November was awesome!

November turned into an accidental experiment. I suddenly grew tired of reading yet unpublished books. It’s harder to find worthwhile reads among them. It’s much easier to discover great books among those already tested by time and other readers. As a result, I had the most successful month. I liked most of the books I read, and now I can recommend them to you.

Here’s the list. The books I liked the most are at the top. If you click the titles of the paragraphs, you’ll get to the full reviews.

1. Short stories by Daphne du Maurier

Screen Shot 2018-11-26 at 15.50.09

They are dark, deep and atmospheric. They brought a lot of beauty and mystery into the colder days. I can definitely recommend all stories from this edition.

2. The Birds by Daphne du Maurier

Screen Shot 2018-11-19 at 18.14.38

Right, the second place is taken by du Maurier too. She is like those actors who jump on the stage and take all the prizes. She’s indeed that outstanding, as well as her novelette The Birds. I made a research about this book, looking into the accusations of plagiarism and comparing it to other works of the same name. Follow the link for more information.

3. The Little Stranger by Sarah Waters

Screen Shot 2018-11-08 at 15.11.44

I’m not sure if the shorter days are turning me into a reader of gothic or I just have a natural inclination to this genre, but my third most favourite book of the month is gothic again. The Little Stranger is a story about a noble family, a local doctor and a dilapidating creepy mansion. I had an audiobook version of the story and absolutely loved the narrator’s performance.

4. The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion

Screen Shot 2018-11-08 at 15.15.20

A contrast to all the gothic above, The Rosie Project is light, funny and heartwarming. It’s a modern story about an autistic scientist who’s setting off on a quest to find a perfect wife for himself.

5. Bone Gap by Laura Ruby

Screen Shot 2018-11-21 at 16.56.52

Bone Gap is an unusual item on this blog because it’s a young adult novel. This book showed me that young adult genre doesn’t necessarily mean simplistic or primitive. It’s a story about a small town with some magical powers. It’s about human nature, relationships and the ways people see each other. I liked the actual story and the bigger ideas of the book.

6. The Seven Sisters by Lucinda Riley

Screen Shot 2018-11-08 at 15.02.01

The Seven Sisters is the first book in the series about seven sisters (with a book per sister, I guess) who are discovering their true histories after their adoptive parent dies. The first book travels through time and continents and has several love stories in it. It’s well-written and interesting. Even though there’s not too much romance, there’s still too much of it for my personal liking, so I won’t continue with the series, but I’m sure many people will love the book.

7. Bitter Orange by Claire Fuller

Screen Shot 2018-11-27 at 09.47.09

This book takes the final position among the books I liked because I can’t say I liked it that much. It was beautifully written, with a very deep exploration of human mind and psychology but I didn’t like the aftertaste of the story and the personality of the characters.

There are two more books that didn’t make it to the list above because I didn’t like them. I’m happy I have read them as a part of my experiment and research.

1. The Birds by Frank Baker

Screen Shot 2018-11-19 at 19.40.23

This is the book that Daphne du Maurier was accused of plagiarising. There’s a definite similarity between the two books. Both have birds attacking people and changing the course of human history. Frank Baker’s work has much more philosophy in it. It’s full of deep ideas and contemplations but it’s unbearably boring to read. The style of writing is a torture. I’m glad I had a chance to compare the two works myself but I can’t recommend Frank Baker’s book to anybody.

2. Uprooted by Naomi Novik

Screen Shot 2018-11-24 at 15.09.07

It’s a much loved book among fantasy readers but I had to push myself to find things I could like about it. Even though I found some, they were still overshadowed by those I disliked. I’m glad I took this leap into fantasy because next time I will take a more careful step into this genre.

I also listened to a couple of curious programs that are not actually audiobooks but I found them awesome anyway. In order not to overload you with information, I’ll post about them in a separate post, so stay tuned.

Off to the final month of the year! Hopefully I will discover more fantastic books to tell you about.

If you are interested in more book lists, you can read:

  1. The books I bought on Black Friday
  2. The books I read in October
  3. The books I read in September


19 thoughts on “November was awesome!

    1. She wrote many short stories, there are several editions of them. I already got myself another book. I’ve read the first story from it, No Motive, and it’s perfect again. Daphne is a gem of literature. And I haven’t even read anything longer by her! My Cousin Rachel will be the next one.

    1. Did you have a good month too Sarah? I think my December is going well too, although I already had to drop one book, but it wasn’t the book’s fault. It’s me, not the book :)) I’ll post about it soon.

      1. I certainly had a great reading month in November and December is okay, too. I know what you mean about starting and stopping books, though. I’ve already abandoned several books this month and it is definitely me, not the book!

        1. It’s still better when it’s just the wrong book at the moment than when it’s simply a bad-written book. I wonder if people had the same problems 20-30 years ago, with less access to books.

          1. Yes… I know I did. There were times when I’d pick up a book and simply put it back down again because it wasn’t the book I wanted to read – it was worse because the books I wanted were science fiction and fantasy – and I hadn’t got the resources to get hold of them. It’s MUCH better now:))

    1. Daphne du Maurier is my rescuer now whenever I need a definitely good read that won’t disappoint me. It’s almost like medicine against bad writing. And as any medicine, I can’t take too much of it, because her writing is very strong, and the atmosphere is always very heavy.

  1. Glad you had such a good November, Alexandra! Great reads, great photography, and I hope the months to come are just as memorable. Really enjoyed discussing books with you in November, too. 🙂

    1. Thank you Stephen! I also liked talking about books with you. I’m very excited about the new month and the whole new Year coming! Do you have any plans for the upcoming year? I’m thinking of reviving my semi-alive Goodreads account. Are you on Goodreads?

      1. Looking forward to the New Year. I am aiming for a slightly better work/life balance, but will still blog as much as I can! I am also thinking about maybe starting on NetGalley…
        And yes I am on Goodreads – there is a link to my account on my blog 🙂

          1. I don’t really get ARCs, although I have had some free review copies of books from Booktasters. Most of my reading is simply books that are already released 🙂

          2. I haven’t realised that. Well, you have a whole extra world to explore then. There are so many books on NetGalley. It’s harder to find good ones there, but just recently I discovered two, really good ones! I never heard about Booktasters 🤔

          3. I have heard all about NetGalley and it sounds like quite a selection! I am glad you have found some great books – Happy reading!
            Booktasters is via Twitter, and it is exceptionally hard to find good books through them 😉

          4. Ah right! Now that you mentioned Twitter, I remembered them! I am following them too, and we exchanged messages a few times. I saw the titles and … covers…😐 And instantly knew I wouldn’t be hurrying that direction. I have many promising books on my list that will already last me for a few months.

          5. Yes! The covers on Booktasters have put me off from requesting books from there too often 🙂
            I also have a lot of books with me that I am planning to read in the next few months. Enjoy!

Comments are closed.