November 2020 Wrap Up

Hi everyone! Welcome to Rae’s Reading World! Today we’re talking about the books I picked up in November.

As a note, I don’t rate every book I read because I do try to read a good number of books for my own enjoyment and without my analytical reviewer hat on, but I’ll be sure to share a little bit about my thoughts for each!

I haven’t read for fun in a long time, and so it made me thrilled to dive back into reading and really prioritizing using my breaks and personal time in grad school to read more. Let’s get into the books!

What I finished:

The Proposal by Jasmine Guillroy
Romance, #2 in Series
Rating: No Rating Given, Recommend for: Fans of romance with emphasis on character development, family ties, and a classic rom-com movie level finale

This is a romance novel about a girl whose boyfriend suddenly proposes to her at a sports game. When she turns him down and chaos ensues, she’s rescued by a stranger and the story goes from there. I really enjoyed the character development in this book and thought the family element was especially well done. It’s not a favorite of mine, but I really did enjoy the characters and had fun reading this book.

The Five by Hallie Rubenhold
Non-Fiction Biography, History
Rating: 4 out of 5 Stars, Recommend for: History fans who want to understand the social context and background of an often misunderstood case

This book talked about the backgrounds and lives of the 5 canonical victims of Jack the Ripper, and how they were grossly misrepresented by the contemporary media and later on in history. Overall, I thought this was a very thought provoking book and I plan to write a full review on this one for the blog in the future, so stay tuned!

Next Year in Havana by Chanel Cleeton
Historical Fiction, #1 in series
Rating: 4 out of 5 Stars, Recommend for: fans of intergenerational stories and familial bonds with strong romance subplots

Next Year in Havana is a story that has themes of family, love, loss, and place. The bond between a grandmother and her granddaughter is shown as one deals with fleeing Cuba in the late 1950s and several generations later Marisol returns to Cuba to connect with her grandmother’s history and her own heritage. Again, this is a book I’ll be reviewing on the blog in the future, but the themes were interwoven through both perspectives well as I read this book and I’m excited to share my thoughts.

The Kiss Quotient by Helen Hoang
Romance, #1 in series
Rating: No Rating Given, Recommend for: anyone looking for a romance that’s got definitely sexy chapters but has at its heart some truly endearing characters

I really enjoyed The Kiss Quotient and getting to know the characters. Stella is a character that I felt for on numerous occasions, and she is definitely one of my all time favorite romance protagonists. Again, this story had a strong family element to it as well that I appreciated, but also a heads up if you’re planning on reading this one it’s definitely on the steamier side for romance (I don’t know how I didn’t get that memo beforehand reading the synopsis and such, but there ya go). I’m definitely going to be reading Helen Hoang’s other books as well since she writes characters that are so engaging.

Something to Talk About by Meryl Wilsner
Rating: No Rating Given, Recommend for: for fans of popular tv shows and the mysterious world behind producing them

I picked up Something to Talk About after I couldn’t get into another book and really wanted to read something I was excited about and enjoy to avoid a reading slump. Something to Talk About was a great pick. This book addresses some problems such as sexual harassment, treatment of women in the workplace, women in leadership roles, diversity, and sexism as the two protagonists navigate these issues head on in a larger context given the fake relationship narrative and the impact this can have on two women in Hollywood. 

All Systems Red by Martha Wells
Sci-Fi, #1 in Murderbot Diaries
Rating: 4 out of 5 Stars, Recommend for: readers who are interested in trying out sci fi, fans of the humor in The Martian

This novella was my first foray into sci-fi in awhile. And I definitely enjoyed it. Short but written with humor and wit, All Systems Red introduces the “murderbot” and was a sci-fi that had suspense and intrigue well written into a short but concise adventure. After reading this, I ended up picking up the next books in the series. Stay tuned for a review!

The Hating Game by Sally Thorne
Rating: No Rating Given, Recommend for: fans of “hate-to-love” romances, banter, and “friendly” office rivalry

The Hating Game is a staple among “hate-to-love” romance fans. As I mentioned, this is my favorite romance trope, so I knew I was going to enjoy this one. And overall, I really did. I think ultimately I want to reread it in 2021 for reviewing, but I think The Hating Game is definitely full of banter and also some fun characters- not an all time favorite yet, but one I definitely enjoyed and want to reread in the future.

