Saturday, November 30, 2013

November!

1.  Five Days At Memorial, Sheri Fink - (BOTNS recommendation)  My library ebook hold came available just as I was finishing up last month's marathon of horror novels, and so I decided a nice, narrative non-fiction book would be an excellent palette cleanser.  It was, in a word, riveting.  In fact, I finished it in less than 24 hours (and it's a hefty book) because I literally could not put it down.  (Sorry girls...)  Fink's book was also considerably more terrifying than anything I read in October, being the story of what happened in New Orleans Memorial Hospital in the aftermath of Katrina.  Shivers.

2.  The Cats of Tanglewood Forest, Charles De Lint and Charles Vess- I'd been saving this for a rainy day, and after last month, and Five Days, I really needed something gentle.  It was beautiful...and quiet...and peaceful...and exactly what I needed/wanted.  Then again, I knew it would be.  To my intense delight, both of my girls chose to read this book as well!  They checked out an extra copy from the library so that they could both enjoy it at the same time, and I managed to snap a quick - and very adorable - picture of them reading together.  Love that we've all had a special moment this month with my favorite author!

3.  Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell, Susanna Clark (audio) - You all were right, it's much better in audio!  Very reminiscent of Dickens, and I happen to love listening to Dickens. I did find that periodically I had to look the chapter up and reread it, but that's a minor complaint.  Even though I liked it better in audio, though, I still didn't finish it...Sigh.  I'm not giving up...but this could take a while. 

4.  Clair of the Sea Light, Edwidge Danticat - (BOTNS)  Oh my, was this ever a beautiful book.  Now I swear I had read the first chapter before (perhaps it was published as a short story somewhere?), but I haven't figured out where or why.  I agree wholeheartedly with the reviews I've heard which state that it's rather like poetry.  I believe I must go read more Danticat now.

5.  Some Kind of Fairy Tale, Graham Joyce - I honestly hadn't heard of Joyce before, but when my favorite author, Mr. DeLint, and his wife, MaryAnn Harris, recommended his work on Facebook I decided to give him a read.  I loved it!  This should come as no surprise to anyone as many of the authors I enjoy are folk I tried because they had a De Lint blurb or review.  Ahem.  I will also be reading more Joyce.  Fairy tales have always been my favorite...and now I'm craving more and more.

6. Writing Down Your Soul, Janet Conner - A very good friend of mine sent me her extra copy of this lovely book, knowing it was something I could benefit from.  She was right.  Conner has written a guide to taking one's journaling practice to a deeper level, which is just exactly the sort of thing I needed.. 

7.  Lord John and the Private Matter....and

8.  Lord John and the Brotherhood of the Blade...and

9.  The Custom of the Army...and

10.  A Leaf in the Wind of All Hallows...and

11.  The Scottish Prisoner, by Diana Gabaldon. - I hadn't read the Lord John books and novellas yet.  Thanks to the library, I now have....and it was super-fun!  Must say, though, they don't come anywhere close to the magic of the Outlander Novels. 

12.  Songs of Willow Frost, Jamie Ford - (BOTNS) - Sighs...another beautiful book.  I don't know that I expected to like it as much as I did, but when I saw that it was available from the library I decided to give it a try.  I think what I love most about this book is that Ford has taken a very common orphan storyline and twisted it in an unexpected direction.  The ending was perfect. 

13.  A Fatal Likeness, Lynn Shepherd - I must say, I liked this one quite a bit better than I liked The Solitary House.   Same main characters, same witty literary connections...but this time Shepherd dumped the 'being clever for clever's sake' nonsense that so aggravated me with the first Charles Maddox book.  The central mystery revolves around the true story of  Percy Bysshe Shelley and Mary Shelley.  In fact, Shepherd had to invent very little (and she does clearly spell out what was true and what was fiction at the end of the book) because the real life events were so dramatic...and nutballs.  I loved it so much that I have three of the biographies that Shepherd used on hold at the library to pick up tomorrow!

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