Ahh… November. My time of R&R.
Let’s Rewind is a monthly wrap up but instead of talking about only books, I include all types of other stuff, like articles… bookish news… commercials… random-ass links… movies… art… podcasts… cartoons… and whatever else happened to me in the month. You know, the usual stuff that people talk about in monthly wrap ups. So read on to see what I did and read this month. You might stumble upon something that interests you.
Not much happened in November. I took some time away from blogging because I wasn’t in the mood for it then and spent the time reading mostly romance novels, which I haven’t done in a while. I was just in a romance mood, which I’d felt coming on because this is the time of year that I usually spend watching cheesy romance flicks and those Hallmark movies. I’m still in that happy-go-lucky romance mood, so I’m still bingeing on such books and movies.
But other than reading, I didn’t do much else… Oh, I lied. I did attend another event hosted by the PEN/Faulkner Foundation. It was on speculative fiction and was called “Escape.” It featured authors Margaret Atwood, Nisi Shawl, and Rion Amilcar Scott, whose book of short stories, The World Doesn’t Require You, I was convinced to buy after hearing him read an excerpt from it. But other than that…. I didn’t do anything in November. It was a chill month (because I also avoided any news about Trump after the first week).
A lot of reading and rereading went down in November.
I kicked off the month by completing a reread by audio of The Curse of Chalion by Lois McMaster Bujold, narr. by Lloyd James. It’s a fantasy novel about a middle-age man seeking a quiet place to retire after the harsh experiences he endured, but instead he gets swept up in political intrigues. I love the story; it’s one of my favorites. I read it because I really want to continue with the series.
Then I felt myself hitting a reading slump, so I picked up some comics — the entire Wicked + the Divine comic series by Kieron Gillen and Jamie McKelvie (illus.), actually. I thoroughly enjoyed them. I reread the first four volumes, which I think I enjoy more every time I revisit them.
Since my bro has the last five volumes in the series, I was able to immediately move on to them, and, oh man! The story is so good. I like how it wraps up, but my favorite parts are probably the volumes that show us what happened in the past. Btw, the Wicked + the Divine is a fantasy comic book series set in present day about gods from various pantheons reincarnated as superstars. It’s so good!
Comic books always help to dissipate my reading slumps and that’s what happened this time because I then started to binge on romance novels, lol! The first one I picked up was Black Witch Magic by Mila Nicks, which I learned about from NPR Books. It’s contemporary paranormal romance about a young woman whose family is cursed never to leave their small town or fall in love. Of course, a young man comes along to help change all that. It was a quick, fun read.
I also reread Dragon Haven by Robin Hobb, narr. by Anne Flosnik. It’s the second book in the Rain Wild Chronicles about the relocation of newly born dragons from the Rain Wilds to a place where they might prosper, or at least not be in everyone’s way, lol. I enjoyed my reread but was more sympathetic toward Thymara this time.
I also discovered Penny Reid’s books in November, and I think I’m hooked. I read Grin and Beard It, which is actually the second novel in her Winston Brothers series, but it seems that you don’t need to read them in order. It’s about a famous movie star visiting a small town in Tennessee to film a movie and finding love there. It was a lot of fun to read, and I liked the characters and the romance. I really enjoyed it.
The reason why I haven’t yet read the first book in the Winston Brothers series is because it wasn’t available at my library (but I’ll get to it soon), so I picked up whatever Penny Reid book was available and read Kissing Tolstoy next. It’s a contemporary romance novella about a young woman in college who unwittingly went on a blind date with her professor. I didn’t like it as much as Grin and Beard It, but it was a good read.
For some reason, after that I wanted to read Rick Yancey’s YA paranormal historical fiction series, the Monstrumologist, so I reread the first book by audio, which is narrated by Steven Boyer. Oh man, I still love this book. It’s about a boy who’s an assistant to a monstrumologist, a scientist who studies monsters. In this book, the two help to catch and stop anthropophagi, headless monsters, in their area of New England.
I picked up the audio of the second book, Curse of the Wendigo, which is narrated by the same guy. In this one, the characters travel to Canada to bring back a friend from the wilderness and end up having to hunt down a wendigo in the slums of New York City in either the late 1800s or early 1900s… can’t remember when. Anyway, I thoroughly enjoyed my reread of these two novels and ended up liking them more than I did on my first read because this time I noticed and appreciated Pellinore’s dry humor. I don’t think I noticed it my first time through.
Lol! I’ve only listed 3 romance novels here, but I started a bunch of them in November and gave up on all except these.
Also, I managed to read 16 things this month! That’s probably the most I’ve read in a month all year. 😀
I stayed away from anything serious in November since the elections and the aftershocks of it wore me out.
AROUND THE BLOG-O-VERSE
Discussion Post: How Niche is Your Blog? (eustaciatan.com)
— A discussion about the niche of your blog and those you follow. Do you tend to only follow blogs that post similar content (e.g., book blogs) or do you mix it up?
