Book Chat

November 2016 Reading Log

What they say is true: the days are long but the years are short! Day to day, November seemed like a string of exhausting and blurry days, but as a whole I can’t believe the month is already over and we are headed toward the end of the year. Amelia is almost two months old and we’re getting the hang of this eating-playing-sleeping thing together. After the first month of coping with the erratic schedule of a newborn, I realized that I need to put down my phone more often while nursing – both because it’s harder to get back to sleep at night, and because I was missing out on those wide-awake eyes during the day. I may not be reading as many eBooks as I thought I might, but they’re still a great escape when I only have one hand free at a time. With the few moments that I have to read, I’m trying to be more intentional about what I choose, and I’m more likely to read one book at a time for now. I’m figuring it out as I go, along with everything else!

The Amateur Librarian // Reading Log

November 2016 Thoughts


Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis, by J.D. Vance

The Amateur Librarian // October 2016 Reading Log

Start date: 10/30/2016
Finish date: 11/5/2016
Grade: A
Genre/Format: Memoir / eBook

Intense memoir from a self-proclaimed “hillbilly” about his experiences growing up in the Rust Belt. His family was one of many that dealt with domestic violence, drug abuse, and violence, but Vance managed to break the cycle by joining the army and eventually obtaining a degree from an Ivy League university. It was recommended by two of my favorite book bloggers,Modern Mrs. Darcy and Everyday Reading, before the election, and I devoured it in a few days leading up to Election Day. It certainly shed light on a large portion of Trump supporters, and why they are so disillusioned and angry with the American Dream, although there are obviously other groups who also cast their vote for Trump. I have to admit that it was much more fascinating when I didn’t expect Trump to win, but after the election it didn’t make me feel any better about the results. There are no solutions presented, but it’s an interesting story of one man’s journey to escape his family’s demons.

All Joy and No Fun: The Paradox of Modern Parenthood, by Jennifer Senior

The Amateur Librarian // November 2016 Reading Log
Start date: 11/5/2016
Finish date: 11/28/2016
Grade: A
Genre/Format: Parenting / eBook

This highly-recommended book takes a different approach than most parenting books; it examines the effects of children on parents, instead of the other way around. Very interesting studies are summarized for every stage of childhood – from the transition from adult to parent of a newborn, the unreasonable toddler years, the overscheduled grade school years, to adolescence that coincides with most parents’ career/life midpoints. One caveat: I wouldn’t recommend reading it during the first few hormonal weeks of parenthood! I don’t think I would have identified with some of the statistics so keenly if I had some more distance, either before or after the newborn phase, at least. (I just might’ve cried when I read about college-educated women waiting longer to have children and therefore realizing more of what they are giving up once the abrupt transition to motherhood begins… even though I already knew that.) At least it ended with a chapter on the joys of parenthood, and the meaning it brings to life that can’t be quantified in a research study.

Anne’s House of Dreams (#5), by L.M. Montgomery

The Amateur Librarian // November 2016 Reading Log
Start date: 11/7/2016
Finish date: 11/10/2016
Grade: B+
Genre/Format: Fiction / eBook

Two days after my mom’s four-week stay came to an end, the election happened; needless to say, I needed some comfort reading and volume #5 of the Anne of Green Gables series fit the bill. That’s the best part of a series that I’ve read countless times since grade school: I can jump around and pick up right where I left off. Anne’s fairy tale life as a young married woman setting up her first house and starting a family was soothing, and the sad parts were the perfect excuse for a few cathartic tears. However… if I hadn’t read and adored this series when I was young, I might be tempted to criticize the small-minded tropes and storylines that especially characterize the later Anne books. But I let it go for L.M.


I own this eBook collection of the entire series – currently $0.99 but I’ve seen it for free occasionally.

AND Rachel McAdams recently narrated this audiobook edition Anne of Green Gables for Audible and it’s on mega-sale (currently $1.99 on Amazon if you also buy the ebook for $3.99) – I scooped it up for the inevitable nostalgic moment when I need to give it another listen. And hopefully it will be one that Amelia will love too one day.

Still Reading:

Dead Wake: The Last Crossing of the Lusitania, by Erik Larson

The Amateur Librarian // May 2016 Reading Log

Start date: 5/14/2016
Genre/Format: Nonfiction / Paperback

I have a lot of books to read but for some reason this one called my name again and I’ve been reading it in small doses at the table during meals. Nothing like some no-nonsense war strategy and naval talk to contrast with mommy life!

The Magnolia Story, by Chip and Joanna Gaines with Mark Dagostino

The Amateur Librarian // November 2016 Reading Log
Start date: 11/28/2016
Genre/Format: Memoir / eBook

I don’t know what it is, but some celebrity memoirs are just hard to resist; I love the HGTV show Fixer Upper so I caved when the eBook went on sale. In a few short years the married couple Chip and Joanna Gaines have built an empire including their TV show, retail complex, furniture/paint/clothing lines, a quarterly lifestyle magazine, huge social media followings, and now a two-book publishing deal. They still manage to come off as down to earth and their origin story is characteristically sweet and funny so far.


Books read in November: 3
Books read so far in 2016: 61
Still reading: 2

So that’s what I’ve been reading during the month of November, the elleventh (!) month of 2016 (& first month of motherhood!).  I’m always looking for more book recommendations – are you reading any good books?

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One thought on “November 2016 Reading Log

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