November Summary and Plans for December

November has been a fantastic reading month for me. I read a string of fantastic books and have been enjoying a diverse range of subject matters. Variety really is the spice of life and I’m going to continue to seek out stranger books in the future.

Book of the Month

People Who Eat Darkness: Love, Grief and a Journey into Japan's Shadows

In any other month these two books would have been ‘Book of the Month’; so I’ll highlight them here too:

Memoirs Of An Imaginary Friend The Cook

Books Reviewed in November

People Who Eat Darkness by Richard Lloyd Parry 

The Cook by Wayne Macauley 

Memoirs of an Imaginary Friend by Matthew Green (audio book) 

The Human Part by Kari Hotakainen 

The Cow by Beat Sterchi 

Just My Typo compiled by Drummond Moir 

The Hundred-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out of the Window and Disappeared by Jonas Jonasson 

Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury 

Jamilia by Chingiz Aïtmatov 

The Finno-Ugrian Vampire by Noémi Szécsi 

Plans for December

For some reason I’m being drawn towards chunksters at the moment. The long, dark nights are encouraging me to settle down with increasingly weighty tomes and so I don’t plan to read many books in December.

My short list of long books are:

Parallel Stories by Peter Nádas
The Bronze Horseman by Paullina Simons
A Suitable Boy by Vikram Seth
Canada by Richard Ford

I’ll probably mix things up with a few shorter books, but I haven’t decided what they’ll be yet. Luckily I’ve finished most of the books in my sidebar so I still have lots of books to tell you about.

Have a wonderful December!

18 replies on “November Summary and Plans for December”

What an interesting month you’ve had, Jackie. I’ve enjoyed reading your reviews, though I’ve read none of them (and hadn’t heard of most!). Ah, ‘A Suitable Boy’ – one of my all-time favourites, even if it did take me a whopping three months to get through! Full of unforgettable characters (like Mrs Rupa Mehra) and images… wonderful! I will get around to reading ‘Canada’ at some point too – I look forward to seeing what you think of it.

I’ve had a pretty busy month work-wise so have only got through 9 books during November (6 novels and 3 short story collections) but among them were Louise Erdrich’s superb ‘The Round House’ which a few days after I finished it won the National Book Award. It’s like a cross between Larry Watson, ‘Snow Falling on Cedars’ and the film ‘Stand By Me’ yet wholly original. I bought five more of Erdrich’s novels on the strength of it and look forward to reading them over the coming months.
I also read Thomas Keneally’s new Great War tome, ‘The Daughters of Mars’ which is very good though I did have some reservations (the two sisters who the novel is about are almost too similar – in fact Keneally mixes up their names at one point – and the ending is either very clever or a complete cop out and I still can’t decide which).
I finally got around to reading Tom McNeal’s ‘To Be Sung Underwater’ too. I’d enjoyed his debut novel in the late 90s and this one is even better.
Elizabeth Stead’s ‘The Sparrows of Edward Street’ isn’t great literature by any means but it was a book I lost myself in for a whole weekend and didn’t want to leave. It’s a tad predictable and heartwarming but the characters are full of life and it also highlights an aspect of Australian post-war history I knew nothing about. I’d put it alongside ‘Heft’ and ‘Where’d You Go Bernadette’ for sheer reading pleasure.
Sarah Ridgard’s ‘Seldom Seen’ is a decent debut about family secrets set in Suffolk – not perfect, but I’ll be keen to see what she writes next.
And finally I’m just getting to the end of Bill Gaston’s ‘The World’, a Canadian novel that I’m surprised was overlooked by all three big CanLit prizes – he’s certainly a writer who I want to read more of.

David, Sounds as though you had a great month! ‘The Round House’ is on my wishlist. Hopefully I’ll be able to get a copy from my library sometime soon as it does sound like the sort of book I’d love. ‘The Daughters of Mars’ is another book I plan to read soon. I have a copy here and may well read it in the next month – especially now you’ve talked about the ending – I’m intrigued!

I listened to the radio 4 adaptation of ‘Where’d You Go Bernadette’ (hence no review on the blog) but I enjoyed it. I hadn’t heard of ‘The Sparrows of Edward Street’ before, but I’ll keep an eye out now as I loved ‘Heft’

I also haven’t heard of ‘The World’. So sad when great books get overlooked. Hopefully word-of-mouth recommendation will spread for it.

I hope you have a wonderful December and find lots more great books to read.

I’m always amazing the the number and quality of books you read each month, especially with young children in your house. You are taking on a monumental reading venture in Dec with A Suitable Boy –enjoy Jackie.

Diane, I don’t promise to finish ‘A Suitable Boy’ in December, but I hope to read a good chunk. The sequel is coming out in 2013 so I need to be ready 🙂

I think you’ll enjoy ‘A Suitable Boy’ more than ‘Parallel Stories’ – in fact, knowing your tastes, I doubt you’ll get very far into Nádas’ book at all…

Go on, prove me wrong 😉

A Suitable Boy is a huge undertaking, but well worth the time and effort – enjoy! Canada is on my wish list, but I know I won’t get to it in December. I plan to finish up a couple of books this weekend and refocus my attention on Clarissa.

Jo, It is about time I picked up ‘A Suitable Boy’ I’ve been putting it off for far too long 🙁

I hope you enjoy ‘ People Who Eat Darkness’ as much as I did.

I loved a Suitable Boy and I am really looking forward to the sequel; I hope you enjoy it as much as I did! Right now I am reading Two Lives (Seth’s memoir) – so far, so good…only 25 pages in.

I have wanted to read Canada – maybe that’ll be next on my list!

You had a good month with some interesting books. I feel a bit inadequate compared to you, you seem to read only really good stuff! Although I do like my not-so-guilty pleasures!

Hope December is a good month for you and you’ll find some time for reading among all the Christmas preparation.

Judith, Don’t feel guilty for reading things you enjoy. A lot of the books on that list aren’t difficult, heavy reads any way. I just seem to be drawn towards translated fiction at the moment, but it isn’t any more worthy than anything you’ve been reading – just a bit more obscure! Hope you have a lovely December too!

Jo, The Cook is a fantastic book that does seem to be slipping under the radar. I think a lot of people are put off (quite rightly) by some of the disturbing scenes, but if you can get past that then there is a lot to entertain. It is a wonderful book.

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