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30 In Books

What To Read & Skip – November 2019

In a shocking twist, almost all the books I have to share for November were physical copies! These days, it’s more convenient to read on my phone or listen to audiobooks. However, a few library books and a blog tour kept me in the physical realm. Since I rarely post full reviews, these are mini reviews of what I’m reading in November 2019.

I also slightly changed the format of this post. I still read books during lunch at work, at home and while out and about. However, I’ve started to mix and match them all. I’m breaking down the books by format instead to show how I read (or listened to) them. So let’s get to what to read and what to skip in November! I’m linking up with Jana Says and Modern Mrs Darcy as usual to share what we read this month! I’m also joining Kathryn at The Book Date this week!

*Disclosure – I earn a small commission for any items purchased through the links above at no extra cost to you. Thank you for supporting my book blog!!

 

Physical Books:

Rules of Civility by Amor Towles – I spent ages avoiding Rules of Civility, even after I bought it and added it to my personal library. I kept assuming it would be a bit of a stuffy read about society girls in the 20’s. Instead, the novel follows a unique independent woman who makes interesting choices and moves among a variety of wealthier friends during the era.

 

Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell – I did not expect to adore this book as much as I did! Apparently it’s ridiculously popular for a reason. Rowell perfectly got inside the head of a girl struggling to fit in at college. She tackled mental health issues from a teen and adult perspective with nuance and grace. She also managed to write enticing snippets of fan fiction and a fake fantasy series all within the same book! I’m more than ready to jump into Carry On, which is apparently the full fantasy book referenced in Fangirl??

 

Royal Holiday by Jasmine Guillory – I want to gush about all the things I loved reading in this book (relationship between two older individuals, main characters are persons of color, royal family in the background) but I just can’t give this book any more than three stars because of the writing. I didn’t really like The Wedding Date either, so there’s just something about Guillory’s writing that doesn’t click for me. Her dialogue feels basic, the characters act in ways that don’t always make sense, and she often overuses certain words or phrases. I know many others love her books, but I’ve had to admit they’re just not for me.

 

We Met in December by Rosie Curtis –When Jess moves to London to pursue her dreams, she immediately falls for her housemate. However, she returns from the holiday break to find he’s sleeping with another girl in the house. The book follows her throughout the course of a year. I received this book for a blog tour over on Literary Quicksand, but in summary it didn’t quite live up to expectations.  It’s light on the holiday aspect and the pacing is a bit slow. If you’re a die hard Hallmark movie watcher or can’t resist chick lit, you’ll enjoy this but otherwise give it a pass.

 

eBooks (reading on Netgalley / Scribd):

Twice in a Blue Moon by Christina Lauren – I couldn’t resist requesting an eARC of the new release of Christina Lauren a few months ago. However, as the release date got closer I heard rumblings that it didn’t live up to their other books. I finally got around to reading it for myself and I’d have to agree. I didn’t love this one. It was the case of two stories – one from the beginning of Tate and Sam’s relationship when they met in London and one from years later when they meet for a second time on a movie set. The first section was…not good. I didn’t believe anything about their supposed intense, young love. Sam came off as controlling and Tate was just a bit too naive. Once the second part started rolling, I got more into their story and definitely enjoyed reading about them getting to know and understand each other as adults. All in all, skip this book in favor of My Half-Night Stand or Josh and Hazel’s Guide to Not Dating!

 

Audio Books (listening on Kindle Unlimited):

Timebound (Book #1 in the Chronos Files series) by Rysa Walker – I didn’t know this series existed until Amazon Publishing unexpectedly sent a copy of the upcoming Chronos Origins series book in the mail! I went back and started with the original and loved it! I mixed it up between listening to the audiobook and reading the enhanced visual version on my Kindle. I’ll admit, this Kindle Unlimited subscription is full of great options and I love switching back and forth between audio and text. This is basically a YA time traveling novel and I can’t wait to keep reading the series!

 

Around the Web:

How to Spend Christmas in Bethlehem, PA – I live close to Bethlehem so I was thrilled when Tori shared her post about things to do in Bethlehem (“The Christmas City”) for the holidays! She even let me contribute a few ideas 🙂

Gift Guide for Writers – One of the more unique gift guides I came across this year is Christine’s list of gift ideas for writers! There are a variety of cute mugs, creativity inspiring activities and helpful books.

 

For more mini book reviews, check out What I Read in October 2019!

 

 

30 Comments

  • Reply
    Anthea
    November 12, 2019 at 6:15 am

    We met in December is going on my TBR list 🙂

  • Reply
    Jill K
    November 12, 2019 at 6:58 am

    I really need to get to Fangirl

  • Reply
    Sarita
    November 12, 2019 at 7:04 am

    Some of these are on my list. Good to know about the new christina lauren book.

  • Reply
    Brittany Always
    November 12, 2019 at 10:15 am

    LOVED Fangirl! Rowell is such a great writer.

    • Reply
      Rachel Kamery
      November 15, 2019 at 7:18 am

      Yes! I can’t wait to keep reading the rest of her backlist.

  • Reply
    kristen
    November 12, 2019 at 11:13 am

    bummer about jasmine guillory – i really enjoyed the wedding date (i had a soft spot for long distance relationships) but the other ones in the series haven’t been as good… i do have royal holiday on my kindle though, i keep putting it off. i also have twice in a blue moon, i keep putting that one off as well as i’ve not heard the best things. adding Rules of Civility to my list!

    • Reply
      Rachel Kamery
      November 15, 2019 at 7:19 am

      I kept doing the same thing with Twice in a Blue Moon. Admittedly it wasn’t as bad as I was expecting from some of the reviews I read, but it still wasn’t their best. Oh well.

