Here are the books (audiobooks) I finished in November 2021. Have you read any of these (or plan on reading certain ones)? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments! Scroll on to read some of my mini-reviews!
Passing by Nella Larsen. This is a novella first published in 1929. It was interesting to read a story written in that decade about a black woman who passes as a white woman. Through a few characters, you get to witness very different perspectives on the behavior of passing. I read this book as it was the first pick in the Netflix Book Club. When I went to watch the movie when it was released, I didn’t feel drawn in and only watched a few minutes. I also think I need some time between reading a book and seeing the movie version (IF I even watch the movie version). Unless a book in the Netflix Book Club has been on my want-to-read list, I’ll probably skip it in the future. (Note: On the subject of “passing,” I highly recommend the vibrant audiobook of The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett. I’m guessing that book will make my favorite audiobooks listened to in 2021.)
The Rosie Result by Graeme Simsion.On The last book (I assume) in this series where the main character has many neurodiverse behaviors and ways of thinking. I really loved the first book, barely got through the second one, and really liked this third book. If you like the first book The Rosie Project, I recommend sticking with the series, even if your experience with book #2 is like mine. (No spoilers but you may like book 2 just fine – the writing was good, I just didn’t like the direction the author took some of the characters in.)
Cilka’s Journey. Recently I discovered the author of The Tattooist of Auschwitz released the third book of the series this year . . . and I hadn’t realized there was a second book! Though I have read many books about the Holocaust (nonfiction and historical fiction), I had never read a book about the Gulag system and this was incredibly eye-opening. I found this to be a very good book, though it is, as you can imagine, a very heavy read. I will certainly read the next book by Heather Morris.
So, on to a lighter palate cleanser. I rarely read books as light as Malibu Rising but it was a nice change of pace. My childhood best friend Rebecca recommended it to me and I as I had thoroughly enjoyed Daisy Jones and The Six by the same author, Taylor Jenkins Reid, I already had a hold on it from the library. Funny enough, the same day Rebecca recommended it, it arrived in my Libby App! With delightful timing like that, I had to dive in. At first, I wasn’t sure about it but I’m glad I stuck with it. It was an interesting journey with the sibling characters and nice escapism too.
The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides. This was another book I almost bounced off of but I’m also glad I stuck with it. I don’t often read suspense novels but there was a lot of this story I liked. Unfortunately, just before starting the book, I saw a bit of a spoiler about it from a review that affected my experience as a reader, but what can you do?
Daring Greatly and Rising Strong – two books by the incredible Brene Brown. I love this storyteller/researcher and her audiobooks light me up! So far I recommend every book of hers that I have read. I will likely listen to all her books again. (Coincidentally, my friend Inna found my review of Brene Brown’s Netflix film “A Call to Courage” just today! Thanks for your comment and praise, Inna!)
Nothing To See Here by Kevin Wilson. My gosh, this was a fun book! The audiobook reader was perfectly cast and I just kept wanting to go back into the world of this book. With a tiny bit of magical realism, this unusual story makes me want to read more by this author. It wasn’t too heavy and it wasn’t too fluffy. I definitely recommend this for some fun escapism.
State of Wonder. It’s been too long since I read a book by the incredibly talented Ann Patchett. I wasn’t drawn in by the description of the story but gosh I’m glad I read this book! I wish I had the understanding of what elements makes someone a truly great writer, but gosh does Ann Patchett have whatever it is! She is an expert storyteller. I have also read her books Commonwealth and Run (both I recommend). Ann Patchett fans: which one should I read next?
Have YOU read / listened to any of the above? Are any of these books on your “to-read” list? I’d love to hear any thoughts you want to share, be it here or on social media.
And, as always, if you have a book you recommend, share it in the comments!