Hello, Hola, Bonjour, I hope you’re all having a good day! I’m not very very active lately and I don’t post as frequently because of my exams which are always very stressful to me, sadly. This is going to be my very late November Wrap Up: books that I’ve read during the month of November. I’ve already posted three reviews on books I’ve read during November: Homegoing, Between The World and Me and Originals which you can all find if you click the names of the books.
I’ve started by reading two of the books that I’ve mentionned in my first Top Ten Tuesday that consisted of presenting the last ten books that have been added to the TBR which are “Twenty Love Poems and a Song of Despair” by Pablo Neruda and I’ve really liked how the edition that I picked up had the original version of the poems and then the translation in english and “Originals: How Non-Conformists Move The World” by Adam Grant. If you didn’t know this, I’m a big lover of languages and I love learning new ones (currently: Spanish and Dutch). It’s one book that you need to read slowly to understand (Neruda’s book). At least, that was the case for me. Sadly, I didn’t understand everything and it kinda made me feel like poetry wasn’t for me again but I managed to finish it but there were some really good pieces and I’ve enjoyed Neruda’s writing. It is very intense and very passionate. Next I’ve read “The Prophet” by Khalil Gibran which was also a big hit. I absolutely loved it and I have no idea why I haven’t picked it up before especially that it’s so popular and I’ve head about it for so long. It is very beautiful and the messages it contains are very simple and yet very profound and deep and I would really recommend it to anyone, even if you’re not into poetry.
I’ve read three comics next: “The Walking Dead Vol.01” that I’m getting to like even more than the tv show somehow? But I’m still not sure, I have to read more volumes. I’ve heard that it’s quite different from the show especially when talking about Ric. Then we’ve got “Monstress Vol.01: Awakening” and “Goldie Vance Vol.01”. The latter was very sweet, Nancy Drew vibe with the main character trying to solve mysteries happening in the hotel where her and her father work. It’s sassy and smart with lots of colors. It was a delightful and fun read. As for “Monstress”, it was very interesting. We’ve got a great female heroine, mysterious and very badass in a very unique world and settings and the whole story expressed so beautifully thanks to the drawings. It kinda reminded me of Saga which I’ve also liked very much. I’m looking forward to reading the next volumes. Sometimes you can feel a bit confused while reading the comic which I find problematic because they don’t really explain things and even when they do, it’s still not very clear… But overall, I liked it. I said at the beginning that I’ve read three comics but there’s also “Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Double Down” by Jeff Kinney and I guess it’s also a comic-ish book? I mean it’s a graphic novel so I’ll just get it in this paragraph too. I’ve started with the 11th book of this series that came out in November after hearing so much about it. I didn’t regret picking this up. It was a very funny read and I’m sure you’ll find yourself trying hard not to laugh! Especially if you’re like me and you keep reading even during lectures/work. (Shh, don’t tell my professors!)
Now let’s move on to Non-Fiction and start with “Originals: How Non-Conformists Move The World” by Adam Grant that I’ve brought up in the beginning of this post and that I wrote a review on. It isn’t so bad really, just not the kind of book that will get you out of a reading slump. It has some very interesting ideas and is, in a way, motivating and inspiring. My next three favourites were “Between The World And Me” by Ta-Nehisi Coates that was an excellent read about race and “Thinking, Fast and Slow” by Daniel Kahneman which is very interesting if you want to know more about why human beings behave in a certain way and not in another. It’s all based on science and the writer’s way of explaining things is very simple and comprehensible so nothing too complicated made for brainy scientists or I don’t know what. And “We Should All Be Feminists” by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie.
I’ve heard a lot about Chimamanda and I’ve found out about this book through a Moroccan booktuber. She shared some passages from the book which made me really want to read it and so I did! I only realized later on that it was the transcription of one of her speeches. Coming from (and currently living in) Morocco, I’ve related to that book a lot! I even shared some passages that I found more relatable with some of the men I know and they were all like “Eeh women complain a lot!”, “Feminism is stupid, I don’t see the need of hating men.”. It clearly showed that they understood nothing about feminism and that they were all brought up to think in a very wrong way. Anyway, I don’t think I can say enough about these three books in a mini-review but you can check the review of Coates’ book that’s up on the blog and I’m planning to write one about Thinking, Fast and Slow. All I can say is that you can learn a lot by reading these three books and I can’t recommend them enough.
I feel like I’ve read lots of Non-Fiction during November although I don’t feel like I did?? I
don’t get it. I’ve got one more book + one that has taken me forever to finish it because I read it more in a way that you would read a textbook. I’ve read “Mother, Can You Not?” by Kate Siegel and “The Cure for All Diseases” by Hulda Clark. The first book was more on the funny side and I really liked the dynamic that exists between the writer and her mother. Some people say that listening to it as an audiobook is better but I’ve read the book and I thought it was OK, nothing super fantastic. Some stories were fun and I really loved the mom/daughter stories although at times it felt a lot like the writer was complaining non-stop about how her mother was too involved in her life. I’d rather stick to following her Instagram account! As for the second book, well I don’t really know what to say. Some of the facts seem odd: All illnesses are caused by parasites and they can be cured with a method she called “zapping”? I don’t know about this but she did speak about how some conditions can be caused by pollutants which is more understandable to me. I know no one who followed her method and say cured their diabetes but there’s a Youtuber who said she cured her acne using her cleanse. I still don’t know what to think of this book really but it’s good if you’re looking for a book about preventative care.
