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.