November was a slow reading month for me, for a few reasons:
- The 2 books I listened to were longer.
- I was trying to push myself to read more physical books.
- A lot of the books I had on hold through the library (how I listen to most of my books) still weren’t available.
- I’m in the middle of two books right now (December 1), but I don’t include them in these posts until I’m done.
But I have to say I LOVED the three books I’m writing about today so much. It may be a month where it looks like I didn’t read much, but these three books took my breath away.
I know I won’t reach my goal of reading 75 books this year (I’m currently sitting at 48 books read), and that’s okay. I’m so happy with my progress in actually reading books rather than just talking about reading books and claiming that I love to read, but I’m “just too busy.” What a silly excuse to miss out on something I love.
I do plan on reading like crazy in December — there’s just something about cozying up with a good book and a cup of tea when it gets cold — and I’ll also work on a list of my very favorites from the year in a few weeks, so keep an eye out for that.
In the meantime, here are the three wonderful books I read in November:
Searching For Sunday by Rachel Held Evans
I’ve heard wonderful things about this book since its debut several years ago. I love Rachel Held Evans, and she led the Evolving Faith conference I attended at the beginning of November. I returned home determined to read this book, and I’m so glad I did. As the introduction mentions, this book isn’t about re-discovering the routine of Sunday mornings in church, but about rediscovering Sunday resurrection. I loved reading Rachel’s journey, along with her exploration of key elements of the Christian faith. Much like other books I’ve read this year (Jonathan Martin’s How to Survive a Shipwreck, Sarah Bessey’s Out of Sorts, etc.), this book helped me put words to frustrations and questions I’ve had in the past few years. It gave me hope in the journey of finding our next church.
Small Great Things by Jodi Picoult
I haven’t read all of Jodi Picoult’s books, but I love each that I’ve read — this was no exception. In the book, you experience three narrators: Ruth (a female black L&D nurse), Turk (a male white supremacist), and Kennedy (a female white public defender). Listening to the white supremacist’s sections made me terribly uncomfortable, but it really added to the story. There are so many elements of this book that I loved: the complex characters, several surprise twists, and an incredible speech on racism from Kennedy toward the end of the book. Even better, the author had several pages at the end about her experience writing the story — the research and interviews, her personal journey, and her hopes for her readers. Seriously, if you haven’t read it, get yourself an early Christmas present. (Side note: the narration for the audiobook was top notch.)
The Great Alone by Kristin Hannah
Another great book by another favorite author (you can see my review of The Nightingale here). This story follows a family in their experience of Alaska in the 1970s and 80s — and I fell in love with the characters immediately. I can’t tell you how many times I grabbed Zach’s arm in bed or texted him freaking out about what was happening. Not only was the storyline incredible, but the amount I learned about life in Alaska was so fun. This is one of the books that I missed after finishing — I just wanted more time with the characters. I got a chance to talk to my Mamaw about this book over Thanksgiving, and we both gushed over it. I’m excited and nervous that it is slated to become a movie in the next few years. I won’t even lie to you; this is another must-buy if you haven’t read it.
What books have you read and loved lately? I’d love to hear about them!