Monday, November 30, 2020

November Books

I can't believe my goal of reading 17 books in 2017 (ha, I ended up with 88 in 201777 in 2018 and 67 in 2019!) has morphed into this passion for books. As you can see, my reading has slowed a bit, but my love for books has not! In the past couple years I've added longer distance races (which means more time running/ training and less time reading), we've remodeled our condo (I think it legit took us six months to finish the whole thing... DIY seems to take twice as long {and cost twice as much} as you originally think it will), and I'm now working full time at our local running store (which cuts down on my reading time). Even still, I love getting my read on whenever I can.

Truth be told, I was never much of a reader when I was younger (CliffsNotes were my best friend when it came to books), but recently I fell in love. Although I may not read at the same speed as I previously did when I first caught the reading bug, I still want to keep the hobby going (and what better form of accountability than to post a list of the books I finished at the end of the month?!). I don't have any set number of books I am shooting to read this year, but hopefully a lack of goal doesn't mean a lack of books completed. So, without further ado, let's jump into everything I read in November!

  • Untamed by Glennon Doyle - Every few weeks it seems I am doing another closet clean out, pairing down the items I have to the items I really need and use. Well, I came across some gear that I thought I could trade on a running page I belong to, and loandbehold someone was interested in swapping some awesome books for a few items of clothing that weren't getting the love they deserved. In exchange for a tank and jacket I got three books, one of which was this one. I had been on the waitlist at my local library for some time, so it was perfect. I have enjoyed Glennon's other books so was excited to start her latest memoir. I love her ability to not only tell a story, but also to empower you with it and through it. I appreciate her vulnerability - welcoming us into the good, the bad and the ugly in her life and relationships. If you've read her other books you will see the change and growth she has gone through. I am glad this was my personal copy because I was able to go through and jot notes, underline passages, etc. This book reminded me it is okay to feel my feelings and to be a strong woman. There was quite a bit that focused on motherhood, which obviously does not pertain to me, but I still enjoyed reading about her approach to it. I would give it a 9 out of 10.

  • What If It's Us by Becky Albertalli and Adam Silvera - I'm not exactly sure why, but for the last few weeks I haven't been listening to an audiobook on my walks to work. I decided to change that up and hit my Hoopla app. I didn't have any specific book in mind, so decided to scroll through to see what struck my fancy. I landed on this book even though I didn't know much more than it was a YA love story. If you know me, you know me I love a good young adult book and this definitely was that. I really like books that switch back and forth between the different character's perspectives (and audiobooks that use different readers for the different roles) and this book did exactly that. Not only that, but the different characters were written by different authors, which helped the two seem a bit more distinct. Sure, some of the story was a bit unbelievable, but the epic is what makes it great, right?! I found myself rooting for both of the main characters even with the constant Harry Potter (which I know NOTHING about) and pop culture references. I never pick up a YA book in hopes of a big epiphany or to learn a ton, more to be entertained and distracted a bit, which this book did. I would give it a 9 out of 10.

  • Can't Nothing Bring Me Down by Ida Keeling - I had this book in my "favorites" on my Hoopla app for a while and hadn't grabbed it, so I figured it was time. Miss Ida is an amazing woman (and world record holding runner) and I was excited to hear about her life. I'll be honest, although her life was captivating, I was expecting it to be a little more about her running. Don't get me wrong, I loved learning about how she grew up, events in her life, about her family, etc, but I think I went in expecting the book to touch more on her running and it seemed to be a bit of an afterthought (in the almost seven hour audiobook it was maybe 45-60 minutes). I did love how she married her personal experiences with history (I mean, she was 104 when this memoir was written - ONE HUNDRED AND FOUR YEARS OLD!). It was inspiring to hear about everything Miss Ida not only overcame but thrived through! She was one tough cookie! I would give it an 8 out of 10.

  • The Queen's Gambit by Walter Tevis - The hubby and I needed an audiobook to listen to on our road trip to Utah for Thanksgiving and figured this would be great. We had both seen that Netflix had released a series based on this book (that we wanted to watch), but knowing that often the book is better than the screen portrayal, we figured we'd listen to it first. It was a long listen (almost 12 hours), but I was intrigued the entire time. I know the game of chess, so was able to picture some of the boards/ moves/ games. The hubby doesn't know much about it, but even still, he didn't feel like it was over his head or that he got lost. I may be a little partial, but I love seeing females in male dominated spaces, so obviously I was rooting for Beth from the get-go. She was definitely an underdog with flaws, but aren't we all?! We both give this book two thumbs up and are even more excited to start watching the series now {let's just hope it lives up to the novel}. (PS Ryan is actually asking if we can get a chessboard and start playing!) I would give it a 9 out of 10.

With that, November has come to a close. My reading may not be going gang-busters like it has in the past, but I hope it never completely stops. If you have any suggestions, let me know! I'm always willing to add them to my library wait list!

PS I created an Amazon list that includes all of the books I've read and would recommend to others. Check it out!

What was the best book you read this year? 

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