present of the narrator, plus a fictional story that takes place on a foreign planet. The “novel” within the novel threw me off at first, but it really did fit with the novel. I loved it at the end. It turns out that I keep feeling that way about Atwood’s novels!

the burning roomRating: ***

I always enjoy Michael Connelly novels. They’re my guilty pleasure, I guess. This one wasn’t as bad as some recent John Grisham novels (note: please read B.J. Novak’s short story about John Grisham. So funny!), but it was not quite a Lincoln Lawyer quality novel. It kind of sloppily threw two unrelated cases into one investigation, which made it harder to follow.


the girl you left behindRating: ****

I read this novel for the Winter Reading Challenge. I absolutely loved it. I loved Moyes’s Me Before You, and I loved this book. I think it is great when an author can write fantastic novels that are nothing alike. That’s real talent!


the water is wideRating: *****

I loved this novel. I first heard of this novel in high school, when I took Teacher Cadet. We watched an excerpt from the movie. When I got to college, my academic adviser said that he read this novel in undergrad, which made him want to become a teacher. I am glad that he read the novel because he was a great professor and even SC Professor of the Year. He’s the best!


Thirteen at Dinner

thirteen at dinner

Rating: ***/.5

This book was part of the Winter Reading Challenge. I needed to have a book with a meal in the title. This was a lighthearted mystery, but it actually had a ton of murders. It was oddly light for how many people were killed.


everythig i never told youRating: ****

I received this free Audiobook through Goodreads. It had been on my list for awhile, so I’m glad that I read it. It is less about how Lydia died and more about all the circumstances and family history that led to her death. (Not a spoiler). I would recommend it!


liar temptress soldier spyRating: ****

I did decide to read this one partly based on the title and the cover. I know, I judged a book by its cover. In this case, I judged correctly! I love Civil War history. It was very interesting to read how women contributed as spies on both sides of the war. It was just a whole new part of history that was new to me, so I would also recommend it!

the good girlRating: ****

Again, I really enjoyed this novel! I did read it because it was advertised to be a thriller along the lines of Gone Girl. While definitely not of Gone Girl caliber, it was really interesting. I listened to the audio version of this, which was cool, because each chapter is told out of order. The chapter begins with the name of who is narrating (either the victim’s mother, kidnapper, or detective). The audio version has a different person reading each character, so that added to the novel!

the girl who played with fireRating: *****

I absolutely loved this follow up to The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. I read the first novel as part of the Winter Reading Challenge, and it drew me in so much that I had to read the follow up. The last novel is on hold at the library right now! I can’t wait for it to come in.


the secret keeper
Rating: ****

This was the second Kate Morton novel that I read. I thought it was only ok, until I got to the end. Holy twist. I loved it. I am curious to read more of her books because the only two that I have read involve people researching the pasts of their families. While it is in an interesting concept, I would like to know if Morton has a wider range in her writing.


bel canto
Rating: ****

I didn’t like the beginning of this book at all. That’s why I put it down several times. However, once it got going it was a really interesting look at terrorism, art, humanity, and love. I know a lot of people hate the ending, but I thought that is what made it realistic!

While you’re here, take a second to add me as a Goodreads friend.

I love to see what you’re reading/wanting to read! I’m always looking for ideas!

What I read:


I am also linking this post to Operation Read Your Shelves because I read FOUR old books!operation read your shelves december

34 Magnolia Street

Also linking up with The Modern Mrs. Darcy for this list!

Categories: Reading, What I Read Last Month |
  • WOW, you’ve been reading/audiobooking a ton. I wish our library had a better audio book selection… Some of these have been on my list, I’ll have to read them sooner rather than later and add some others you have here! Visiting from the linkup 🙂

  • I’ve been choosing TV over books for a while myself! Ahhhh. I’m adding a few of these to my list! Which other Kate Morton did you read? I just bought The Distant Hours and it sounds like it’s slightly different from the previous two I’ve read (The Forgotten Garden and The House of Riverton).

    • I read The Forgotten Garden. My library doesn’t have any other audibooks by Kate Morton, but my mom’s library has two more, so I thought about asking her to borrow them for me. But, I don’t really want to read another variation of the same! Haha

  • Some of these are on my to-read list so I’m excited to get to them. I’m reading the Secret Keeper now… Now I can’t wait for the end!

    • The Secret Keeper has the craziest ending 🙂

  • I have added 4 books to my list, lol. I completely agree with what you said about JoJo Moyes, for her to write completely different books and both be amazing, that is real talent. Though like you said with Georgette Heyer, if I binge on an author they all start to blend in so I make sure to space them out a bit.

