What I read in November

November was busy and I still have a hard time prioritizing what I do with my limited free time, but I managed to read 3 books this month. Well, actually 3.5, but I’m pulling the 4th book into December because I haven’t finished it yet. I enjoyed all three books, two of which were YA novels,  a lot, which was great because I hate reading so “little” and then possibly not even liking the books, but that was definitely not the case in November.

The Art of Racing in Rain by Garth Stein (★★★★★)

This book randomly popped up as available through the library and I was a bit wary if I was going to like it. A story told from the perspective of a dog? Mhm, I was skeptical, to say the least. But you know what? It totally worked. It wasn’t necessarily the fact of the story being told from a dog’s perspective that made it so amazing but having the story told from the perspective of someone who longs to fix things and can’t. Stein did a great job of making this heart-wrenching story meaningful and through all the characters there is one common thread: perseverance. Believing in oneself and never giving up. I won’t give away the ending but I thought the story was wrapped up so beautifully! Definitely, a surprisingly great book that deserved 5 stars.

The Names They Gave Us by Emery Lord (★★★★☆)

I really didn’t think I would connect with this story because I usually shy away from stories focused on religion, and on top of that, it’s a YA novel (which are not my favorite genre), but I have to admit that I enjoyed this book a lot more than anticipated. This story was beautifully told, I enjoyed the relationship that Lucy, the main character, forms at summer camp, and her own struggle with faith, her mom’s illness, and family secrets that change things forever. Heartbreaking and powerful. 

Everything, everything by Nicola Yoon (★★★★☆)

I have to admit that I rolled my eyes through this book quite a bit because there were just so many things that were so unrealistic and just ‘didn’t make sense’ to me. Teenage Madeline, who is allergic to the world and has grown up indoors, falls in love with Olly, the boy who moves in next door, and figures out a way to communicate with him. The story takes some really unexpected twists and turns and I kept thinking to myself “really?”. I ended up giving 4 stars because the book redeemed itself in the end, but there were definitely parts where I wanted to quit.

What was your favorite book last month? Leave a comment, and then add me on Goodreads to keep in touch.

  1. I think you’re the second person to mention “Everything, Everything” and I kind of had the same thought that you did–it sounds a bit eye-roll worthy, but a book that redeems itself in the end might be worth the read. I’ve added the first book to my library request list. I’m all for dog books and that sounds like one I’d enjoy. Thank you, and hope you have a great week, my sweet friend! XOXO

    1. I would recommend all three :)

  2. Oh these all sound good! I’m struggling to read lately, but sometimes a good YA book helps because I can often finish them a little faster, so I might have to check a couple of these out!

    1. Hey, we all go through phases… don’t sweat it.

  3. Ashamed to say I have not read any books this past month. I love YA novels though- especially the ones I read growing up. Christopher Pike was my favorite YA author and I still reread his books every couple years.

    1. We all go through phases… you’ll read again :)

  4. I like Everything, Everything, but I can see where there would be eye-rolling! The end definitely redeemed it for me- totally wasn’t expecting that! Have you seen the movie? The last really good books I read were The Hate U Give (Angie Thomas) and Carry On (Rainbow Rowell). I’m in a bit of a rut right now, but trying to get through Perfect Stranger (Megan Miranda- thriller). Tried to add you on Goodreads, but the link you added is someone else! Also, thanks for your comment on my post! Unfortunately I couldn’t write back to you because you’re a “no-reply” blogger, but I do appreciate the kind thoughts!

    1. Ups, not sure what happened there, but thanks for letting me know about the misdirected link… I fixed that.

      Sorry about the problem responding back to the comment on your blog…. blogger has ‘weird’ commenting options for me (because I have a self-hosted blog, I can’t just fill in my blog URL + email). But I am glad you were able to connect my name to my blog :)

  5. The Art of Racing in the Rain is my FAVORITE book of all time. I read it at least once a year. I felt the same way about Everything, Everything but I really liked Nicola Yoon’s other book, The Sun is Also a Star. That was one of my favorites from this year.

    1. Oh, so happy to hear you also liked The Art of Racing in the Rain… it was such an unexpected surprise :)

  6. I felt similarly about “Everything, Everything,” tbh, but I also just couldn’t help loving it, ridiculous though so much of it was. Something about the storytelling was so sweet that I decided about halfway through to suspend reality & just go with it. My mom loved “The Art of Racing in Rain,” but I haven’t read it yet, but the same skepticism of it being told from a dog’s POV – but maybe it’s worth a try if you liked it so much, too!

    1. The storytellling in Everything, everthing was very sweet, I agree.

      Definitely give The Art of Racing in the Rain a try…. I didn’t expect to love it so much.

  7. The Art of Racing in the Rain sounds fascinating!

    1. It really was – put it on your list!

  8. I read the first book for bookclub, and really loved it. I didn’t think I would relate at all, but it ended up being really, really good. I’ve heard a little about Everything, Everything, and I think I’d be rolling my eyes too. Thanks for all the great reviews. I need to get reading!

    1. So glad to hear you loved The Art of Racing in the Rain, too :)

  9. I LOVED Everything, Everything, but then I read all of these articles about how problematic the ending was that it really made me rethink my thoughts on the novel. I still gave it 5 stars because it was such an engaging read for me (sappy YA love stories are my jam, haha), but I’ve had to really come to terms with the problematic elements of the novel.

    I just added The Names They Gave Us to my TBR – sounds fascinating!

    1. I admit, sometimes I am way to critical with books… haha… but despite all the eye-rolling, I still thought Everything, everything was pretty good :)

  10. Ive seen The Art of Racing in the Rain pop up when I’ve been looking for books but I felt like it would be strange. Glad to hear you liked it! Maybe I will give it a try after all.

  11. I remember when The Art Of came out. I haven’t read it though, so I’m glad you enjoyed it! I saw the movie Everything Everything, which I liked, but I’ve never really been interested in the actual book. I’m glad you had a nice reading month! That’s always good, especially when you don’t read a ton.


  12. These all look like books Id enjoy. I will ready just about anything LOL . I love the eye rolling comment, Im glad Im not the only one who does that!

  13. All these books sound great!
    I also set a goal of 3 books last month. I’ve got to read 2 more to get to my goal of 40 this year.
    The last book I read was the “The Third Wife” by Lisa Jewell. I couldn’t put it down!

  14. I loved The Art of Racing in the Rain. I did not think I would like it because I am not a dog person and I have no interest in racing, but I loved the book. On my first date with Phil, he admitted that he teared up while reading it on the bus! I thought it was sweet that he admitted that a book made him cry!

    I also read Everything, Everything. It was eye-roll-inducing at times but I also ended up giving it 4 stars, I think. I liked her next book, The Sun is Also a Star, better though!

    I read 10 books in November which is more than usual. However, I had a lot of flares that forced me to take it easy so I read a lot of books as a result of not feeling well. If I was able to be more active I would read way fewer books! I think I will finish my 80th book of the year today so this has definitely been an above-average year for me. My favorite book that I read in November was “Little Fires Everywhere.” Celeste Ng is such a great writer. I’ve really loved her first 2 books so look forward to reading more of her work!

  15. Thanks for the recommendations! I have a goal to finish at least one running book this month so I’m trying to get back into reading more.

  16. I’ve had The Art of Racing in Rain on my Kindle FOREVER and I need to finally read it. Also,

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