I’m going to try not to make a habit of this but for the second time in a row, I’m only ending up doing a lazy wrap-up which is essentially that I’m not going into very much detail about each book read (but, I’ll try and do better than October and give some description, at least) and will simply link my reviews with each book read. November, for me was a pretty good reading month. I managed to finish eleven books in November, but of course two of these were only “technically” completed in the month, most part/s of them having been read in October. So here goes:
So, I’ll start with the ones I finished in November but had actually read in October. The first was my Halloween read, The Great Ghost Rescue by Eva Ibbotson. This I read most of on Halloween itself. This is the story of a ghost family who find themselves without a home since humans can never leave any place alone and must destroy and “develop” everything. Luckily they find a friend in a young boy Rick, who is at school and who helps them secure a sanctuary. But that isn’t the end of their troubles. Find my review here.
Next was The Swish of the Curtain by Pamela Brown, which I got through NetGalley. This is all about a group of seven teens and kids (the youngest is nine), who set up their own theatre and put up almost professional shows, all of them wanting to take up one or the other career in the theatre. But their parents don’t quite approve. Can they convince them? My review is here.
After the Pamela Brown I read another NetGalley book. This was a children’s/middle-grade fantasy, and a first in series which I enjoyed very much. The Last by Katherine Applegate, is about Byx, a dairne (a dog-like creature) whose pack is killed and who is herself kidnapped by a human, who she later finds is actually a friend. She sets off an a journey to look for a legendary place where others of her kind were once said to live. This one had an enjoyable plot, great fantasy elements, and very likeable characters. (review here).
Then there were two mysteries (four actually). Magpie Murders by Anthony Horowitz was one I was really looking forward to reading having heard many good thinks about it, and it definitely turned out to be an excellent read. A book within a book and not one, but two murders to solve, worlds Poirot and Miss Marple like as well as modern day, I really enjoyed this. (Review here). Then from NetGalley, I read All These Beautiful Strangers by Elizabeth Klehfoth, a mystery but different from ones I usually read. This was a young adult mystery set amidst the rich kids of Manhattan, partly in a posh prep school, and is centred around the disappearance of the main character’s mother. I did figure out parts of this one, but it was still pretty enjoyable. Find my review here.
For Guy Fawkes day, I also read another short mystery (not part of my overall book count) which was ‘Murder in the Mews’ by Agatha Christie. This was once again fairly enjoyable, and the opening on Guy Fawkes night made it a good fit for the day. Since it was a book I’d read before I did know whodunit etc., but I hadn’t guessed it the first time around. (review here).
And before I forget, I did read a fourth mystery as well; this was actually my last read this month. Treasure at Poldarrow Point by Clara Benson is the third in her Angela Marchmont series set in 1920s England. For a change, I’ve been reading these in order. In this one Angela has been ordered to the seaside (near Penzance) by her doctor after a bout of the flu. Here she is soon joined by her cheeky, yet likeable goddaughter Barbara. At one of their neighbours’ homes, Poldarrow Point one evening, they are told of a hidden treasure in the house which Barbara is immediately interested in finding. But the mystery turns out to be deeper than simply a hidden treasure with more than one person seemingly targeting old Miss Trout, who lives there. This was a touch like a children’s mystery, Enid Blytonish (unlike the other two I’ve read so far in the series) but still very enjoyable. (My review is here).
The Book of Indian Dogs was my only non-fiction read in November, and this was one I was really looking forward to reading for quite some time–infact ever since I noticed it in the new releases last year. And while this does have a lot of interesting information on the history of dogs in the country and on various indigenous breeds, including a little encyclopedic section and pictures/illustrations, for its approach and its appendix in particular, this turned out to be probably my most disappointing read this year. Read my review here.
This month, via NetGalley, I also read the first two of Tamora Pierce’s Immortals Quartet, which I enjoyed very much. This series is about Daine, a thirteen (in book 2 fourteen)-year-old girl who has wild magic, the ability to not only communicate with animals but get them to obey her and even more. Since this is unlike the “gift”, magic which others in her world possess, she doesn’t attach much value to it till she comes to the country of Tortall. Here with her new friends and mentor Numair Salmalin, she learns to hone her magic and also use it to help her friends, new and old (human and animal). The first book Wild Magic, introduces us to Daine and others in Tortall, where she has her first adventure against the immortals, creatures of legend, part-animal, part-human who were for long banished to the divine realm (review here). In the second Wolf-Speaker, she is summoned by her old friends, the wolves to help sort out the trouble that has hit their new home which humans are fast destroying with incessant mining and tree-cutting. But the problem is far more dangerous as they discover. (review here).
Then I read another NetGalley book which was a lot of fun, Will the Real Carolyn Keene Please Stand Up by Christine Keleny. This as I’m sure you can guess from the name is to do with the Nancy Drew mysteries, a favourite with me as a child/teen. This is the story of Edward Stratemeyer and the Stratemeyer syndicate, responsible not only for the Nancy Drew and Hardy Boys stories but also the Bobbsey Twins, Dana Girls, Tom Swift, and many many others, and also of the writers, particularly Mildred Wirt who wrote the stories based on Stratemeyer’s ideas. My review is here.
Lastly, also in the children’s category I read Upper Fourth at Malory Towers by Enid Blyton, fourth in the series which I am reading/rereading through chronologically. In this one Darrell’s sister, Felicity has also begun to attend Malory Towers but things are not turning out as Darrell expected them to. Meanwhile there are new students as usual, but the older ones must also face their own issues and problems and deal with them. Of course, there is also the lighter side of school with feasts and picnics which is great fun. Find my review here.
And so my wrap-up turned out to be not as lazy as I thought it would be after all!
So those were the books I read in November. How was your reading month? Any recommendations? And what plans for December? Looking forward to hearing all about them!