What I’m Reading — November 2016

What I'm Reading Monthly Book Roundup

At the beginning of the year I challenged myself to read at least 45 books in 2016. Now, at the beginning of November, I have completed and surpassed my challenge by finishing 46 books so far.

Finished in October

It was all novels this month.

  • The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry by Gabrielle Zevin. I enjoy books about books, so I thought this novel about a cranky bookstore owner would be right up my alley, but it was kind of ‘meh.’
  • The Casual Vacancy by J. K. Rowling. I had heard mixed things about The Casual Vacancy when it was first published, so I wasn’t sure what to expect. The story was much darker and grittier than I expected, but I loved this book. I laughed, I cried, the characters were complex, they were horrible to each other, and the ending was both surprising and inevitable. Really fantastic.
  • The Raven in the Foregate by Ellis Peters. After a short break, I returned to the Cadfael mysteries. This was #12 in the series.
  • The Rose Rent by Ellis Peters. I enjoyed seeing the love story between Niall the bronzesmith and the young widow Judith Pearle unfold in this one. So sweet.
  • The Hermit of Eyton Forest by Ellis Peters. This one was a little more formulaic than some of the others and seemed to borrow bits from some of the earlier Cadfael books. So, not my favorite in the series, but still an enjoyable read.
  • The Confession of Brother Haluin by Ellis Peters. This story started more slowly than some of the others in the series, and the one murder is only incidental to the main plot. Even without the murder, however, I could see the ending from a mile away. So, also not my favorite in the series, but Cadfael is such an enjoyable character I can almost forgive this series any little faults.

What I’m Reading Now

  • My new challenge is to complete the Cadfael series by the end of the year. I’m currently reading The Heretic’s Apprentice. I’ll have five to go after that, including the collection of short stories titled A Rare Benedictine, which are prequels to the series.
  • Soon I will start reading Two Dogs and a Parrot: What Animals Can Teach Us About the Meaning of Life by Joan Chittister, which is the November book for my church’s book club. My husband has already groaned his way through most of it (he’s not loving it), so I am reluctant to begin it even though it sounds interesting. I did read and enjoy another book by Chittister — Scarred by Struggle, Transformed by Hope — a couple of years ago, so we’ll see…

So, that’s what I’m reading. Anyone reading anything good this fall that they want to recommend?


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