  • Reply
    Monica
    November 12, 2019 at 11:36 am

    I just finished Twice in a Blue Moon last night so it didnt make the cut for this month’s post but I agree with your review. it does not live up to the hype of Josh & Hazel!

  • Reply
    SMD
    November 12, 2019 at 12:01 pm

    Rules of Civility is one of my favorite reads ever.

    • Reply
      Rachel Kamery
      November 12, 2019 at 7:47 pm

      I’m ashamed it took me so long to read!

  • Reply
    ShootingStarsMag
    November 12, 2019 at 1:05 pm

    I love Fangirl – such a great book. I still need to read Carry On as well!

  • Reply
    Julie
    November 12, 2019 at 1:54 pm

    I enjoyed the wedding date, couldnt get into the 2nd book of that and now have the 3rd in my hands. I hope its better!

  • Reply
    Kay R.D.
    November 12, 2019 at 2:11 pm

    Bummer about twice in a blue moon. I love CL but Ive learned that ever author/s gets it wrong at least once

  • Reply
    Mother of 3
    November 12, 2019 at 4:27 pm

    I hadn’t heard of Fangirl but I might have to give that one a try.

  • Reply
    Dara
    November 12, 2019 at 5:26 pm

    I had Fangirl on my list forever but took it off. I wonder if I should put it back on! I have The Wedding Date here to read, I hope I like it better than you did!

    • Reply
      Rachel Kamery
      November 12, 2019 at 7:46 pm

      I flew through it, so I’d say yes!

  • Reply
    Jana @ Jana Says
    November 12, 2019 at 6:22 pm

    I stopped reading Rowell after Fangirl because I think all of her subsequent books are about Simon Snow. I did like the premise of Fangirl, though.

  • Reply
    Nancy @ NY Foodie Family
    November 12, 2019 at 8:12 pm

    I really enjoyed Fangirl. I just picked up Royal Holiday today from the library. Sad to hear you weren’t impressed. I haven’t read anything by her so I’ll have to see. I’ve been a huge fan of Christina Lauren, but will likely hold off on this newest one for awhile. The last book I read, The Unhoneymooners was a bit disappointing and formulaic.

    • Reply
      Rachel Kamery
      November 15, 2019 at 7:16 am

      Hopefully you fall in the majority with Jasmine Guillory that love her!

  • Reply
    Dani
    November 13, 2019 at 1:40 pm

    Ooh that’s so disappointing about We Met In December and Twice in a Blue Moon- both of those are on my TBR! I read Josh and Hazel’s Guide and adored it, so I’ll probably read My Favorite Half-Night Stand next. I love Rainbow Rowell, but this was my least favorite by her. Maybe because I read Carry On first and didn’t realize THAT was the original fanfiction that was started in Fangirl?! I’m not sure, but I’m eagerly waiting to get my hands on the follow-up, Wayward Son!

    • Reply
      Rachel Kamery
      November 15, 2019 at 7:17 am

      I think I got lucky reading Fangirl first because I had no idea Carry On was related! I’m excited to read it now though. Definitely read Half-Night Stand next! That’s still my favorite of theirs.

  • Reply
    Tori
    November 14, 2019 at 9:31 pm

    Thanks so much for including the Bethlehem article. It was so fun to write and THANK YOU again for contributing some great ideas!

    I actually haven’t read anything by Rainbow Rowell…I’m ashamed to admit it!

  • Reply
    Linda Stoll
    November 15, 2019 at 7:27 am

    I could use a good novel right about now, Rachel. Fortunately I see that John Grisham’s latest is on its way to my library for pickup. Yay!

  • Reply
    Patricia
    November 17, 2019 at 3:59 pm

    I’m glad to hear Rules of Civility was such a great read. I did the same for Gentleman in Moscow. I avoided it until I reluctantly read it for book club. I ended up loving it. I’ve bought Rules of Civility but haven’t read it yet.

  • Reply
    Tina
    November 18, 2019 at 10:51 am

    I thought Twice in a Blue Moon was really fun- but you definitely have to buy into that “insta-love”. I’ll definitely pick up Josh and Hazel though!

  • Reply
    Shelleyrae @ Book’d Out
    November 18, 2019 at 11:45 am

    I really liked Fangirl but I skipped Carry On, I just wasn’t that interested in following up on that element of the story.

    Wishing you a great reading week

  • Reply
    Kathy Martin
    November 18, 2019 at 3:11 pm

    I loved Fangirl too but haven’t read anything else by the author. I mostly read on my Kindle but have been trying to read in a few physical books lately to get them off my physical TBR mountain. I have no hope of lowering the virtual TBR pile but at least the Kindle doesn’t bulge when stuffed with hundreds of unread books. Come see my week here. Happy reading!

  • Reply
    Aj @ Read All The Things!
    November 18, 2019 at 8:47 pm

    Fangirl is one of my favorite books ever. I’m not a huge romance fan, so I was surprised by how much I loved it. Have a good week!

  • Reply
    Christine
    November 19, 2019 at 11:09 am

    Thanks so much for showcasing my writers’ gift guide! I really appreciate it, and your readers definitely value what you say and share because I am getting a ton of referral traffic. Yay!!

    I actually loved Fangirl too–and if I remember correctly, I listened to the story via audiobook. I could relate to the chill and geeky vibes and learned so much about fanfiction. The friend in that story also resembles one of mine (where she never reads anything I do but shares everyone else’s stories/blogs/etc lol). I still need to read Carry On, too. I had started Landline (not YA) and DNF.

  • Reply
    Lisa of Hopewell
    November 19, 2019 at 5:07 pm

    Fangirl I have but have not read. I’ll try to do so after your review. Too bad about Royal Holiday.

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