November was SciFi Month, a celebration of all things science fiction. I didn’t participate, but if I do next year, I’ll most likely take recommendations from these posts:
#SciFiMonth Sci-5 Tuesday: Colonization Sci-Fi (bibliosanctum.com)
— I hardly read scifi, but if/when I do, I think stories on colonization will interest me. Mogsy lists here several of them she has reviewed.
14 Adult Science Fiction Books To Read In 2021 #SciFiMonth (booksbonesbuffy.com)
— More scifi recs from Tammy (she’s also done a list for YA ones). Some of these I’ve never heard of before, but I have my eye on that Nnedi Okorafor book.
Nonfiction November — Book Pairings (kristinkravesbooks.com)
— It’s a book recommendation post that pairs nonfiction and fiction books that share some similarities.
Ten Great Mysteries (theliterarysisters.wordpress.com)
— Book recommendations. There are several on this list that I’d like to read, like The Name of the Rose, the Historian, and the Secret History.
STUFF I PUBBED
— The last part of my bookshelf tour. I might do a post on the stats at a later time.
Hey! I haven’t included this category in a while, but I did come across some stuff to make note of.
Reed Is ‘Retiring’ BookExpo & BookCon (shelf-awareness.com)
— Have you heard? No more BookExpo or BookCon. Well, it seems to be that it’s no more of those events for now due to how corona is affecting everything.
NPR’s Book Concierge (npr.org)
— I look forward to this every year and now the 2020 version is ready! Check it out for book, comic, and picture book recs! 😀
— I love Tor.com, so I’m happy for this list — in case there’s something I missed. (Nope, I don’t own all their books, but I know about most of them.)
In Times of Crisis, Life-Affirming Picture Books (nytimes.com)
— Picture books can help adults as well.
(Btw, if the pics below look totally jacked, it’s because stuff don’t work well sometimes when you use WordPress Reader, so view the post in your browser instead.)
So November was a time for engaging in things I don’t usually do, like read a bunch of romance and watch a lot of stand-up comedy. I blame election stress but the romance and comedy got me back to my jolly, good mood (or as close to it as is possible in 2020).
A bunch of stand-up comedy
— Well, maybe not THAT many comedies, but it was more than I typically watch anyway. Most of it was Dave Chappelle stuff and a little Kevin Hart and some Trevor Noah as well. They were fun and hilarious and I recommend their content to you.
Legend of Korra
— I FINALLY started on this. I watched it when it first came out but didn’t like it then because it wasn’t the Avatar story I wanted (more adventures with Aang and his crew). But I liked it this time. I thought it was funny and a little charming in its own way. I even like all the characters, but sometimes I wish Korra wasn’t so headstrong. Gosh! Makes me miss Aang.
Nappily Ever After
— It’s about a Black woman’s relationship with her hair and how that has affected her life. I remember people raving about this when it came out… I thought it was okay. Love Sanaa Lathan in any show. Love that the protagonist grew to love her natural hair, but I didn’t care for her obsession with getting married and all that. It’s a romantic comedy, (which I didn’t expect for some reason) so it’s kinda cheesy too.
— I just wanted something fun and it was available on Netflix so, woohoo for me. I like this movie.
Always a Bridesmaid
— Another romantic comedy. I liked it, but it has its cheesy moments as well. Wasn’t crazy about the conflict that causes the couple to break up (before they get together by end so that the movie ends on a happy note). I mean… I don’t want to spoil it but it just kinda seems like the girl was pressured into getting married. Kinda. Anyway, fun movie (has some slow, boring parts though but I liked it overall).
— The previews made me think this would be a scifi show, lol! I was so wrong, but the show has my interest. I’m kinda hooked. It’s about an investigation into the disappearance of two girls, who were actually kidnapped by a trucker. Some of the twists I didn’t see coming, so I kept texting my cuz like “OMG! Did you SEE what just happened??!!”
The Holiday Calendar
— Cheesy Christmas romance movie — my favorite kind for this time of year (although sometimes they are so cheesy that I get annoyed, lol). Eh, this was okay. It’s about a woman who gets her grandmother’s advent calendar and apparently it foretells what’s going to happen in her day. She meets a cute doctor guy but doesn’t realize that her true love has been with her all along. Yea… very cheesy this one, but I liked the calendar. That was cool.
— Yep, you guessed it — Christmas romance comedy. I really enjoyed it although I thought I wouldn’t. Of course, it has its cheesy moments, but there weren’t too many of them. I just liked the humor in this one and the romance. I might watch it again, actually.
That’s it. I watched a bunch of stuff. I probably forgot something, but who cares! It was probably a cheesy Christmas romance movie. When the new year hits, I’ll be back to my usually ass-kicking action flicks or skin-prickling zombie horror stuff or eye-popping weird scifi shit.