November: Monthly Round-Up

November 30, 2017

November’s been a slow month on the blog. Only four books reviewed – possibly a personal worst, if you’re only counting active months – and a handful of other posts. It’s been a kind of slow, weird month IRL too. I’m losing Nanowrimo for the first time even as I write (the Half-way Update). I have 15K left to write, and while it might be possible (just barely maybe) it’s not worth it.

I wrote a lot of words through November, and I’m eight chapters into a new novel, so it’s good. I’m happy enough.

I haven’t been reading a lot, hence the sparsity of reviews, but I’m already getting back into that. This past month I reviewed two books that surprised me by being better than expected: Turtles All the Way Down, a contemporary character-driven YA by John Green, and The Scorpio Races, by Maggie Stiefvater. I haven’t liked John Green’s writing before, but the mental-illness portrayal in this latest novel was incredible writing, and really resonated with me. I actually read The Scorpio Races ages ago, but not at the best time for me, and wow. So much better the second time through. Definitely recommend if you like kelpies, water-horses, slow-unfolding novels, or light-touch romances.

To keep balance in the universe, I suppose, there were then two disappointing books: Warcross by Marie Lu, and All the Wind in the World by Samantha Mabry. Warcross – a futuristic story about a teen-genius hacker, computer games, and a world conspiracy –  had colorful, vividly descriptive scenes, but the characters fell flat and if the world was flashy and colorful the worldbuilding wasn’t anywhere near as solid and deep as Ready Player One, another virtual-reality book I’d read recently. All the Wind in the World tried to have pretty prose but just managed to be too floufy to pull me in, and the fact that I’m not sure how to describe what it’s about says something too. A slightly-future world that’s gone to desert, weird romance, and characters who make really bad decisions? The ending didn’t make any sense at all.

I also wrote two, hopefully useful, posts: how to get all the books (not really a one hundred percent comprehensive list. I’m sorry. Tell me all your ways to get all the books, because I need more!), and – with Marietta this time, because she totally agrees on this – five reasons to read Brandon Sanderson.

~ Coming Up ~

I haven’t started the author- and series- posts yet, like I said in last month’s roundup. So if you were wondering, that is still on the table; November just wasn’t a blogging month. Another change I’m considering: what if sexual/language/violence content were each hidden by spoiler-tags, and given a number rating? That way you could have a more general rating if you don’t want to read specifics – especially, for example, the sexual content, since I often quote stuff to give you an exact picture – and anyone who wants to can still read the specifics.

I did read Oathbringer, and zounds. Review is coming. I’m reading a pretty new book right now, They Both Die in the End, and I have a couple of titles piling up for another Mini-Reviews post.

December means Advent, and then Christmas! I may try to put together a Christmas (novel) Reading List, but no promises; good Christmas novels can be hard to find.

Did you win Nanowrimo (if you were participating)? Either way, are you happy with what you accomplished in November? Do you have any good Christmas books planned for December?

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