07 December 2020

Show Us Your Books - November 2020


Well, it finally happened. I read less books in a month than the same month last year. November of 2019 I finished seven books, and November of 2020 I finished only six books.

I went back to work serving lunch (more hours than I wanted to work) on November 2 until my district switched back to remote learning again on November 17. The five hours a day aren't what broke me as much as the total stress - the kitchen isn't what it used to be with my old co-workers, so besides being physically sore from working longer than I want to, I'm also super grumpy from wanting to do the job a certain way and not being allowed to. Ugh. 

While we're remote, I only usually work one four-hour shift each week (handing out food to those who want to drive in and get it) in addition to a few random tasks (we'll have to pack up our kitchen again, and I discovered our reports are a mess, so I'll recreate those for the time the kitchen was open so far this school year. We're scheduled to go back to in-person January 19, and are officially furloughed effective January 2021 (so I won't even need to do the four hours or so of handing meals out). 

Anyway, for now I spend most days supervising the third grader with his virtual schooling, planning our Christmas activities, and of course READING!

I have eight books to show you since my last Show Us Your Books post. Thanks to Jana Says and Life According to Steph for hosting this great accountability link-up each month. My book titles always link to Goodreads.com, and my full reviews are posted and linked at either SweetlyBSquared or Books I Think You Should Read.

Finished Reading

The Museum of Forgotten Memories by Anstey Harris - This was an interesting character-based book. The main characters, Cate and her son Leo, move to Hatters Museum. Cate's husband committed suicide, and now Cate has lost her job. She and Leo have no where else to go, until she remembers the museum where her husband grew up, now Leo's legacy. I enjoyed that this book told of the experiences of Cate and Leo in their new lives, good and bad. I gave the book 4 out of 5 stars in my full review here. ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Fortune and Glory by Janet Evanovich - You really can't go wrong with Stephanie Plum mysteries. This is the 27th book in the series, and they're still amusing. This book did see the introduction of a new character, Gabriela Rose, who is supposed to make appearances in future books as well. If you've never read a Stephanie Plum mystery, you should definitely try at least one. In my experience, they do not need to be read in order. In my full review, I gave this one 3.5 out of 5 stars. ⭐⭐⭐⭐

A Wild Winter Swan by Gregory Maguire - I got this book from the library because I loved the author's Wicked, and I think I've read another one, but can't find it without remembering the title. LOL In A Wild Winter Swan, Hans Christian Anderson's story of The Wild Swans is retold with the early 1900s New York as the setting. Maguire interpreted the story and the setting beautifully. I reviewed it on my blog and gave it 4 out of 5 stars. ⭐⭐⭐⭐

The Ten Thousand doors of January by Alix E. Harrow - We chose this book in my book club, and I'm so glad we did. I really loved it and miss January now that I'm done. Learning about January's life and history was like walking with an old friend. I'd recommend this book to those who enjoy well-written and plotted literary fiction. I gave it 5 out of 5 stars in my full review here. ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Breath Like Water by Anna Jarzab - Susannah Ramos peaked early in her swimming career. Already a world champion, puberty derails her continued success. Within a week she meets a new coach who may make a difference, and a new team member who may be showing romantic interest. Adolescence is never easy, but add in a competitive swimming career that requires your whole family's commitment and things can be even more complicated. I gave this coming-of-age story 3.5 out of 5 stars in my full review here. ⭐⭐⭐

A Warm Heart in Winter (Black Dagger Brotherhood #18.5) by J.R. Ward - Vampires, romance, and Christmas? That's a big heck yes from me! This is the second book I've read from this series, and the author does a great job of presenting each book as readable on its own. This story was about Blay and Qhuinn, who have been together for a long time, but are finally going to have a commitment ceremony. When the storm of the century hits, there are plenty of distractions and risk to them and others in the family. Will they get their happy-ever-after? You'll have to read it to find out. Check out my full review here (with a giveaway scheduled for Dec 9, 2020) - I rated it 4 out of 5 stars. ⭐⭐⭐⭐

A Princess by Christmas (A Royal Wedding #3) by Julia London - After reading A Royal Kiss & Tell last summer, I was happy to have the opportunity to read this follow-up with the same characters. The first book saw Caroline land her prince, Leopold. In the third book, the widow Hollis Honeycutt finds true love again with the mysterious Marek Brendan. It was a fun historical romance and I gave it 3.5 out of 5 stars in my full review here. ⭐⭐⭐

A California Christmas (Silver Springs #7) by Brenda Novak - This was another fun stroll down memory lane in which I was able to re-visit Silver Springs, since originally reading about the town and characters in A Silver Springs Christmas last year. Most of the characters I've met so far have had something to do with the New Horizons school, catering to some kids with troubled pasts. Most of them turn their lives around and become likable and valuable members of society. This book centers around Dallas, a previous student at the school, and Emery, a girl who grew up wealthy in the nearby community. Read my full review here, where I gave it 3.5 out of 5 stars. ⭐⭐⭐

Currently Reading

I'm currently enjoying The Boiling Season by Christopher Hebert (thanks to the publisher for my print copy of the book), and just started Aunt Ivy's Cottage by Kristin Harper (which published December 7, 2020! and thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for my copy).

Reading Next

Dare I guess, this close to Christmas? Next on my TBR list for now are The Lost Swimmer by Ann Turner, Red Sky Over Hawaii by Sara Ackerman, and Ordinary Hazards by Anna Bruno. We'll see if any holiday gifts or available library books might sneak their way in there before these are done. It's happened before! LOL

Wishing you and yours a happy, healthy, and blessed holiday season.


Joanne said...

Looks like you read lots of great books this month! I didn't realize that Gabriela Rose is supposed to show up in future books; I could see a few fun dynamics that could include.

Confuzzled Bev said...

I loved The Ten Thousand Doors of January.

Carly said...

I don't think I've heard of the Museum of Forgotten Memories, but it sounds so good. Sorry that your return to work has been stressful, I can imagine it's hard when you're not able to do things the way you'd like & you're not with your same co-workers.

Nadine said...

I love Stephanie Plum, so I cant wait to read the newest!

NY Foodie Family said...

I've been trying to read some holiday books as well. I haven't read a Stephanie Plum book in awhile, but like you said, you can't go wrong with them!

Jana @ Jana Says said...

I don't know any of these books. I love when that happens.

Julie said...

Good suggestions!

SMD @ lifeaccordingtosteph said...

What a great month!

I think my last Stephanie Plum was 24? I'm not sure, I should investigate.

Shooting Stars Mag said...

I've heard good things about The Ten Thousand Doors of January. Glad you loved it.


Gretchen Braun said...

So many of these sounds good! Thanks for adding more to my to be read list :)

Shea Lennon said...

I loved the 10,000 Doors of January too, even though it's not the kind of book I usually read. I have her next book on my TBR as well, I love her writing!

Dara @ Not In Jersey said...

I haven't read any of these, although I tried Ten Thousand Doors of January and ended up DNFing it.

Living Life With Joy said...

It looks like you had a great reading month! :)

lil desiqua said...

For some reason I never thought to compare my reading this month last year to same time last year, but I read less this year too. It's been a rough year- I'm just happy I was still able to reach my Goodreads goal! I really liked Wicked and have Son of a Witch (the second in that series) on my bookshelf, though I haven't read it yet. I like the sound of The Ten Doors of January- definitely adding that one. I hope you get some holiday books soon, and enjoy the rest of the season!