Wrap Ups & Hauls

November 2016 Wrap-Up + Book Haul


Eek! It’s almost December, and you all know what that means… Christmas time!  Christmas has always been my favorite time of the year.  I have found that I love Christmas more as a parent than I did as a child.  There is just something about watching your own children experience the magic of Christmas 🙂

November was a good month for me both in reading and blogging.  I am very pleased with my productivity, especially after my sporadic blogging month in October.  I managed to read 10 books in November!  My goal in November was to have a “NetGalley November” and only read NetGalley approvals.  I read 4 out of the 6 NetGalley books on my November TBR, which isn’t great but not bad either.  The remaining 6 books I read this month were all audiobooks I listened to while working on my NetGalley TBR.

Best of all, I posted a few of my favorite posts I’ve ever done in my short blogging career.  Hopefully I have not just jinxed my December…

 What I read in November:


5-Star Rating System

Summary of feelings:  While I loved the concept for this one, I struggled with this book.  This is my second Ray Bradbury book, and he has a very distinct writing style that I find is hard to follow at times.  I think this would make for a great film adaptation however…

» Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs


5-Star Rating System

Summary of feelings: I thought this book was unique and clever.  I really enjoyed the photographs included, which really helped to set the tone.  I wasn’t a big fan of the romance in this book, if you’ve read it you may guess why.  I’m curious about the movie adaptation now.

» James Clyde and the Diamonds of Orchestra by Colm McElwain


Summary of feelings: Cute middle grade read.  Similar themes and elements as Harry Potter and The Chronicles of Narnia series.

You can read my review here → Kids’ Corner: Book Review of James Clyde and the Diamonds of Orchestra by Colm McElwain

» The Vault of Dreamers by Caragh M. OBrien


5-Star Rating System

*3.5 Stars

Summary of feelings:  This was an enjoyable YA science fiction.  I was fascinated with the concept of “dream mining,” but would have liked to see more science fiction elements, particularly in the technology department.  The book was supposedly set in the future (2050’s maybe?) but it felt like it was set in the present day…

» The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead


5-Star Rating System

Summary of feelings:  I think this is one of the most powerful books I’ve ever read.  Going through some of the bad reviews for this one, I think some people are missing the purpose of this book.  You should go into this book paying attention to what Whitehead is trying to convey with this book: the brutality and oppression of slavery… I literally read a bad review that said they didn’t like this book because it was too tragic… Seriously?!  Of course it’s tragic!  Obviously the truth is too hard for some people to hear.

» Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Saenz


5-Star Rating System*3.5/4 Stars

Summary of feelings: Don’t get me wrong, I really did enjoy this book.  Actually I would give the second half of this book 5 stars!  What a beautiful book about self discovery.  HOWEVER I struggle with the pacing in the first half of this book.

» The Girl from Everywhere by Heidi Heilig


5-Star Rating System

Summary of feelings:  I LOVED the concept for this one.  Time traveling through maps?  Yes, please!  Unfortunately, I had to dock it a star for the love triangle…Ugh!  I would also like to add that this book has my new book boyfriend, Kash 🙂

» The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman


5-Star Rating System*4.5 Stars

Summary of feelings: This is my 4th Neil Gaiman book and like all the rest, I loved it.  I think this one is tied with Stardust as my favorite NG book thus far.

» The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick


5-Star Rating System

*3.5 Stars

Summary of feelings: This was a quick and fun little read.  I really enjoyed the storyline, which was a historical fiction with mystery elements.  I am not sure if you could consider this steam punk or not?  I guess I am not exactly clear on what classifies a book as steam punk, but this book includes lots of machinery.  After doing some research, I didn’t realize the print version of this book has gorgeous illustrations… I actually listened to this via audiobook, so I am wondering if I would have enjoyed this more had I read it in print form.  I must admit, I am now curious about it.