    • Yes! I think I might try Cousin Kate, which is supposed to be a Gothic novel by Heyer. But, I still might wait a month!

  • Kaity Stuckert

    You have some good ones on the list. Glad you liked East of Eden- that was my pick for the Winter Reading Challenge!

    • I have owned the book for over a year, but never read it. I can’t believe that I didn’t read it immediately. I’m glad that I waited, though, so it worked for the challenge!

  • YOU ARE A MACHINE. I am saving this for the next time I’m looking for a good book 🙂

    • Next month should be even longer hahaha. I have to get my Botox shots next Monday, so I won’t be able to much for a few days–lots of time to read/listen.

  • Ya…I may or may not still be just one book in to the challenge. Oh wells. I am so glad you liked The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo and the second one! I’m am so excited for BJ Novak’s book.

    • I bet you got a lot of reading done this week. Not! Hahahaha Even my brother is reading BJ Novak’s book now. He loves it!

  • ooh, when I was about 18 I was on the bus speaking to a friend about books, and this random lady turned around and told us that “she was sorry, but she just had to tell us that we HAD to read Steinbeck”. I still to this day haven’t read any Steinbeck, but I really want to, and this would fit the winter reading challenge as well

    Also, I thought the same thing about the Secret Keeper, I never saw the twist coming, which for me is a bit strange, but the ending was worth it for that reason. I think I have read the same second book as you as well

    Oh, and Fall of giants, for some reason I thought this was in the same era as pillars of the earth and was going to be all knights and monks and stuff. I gather this is not the case and I may have to add this too to my list.

    This blog is great for reading inspiration!

    • Yes! Fall of Giants is totally separate. I liked it a lot more–I actually just finished the second in the trilogy. I can’t wait to read the last one!

  • These look like great books. I’ll have to check them out. Thanks.

  • You read a lot of books last month!!! Do you always read that many books?!?!

    I just finished Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore and passed it onto my Mom! My friend Shauna is trying to find a copy too. 🙂 I love a good puzzle every now and then.

    Tell me about Margaret Atwood! Have you read any of her other books? I keep seeing her books, but I’ve never read any of them. Is there a good one to begin with?

    Agatha Christie is one of my go-to authors! I just love her mystery and how clean she keeps everything (minus the murders, of course). Your review made me smile!

    And…My Aunt was just telling me about “Everything I Never Told You” over Thanksgiving!

    • Ever since I got really sick, I’ve been reading more and more each month. It’s almost like a competition with myself haha. I loved Alias Grace by Margaret Atwood. It is a lot different from her other novels. It’s a true crime novel that is so captivating, mostly because no one actually knows what happened! Apparently it’s a very famous case in Canada. Then The Handmaiden’s Tale was so good, too. The Blind Assassin was great, too. I want to read some more now!

  • I adored Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore. No, it’s not the most original book in the world, but it’s one of my favorite reads from this past year!

    • I agree. It was so cute.

  • Wow, you read a lot! And my boyfriend tells me I read a lot 😉

    I thought I was doing really well with the challenge but so many people have already finished!

  • Wow!! You are pretty stinking awesome!! I didn’t want this post to end, because I kept adding books on my “want to read” GoodReads list! So glad you linked up – thanks for sharing all these books!!!

  • You are a reading machine! I am taking your reviews and adding the books to my Goodreads “to read” shelf! I have read a handful but all the others look awesome!

  • What the?! You read all of these books this month?! That is impressive. East of Eden. IS. SO. GOOD. Also, I have never been an audio book person at all, but have been considering trying one again on my commutes. So maybe I will try One More Thing and will enjoy it better than the ones I have tried in the past. Thanks for the reviews!

    • Yes, you should definitely try One More Thing on audiobook. Even my brother has listened to it, and he doesn’t really read much. My brother texted me and told me how great it is.

  • HO. LY. CATS. You are such a champ! I thought I was a good reader, but you win the prize! All of these look so good. I just bought a friend of mine the Quindlen book for her birthday, because I know Quindlen is a beautiful writer. Also, Steinbeck is one of my favorite American writers. This is a great list!

  • Anne @ I need some inspiration

    What a list! East of Eden is my high school English teacher’s favorite book, and I’ve always been curious why. Thanks for the great list. 🙂

    • It was my first Stiembeck novel! I don’t know how I got an Engish degree without reading any. It really was worth the read. It was long, though!

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