WRAP UP: November 2020

The end of the year while working in retail in the middle of a pandemic is not the best time to try to bring back a blog and instagram with any regular frequency, but HERE I AM. I’m TRYING. And that’s all that we can do, really. I read a little bit more in November than I did in October, but I didn’t really write any posts, so I’m making up for it now.


I’m still picking at A People’s History of the United States and The Big Book of Science Fiction (because they’re stuck under a stack of books and I’m too lazy to dig them out), and I’m reading a few prose poems a week out of The Penguin Book of the Prose Poem. They make me think about writing and prose poetry’s space in it all, so I’m enjoying savoring it. I also have a problem with waiting until the last minute to read my digital library loans, so I’m working my way through the next Lady Darby mystery, Mortal Arts. Angry Robot sent me a copy of The Rush’s Edge which I’m enjoying! And Scribner’s rerelease of One Writer’s Beginnings is a perfect winter read about writing.

📚 bookshelf pick  |  📓 physical review copy  |  📱 digital review copy | ⌛️ library/borrowed | 💾 ebook  |  💞 reread

📚 A People’s History of the United States – Howard Zinn (29%)
📚 The Big Book of Science Fiction – edited by Ann and Jeff VanderMeer (15%)
📚 The Penguin Book of the Prose Poem: From Baudelaire to Anne Carson – edited by Jeremy Noel-Tod (8%)
⌛️ Mortal Arts – Anna Lee Huber (25%)
📓 One Writer’s Beginnings – Eudora Welty (10%)
📓 The Rush’s Edge – Ginger Smith (17%)


I read nine books in November! Most were okay, but some felt like a slog to get through. ACOWAR took the longest for me to read, and I feel like up until the 400th page or so, it was just the same cycle of action and inaction, really, that could have been condensed into a much smaller book. Wuthering Heights was one I’ve struggled with for years, and I just decided at the end of the month to read it and be done with it. The atmosphere was great, but I wasn’t expecting that level of emotional and physical violence and also why people consider it a love story. I’ve been in a nonfiction mood because I don’t really have to use my brain power to follow a linear story, and The Rise and Fall of Dinosaurs and Time Travel: A History were great science reads.

📚 bookshelf pick  |  📓 physical review copy  |  📱 digital review copy | ⌛️ library/borrowed | 💾 ebook  |  💞 reread

📚 Nooks & Crannies – Jessica Lawson (4/5 stars)
📚 The Breakthrough – Daphne du Maurier (3.5/5 stars)
📚 A Court of Wings and Ruin – Sarah J. Maas (3.5/5 stars)
📚 A Duke of Her Own – Eloisa James (2/5 stars)
⌛️ Flyaway – Kathleen Jennings (3/5 stars)
📚 Lady Bridget’s Diary – Maya Rodale (3/5 stars)
⌛️ The Rise and Fall of the Dinosaurs – Stephen Brusatte (4/5 stars)
⌛️ Time Travel: A History – James Gleick (4/5 stars)
📚 Wuthering Heights – Emily Bronte (3/5 stars)


I’m keeping this short and to the point because setting lofty TBR goals has never been one of my strong suits, but I really, really, need to read Real Life, I can’t resist rereading The Princess Diaries after seeing these new covers, and I want to start picking away at my neverending digital galley pile and Ruinsong is calling out to me the most.

📚 bookshelf pick  |  📓 physical review copy  |  📱 digital review copy | ⌛️ library/borrowed | 💾 ebook  |  💞 reread

📚 Real Life – Brandon Taylor
📚 The Princess Diaries – Meg Cabot
📱 Ruinsong – Julia Ember (thank you, Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR))


I am putting myself on a book buying ban from like… now until the end of 2021, because as I was sorting through my shelves this week and weeding a few titles out, I have too many unread books. I will still make a few requests here and there to publishers and check out books from the library, but I have to stop accumulating so much stuff. The first three books in Sanderson’s The Stormlight Archive were on a really good deal, and I couldn’t pass them up. I’ve been holding off on starting this series, but I am also kind of in the mood for fantasy like this. Orbit Books had a great ebook sale over Black Friday weekend, so I picked up The Bone Shard Daughter, Nophek Gloss, and We Ride the Storm as they’re all books I’ve been anticipating reading! (And I also need to get back in the habit of reading things on my kindle/phone, so…) From Atria, I received Astrid Seeds All and To Love and to Loathe (I loved Waters’ debut! So I am excited for this one), and from Hachette, I received Culture Warlords. I’ve been following Talia Lavin on Twitter for a while now, and I enjoy her online presence and the work she’s done, so I’m curious to read her book now.

📚 bookshelf pick  |  📓 physical review copy  |  📱 digital review copy | ⌛️ library/borrowed | 💾 ebook  |  💞 reread

📚 The Way of Kings – Brandon Sanderson
📚 Words of Radiance – Brandon Sanderson
📚 Oathbringer – Brandon Sanderson
💾 The Bone Shard Daughter – Andrea Stewart
💾 Nophek Gloss – Essa Hansen
💾 We Ride the Storm – Devin Madson
📓 Astrid Sees All – Natalie Standiford (thank you, Atria Books!)
📓 Culture Warlords – Talia Lavin (thank you, Hachette Books!)
📓 To Love and to Loathe – Martha Waters (thank you, Atria Books!)


GAMING: I just hit 60 in Shadowlands on my main, and I think I’m going to give tanking a try with the new Death Knight I rolled on the Alliance side.

TV: I finished The Golden Girls, and I kind of don’t know what to watch next. I’m still keeping up with The Mandalorian, and I’m enjoying where that series is going!

MOVIES: Disney’s live-action Mulan was entertaining but it fell flat in a lot of places for me. I also rewatched Trainwreck because it’s one of those movies I watch to cheer myself up.


Life has been busy with work, adjusting to new policies and enforcing them with customers, and just carrying on with life when it’s so… weird and all up in the air. I know it won’t immediately get better in 2021, but for the first time in a long time, I have hope.