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November Round-Up

Another busy month of reading - here's a guide to the 21 books we reviewed this month; some newer titles but lots of back list books as well. Check the list to see if you missed any of our reviews - maybe you'll find your next favorite read right here!

We had two Buddy Reads this month: Spinning Silver by Naomi Novik - our Siskel and Ebert "thumbs up/thumbs down" review of this fantasy might surprise you; AND, The Library Book by Susan Orlean, a nonfiction accounting of the massive fire in the LA Central Library.


Here are links to the other books Donna and I reviewed this month for your convenience:


The Widow by Fiona Barton - the first novel by a prolific mystery writer, this one is a mystery that's not quite a mystery since we know what happened very early in the story.

The Bookman's Tale: A Novel of Obsession by Charlie Lovett - a love story, a dash of Shakespearean mystery, murder, and it's all wrapped in a book-about-books.

The Last Child by John Hart - a 13 year old boy can't give up on his missing twin and continues to search when all adults have given up.

An American Marriage by Tayari Jones - a newlywed black couple in the south are stunned when the husband is jailed for a rape he didn't commit - can the marriage survive?

The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead - magical realism blends with an epic slave escape as the escapees use an actual underground railroad.

Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman - a solitary, lonely, socially awkward young woman makes a friend and starts to work through the trauma of her childhood.

The Dutch House by Ann Patchett - a dysfunctional family story but mostly a story of siblings who forge a bond through a difficult childhood that lasts their whole lives and all their memories are tied to the Dutch House.

The Street Lawyer by John Grisham - an up-and-coming lawyer has an encounter with the homeless that changes his life, putting him at odds with his firm.

Invention of Wings by Sue Monk Kidd - a story of slavery and an early female abolitionist.

Bluebird, Bluebird (#1) by Attica Locke - a black Texas Ranger works to overcome personal issues and solve a racially charged double murder.

Nonfiction November - I shared my personal goal of reading more nonfiction this year and what I've read so far. Are there any on my list that you've read too?



Each month we also provide some shorter, quick reviews of books we read. Our November Mini Reviews cover a mystery, some nonfiction, books about animals, and more.

Our Souls at Night by Kent Haruf - an elderly couple find companionship and affection but meet resistance by family.

Mrs. Caliban by Rachel Ingalls - a lonely woman finds love and attention with a 7' tall green 'frog' man.

Sacred by Dennis Lehane - investigators Kenzie and Gennaro search for a billionaire's missing daughter.

The Innocent Man: Murder and Injustice in a Small Town by John Grisham - nonfiction true crime.

An Unkindness of Ghosts by Rivers Solomon - set on a spaceship, this sci fi story is about a woman who works in the below decks (basically a slave) and her efforts to learn about her dead mother and escape the ship.

The Story of My Life by Helen Keller - an autobiography about her childhood and college years written when she was 22.

Arf by Spencer Quinn - a YA cozy mystery told from the perspective of a dog.


#readingroundup #articles

Welcome to Bookshelf Journeys.

It's my goal to provide real reviews of the books I read without totally rehashing every plot. I'll never spoil a story by giving away a plot twist! Hopefully you'll find one or two of interest and will discover a new book or author to add to YOUR TBR list.  Take a moment to explore, read a couple reviews, and let me know what you think.

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