Sunday, December 17, 2023

Read in November 2023

 With these 7 books, I am now at 95 books read for the year - with the rest of December to go! I think I will definitely reach my goal of 100, but I'm so temptingly close to an all-time record that I am picking up the shortest books I can find to pad my numbers. I know, it's is silly, this is my personal reading and who cares how many books I read? Next year I'm hoping to focus on quality over quantity, finally diving into some long books and trying to complete the backlist of my favorite authors. I know I am not the only type-A reader out there!

The Light Years by Elizabeth Jane Howard
This has been on my list for over 15 years, and I finally bought a used copy so I could read it. I was expecting a multi-generational family saga with notes of Downton Abbey. But alas. In over 500 pages nothing happens. People have conversations, children play elaborate games. There is some conflict, but none of it ever gets resolved! There are several more books in the series and I can only hope that there is some plot or resolution, but I will not be sticking around to find out.

Everyone In This Room Will Someday Be Dead by Emily Austin
I struggle to describe this book. An atheist lesbian somehow gets a job as the receptionist in a Catholic Church. Her life is kind of a mess, she's depressed, but it's also really funny? There are heavy topics addressed in this book, but they are handled with the perfect type of humor that still allows them to be taken seriously without being overly heavy. I enjoyed this book, and if you read this description and were intrigued, you probably would to. If you react with a hard "nope", then definitely skip it.

Dark Matter by Blake Crouch
I found this book on the take-one-leave-one shelf at work, and in an incredible feat of reading, finished it and took it back the same week! (Usually books come home to sit on my shelves for years.) How to describe this book... Jason is kidnapped and wakes up in an underground facility, in a world where his life is no longer his life. What results is a sci-fi/thriller mash-up. It's very fast paced and easy to read (lots of sentences as paragraphs). Overall I thought this was a fun book and will make you think about all the little things that have brought you to the life you're living.

The Indifferent Stars Above: The Harrowing Saga of a Donner Party Bride by Daniel James Brown
Wow. Everyone knows the story of the Donner party, right? At least the cannibalism part. But how did they end up stranded in the snowy mountains? Brown explains the series of unfortunate events and decisions which brought them to their terrible situation. The story of the group who set out on foot to find rescue truly was harrowing. If you're looking for adventure and a nonfiction account that reads like fiction, this book is excellent. If you are stressed out by such things, particularly details, then steer far away.

Vanishing Edge by Claire Kells
This is the first in a series featuring Felicity Harland, new on the job as a special agent for the National Park Service. (This is a real thing - my husband worked with them at one point so we expressed much incredulity about what was happening in this book. Being flown around in helicopters?? Spending all your time hiking around the wilderness with your dog? Solely investigating a double murder with literally no other agents? Suspend your disbelief.) Overall this is pretty much what you'd expect with this genre, with a touch of romance thrown in. It was a good palate cleanser. There are two more in the series, and I plan to read them as well.

Part of Your World by Abby Jimenez
I've seen so many good reviews of this book that even though I don't read much romance, I checked out the audiobook. What a good time! The writing was funny, and the story was more believable than many others in this genre. I liked how the main characters were interested in each other from the start; no dumb fake-dating set ups here. I will definitely be checking out more by Abby Jimenez.

The Last Ranger by Peter Heller
What, two park ranger books in one month? Yes! I love Peter Heller's writing, and the fact that this book is set in Yellowstone (were we lived for a summer) had me so excited. In the end I found to to be fine; the descriptions of nature are great as always, but the plot was just "meh" and the mystery not all that captivating.


  1. I really liked Everyone In This Room Will Someday Be Dead - it was a while ago I read it but I remember enjoying it very much!

    1. I thought it was so unique! I want to read more from Emily Austin, but this was her debut. She has a new book coming out this year that I definitely will be checking out!

  2. Thank you for sharing all the books you have read this year. You have given me lots of options to choose from. Have a great Christmas x


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