Pretty Little Wife by Darby Kane
Rating: 3.5 out of 5 Stars. Recommend for: fans of Gone Girl and domestic thrillers with a mystery

This book is a debut thriller that focuses on Lila and the disappearance of her husband Aaron under mysterious circumstances. The tension and mystery in the book is really well written, and some plot twists I definitely didn’t see coming. I have a review for this one coming up soon on the blog in time for its release at the end of the month!

Well Met by Jen DeLuca
Romance, #1 in Series
Rating: No Rating Given, Recommend for: fans of Gilmore Girls with strong family ties mixed with snappy romantic banter, fans of The Hating Game and The Unhoneymooners

Well Met was a book I picked up after hearing it’s a cute take on “hate-to-love” romance set in a Renaissance Faire. The setting was something I hadn’t read before, and overall it was a cute story. I know this is the start of a series that continues on with romance stories of some of the secondary characters, and I will probably pick up the upcoming release in this series as well.

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Beach Ready by Emily Henry
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
Recommend for: a romance story that will make you laugh out loud and have serious moments in turn, hate-to-love romance and witty banter

Beach Read was the story of two writers who find themselves helping inspire each other’s writing as they work in a small town on the beach while one is grieving the loss of a father and the subsequent family issues revealed. This book had me laughing at times and also reflecting on the processing and grieving the protagonist went through. I’ll be reviewing this one on the blog in the future!

Black Sun by Rebecca Roanhorse
Fantasy, #1 in series
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
Recommend for: this is a new favorite of mine, so if you like fantasy, intrigue and mystery, and a cast of characters that are all imperfect yet compelling, check this book out

Black Sun follows a cast of characters that all have unique relations to the holy city of Tova and its upcoming celestial event, The Convergence. Told from multiple perspectives as the date approaches, Black Sun is set in a pre-Colombian lore with incredible world building and some of my favorite characters I’ve read this year. I’ll have a review for it up on the blog soon!

Follow Me by Kathleen Barber
Rating: No rating given
Recommend for: fans of the television show You

Follow Me follows a social media influencer named Audrey moving to Washington, DC. As she settles into the city, she unwittingly has put herself near an obsessive fan who seems determined to take their virtual obsession with Audrey offline. This book was definitely one that keeps you on the edge of your seat, and it reminded me a lot of some thrillers like the tv show You.

What I’m still reading:

These are the books I’ll be finishing up moving into December! (If you’re curious if I’ve read them by now, you can always check out my Goodreads for the latest updates.)

A Promised Land by Barack Obama

This is my first audiobook! I own a paper copy as well, but I wanted to hear this memoir narrated by the author and so I picked up an audiobook copy. I’m excited to try out audiobooks and see how I like them! 

The City of Brass by S.A. Chakraborthy

The atmospheric writing of this fantasy is incredible, and I love the wit of the protagonist. I’m not super far into it but already very intrigued, so I’m excited to read more!

Conversations with RBG by Jeffrey Rosen

Another Non-fiction November pick I’ve only just started!

What I didn’t finish:

There is nothing wrong with these particular books- they’re actually incredibly well liked by many readers and I plan to come back to most if not all of them in the near future. However, I want to briefly mention the books I started and didn’t finish (yet!) this month.

The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid

This book is one I’ve wanted to read for a long time, but the very serious issues in it caught me off guard since I’d gone in expecting something along the lines of a lighter read and I definitely struggled to read it at points (topics to be aware of include sexual assault, abuse, and domestic violence). I put it down to come back to so I can really appreciate the struggles and issues that Evelyn Hugo relates so candidly.

Anxious People by Fredrik Backman

I read A Man Called Ove years ago when I was just getting into adult contemporary/literary fiction. It is a book that had so many moments of happiness and sadness, grief and belonging. When I picked up Anxious People, I could tell early on it wasn’t a book I wanted to read alongside 2 or 3 others, and so I set it down until I had time to solely dedicate to it. 

In Five Years by Rebecca Serle

I’m going to be honest: In Five Years is not a romance book to me. I have no idea why it’s categorized that way (I got this rec while browsing the Goodreads awards and this one was labeled in romance) because that definitely created some false expectations about the book and honestly really frustrated me reading when I thought some particular tropes were coming up. Ultimately, I ended up getting spoiled on this book when I was already part of the way through, so I do know how it turns out but I haven’t read beyond where I was. A lot of people love this book as a romance and the themes behind it are really thought provoking, but it just wasn’t the right one for me personally. 

So there is my November 2020 wrap up. As you can tell, I read a decent number of books and I had a decent amount of things to say about each of them. Let me know what your favorite read from November was and if you’ve read any of these as well! Thank you for stopping by!


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