November 2021 Book Recommendations: What to Read & What to Skip
Welcome to my regular round up of mini book reviews for my November 2021 book recommendations! Apologies in advance for ALL the holiday content you’re about to see. If it’s not related to Halloween or Christmas (or Hanukkah!), it’s not a book on this list lol!
In my list of November 2021 book recommendations, I include everything I’ve read recently that I finished. I like to share both my five star reads and any misses to help you get a better idea of what you should read or might want to skip.
As always, I love to hear if you agree or disagree with my ratings! Let me know in the comments what you thought of my November 2021 book recommendations.
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November 2021 Book Recommendations
The Sun Down Motel
by Simone St. James
Let’s kick things off with a book you’d NEVER expect to see here – The Sun Down Motel. This…is a scary book. But…it’s AMAZING. I generally dislike both thrillers and the feeling of being scared. However, the writing and story set up in this novel makes it entirely worthwhile. Plus, once you generally figure out the ghosts’ backstory, they become far less terrifying.
This thriller goes back and forth between two time periods at the creepy Sun Down Motel. A woman returns to this spot, where her aunt disappeared decades ago to try to find out the real story.
Keeper of The Lost Cities
by Shannon Messenger
I realize I said this post would be strictly holiday related books, but this is worthy of an exception. This YA / middle grade fantasy book is reminiscent of Harry Potter and I absolutely devoured it.
A teenager who has been able to read minds since she was 5 has her world turned upside down when she discovers she’s actually an elf and there’s a whole world outside of the human one she knows. She leaves her life behind to begin training as an elf. However, when her powers show themselves to be stronger than anyone has ever seen, she becomes entangled in deadly serious problems.
A Season For Second Chances
by Jenny Bayliss
This novel is perfect for anyone who doesn’t want a strictly Christmas related novel. The book takes place over the course of the entire fall and winter season, so you get all the lovely seasonal changes plus all the holidays!
Annie is looking for a change, so when an opportunity to be a winter caretaker of a seaside cottage arises, it seems like a godsend.
She is charmed by her new town and neighbors, but discovers the homeowner’s nephew will be a constant thorn in her side. As the holidays approach and tensions rise, we’ll discover if a little small town spirit can get her through this difficult time
The Ex Hex
by Erin Hawkins
There’s no denying that this cover is ridiculously cute, but sadly the story didn’t quite live up to the hype. The story veered a little too far into cheesy, even for me. It was a fun read for Halloween, but there are plenty of other great romances out there for the rest of the year.
Vivienne accidentally cursed an old boyfriend almost a decade ago after he broke her heart. Now he’s back in town and the curse has gotten out of control. They’re forced to work together to make things right.
Save For Later!
eBooks (reading from Netgalley / Library):
The Christmas Bookshop
by Jenny Colgan
Jenny Colgan does it again! Her Christmas novels have a special something that just makes me want to get lost in the holiday season. The book also takes place in Edinburgh, which I now want to visit IMMEDIATELY.
Carmen is NOT looking forward to spending the holidays with her ever so perfect sister and perfect little family. Unfortunately, she’s out of a job and has no other options. To bring in some much needed cash, Carmen agrees to revamp a dusty, disorganized bookshop. After a famous author takes a special interest in the bookshop as well, Carmen starts to realize there may be hope for her to get her life back in order.
I also just published a list of all of Jenny Colgan’s books in order, plus my top 5 must reads if you want more of her!
by Jenny Holiday
In addition to The Christmas Bookshop above, this was easily one of my favorite new Christmas books of 2021!
A royal wedding brings together a reckless Duke not ready to settle down and a New Yorker who’s sworn off love. With their best friends on the way to the alter, Maximillian and Dani have plenty of opportunities to get to know each other. They hit it off immediately as friends since they’re both not looking for a relationship.
This turned into a friendship that was filled with undeniable sparks! I loved how Max and Dani continuously showed up for each other and laid the foundation of their relationship on supporting each other.
The Matzah Ball
by Jean Meltzer
While I adore the idea of a Hanukkah romance, this one lacked a bit of spark between the main characters. Rachel is a Jewish writer of Christmas romance novels, but no one knows about her career. When she’s asked to write a Hanukkah themed novel instead, she’s suddenly at a loss for inspiration.
Enter her childhood nemesis and thrower of the biggest Jewish bash NYC has ever seen. She knows she needs this event to spark some creativity, but it’ll mean being at Jacob’s beck and call.
A Lot Like Adios
by Alexis Daria
TV show star Jasmine is swearing off men and focusing on her career. A new opportunity gives her the chance to truly break through to the big leagues, but she’s derailed by her attraction to her new co-star. Will she be able to keep her priorities straight? Or will she allow this hidden gem of a man to rearrange what she wants most in the world.
I had very high hopes going in to this, but found myself putting on podcasts or music instead once I hit the second half of the book. I think the storyline felt a bit repetitive and slow, but I can possibly chalk that up to listening on audio instead of reading at my own pace.
What was the best book you read recently?
For more mini book reviews, check out What I Read in October 2021!