Well here we are, mid-December, and I should probably (definitely) be doing something more productive, but the urge to blog is so rare these days that I’m taking advantage of the feeling and finally getting this book chat from the month of NOVEMBER out into the world. I’ve been in a major rut the past few months, but I can feel myself slowly crawling back, and that includes reading of course!
This year I’m continuing to keep a physical journal chronicling my reads, and you can check out more photos on my Instagram account @ladykatiestitchery
The adventure continues! In Book 2, Alexia Tarabotti encounters dirigibles, an armored parasol, and Scottish werewolves, oh my! With the world building and characters already established, I got sucked in even more quickly. An alternate history is just the place to be during the election and I’m enjoying the distraction immensely, especially with three more books to read in the series.
Blameless (Parasol Protectorate #3), by Gail Carriger
Book #3 is still the perfect blend of froth, adventure, and escapism that I’m craving in this season of reading. The plot started to feel a bit contrived and I missed some of the original side characters, but the journey to Italy to meet the Templars was fun, and further complication set the scene for Book #4.
What Kind of Woman, by Kate Baer
Source: Instagram @katejbaer
Almost every description I’ve seen of Kate Baer’s poetry uses the word “accessible,” which often implies safe, easy to read/understand, for the masses, etc.; and all those things are true. But it’s also so freeing to acknowledge that I am one of the masses and I see myself in her words. I often feel lost in the roles I have to play as mother, wife, friend, and her poems speak to that tension (and remind me that poetry doesn’t have to be oblique to be powerful). This slim collection is easy to read quickly but such a pleasure to reread over and over.
HRH: So Many Thoughts on Royal Style, by Elizabeth Holmes
Source: Instagram @eHolmes
I’ve been a casual royal fan since I watched Will and Kate’s wedding in 2011, but Elizabeth Holmes’s IG commentary on Kate and Meghan’s fashion introduced me to a level of fandom I didn’t realized existed, and her book delivers even more of a deep dive into the four most famous royals of our time – Queen Elizabeth II, Diana, Kate, and Meghan. (The timing of this book with season 4 of The Crown couldn’t be any better!). Homes’s writing strikes just the right tone, familiar from her IG – neither fawning nor snarky, but charming and generous – and she gives each woman the benefit of the doubt while treating them as humans above all else. Truly delightful to skim for the beautiful photos or read cover to cover!
The Glass Hotel, by Emily St. John Mandel
Source: new release
I put off reading Mandel’s newest book (and her backlist titles too, for that matter) because I loved Station Eleven so much, and I have to admit the slow start was worrying. But about halfway through, the action unfurled and the meandering charter development paid off. On its surface, you could say this book is about a pair of siblings on the periphery of a Ponzi scheme, but the larger picture of each characters’ search for a meaningful life almost renders the plot irrelevant. Mandel is a master at describing people during the worst moments of their lives, and how they cope after a disaster.
(If you’ve read Station Eleven, I believe this book takes place beforehand, and the brief glimpse of Miranda was a thrill. I still think about that book often.)
Books read in November: 5
Books read in 2020: 44
Currently reading: 0
So that’s what I’ve been reading during the eleventh month of 2020!