Reading Round-Up: November Edition

I didn’t read as many books as I would have liked during November because I was participating in NaNoWriMo (a novel-writing challenge, for those of you who are unfamiliar), but I did manage to sneak in a few reads. Add your own November reads to the comments below!

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The Secret French Recipes of Sophie Valroux by [Samantha Vérant]

First up this month was The Secret French Recipes of Sophie Valroux by Samantha Vérant. If you know me, you know why the title of this book intrigued me—I thought I would be reading scads of French recipes. But alas, there are only a few recipes in the back of the book, and those are not ones I’m likely to make.

Anyway, this was a romance. Let me start by saying I’m not a romance reader unless there’s a mystery to solve, too, and there wasn’t much mystery in this one. The beginning of the story is a little too dramatic to be believable, but who am I to say? I’ve never lost a job at a Michelin-starred restaurant. Once the main character moves to France, the story gets better. I think readers will find themselves getting hungry while they read this book and they are DEFINITELY going to want to travel to France. Read my review here.

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It’s time I let you all in on a shameful secret.

Until this month, I have never read any of the Harry Potter books. I have, likewise, never seen any of the Harry Potter movies.

I read this book because the Harry Potter books are among my niece’s favorites and she was appalled (read: disgusted, horrified, speechless) that I hadn’t read them yet. I promised her I would read Book 1 before Thanksgiving so we could discuss it together (it may have to be over the phone thanks to COVID, but we’ll still discuss it).

In short, the book is AMAZING. I can’t wait to read the second one. I would love to spend just ten minutes inside J.K. Rowling’s imagination and discover where she learned to tell stories like this. You can read my review and 7 million others here.

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I had never heard of Kahlil Gibran’s book The Prophet until I read a review of it on someone else’s blog (thanks, Debby Gies!). And what a book. First published in 1923, The Prophet is a collection of short essays that make up a story. The essays (there are almost 30!) cover every topic from good and evil to crime and punishment to eating and drinking to prayer to children to joy and sorrow and everything in between. The beautifully poetic essays are full of spiritual lessons and brilliant metaphors for human life and behavior. If I could give this book ten stars, I would. Read my review here.

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THE BODY IN THE TRANSEPT a cozy murder mystery full of twists (Dorothy Martin Mystery Book 1) by [JEANNE M.  DAMS]

The final book I had time to read this month was The Body in the Transept by Jeanne M. Dams. This was a thoroughly enjoyable cozy mystery, complete with English setting, a widowed main character, a much-loved cat, and plenty of suspects. I did manage to guess the killer, but the operative word there is “guess.” I was totally wrong about the motive and that was part of what made this book so much fun to read. I highly recommend it. Read my review here.

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Remember, every Wednesday afternoon at 1:45 Eastern, I and the other two authors who make up the BookEm channel on YouTube debut a new episode! This week I’m in the hot seat, talking about the importance of hobbies and introducing you to a few new-to-me reads! Join me here at 1:45 if you can. If you can’t join me then, drop by to watch the video at your leisure anytime after that!

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I wish all of my American friends a happy and safe Thanksgiving! And to the rest of you, have a great week!

Until next time,

Amy

20 comments on “Reading Round-Up: November Edition

  1. Annika Perry says:

    Amy, a wonderful eclectic selection of books for the month! The Prophet has been one of my all time favourite books for years and my own copy is now well-thumbed! As for Harry Potter, I hardly dare admit it, but they are one set of books I just didn’t get into – I tried and they are incredibly popular – 7 million reviews!!!! Wow! A lot of my books have taken me abroad this year so the first one is one to remember. Happy Reading and I’m in impresed with all your reviews!

    Liked by 1 person

    • amreade says:

      Thank you, Annika! There are some people out there who can rip through books at the speed of light, but I am not one of them. I am pretty slow, as readers go. I wish I could get to more books every month, but I do what I can.

      We all have those books we can’t get into—a few of John Grisham’s are among mine.

      Thanks for visiting and have a great week!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Isn’t it great when we haven’t read a series (because really – young boy, witches and stuff?) and sit down and become transfixed? That’s what happened to me when I started the Harry Potter series. Our kids were in college at the time, and our daughter (who dislikes any kind of sci fi or fantasy books) said “you have to read this.” So all four of us started (fortunately a couple of years after the first one) and then binge-read. Helped me realize that my imagination is crazy, yes, but not as crazy as some, and I can let loose even more. 🙂
    I read The Prophet years ago, and I will re-read it again. Thanks to you and Debby. And, I happen to like a light romance. So, I’ll read more of your review and see if I should start this one. I recently finished reading The Only Woman in the Room – historical fiction about Hedy Lamar and it is fascinating. And Laura Lippman writes fabulous mysteries – just finished her Lady of the Lake and recommend.

