It doesn’t feel like December. Really, it doesn’t. It’s supposed to be 77°F today, which is positively springlike, and not at all wintry. I am disgruntled about this. It’s supposed to be in the 30°s or 40°s at this time of year, and we’re supposed to have had measurable snow by now. Have we had this? No. We have not. It has been dry and warm, and I do not like it.
At least my November books were good.
What I Read in November
I read thirteen books in November, four of which were ARCs because I had several moments of weakness where I requested books from NetGalley in spite of knowing that their publication dates were around the same time. Fortunately, I was able to finish all of them on time (though one of them is still in progress). Once I finish that last ARC, I have precisely zero that I need to finish. I have a couple of outstanding requests for books coming out in 2022, but that’s it. And I’m okay with that.
- We Have Always Lived in the Castle by Shirley Jackson, audiobook narrated by Bernadette Dunne
- Jade Legacy (The Green Bone Saga #3) by Fonda Lee, eARC provided by NetGalley
- Interrupted Music: The Making of Tolkien’s Mythology by Verlyn Flieger
- The House Between Tides by Sarah Maine, audiobook narrated by Justine Eyre
- Around the World in 80 Books by David Damrosch, eARC provided by NetGalley
- The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien, audiobook narrated by Andy Serkis
- Dracula by Bram Stoker, audiobook narrated by Alan Cumming, Simon Vance, Tim Curry, et. al.
- Split Tooth by Tanya Tagaq
- Observations by Gaslight by Lyndsay Faye, ARC provided by NetGalley
- How Music Works: The Science and Psychology of Beautiful Sounds, from Beethoven to the Beatles and Beyond by John Powell, audiobook narrated by Walter Dixon
- The Cat Who Saved Books by Sōsuke Natsukawa, translated from the Japanese by Louise Heal Kawai, ARC provided by NetGalley
- The Music of The Lord of the Rings Films: A Comprehensive Account of Howard Shore’s Scores by Doug Adams
- The Whole Art of Detection: Lost Mysteries of Sherlock Holmes by Lyndsay Faye, audiobook narrated by Simon Vance
- 53.8% of what I read was written by women, and 46.2% was written by men
- 53.8% was by American authors, 23.1% was by English authors, and 7.7% each were by Canadian, Irish, and Japanese authors
- 7.7% of what I read was in translation (The Cat Who Saved Books, which was translated from Japanese)
- 46.2% were audiobooks, 30.8% were ebooks, and 23.1% were physical books
- 30.8% were nonfiction, 23.1% were fantasy, and 15.4% each were general fiction, mystery, and horror
- 53.8% of the books I read were from the library, 30.8% were from NetGalley, and 15.4% were from my own shelves
- Dates of publication ranged from 1897 to 2021
My favorites of the month were We Have Always Lived in the Castle, Jace Legacy, Observations by Gaslight, and The Whole Art of Detection. The weirdest book I read was easily Split Tooth by Tanya Tagaq. There weren’t any books I didn’t like at all. Yay!
I had two DNFs in November: Winter Pasture by Juan Li and For the Love of Music: The Art of Listening by John Mauceri. I stopped reading Winter Pasture because if felt incredibly disorganized, and I stopped reading For the Love of Music for several reasons, the primary one being that it didn’t seem like Mauceri was going to actually discuss how to listen to classical music. It seemed more like he wanted to describe the very technical aspects of the music, and also show off how much he knows about the genre.
What’s on Tap for December:
I have a plan for December. My plan is to get through a bunch of the short books and novellas on my TBR. I haven’t done a very good job this year of reading the unread books on my own shelf, so I grabbed several of the shorter ones of the shelves and requested a few more titles from my StoryGraph To-Read Pile. I currently have twelve titles on my December TBR:
From the Library:
- Examples: The Making of 40 Photographs by Ansel Adams
- Upstream: Selected Essays by Mary Oliver
- Driftwood by Marie Brennan
- An Elderly Lady is up to No Good by Helene Tursten, translated from the Swedish by Marlaine Delargy
From my own shelves:
- Letters of Cezanne by Rainer Maria Rilke, translated from the German by Joel Agee
- The Writing of Fiction by Edith Wharton
- The Book of Salt by Monique Truong
- The Princes in the Tower by Alison Weir
- The Tale of Despereaux by Kate DiCamillo, illustrated by Timothy Basil Ering
- London’s Shadows: The Dark Side of the Victorian City by Drew D. Gray
- Alaric the Goth: An Outsider’s History of the Fall of Rome by Douglas Boin
- The Book of Tea by Okakura Kakuzo, translated from the Japanese by Elise Grilli
December is also the month where, traditionally, I reread The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien. I plan to use my new illustrated edition.
I’m currently in the middle of three books:
- Absynthe by Brendan Bellecourt, ARC provided by NetGalley
- Matrix by Lauren Groff
- The Rose Rent (Chronicles of Brother Cadfael #13) by Ellis Peters, audiobook narrated by Patrick Tull
So there are my reading plans for December! Assuming all goes to plan, I’ll get through a bunch of books that have been languishing on my TBR, and will finish out 2021 by reading the most books I’ve ever read in a single year. Not a bad way to finish up a year!
8 thoughts on “November Summary, December Preview”
Did you read Lincoln highway?
Nope. I put it on the back burner after seeing a ‘meh’ review from a reviewer whose tastes in general fiction align super well with mine. Also, there’s a long wait list at the library, and it’s 600+ pages….
I will say…I read through it quickly. Here’s my mini review. Not as good as GIM. But I loved it. What I loved was the simple elegance of the prose. There is nothing specifically that you ponder over or read five times to understand the meaning. Yet, there are multiple ways to think about this novel. Redemption, hope, upbringing, resilience, trust. While there are things that seem nonsensical, I’m ok with that. It’s all part of a road trip experience so to speak….choose your own adventure if you will. What I loved is it’s attention to detail. It has multiple viewpoints, which I think worked in his favor. Very different from his other two books.
Sounds like you had a solid month of reading! I hope you’ll have a blast getting through your shelved books this month now. Maybe you’ll get all the crazy snow throughout the month, giving you all the more reason to stay in and read more! 😀
November was a pretty good month for books! So far, December has been pretty solid, too. No chance for snow so far, though the weather is cooling down a little (not enough). I hope your month is full of books and at least a little rest!
Sounds like a great reading month! A lot of interesting titles, London’s shadows has captured my attention.
I picked up Adams’ Examples a couple years back at a used book store but still haven’t read it. That has me realizing how few photography books I’ve read lately, and how many unread ones I still have on my shelves. I think something must be done about that! Glad to hear your reading year is on track to be a blowout, that’s awesome. And I’m keeping my fingers crossed you get the snow you’re hoping for. 🙂
I need to read some more photography books, too. I have a history of photography to read, an old developing manual and catalog I want to at least skim, and of course, the Ansel Adams book.
Not snow yet! Maybe we’ll get a bit of snow or rain on Tuesday. I’ll be crossing my fingers, too.