Book Banter November 2016

“November comes
And November goes,
With the last red berries
And the first white snows.

With night coming early,
And dawn coming late,
And ice in the bucket
And frost by the gate.

The fires burn
And the kettles sing,
And earth sinks to rest
Until next spring.”
Clyde Watson

Another month of reading is in the books (hee hee) and I am so glad you are here to  read about what I read. Woo. Welcome to November 2016 Book Banter! Book Banter is where I talk (type) about all of the books I have read over the last month. It is also where I want my readers to engage in book discussions with me and other readers. So don’t be shy, comment on what I read or share what you are reading. I LOVE talking books.

 I will link the books I talk about to Amazon for your buying pleasure. If you click through the links I will earn a small commission and be very grateful!

Let the Book Banter begin!

1. Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo 

13578987This book is the first in the Grisha Trilogy . This series has a post-apocalyptic feel to it.  After devouring this book I realized that young adult, post-apocalyptic stories with any sort of magic and folklore are my guilty pleasure. These are not high literature, I didn’t really learn anything  (there were some great observations about human nature) but I really enjoyed reading this book! I think the main thing that sells me on books like this is the setting. Even though this book is set in a fictional world, this story felt a little Russian. I love me some Russian history, folk tales and fiction. The main character is a girl that discovers she has some latent magical powers that her government wants to use. She has to determine if they want to use her for good or evil. Of course there is some love in the story, it wouldn’t be a young adult book if there wasn’t, but it was not over the top. If you like to go on an young adult binge filled with magic and corrupt governments I would definitely recommend this book .

2. Where the Mountain Meets the Moon by Grace Lin

5983694I was at the library wandering the children’s section (in a very non-creepy way) and saw this sitting on the shelf. The gorgeous cover won me over so I took it home. I think this would qualify as a middle grade book. It’s not quite for early readers, but not quite for young adults. I have found myself drawn to this tween-age writing of late because it doesn’t have anything super racy (I’m sensitive, what can I say?) and it is usually just plain fun. This book follows a young Chinese girl as she goes on a journey to find out how to change her families fortune. It is full of Chinese folklore and gorgeous illustrations. The characters are well written and the lessons they learn are very valuable. This would bee a fun book for a family to read aloud, but make sure you read the hardback or paperback edition, the illustrations just wouldn’t be the same on a kindle (maybe they’d be ok on a kindle fire, or iPad). I am so glad I picked this up!

3. Bellman & Black by Diane Setterfield 

18806005After reading The Thirteenth Tale last year I quickly picked up Bellman & Black  when I saw it on sale. I was hoping it would have the same spooky quality Setterfield mastered in The Thirteenth Tale. The story follows William Bellman, a business man in a small town in England. But before he was a business man, he was a young, mischievous boy with good aim. A single rock launched from his sling shot changes his destiny and as the story unfolds the reader gets to see the ripple effect. The story started off with a lot of promise, but it seemed to drag. I also found the plot to be very predictable. I will say, there were some themes that really had me thinking long after I was done reading. If I remember right, I had a similar reaction to The Thirteenth Tale. So maybe Setterfield is the master of slow-burn, psychological spooky.

4. Mariana by Susanna Kearsley 

12541349This is yet again a book I picked up because I had read another book (The Firebird) by the same author and enjoyed it. This book takes place in England and is about Julia Beckett, or if it is the 17th century, Mariana. You see, this book has time travel. The story begins when Julia finally comes to own a house called Greyweathers that has called to her since she was five years old. Once she is living in the house, strange visions start appearing to her, almost as if she is traveling back in time. Many of the characters she meets in the present are also in the past, which gets more mysterious with each visit. As time goes on, she begins to slip into the past more frequently and it starts to cause problems in her real life, especially her love life. I listened to this on audiobook and enjoyed it, but think it would be just as good on paper or kindle. I liked most of the characters and will say that by the end I was really happy about my judgement. 🙂

5. Case Histories by Kate Atkinson 

8168770This is the first book I have read by Atkinson.  I have heard good things about A God in Ruins which is also by her. I bought this book when it was part of a kindle book sale and I was hankering for crime novels. This is the first book in a series staring private investigator Jackson Brodie. He finds himself investigating three cold cases that seem unrelated, but as time goes on some connections come to light. I enjoyed the characters and the cases, but something just felt off. I think for a book this long, I was hoping for a little more pay off. Also, Brodie’s character wasn’t super consistent and some of the other character details were stated over and over again. I did like how the focus was on more than one case, which is different from most crime b, which I found to be boring.  I might give the other books in the series a try, but have other crime novels on my “to read” list first.

November reading, it has been fun. I am looking forward to  December books already. I plan to read some WWI nonfiction  and at least one Christmasy romance. Any suggestions? What have you been reading? Have you read any of these books. Leave your thoughts in the comments. I’d love to talk books with you.

Until next time,

I love you more than folktales and book sales,

Whitney

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2 thoughts on “Book Banter November 2016

  1. I just started The Tresspasser by Tana French — feisty female detective; a murder; set in Ireland. So far, so good. Have you read A Man Called Ove? I am shouting the praises of that book; really liked it.

    • I am reading The Trespasser right now! I finally got it from the library after being on the “hold” list since before the book was released. I love her stuff! My favorites are The Likeness and The Secret Place…so far. I have read A Man Called Ove and I loved it so much!

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