    Like

    • amreade says:

      That’s exactly why I stayed away from Harry Potter for so long—fantasy is not really my thing. Or maybe it is now?? I don’t know. What I do know is this: every time I refuse to read a book because I don’t like the genre, I read a book in that genre and change my mind. I really need to be more open to getting out of my comfort zone.

      It’s so funny that you mention The Only Woman in the Room. I know two people who have written books about Hedy Lamar and until the first one started doing research and told me about her, I never knew how brilliant she was. I thought she was “merely” an actress. I’m going to add that book to my list and also Lady of the Lake. I know Lippman to be a great author, so I’m sure I will enjoy that one.

      I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving!

      Liked by 1 person

      • I’m laughing at (no, WITH) you. Because of the bloggers I met who are authors, I’ve spread my reading wings also and discovered genres I never even knew about! 🙂 Speculative fiction…huh? OH! Even cozy mysteries I never really understood – til you introduced your cozies to me – and I’m hooked.

        Like

      • amreade says:

        It’s wonderful to meet authors and bloggers who introduce us to new genres. I’ve been so enriched by the books I’ve read that I never expected to love! Thanks for your kind words about my cozies. ❤

        Liked by 1 person

  3. dgkaye says:

    Hi Amy. I love your reviews. And I was glad to see you felt the same way about The Prophet as I did. A beautiful book. Have you read the Alchemist by Coelo? Another beauty. Thanks for the mention, happy to enlighten you. Happy Thanksgiving. Hugs xx

    Liked by 1 person

  4. maggie8king says:

    I’ve read 4 Harry Potter books. They’re not a genre I normally read, but I love the plots and characters. As for THE PROPHET, I read it years ago and will have to search through my bookshelves to see if I still have it.

    Like

    • amreade says:

      Hi, Maggie,

      I’m hoping to start the next Harry Potter book over the weekend. It’s not a genre I normally read, either, but every time I say that I find myself reading another genre outside my comfort zone.

      Happy Thanksgiving!

      Like

  5. petespringerauthor says:

    The comment regarding your niece had me chuckling. I thought it was our duty to appall our loved ones. We wouldn’t want them to think we’re hip.

    Like

  6. Thomas Palmer says:

    Rowling had been working on the first book, and the remaining series for several years before it was picked up for publishing.
    Otherwise, What I’ve read (so far) this month. I’ll add at least two to three more before the month is over.
    Eggnog, Extortion, & Evergreens (ARC) Tonya Kappes
    Final Cut Sonia Parin
    Witchnapped in Westerham Dionne Lister
    Bury the Hatchet in Dead Mule Swamp Joan H. Young
    Dogs, Diners and Death (ARC) Carolyn Ridder Aspenson
    Saddles and Sabotage Ruby Loren
    The Case of the Forsaken Child (ARC) Alison Golden
    What the Cat Knew P.D. Workman
    Little Girl Lost Cheryl Bradshaw
    Good Vibrations Marg McAlister
    Murder for Reel Matt Farraz
    Witches’ Spells Morgana Best
    Stripped Bare (ARC) Shannon Baker
    Dragon’s Are Forever (ARC) Nikki Haverstock
    An Instant Confection (ARC) Ruth Hartzler
    Blood Follows Jane Austin (ARC) Judith Cranswick
    City of the Plague God (ARC) Sawat Chada
    Killer Comfort Food (ARC) Lynn Cahoon
    A Lethal Love Susan Harper
    Murder on the Boardwalk Lee Strauss

    Liked by 1 person

    • amreade says:

      Wow. I am in awe, Thomas. I’m jealous! Every single one of these sounds good, and those I don’t know of, I’ve certainly heard of the authors.

      Happy Thanksgiving!

      Like

  7. CarolCooks2 says:

    I loved all the Harry Potter books …Great reviews Amy …Happy Thanksgiving 🙂 x

    Like

  8. Darlene says:

    Well done! The Prophet should be in everyone´s library. The Harry Potter books are amazing and you can see why they are so popular. Happy Thanksgiving!!

    Like

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