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Reading Challenge 11/12



November was always going to be a slow month for reading because of NaNoWriMo. Having given myself so much to accomplish with that, I was never going to be able to get through the books as quickly as I usually would because the writing was taking priority in the evenings as well as during the day. Consequently, the total for this month is considerably lower than usual, but I'm happy with that. I also still have a fair few books to tick off the challenge list, but I'm still hopeful I'll get those read in December.

I knew I'd set myself a challenge when it came to the writing I wanted to complete this month, but I surprised myself with how much I actually managed to accomplish in those 30 days. On the face of it, it felt like I'd spent a lot of time fiddling with things and doing little bits of jobs I needed to work on, but when I actually added it all up, it looked like quite an impressive list.


Redrafted: 69,561 words

Edited: 89,478 words

New writing: 27,060 words

Read and briefly reviewed: 13 books

Listened to: 1 audiobook

Reviewed in detail: 5 books

Blog posts written: 5 (including this one + 2 ready for February)

Online Interviews: 3 people (& sent questions for a 4th one)

Promo videos created: 4

Also: put together a poetry book & published it for my son, helped assemble the Makarelle anthology, wrote my editorial for the Winter Issue, spent time on Lido stuff and got 'Unforgettable' ready to publish.

Most importantly: kept the children alive and spent quality time with them and James!


When I read all that, I don't feel as bad about falling short of the 300 books!


November Book Total: 13


Overall Challenge Total: 259/150 (271 including audiobooks) and 93/100 on the BBC 100 List


Audiobooks (Month/Year): 1/12



November Book Reviews


Historical


A Town Like Alice – Nevil Shute (I wasn’t massively keen on the blurb for this, but I loved the book. It was nowhere near as graphic as I feared – I tend to avoid anything set in the Pacific during WW2 – and ended up being one of the most beautiful and inspiring books I’ve ever read.)


We’ll Meet Again – Anton du Beke (utterly in love with this series. Brilliant instalment but made me cry. Full review here.)


Crime


The Crossing Places – Elly Griffiths (the first Ruth Galloway book. Whilst I wouldn’t immediately rush out and buy the rest of the series, I have put some more of them on my list to read at some point. Good crime/thriller novel and an interestingly different lead character.)


Sherlock Holmes and the Singular Affair - M K Wiseman (a new take on a classic character. Full review on 7thDecember)


How To Kill Your Family – Bella Mackie (Reading group book choice. Utterly bonkers but very cleverly written. Main character is mad as a box of frogs but utterly believable and I didn’t see the twist at the end)


Moonflower Murders - Anthony Horowitz (Constantly blown away by the genius of this man's plotting. It's incredibly intricate and extraordinarily clever. In this series he basically writes two books for every one that is published and I am in awe of how he weaves everything together.)


Biography


This Much Is True – Miriam Margolyes (it’s not for the faint-hearted but I loved it. She is utterly irreverent but then brings you down to earth with a bump with a pinpointed observation.)


Romance


Honeybee Cottage – K.T. Dady (2nd in the Pepper Bay series. Full review to follow on 3rd December)


Non-Fiction


Under The White Ensign: Brightlingsea and the Sea War of 1939-1945 – J P Foynes (read for research, thoroughly useful and interesting)


Classic


Catch-22 – Joseph Heller (insane, dark, comic, sad – so many adjectives could be applied to this book. Wouldn’t say I enjoyed it as the style wasn’t for me – too much insanity and jumping around for my tastes but I can definitely see why it’s regarded as a classic)


Germinal - Emile Zola (Brilliantly written and observed but ultimately very depressing. Not an author I'd come back to, but glad I read the book.)


A Tale Of Two Cities - Charles Dickens (Oddly, I didn't find this depressing, even though it is incredibly sad. Many of the characters in this are noble in manner if not in fact and it's an interesting study in the power of love to motivate.)


Psychological


Glasshouse - Morwenna Blackwood (This has been sitting on my kindle for a little while and interviewing Morwenna for Makarelle gave me the perfect excuse to read it this month. Morwenna's books are compelling to say the least and this is a really good example of how to make unlikeable characters work well. If you like this genre, you should definitely give her books a try.)


Favourite Book Of This Month?


Although Moonflower Murders has to be a contender, there is no question that this month's winner is A Town Like Alice. I wasn't looking forward to it and didn't expect to enjoy it, but it's another one that took me by surprise. It's a stunning book and such a beautiful love story in every sense of the word.




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