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November 2016 Wrap Up: Romance! Crime! Angst! Anna Kendrick!

I had a lot of plans for my November TBR and I got to only…1 of those. This is why I don’t do TBRs. There are two that I will have a mini review for in December so look out for those but the rest I’ll mention my thoughts here.

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‘Night Mother by Marsha Norman (2/5)

This month’s play selection was a little disappointing even though the premise sounded so interesting. It’s about a grown daughter who has decided to commit suicide so she goes over to her mother’s house to tell her this and to set things in order before she goes. At first, I thought the mother-daughter dynamics were really interesting especially with the mother knowing her daughter was going to commit suicide that night but as it progressed, it just became more generic and bland.There’s a backstory that is slowly revealed throughout but the characters were not engaging enough for me to really feel the need to know that backstory.


The Sympathizer by Viet Thanh Nguyen (4/5)

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“Fun” Storytime with Carolyn: To put a hold at my local library, I have to pay 25 cents. I put a hold for The Sympathizer and couldn’t read it until a few days before it was due and when it was due, I couldn’t renew it because someone else had put a hold on it..So I had to return it and put another hold on it because it’s so popular, it was the only way I could get it -_- so basically I put

a hold on it the first time for no reason. But enough of my first world-problems, the good part is that I really liked this book and I have a full review here.



The Stone Gods by Jeanette Winterson (3/5)

Jeannette Winterson is quite the name in literary fiction but I thought The Stone Gods was just ok. The best part of the book was her writing as it was probably some of the best writing I’ve read this year. It’s a literary scifi novel set far off into the future where Earth has been destroyed and we have moved to another planet. It follows a woman named Billie and she’s a reporter who meets a robot named Spike and it’s their love storyImage result for the stone gods essentially. But the book is more like 3 novellas packed into one because each section of the book follows a reincarnation of Billie and Spike and their subsequent love story. Her writing feels very modern but this book is also an ode to nature so the writing also feels ethereal and references old myths and legends. It’s a humorous satire on the damage, we as humans, do to our planet and the
same mistakes that we inevitably make over and over again. The scifi aspects with the plastic surgery and all were a little gimmicky to me and felt too obvious (if that makes sense) and sometimes it felt as if her writing was just jumping from one place to the next without any cohesiveness.


Smut by Karina Halle (3.75/5)

If you’ve been following my blog the past couple of months you’ll know that I’ve been looking for a light and fluffy romance read that I could actually finish from beginning to end. I was having no such luck because true to stereotype romance is so satImage result for smut karina halleurated with the same cliches and carbon copy characters just with different names. This month I finally found a cute NA romance read that wasn’t offensive and didn’t bore me to tears. It’s about a woman named Amanda who dreams of becoming a published author. She’s in the same writing class as Blake, the hot and (arrogant of course) guy who gets paired up with her for a project. And things go from there. I really appreciated the slow burn haters-to-lovers trope executed very well. I also appreciated the minimal description of the other person’s physical features. The story was adorable, the heroine actually has a professional goal and works for it (!), the side characters were all fun and quirky, there was no contrived drama for angst purposes, so many nerdy references, and of course, my favorite–witty banter between our two main characters. Love it.


So for these next few books, I’m going to have separate reviews for them in December but they were definitely my favorite reads of November.

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Scrappy Little Nobody by Anna Kendrick (audiobook) (4/5)

Signal to Noise by SIlvia Moreno-Garcia (4/5)


Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Doestoevsky (3/5)

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For some reason, I thought this classic was basically going to be a guy meditating in jail for the entire story. And I was totally off..so off..In terms of the story, I definitely liked the individual parts more than its sum. There are some really thought-provoking ideas in this like what makes a criminal or even if certain criminals have a right to commit crimes. The main character had such an interesting dichotomy. He wants to be a part of society but at the same time transcend society because he has such a disdain for it. Everyone else was pretty bland. The stream of consciousness is really well done.

 


Graphic Novels

Sensation Comics: Wonder Woman Vol. 2 by various authors and artists (3.5/5)

Image result for Sensation Comics: Wonder Woman Vol. 2So I’m completely obsessed with Wonder Woman now. I recently watched the 2009 animated movie which I have some mixed thoughts about it but that’s gonna be for my movie wrap up. This comic is different from other comics I’ve read because it is essentially a bunch of short stories about Wonder Woman (flash fiction if you will) each by a different author and artist. I really like that because if you don’t like the art or the story, it will only last for a few pages. As with any medium like this, you’re gonna get some you like and some you don’t but overall I thought this was a really good introduction to Wonder Woman and what she stands for. I particularly enjoyed Noelle Stevenson’s story.

 


Harrow County by Cullen Bunn and Tyler Cook (3/5)

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This is my favorite graphic novel in terms of artstyle. It is drawn using watercolor and the colors are blended in a sort of mosaic fashion that just blends so well. But it has this “scritch-scratch” that stil has those crisp lines that I really like. I can’t describe it!! I’m not an art person! What is art!! Anyways, the story was only ok. It’s a light horror story about a girl who is believed to be a witch reincarnated. I felt like the story lacked a strong plot and moved too quickly for me to become invested in the characters.

 

 
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I have a lot of books I want to get to before the end of the year (ah!!) so hopefully December reading is just as good or better than November’s. December is also exciting because I’m reconstructing my blog!! So if you see a lot of changes in terms of look, you’ll know why. I’ll keep you updated! Otherwise, let me know what books you read in November and what your reading plans are for this last stretch of 2016!

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8 thoughts on “November 2016 Wrap Up: Romance! Crime! Angst! Anna Kendrick!

  1. What a great mix of books you read this month!! That’s fun about your library-borrowing troubles with The Sympathizer. At our city library we don’t have to pay .25, but at our county libraries we do. It’s worth it, though, because there are like 30 libraries to choose from in the Orange County library system, which means they have pretty much every book I want–except, apparently, for Anna Kendrick’s Scrappy Little Nobody, which is on hold and only for the books, not the audiotape, which I bet would be the best way to enjoy Kendrick’s story. I just read Jeanette Winterson for the first time this year too and, like you said, her writing is pretty great and kind of modern. She’s a deep thinker, for sure. The book I read of hers was non-fiction, and I got the feeling that, as good of a writer as she is, she kind of holds back, I don’t know, like is afraid to be vulnerable as a writer or something. Okay, moving on. . . I MUST READ THE WONDER WOMAN FF/GRAPHIC NOVEL. Side note: in your blog posts, how do you get the book images to fit so nice and tidy next to your text about them? When I try to do that, they go all wonky on my page.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. LOL Eve, I use the same county system hehe 😉 You’re right, it’s definitely worth it especially because our system has so many current books and most of the books on my TBR. It’s just that the wait is long if it’s popular :/ I did listen to Kendrick’s book on audio and I really liked it! It felt like I was listening to tell me funny stories. It was great.
      Now that you mention it, I can see that about Winterson’s writing because in The Stone Gods, it was hard to connect emotionally to the story. YES READ WW. I’m pretty sure you would like it 🙂
      Haha and aligning the images is definitely a process. It is so annoying because when I wanted to put the ratings as a caption but it totally ruins the alignment. But my best advice is to use the left and right alignment buttons in the toolbar and I usually like to put the size of the book image to how big my paragraph is. Let me know if it works!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. You know what? There’s a book I think you’d like. It’s kind of obscure, probably out of print, but if you like Wonder Woman, I bet you would love it–Amazon by Barbara G. Walker. It’s about an Amazon who somehow travels through time into 20th century America and wonders wtf is up with how women are treated. Of course, she’s badass, which I know you would love.

        Liked by 1 person

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