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What I Read in November

Yikes! I am way behind on my November reading wrap up. Time to correct that.

I started the month with Becky Albertali’s Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda. I wanted to like this novel, but I just did not enjoy it. Maybe I just should avoid YA for the time being?

Do Not Say We Have Nothing by Madeleine Thien came next. I bailed. I may go back to it and give it another go. The writing is good. But the story is too reminiscent of Amy Tan for my taste.

I also bailed on Tom Rachman’s The Imperfectionists. I just didn’t care for it. But maybe I should give this one another go, too?

One book I may not give another look after bailing on it is Rose Tremain’s The Road Home. I did not care for this at all.

Slouching Towards Bethlehem showcases Joan Didion’s stylistic mastery. But the subjects are, at times, not terribly compelling.

I have been wanted to read The Moon’s Deep Circle by David Holly for a some time. Finally got around to it. The sex is hot if passionless. The writing is shit. The plot is beyond ridiculous. And the characterization is cardboard.

I reread Variety Photoplays and Stars in My Eyes by the poet Edward Field. I’m said to say that I have fallen out with Field’s poetry. Which is a shame, I used to really enjoy it. Hell, I wrote a thesis on it years ago.

People by Alan Bennett is a disappointment. It is a confused mess that tries and fails for meaning.

I really enjoyed The People are Going to Rise Like the Waters Upon Your Shore by Jared Yates Sexton. This book is an amazing exploration of the rage fueled 2016 Presidential Election.

At some point, I wanted to do a Good Murakami/ Bad Murakami or Murakami vs. Murakami challenge. Unfortunately, before did not check out any Haruki Murakami novels before I started on Ryu Murakami. I bailed on both In the Miso Soup and Coin Locker Babies. I did not care for either book.

Another disappointment is Carmen Maria Machado’s Her Body and Other Parties. I grant you she is a fantastic writer. But her stories did not appeal to me. However, this is definitely a case of me wanting to revisit the collection at a later date.

As much as I enjoyed the Yates book, I cannot say the same for Jeremi Suri’s The Impossible Presidency. I bailed.

I initially enjoyed Logical Family by Armistead Maupin. It is a delightful memoir. But I may have been too generous.

The Relive Box and Other Stories  by T.C. Boyle is in the same boat as Her Body and Other Parties. I did not care for it initially. But I do want to revisit at a later date.

I rounded the month off with three novellas: River of Teeth by Sarah Gailey, Black Tides of Heaven , and Red Threads of Fortune by JY Yang. I won’t say too much about these three because I want to write proper reviews. Which I have yet to get around to. I really liked River of Teeth, I thought Black Tides of Heaven could do with some editing, and I liked Red Threads of Fortune well enough.

I finished November with Release by Patrick Ness. The book would be a hundred times better without the ghost plot that had, as far as I could tell, no relation to the more realistic narrative. In the end, I thought the book okay. But I probably should avoid YA in the coming year.

That is what I read in November. Expect December’s wrap up and my favorites list in a few hours.