November 2022 Reading

Good morning! I have to admit that I woke up this morning wanting more weekend. This weekend was one of zero expectations and no real “productivity” and I wish that the rest of December could be the same way. But we’re all back to our regular routines today, which means that I will be back on my toes and keeping things moving as smoothly as possible. (But I’m still aching for an entire month off.)

I’m glad I’m writing this bookish summary so close to the end of November because it already feels hazy and so far away! That’s one of the reasons why these monthly posts are so helpful – it’s wonderful to see a month’s worth of reading in one place and to boil down why I loved these books to just a sentence or two. It’s such good exercise for my brain!

Kirsten Saves the Day | The Fire and the Ore | Hatchet | Anything is Possible | Crying in H Mart | Babel | The Song of Achilles | Happy Birthday Kirsten | Shrines of Gaiety | Unlikely Animals | Captain Underpantsx2 | The Round House

Highlights from November:

+ Unlikely Animals was a surprisingly heartwarming and funny book! It’s about a young woman who comes home to New Hampshire to care for her ailing father, but told to us by a ghost in the town. The perfect omniscient narrator! I laughed out loud countless times and enjoyed every moment.

+ Babel was such a thought-provoking book. I loved reading about Oxford in the mid-1800s from Robin’s perspective, a young British man of Chinese descent. He was studying to be a translator with a magical twist. This book was full of cozy details, dangerous adventures, and thoughts about colonization. It was about much more than I can fit into this brief summary and so worthwhile.

+ Anything is Possible was so perfectly Stroutian and didn’t disappoint. I’m always nervous starting an Elizabeth Strout novel. What if I don’t like it? What if it doesn’t resonate with me? Lucy Barton always resonates with me and I shouldn’t worry. Lucy by the Sea is on my December docket.

+ I wasn’t expecting to like The Song of Achilles but was captivated by it. It was such a gorgeous and moving book and a great option for those looking to explore mythology. This was told by a young man who fell in love with Achilles as a child and described their time leading up to and during the ten years of The Trojan War. I was quite taken by it.

+ I was pleasantly surprised by my reread of The Round House. This was the very first Louise Erdrich book I ever read and I wasn’t a huge fan of it back in 2020. But things fell into place for me now that I’ve had quite a few more Erdrich’s under my belt and am familiar with the families, more of their backstories, and have a better understanding of the challenges of Indigenous people. I am looking forward to rereading The Sentence this month.

+ I finished five chapter books with my kiddos in November: two Captain Underpantses with Bryce, two American Girls with Bronwyn, and Hatchet for our homeschooling time. I am delighted to do so much reading aloud with them!

On a slightly different note that doesn’t really even fit into today’s post: has anyone else started watching Three Pines on Amazon Prime? It’s based on Louise Penny’s Inspector Gamache book series and I watched the first two episodes last night. I knew there was going to be a TV series, but I didn’t know when it was going to be finished or what streaming service it would be on. Imagine my delight to scroll through Amazon last week and see it there! None of the characters are anything like I imagined them but I enjoyed the show so much. Matthew hasn’t read any of the novels and he enjoyed the show, too. It’s wonderful to be able to share it with him!

Special project alert! I have strongly been considering restarting the series and writing down every food mentioned. Wouldn’t that be divine? Every café au lait, every croissant, every dish of baby potatoes dripping with butter and chives, every roast beef sandwich with sharp cheddar cheese and horseradish, everything. I will do it one day! But there are already 18 books written and oof! What a commitment.

Okay – that’s it for me today. I’m planning to be back on Wednesday with the books that I’ve read over the last week. Spoiler: it includes the newest Louise Penny!! So until then – take good care.


20 thoughts on “November 2022 Reading

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  1. I watched the first episode of Three Pines and have mixed feelings about it. I love the focus on Indigenous characters and the inclusion of Indigenous actors. But I’m not entirely sold on Alfred Molina as Gamache, and I keep thinking the actor playing Beauvoir is Andrea Bocelli! I still have to watch the second episode, so perhaps it will grow more on me.

    The new Louise Penny finally showed up in Libby at my library this morning, and I’m number 74 on the list (there’s only one copy right now, but I’m sure they’ll add more). I thought about picking up a copy at my local bookstore, but I have so many physical books still piled up around the house to read that I didn’t want to add another!


  2. I watch the first episode after reading Louise’s newsletter… and I fear she might have influenced my dislike of it. I was not a fan… I wanted it to be like the books, but is not not enough like them for me.

    I have her latest book in my queue… I am going to start it once I have finished December Solstice!

    I just used an Audible credit to get Babel! 🙂


    1. I agree that there are lots of differences in the show. I’m trying not to compare it to the books and to just enjoy the mysteries and the setting, no matter how different. But it’s not going to be for everyone and I can certainly see why you wouldn’t want to watch it! I hope you love the newest Gamache when you get to it. I thought it was quite the page turner!


  3. I watched both episodes of Three Pines and I didn’t love them. I love all her books. Perhaps I was influenced by her newsletter also, however I don’t think so. I didn’t find the characters and even the town to be what I had pictured and that was disappointing. I wanted to love it but didn’t. My husband, who hasn’t read any of the books, also watched it and he enjoyed it, but he didn’t have the images in his head like I did. When you read a book, you start to develop images and over time they become the story.


    1. I agree — the pictures in my head do NOT match up to what’s on the screen. The characters, the village, none of it. But I liked the show for what it was and am hoping to enjoy future episodes, despite all of the changes they’ve made. But I can see why it didn’t work for you!!


  4. Always enjoy seeing what you have read. I will be putting Unlikely Animals on my TBR list. Will be putting Three Pines on my TBW list. And I know just how you feel about wanting to take the month of December off. Same here!


  5. I didn’t even know they were making a show about that series. Interesting! (I don’t read it – I tried the first one and didn’t get along with it. I still may try another one sometime in the future.) Hooray for a good reading month!


    1. I hope you’ll give the books another chance. I think the first couple of books can be skipped. They start getting really good around the third or fourth. I think you’ll love the series if you skip ahead just a bit, Laila.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I’ve been wracking my brain and trying to remember if I thought the series gets good at the third book or the fourth. I would suggest starting with the third and keeping an open mind about continuing!

        Liked by 1 person

  6. I watched the first episode of Three Pines and I enjoyed it and plan on watching future episodes. I’m number 40 on my library’s wait list for her new book, I started out at 72, so maybe I won’t have to wait too long!


  7. I finished Babel yesterday – what a story! The magic was so well-done because it seemed like it could’ve been real?! and of course I loved geeking out with all the languages and etymology and the commentary about colonialism spoke right to my heart. (also WOW you’ve already read the latest Gamache? I can’t wait to pick it up!)


  8. It’s always interesting to see what you are reading. Although the subject matter of The Round House is difficult, I absolutely loved it. I think it is my favorite Erdrich book to date. Like you, Erdrich has grown on me with this past year. Understanding the sequence of the books and becoming familiar with the family trees has helped me. I will probably not watch the Three Pines shows/movies. I have a picture in my mind of the characters and I prefer to stay in that mode. (I’ve always been contrary.)


  9. Oh wow! I hadn’t realized there was a new Louise Penny book out. I am now in queue (but number 200 and something!!). I also looked on line at Amazon Prime and the Three Pines series and I have to say that the actor playing Gamache is not anything like I picture him. I may try watching it…but I may not and just live with the images in my mind!


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