November was a good month reading-wise. I’ve read a wide variety of genres from classic Agatha Christie crime, to a 700+ page novel, a photobook, poetry, non-fiction,magazine, science fiction…you name it, I read it in November!
It is only fitting that I do a round up of all the books I read, how I rated them and links to my reviews. Enjoy.
Hallowe’en Party – Agatha Christie
Paperback, 189 pages
Published in 1969 by William Collins
This one carried over from October as my Hallowe’en read. In the past I haven’t shaped my reading habits around festive seasons, but this year I felt that Hallowe’en was the perfect occasion to do so.
It probably isn’t the best Christie novel ever written, but as it was my first one I had nothing to compare it too. I enjoyed it, but I wanted more spooks! Only the title, front cover, and opening chapters got me in the spooky mood. The rest was Poirot trying to find out who did it.
Star rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ • Review: Hallowe’en Party
Dan and Phil Go Outside – Dan Howell and Phil Lester
Hardback, 224 pages
Published November 3rd 2016, by Ebury Press
My November must-read. It doesn’t matter when this book was going to be published, I would have bought and read it straight away. It just so happened it came out at the beginning of the month, and I read it in the days after buying it.
It was fun, insightful, entertaining…everything that I want from Dan and Phil. It just made me love them even more, and if they ever did another live stage show, I would definitely 100% go to it.
Star rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ • Review: Dan and Phil Go Outside
A Little Life – Hanya Yanagihara
Paperback, 720 pages
Published August 13th 2015, by Picador
Don’t be fooled. I didn’t read ALL of this book during November, but I did finish what I had started, which was about half the book. It’s hard to describe how this book make me feel without just saying: GO AND READ IT. This book lives up to the reviews printed on the cover and inside the book. It really is devastating and unforgettable.
Books don’t often move me to tears (I have a heart of stone, apparently) but this book had me fighting them back. I had to force myself to stop reading so I wouldn’t burst into tears on the bus. This is a novel you can really indulge in and be consumed by.
Only Dull People Are Brilliant at Breakfast – Oscar Wilde
I don’t have nearly as many of these little literary gems as I should have, but this was one I couldn’t resist. Simply put, this is a little book of Oscar Wilde quotes, organised coherently, and which reflect and represent the kind of man he was. You have to love a bit of Oscar Wilde wit now and then, and this is perfect for those looking to digest some.
The entire book was read during two bus journeys. It’s perfect for commuters looking to inject a bit of wisdom into their minds ahead of a busy day. I loved it.
Star rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ • Review: Only Dull People Are Brilliant at Breakfast
The Happy Reader, Issue 8 – Autumn 2016
Paperback, 64 pages
Published November 10th 2016, by Penguin Classics
In the past, issues of The Happy Reader have taken me a while to read. I used to savour each one slowly…but I raced through this one. And no, it wasn’t just so I could get to the letters page to read the letter I wrote (that’s the last time I mention it, promise). I simply love this magazine, and it is no doubt my favourite one out there.
If you’re a book lover and you’ve never read this magazine, then find yourself an issue, any issue! The existence of it makes me a very happy reader indeed.
Star rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ • Review: The Happy Reader, Issue 8
What I Do: More True Tales of Everyday Craziness – Jon Ronson
Paperback, 288 pages
Published November 2nd 2007, by Picador
My experience of this book was a mix of emotions. First I was bothered by the fact it was the only Jon Ronson book I hadn’t read. Then I was relived when I found a copy. Then I was elated when I got to meet Jon and have him sign it. At which point he told me that this is his ‘least good book’.
I’d love to say it was worth the wait, and in terms of where I found it and the story I have attached to it, the actual reading part didn’t live up to my expectations. The first half I loved! The second half I’d already read in Jon’s book Lost at Sea, so I just ended up skipping them.
Star rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️ • Review: What I Do: More True Tales of Everyday Craziness
The New Faber Book of Love Poems – James Fenton
Paperback, 496 pages
Published February 7th 2008, by Faber & Faber
It’s very sweet that I’m able to say this was given to me as a gift. For a few years since I received it, I’ve dipped in and out of it, discovered a few new favourite poems, and generally enjoyed having it on my shelf. Then I decided to read it from beginning to end…
…Most of the time, I enjoyed the poems I read. However I didn’t like the inclusion of songs, and I would rather have had the poems ordered by theme rather than by poet. This would have made for a more pleasurable read. It’s a decent collection, but not the best. A cherished book on my shelf nonetheless.
Star rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ • Review: The New Faber Book of Love Poems
Fahrenheit 451 – Ray Bradbury
Paperback, 50th Anniversary Edition, 211 pages
Published in 2004, by Voyager
I spent longer waiting to read this book than I did actually reading it. It’s become a favourite, but I just wish it had been longer and had a more complex plot. I wasn’t surprised to find out that Ray Bradbury is predominantly (or at least started out as) a short story writer. However, here he has created an Orwell-esque science fiction novel that I believe every book lover should read. It’s captivating, creative, dark and at times a little bit frightening!
I fell in love all over again with the act of reading, the ability to read, and also the ability to write and have access to books and an imagination. I highly recommend reading this book, particularly this edition.
Star rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ • Review: Fahrenheit 451
Goodbye November, Hello December
That’s it for November, if you’ve read any of the books featured, let me know what you thought of them.
I’m hoping to read at least one Christmassy book in December, and I’ve already got my eye on one…