Wednesday, November 29, 2017

A Month In The Life: November 2017

Well, somehow we're only like a month away from the end of 2017, which doesn't seem possible. Like most of us, I suspect, the winding down of the year usually inspires a look back, and while I'll probably get more fully into it next month, I suspect I'm going to feel like while this year had some high points, I'm ready to move on. But before we get into December and start winding it down, I've got a monthly update to share with you!

In Books...

  • The Heart Is A Lonely Hunter: I was worried this book was going to be just "sad lonely people being sad and lonely", but the writing is gorgeous and I found its themes around the human need to feel connected to and understood by others to be deeply touching. That a 23 year-old wrote this is incredible.
  • La Belle Sauvage: I tried so hard not to overhype myself for this book in case it was disappointing, but I shouldn't have doubted Philip Pullman. While it's not as amazing as The Golden Compass, it's a worthy prequel and I loved getting to spend time in that world again. 
  • The Underground Railroad: This was a super hyped book last year, and while Whitehead's writing was incredible and I appreciated the story he told, I never got as sucked in as I would have hoped. Very very good book, and an important one at that. 
  • A Vast Conspiracy: I was only about 10-12 when the Clinton/Lewinsky scandal was happening, so while I vaguely understood what was happening I didn't really get it. This was an interesting and informative perspective on that time and the nebulous atmosphere of scandal that seems to surround the Clintons. 
  • The House of Mirth: This treaded very similar territory to The Age of Innocence about the artificiality and coldness of "society" and how it stifles and represses people who do play by its rules and punishes those who don't, and but this one felt more like it was a social critique first and a story second, in a way. It's good, but not great.
  • In The Woods: I'd heard this first entry in the Dublin Murder Squad series was the weakest, so I went in with low expectations but I actually really liked it! It was a bit of a slow burn as it started but by the end I was racing through it to see how it all played out. I'll definitely be reading the rest!
  • The Hate U Give: This was one of the buzziest books of the year...and to be honest, while I enjoyed it and found it well-written and certainly very timely, I didn't think it was exceptional. I loved Thomas' characters, though, particularly Starr, and I'm looking forward to seeing what she writes next!

In Life...
  • The holidays began: While I love the family time and nesting that comes with the holiday season, I've been trying to make a concerted effort on the diet and exercise fronts and all the extra opportunities to eat yummy food make it hard on the waistline. I do love shopping for presents for my loved ones, though, so I'm excited to try to find something thoughtful for each person on my list!

One Thing:

Since we're all about to abuse our Amazon accounts ('tis the season!), it's time to remember to make sure you're starting your shopping trip through Amazon Smile, which automatically donates a portion of the proceeds from those dollars we're already spending to a charity of your choice. Personally, I have it set for Bikers Against Child Abuse, which pairs motorcylists with children needing support as they get ready to testify against their abusers. 

Gratuitous Pug Photo:

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