» The Girls by Emma Cline


Ok, so technically I haven’t finished this YET, but I only have 10% to go and will be finishing this tonight.  I have very conflicted feelings about this one.  On one hand, it is fascinating, and on the other hand, it is horrifying.

Other Book Reviews:

thebookofestherreviewBook Review: The Book of Esther by Emily Barton

fracturedcovBook Review: Fractured by Catherine McKenzie


Book Review: The Female of the Species by Mindy McGinnis


Book Review: Stardust by Neil Gaiman


Kids’ Corner: Book Review of The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe (The Chronicles of Narnia) by C.S. Lewis

Favorite Posts of November:


Book Event: Books by the Banks Book Festival


Kids’ Corner: How to Get Your Kids to Read More

bbbookwormstereotypesBookish Babble: Bookworm Stereotypes

November Book Haul:

In anticipation of Christmas, I restrained myself from buying books this month.  My husband asked me what I wanted for Christmas, and I sent him my Amazon book wish list which included over $200 of books… Go big or go home right?  I did bring in 3 books this month.  One I won from a giveaway, one is from Blogging for Books, and the last one I purchased… but I have good reasons.


I won The Summer She Was Under Water by Jen Michalski in a giveaway hosted by my friend Melanie @Grab the Lapels.  It was even signed by the author and included a hand written card from the author.  Thanks again Melanie!

I couldn’t help myself.  I purchased this copy of A Treasury of Classic Stories while I was in my local Cracker Barrel.

I mean, do you see this beautiful illustrations?  I really didn’t have any other choice but to purchase it.  Plus it was on sale, so that was that.  While purchasing this, I thought of my friend Millie @Milliebot Reads who has a lovely collection of beautiful children’s books.  I hope she gives me her stamp of approval for this buy 🙂

How was your November?

Which books did you read?

Did you buy any books?

24 thoughts on “November 2016 Wrap-Up + Book Haul”

  1. What an awesome month! That’s really great that you managed to read a whole ten books – I only got to six in the end. Turns out NaNo was just a tad more time consuming than I had anticipated!! Not going to lie, you’ve got me really excited to read Underground Railroad. I wasn’t quite sure on what to think of it when it first came out but now I know I definitely have to get myself a copy!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Your reading and blogging month was so #goals, Amanda!! You did great ❤ ❤ I'm still uncertain if I should give Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe a go because none of the reviews I've read so far made any sense, haha! If you're going to review that one, PLEASE TAG MEEEEE ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  3. You read so many books that I want to get my hands on I can’t wait to read The Underground Rail Road and The Girl From everywhere 🙂 I liked Miss Peregrines but I wasn’t in love with it like a lot of people were also I was not feeling the romance either I mean she’s his grampa’s age in the body of a teenager? It was just all types of strange o.o The movie is really different from the book but since I wasn’t to into the book I didn’t mind the changes that much hopefully you like it when you watch it 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Nope I haven’t read the next books I’m just not that motivated to pick them up, I’ll read them eventually because I bought the box set as an impulse buy 🙂

        I think I’ll love it as well it sounds just like my type of book + the cover is so pretty 😀

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Haha I’m just making up for my pathetic October 😂 As far as the number of books I read, my secret is audiobooks! Out of the 10 books I read, 4 were audiobooks. The audiobooks were also shorter books (The Halloween Tree, The Ocean at the End of the Lane, and Hugo Cabret are all under 6 hours of listening length).

      As far as blogging, I’m not sure how I got so much accomplished…. I hope I can keep up the momentum lol

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Oh! You listened to Hugo? Have you seen the book? The illustrations are a big part of the story. I read it and watched the movie- they have some significant but wonderful differences.
        I hope I can pick up your momentum through osmosis. Perhaps I just keep reading your blog and gain wisdom. 😜

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Yes I listened to the audiobook, but That was before I knew the book had amazing illustrations! Had I known this, I would have read it in physical form 😕 I think I am going to hold off on reviewing it until I can get my hands on an illustrated edition!

        Liked by 1 person

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