Book Chat

Reading Log: November 2013

Another month has come and gone, and I have to say I’m glad it’s passed by quickly.  November was full of stress and anxiety, but I feel like maybe life is finally getting back to normal.  I’m sorry for all the vague references to doom and gloom, but even when it comes to my monthly reading log I can’t pretend that everything has been perfect around here.  I was definitely too frazzled to read much this month, but when I did make time to read it was nice to escape for a bit.  There’s just nothing like finding an absorbing book to take your mind off times of crisis.

Below is my Reading Log for November 2013, with my thoughts about each book to help me remember what I read.  I’ve included all the books that I’ve read or finished during the month (even if I started some of them outside of the month).  And of course I keep track of my rating on the grade system, the binding, genre, etc… just for fun!

November 2013

HB = Hardback, PB = Paperback, AB = Audio book, K = Kindle.
F = Fiction, HF = Historical Fiction, NF = NonFiction, YA = Young Adult,
CL = Children’s Lit, B/M = Bio/Memoir, SF = Sci-Fi/Fantasy, C = Craft

Title Start Finish Grade/
Format
Genre

 

Let’s Pretend This Didn’t Happen (A Mostly True Memoir),
by Jenny Lawson
7/17/13 Still Reading

TBD
PB

M

The Annotated Emma,
edited by David Shappard
9/2/13 Still Reading

TBD
PB

F

A Ring of Endless Light,
by Madeleine L’Engle
10/20/13 11/3/13

A+
K

YA

Troubling a Star,
by Madeleine L’Engle
11/4/13 11/10/13

 

A
K

YA

Call the Midwife: A Memoir of Birth, Joy, and Hard Times,
by Jennifer Worth
11/10/13 11/17/13

A
PB

M

The Monuments Men: Allied Heroes, Nazi Thieves and the Greatest Treasure Hunt in History,
by Robert Edsel
11/11/13 11/28/13

A
K

Bio

Call the Midwife: Shadows of the Workhouse,
by Jennifer Worth
11/28/13 Still Reading

TBD
K

M

Thoughts:

Let’s Pretend This Didn’t Happen (A Mostly True Memoir), by Jenny Lawson – TBD

The Amateur Librarian // Reading Log

Still reading… since July!  I bought this for the last plane ride I was on, then promptly fell asleep upon takeoff.  I packed it again for San Diego and planned to read it when electronic devices weren’t allowed… except now regulations allow portable devices throughout the entire flight…  Foiled again!  The memoir is pretty funny, although not so absorbing that I can’t put it down.  But I’ll keep it by the couch and hopefully keep reading when I need a laugh.  Or maybe it will make it onto  the next flight.

 …

The Annotated Emma, edited by David Shappard – TBD

The Amateur Librarian // September 2013 Reading Log

Still reading… since September!  I gave up on this for a while, but picked it back up recently.  I just cannot concentrate on Austen at all during times of stress.  I remember having a similar problem when we first moved to San Francisco and I seriously worried that I had lost my knack for understanding her novels… but when things calmed down again I fell easily back in love all over again. Emma is not my favorite character but Shappard’s annotations are great, of course.

A Ring of Endless Light, by Madeleine L’Engle – A+

The Amateur Librarian // October 2013 Reading Log

Definitely my favorite of the series.  I remember reading this in middle school and enjoying it, but I’ve forgotten almost all the details since then.  The Austins are spending the summer on an island to care for their dying grandfather, and Vicky has not one but three boys vying for her attention.  I really loved this story, the whole thing is handled with grace and I really connected to the depth of emotions and fear that the characters address.  The “special connection” that Vicky has with dolphins could be cheesy but the way it was written was utterly convincing.  The ending was a little melodramatic for me, but I still loved it all.  Now I realize that the two books I read in the past were the best ones of the series, but there’s still one more to go!

,,,

Troubling a Star, by Madeleine L’Engle – A

The Amateur Librarian // November 2013 Reading Log

Final book in the Austin family series.  Vicky is given a trip to Antarctica as a birthday present and finds herself embroiled in international intrigue.  I wasn’t quite as emotionally connected to the new characters, but the background of the plot was interesting and I enjoyed the gentle drama.  I wish there was more of the family involved, especially since I had to say goodbye to the Austins without even an end scene.  I’ll miss the poetry and lofty ideals which are definitely missing in modern YA Lit, but I’m ready to move on to something else.  I think I’m all L’Engled out for now.

Call the Midwife: A Memoir of Birth, Joy, and Hard Times, by Jennifer Worth – A

The Amateur Librarian // November 2013 Reading Log

I really, really enjoyed this memoir by Jennifer Worth.  The episodic chapters were the perfect distraction.  It was fascinating to learn about the tenements of post-war London and so absorbing.  At times the clinical descriptions bordered on graphic, but that was interesting in its own way too.  I tried to watch the BBC series and thought the first episode was a bit melodramatic, but now I think I’ll give it another try!

 …

The Monuments Men: Allied Heroes, Nazi Thieves and the Greatest Treasure Hunt in History, by Robert Edsel – A

The Amateur Librarian // November 2013 Reading Log

Book club pick for December.  I started early since I knew war books are not my favorite.  The dates and names slide in one ear and out the other, but the storytelling is pretty good.  The history is amazing – the military men tasked with saving centuries of artwork and culture from the ravages of World War II.  Truly inspiring and I teared up quite a few times… so I’d say the book was a success.  Looking forward to the movie coming out in a couple months.

Call the Midwife: Shadows of the Workhouse, by Jennifer Worth – TBD

The Amateur Librarian // November 2013 Reading Log

Still reading.  So far, I’d say I liked the first volume better.  The second book follows a few secondary characters more closely with hardly any midwife stories.  If I hadn’t read the first book, I almost wouldn’t want to continue.  The stories of the workhouse are so horrific that I had to take a break.  But after the first part (there are three) it lightened up and I could keep going.  Fascinating stories of post-war London… after this series, I think I’ll need a break from Britain and WWII for a while!

So that’s what I’ve been reading during the month of November.  Anyone reading a good book?

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One thought on “Reading Log: November 2013

  1. I thought “Let’s Pretend This Never Happened” was uneven. I laughed-out-loud in parts, but was disengaged in other sections. Lawson has a great voice, but the book was just ok. I would read her in the future though. She is probably hilarious in person!

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