Last but not least: FICTION!! I’ve finished “Illuminae” by Amie Kaufman after a very long time spent reading it. Doesn’t mean I didn’t like it because I absolutely adored it! Only problem was that I only managed to find it in French and even though I like French and is my second language, it’s not my favourite language for reading. I guess the fact that it was in French is what made me spend so much time reading it. I just didn’t want to wait for 3 weeks to get the english version :(. I love how the story is told in so many formats and how there are so many beautiful pages you can just stare at. I usually don’t buy physical copies of books because they’re too expensive but this was definitely worth the 40$. I cry when I see that the paperback in Book Depository costs 14$ 😥 … It was just so beautiful, how could I have helped myself? There are also very beautiful characters and everything’s so nice and well presented! I’m so glad I picked this book up even though I initially bought it because how it looked. Guilty!
November was definitely a good fiction reading month and I think I’ve read most of my
favourites of this year during it because next we’ve got “Homegoing” by Yaa Gyasi which is aaaaaaa-mazing! Will give you shiversand for a debut novel, it is just… Well, amazing? She captures so many stories and manages to tell them in a great way which shows her talent as a writer. If you haven’t read this book, don’t think twice: Do it! Next we’ve got “Crime and Punishment” by Fyodor Dostoevsky. I didn’t wanna risk this and read it in english and then find it too difficult so I’ve read it in french but… OMG! Are all russian writers great? Because I remember reading Anna Karenina by Tolstoy and felt the same thing! I don’t know if the translation kept it as it is but it just had everything! The right amount of fiction, history, sociology, wisdom, philosophy… I became soooo into the story and the characters. It’s really not something you can experience with all books. Same for Homegoing, if you haven’t read Crime and Punishment and are hesitant because it’s a classic and you don’t usually read classic: just read it! I keep speaking with the imperative haha, I think I should stop doing that but really, it is a great piece and these two are definitely part of the best books I’ve read this year, if not ever!
The next part of the books I’ll talk about is not exactly about my favourites. It will be devided into the “Okay, not bad” books and the “What a waste of time!” books.
I’ll start with the “Okay, not bad”: After enjoying The Fault in Our Stars by John Green, I thought I’d pick another book by him and I found “Looking for Alaska” in english available in the bookshop so I thought yeah, why not? I don’t know if it’s because of the high expectations I had or if it just really was just “Okay”! The plot is meh. Things that make this book “Okay” are actually his writing and the messages he includes in his books. Maybe it’s because I’ve read his said-to-be “best work” and then moved on to his other books… Either way since I hear this is his first book, I find it a rather nice debut. I just wasn’t impressed! Next there’s “The Diary Of A Teenage Girl” by Phoebe Gloeckner that’s a punch in the gut really. There are so many shocking and quite disturbing scenes there + weird characters that I didn’t feel attached to at all (well besides Minnie’s little sister, maybe?) which is maybe what made me dislike the book. I mean, i’m all for truth and everything. I don’t mind reading anything that’s disgusting or too hard to take but when I don’t “feel” it, I just don’t. The writing is amazing though! Phoebe Gloeckner is an amazing writer and she proved herself in this book. I’m looking forward to reading something else by her.
Now it’s the turn of the “What a waste of time!” category and we find in this one : “Behind Closed Doors” by B.A. Paris and “Lunar Park” by Bret Easton Ellis that I’ve both had in the audiobook format. Coincidence? But it’s not the format that causes a problem. For “Behind Closed Doors”, I can say that it’s an enjoyable read but it was very predictable like from the beginning of the book till the end we get the same thing with Grace, the wife, doing nothing about her psychotic husband that keeps her locked in their home so you just wait for the next thing to happen but it’s all very predictable like I said and I was looking for something complex. That’s what I like in psychological thrillers! And in my opinion, this book could’ve done so much better! For “Lunar Park” I disliked it more because it was like an autobiography which I could’ve known if I’ve read the synopsis of the book before reading it but I don’t do that because, you know, you never know when you happen to find something really great even if the synopsis didn’t appeal to you so I don’t judge books based on synopses (I think that’s the plural form of synopsis). It’s also very confusing -the book- because at the beginning it’s basically like a biography of himself and then he makes himself turn into a fictional character and there begins the crappy part of the book. Sadly, I didn’t enjoy it at all but I’ve heard that this isn’t the best work of Bret Easton Ellis so I’ll definitely give a second chance to the author and read his more popular fiction work.
That’s about it for my November Reads! Sometimes I feel like these big chunks of text aren’t appealing at all though. I feel like I need to write shorter paragraphs and perhaps with more colors? A new theme? I draw sometimes and I never use colors because once I do, I can be sure that I’ll be ruining the so-much work I’ve put in the drawing so I’m always hesitant with colors. What do you think?
And aside from my struggles to keep a pretty blog, let me know in the comments down below if you’ve read any of these books and what did you think of them. As always, thanks for stopping by and enjoy your reading!