I can’t quite believe that I have managed to read 12 books this month with everything else that has been going on! I’m ahead of schedule to reach my goal of 100 books in 2020, which is nice, although I have already decided that next year I’m not setting a goal. It’s been good to push myself, but I miss being able to take my time with a book, and it has, if I am honest, put me off tackling some of the longer books on my TBR, which I am looking forward to reading at a leisurely pace next year!
It has been another brilliant, eclectic month of reading – do have a look and let me know if any of these catch your eye!
In The Sweep of the Bay by Cath Barton (2020)
I reviewed this beautiful novella as part of the Damp Pebbles blog tour. Louise Walters Books is fast becoming one of my favourite indie publishers, and Cath Barton’s book is a soothing, elegant work, reminiscent of Small Pleasures by Clare Chambers. Read my full review here.
Everything Inside by Edwidge Danticat
This is a stunning short story collection, which presents multiple perspectives on the Haitian disapora. It is the first work I have read by Danticat, but it definitely won’t be the last. My full review is here.
Everything Is Fine by Gillian Harvey (2020)
A hilarious, sharp, deeply modern comic novel which takes in some big themes as it rollicks along, you can read my full review of Gillian Harvey’s sparkling debut here.
A Necessary Blessing by Sarah Head (2020)
This book is very different – a quirky. supernatural village-set mystery which opens a planned series of Roelswick stories. Full review here.
The Miseducation of Evie Epworth by Matson Taylor (2020)
Oh Evie, how do I love thee? Let me count the ways…I fell hard for the heroine of this wonderful debut novel, and I defy you not to do the same. Matson Taylor has created a character who lives beyond the pages, and I can’t wait to see what she gets up to next. Full review here.
Three Rival Sisters by Marie-Louise Gagneur translated by Anna Aitken and Polly Mackintosh (2020)
Translated for the first time into English, these two stories by French writer Marie-Louise Gagneur are reminiscent of Austen, but even more biting. I loved them. Full review is here.
The Servant by Maggie-Richell Davies (2020)
The Servant is a brilliantly immersive depiction of life in the lower classes in eighteenth century London. It gets pretty dark, but the writing is compelling and wonderfully detailed. My full review is here.
Cat Step by Alison Irvine (2020)
The first of two excellent books published by Dead Ink on my reading list this month, Cat Step is a gripping, taut, powerful exploration of motherhood and grief. You can read my full review here.
Exit Management by Naomi Booth (2020)
I’m in the middle of writing my review for this staggering novel, so all I will say here is that this is one of the best books I have read this year. And I’ve read some brilliant books this year. It blew me away. More later…
Panenka by Ronan Hession (2021)
I was so lucky to receive an early proof of Ronan Hession’s new novel, out next May from Bluemoose Books. I couldn’t wait to dive in, so in I dove/dived(?) and I will be posting my thoughts shortly. Spoiler alert: it’s utterly wonderful, and you don’t need to wait for my review to get this one pre-ordered.
Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier (1938)
I have apparently reached the age where I can no longer remember if I have read certain books, or if I did read them, it was twenty years ago so it doesn’t count. I read (or possibly reread) this with my crew from The Write Reads – we have the BEST book chats, total anarchy and lots of wild speculation, and this was a really fun book to talk about with them! Opinions were mixed, but on the whole, I loved it. I may or may not write a full review of this one – I am trying to remind myself I don’t HAVE to review every book I read!
Forget Russia by L. Bordetsky-Williams (2020)
Technically I am still reading this book, but since it is the 30th and I will definitely finish it tonight, it counts as a November read! Forget Russia is an incredible piece of work, a historical novel that feels like a documentary; a gorgeously written puzzle of the past being pieced together in front of my eyes. I am absolutely loving it, and I hope I can do it justice when I come to write my review.
So there we go, 12 wonderful books, which have got me through a rather turbulent month! I’d love to hear about your best November reads, so drop me a comment and help me grow my already enormous TBR!