Reading Recap: Still (Mostly) Mood Reading

Published by The Connected Reader on

I was on track for it to be the slowest reading month of the year, and then I read five books while on a 10 day trip to Chicago for the Thanksgiving holiday. Thank you solo morning walks, and having to spend hours accompanying little people for daily nap and bedtimes while staying with family.

Have you read any of these? What did you read this month?

  • A Murder at Balmoral – A seasonal murder mystery about the fictional British royal family. I don’t watch The Crown, but if you do, you may like this more than I did. It worked as an audiobook in the background, but I felt it was lacking in character development and the last third had too many twists for me.
  • Girls They Write Songs AboutI would like to retroactively create a book club and have this as our last month’s pick so I can have more people to discuss it with. This is a character-driven novel about two women who are writers. They become friends when they are in their 20s, living in New York City in the 90s and pursuing careers as writers. You watch as they and their friendship evolve and they navigate the implications of being – single, married, divorced, a writer, an editor,  a mother, a daughter, a partner, a lover, a friend. 
  • Flying Solo – I enjoyed Linda Holmes’s first novel (If that name sounds familiar it’s probably because of Pop Culture Happy Hour) and so I looked forward to picking this one up. And it met my expectations, complete with an Easter egg connection to the first book. Thumbs up to the small-town setting, the mystery that propels the story, and the exploration of what it means to be a partner and have your own space. This one also made my list of books I’m thankful for this year because of the way Holmes wrote about a character who is plus-sized without making the story about the character being plus-sized.
  • A Season for Second Chances – I might officially be a Jenny Bayliss fan. After reading The Twelve Dates of Christmas last year, I picked this one up and it was just as lovely. If you are in the mood for a rom com set in a small, British, coastal town with Stars Hollow and Three Pines (minus the murders) vibes, run, don’t walk to this one. And apparently I enjoy being one year behind, since I just saw that Bayliss has a new one out for this holiday season.
  • Rivals – The third book in a Young Adult series that imagines an alternate United States where the founders chose a monarchy. I think the world of this series is interesting and it is filled with page-turning drama-rama perfect for a reading slump or holiday break, which is when I read it.
  • The Remarkable Journey of Coyote Sunrise – Okay. I’m a lover of found family – (Is there anything better than a collection of unique, unrelated people who unexpectedly come together to love and support each other?) – so I was always going to enjoy this one. But it went beyond enjoy for me. I loved it. Adored it. Sobbed, laughed, smiled, shook my head, gasped, worried – all of the things. And I will now be using the following questions to vet all people in my life, just like Coyote and Rodeo: 1. What’s your favorite book? 2. What’s your favorite place? 3. What’s your favorite sandwich?
  • The Vanderbeekers Make a Wish – This is the fifth book in a middle grade series about a family of five children who live in New York City. It is delightfully filled with pets and the found family who live in the children’s neighborhood. This installment also goes more into the children’s biological family, as they connect with and learn more about their grandparents. Recommend for reading slumps, read alouds, and fans of The Penderwicks.

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