Favourites and Disappointments | November 2020

I had such a hard time picking which books to talk about for this month’s post, so today I only have two of each to talk about. I actually enjoyed most of the books I read this month, but quite a few I’d mentioned in previous posts—like this one in which I reread books I never reviewed, or this discussion I did with Angel about A Rogue of One’s Own, if you’re interested in seeing more of what I enjoyed this month.

Favourites

Autobiography of Red by Anne Carson

This one has been on my radar for a while now but it just wasn’t something I ever saw in stores or libraries where I could pick it up. I finally bought it last month with some birthday money and I’m so glad I did. This was my first foray into Anne Carson’s work and I can see why she’s such a celebrated author now. She has such a beautiful way with words and I couldn’t tear myself away from this until I’d read the whole thing. She makes you feel like you’re being taken on a journey rather than just being told a story. This isn’t always the easiest thing to follow, but it is so worth sticking with.

War by Laura Thalassa

I wasn’t really meant to read this one until next month after I’d finished the whole truckload of books I already had on the go. But then I was in a huge reading slump, and I just needed something I could fly through, and this was definitely it. I read Pestilence last month and really liked it, so I was excited about this one. I don’t know whether I really liked it more or slightly less. They both have their different aspects that I really liked and parts I didn’t. They are also both really intense and, at times, a little difficult to read. Obviously, this one is about war, and so there’s a lot of truly horrible stuff to read about. Even though it’s tough, the story and characters are so intriguing that I just had to keep coming back to it. I’ll be picking up Famine, the third book in the series, in the first few days of December.

Disappointments

A Field Guide To Getting Lost by Rebecca Solnit

This was my third Rebecca Solnit book this year and definitely my least favourite of the bunch. I am really disappointed because so many people have gushed about this book to me, a few even dubbing it as the most influential book in their lives. I never find Solnit to be an easy read, but usually, I appreciate her for the way she forces me to think, but this one I just couldn’t get to at all. I still have two more of her books on my physical shelves and I have a whole list of others I’m still interested in getting, so this isn’t the end of my journey with Solnit yet. I do plan to keep this on my shelves to revisit in a few years and see how I feel about it then.

Miss Austen by Gill Hornby

This one started off really strong for me. I started it right at the start of November while I was in a bit of a reading slump and for the first 100 pages, it was exactly what I needed. After that, it quickly went downhill. I got bored as hell very quickly and it just never regained my interest. So this follows Jane Austen’s sister, Cassandra, in alternating timelines—one when Jane is alive and another 23 years after her death. But to be quite honest, it never felt like I was reading a book about Jane Austen and her family, they just felt like any other fictional characters. Obviously, everyone’s lives are up for interpretation but I just didn’t feel like they were real people.

So that’s it for this month. What were your favourite and least favourite books of the month?


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