November 2021 Wrap-Up

Would Jane Austen approve of my November reading list?

I loved everything I read in November and I’m so happy about that.

Here is what I read in November:

Can I Touch Your Hair by Irene Latham and Charles Waters is a wonderful children’s book that I recommend for all elementary school students. The illustrated book is written by two poets who teamed up to explore race and childhood through poetry. The poems are meant to spark a conversation about tolerance and respect.

The Hill We Climb is the poem Amanda Gorman wrote for and read at the presidential inauguration of Joe Biden. It’s a short, uplifting read.

Windsor Knot by S.J. Bennett is a murder mystery where Queen Elizabeth II solves crime on the side. I have to say that it was very well done; respectful of the Queen and her royal duties. It’s as if the author knows the Queen personally because at times the reader was inside the Queen’s head solving a crime how you’d think the real Elizabeth II would solve a crime. My only complaint about the novel is that it’s a little misleading as the Queen doesn’t actually do all the crime solving by herself. She has a trusted team of private secretaries who hit the streets to investigate, interview and even risk their lives for answers. All in all, it’s a fun take on the modern British murder mystery.

I also read Murder on the Orient Express by Agatha Christie. Can you believe that this was my very first Agatha Christie? It’s crazy, but it’s true. I’ve seen plenty of movies and tv adaptations of Ms. Christie’s books, but I’ve never actually read one. I don’t know what took me so long! This classic mystery takes place entirely on a train in the winter. Hercule Poirot’s brilliance for solving a mystery shines through every page. My favorite part of reading an Agatha Christie novel is that I got to follow along with Hercule Poirot’s thought process, which is something not easily translatable on the big screen.

I love Audible because there are so many stories made only for audio, like The Royal Assignment by Terence Gray, Erin Day and Ian Thake. This was the funnest royal romcom audiobook I’ve heard in a long time. It takes place in a fictional country and both of the main characters are completely likable. If you want to listen to a short, romantic story during the holiday season, then this is your book. — Maggie Patel has landed her dream job at The New York Spectator; or, it would be, if she could get a decent story assignment. When a career-making interview finally lands on her desk, it’s with the last person she’d ever want to see again – Edward, the Crown Prince of Bairmorne…and her long-ago friend.  When Maggie was a child, her mother worked as a housemaid at the Royal Palace of Bairmorne, a small European nation, until they were unceremoniously kicked to the curb…amidst a cloud of whispered controversy and palace intrigue. Now, Prince Edward and Maggie are all grown up and they both have jobs to do – but there’s a spark between them they can’t deny. Will that spark lead to something more, and can their attraction withstand public scrutiny, royal duty, and secrets from the past?

I also listened to a dramatization of The Shooting Party by Isabel Colegate, narrated by Olivia Colman. I’ve never read the actual book, but this radio version of the novel (detailed below) was interesting and intriguing. — It is the autumn of 1913. Sir Randolph Nettleby has assembled a brilliant array of guests at his Oxfordshire estate for the biggest hunt of the season. An army of gamekeepers, beaters, and servants has rehearsed the intricate age–old ritual, the gentlemen are falling into the prescribed mode of fellowship and sporting rivalry, the ladies intrigued by the latest gossip and fashion. Everything about this splendid weekend would seem a perfect consummation of the pleasures afforded the privileged in Edwardian England. And yet it is not: the moral and social code of this group is not so secure as it appears. Competition beyond the bounds of sportsmanship, revulsion at the slaughter of the animals, anger at the inequities of class ––these forces are about to rise up and engulf the assured social peace, a peace that can last only a brief while longer.

And now for a surprise! Visit the blog every day in December until Christmas Day for a literary advent calendar. I created it so we can enjoy a literary treat or a book recommendation every day during the holiday season.

Happy Holidays!

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Writer, blogger, bibliophile, tea connoisseur, happiness-seeker.

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