My Favourite Reads of November 2018

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My Favourite Reads image

Welcome to my favourite reads of November 2018.

Another mixed bag of fantasy, crime and, of course, romance. A girl needs her feels!

No question this month which was my favourite. Actually, let’s make that favourites because the honour goes to …

Six of Crows and Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo

Six of Crows by Leigh BardugoBardugo’s Grisha trilogy of Shadow and Bone, Siege and Storm, and Ruin and Rising was my favourite read of 2014 and when Six of Crows first released I meant to jump on it. For some reason I didn’t and I’m not sure why. I have a feeling I read a preview of Six of Crows and was expecting one thing and got another. I had no problem this time round. I couldn’t put either Six of Crows or Crooked Kingdom down. They were amazing.

The plotting of these stories is extraordinary. Twist follows twist follows twist, and almost every one of them left me in a state of anxiety over the characters. So many challenges, most of them impossible, and yet the Six of Crows gang manage to fight and overcome them.

Then there are the characters, all so wonderfully done, with compelling backstories and motivations, and individual voices. If I weren’t so caught up in the story I would have taken notes on how Bardugo made them unique, sympathetic and admirable, even the ones that shouldn’t have been.

Loved these books. Just loved them. Can’t wait for more.

 

Elevation by Stephen KingElevation by Stephen King

Hmm. The first thought that springs to mind when I think about this book? It was short. Really short. By my guess, Elevation would be lucky to be 25,000 words (maybe even closer to 20,000 but as I said I’m guessing here) and most novels are around 90,000 or so, depending on genre, which means we’re talking short story/novella length.

Now I love a shorty, but I had no idea that Elevation was one when I went to grab it from my local discount store and was even more brain-fuddled when I couldn’t spot it on the shelves. We’re talking the new Stephen King here. It was in the catalogue. How could Elevation not be smack in my face? I can only guess it was something to do with its size versus its unappealing full-length price.

I still bought it because… Stephen King.

Anyway, it was a sweet book, reminding me a little bit of Insomnia, which is a favourite King of mine. A pleasant way to spend a weekend afternoon.

 

The Ash Doll by James HazelThe Ash Doll by James Hazel

I really enjoyed Hazel’s debut release The Mayfly (I talked about it here). It was a cracking read and left me eager for his next. The Ash Doll didn’t disappoint, with the same great pace and tension and a juicy dark plot. The Ash Doll’s lawyer hero Charlie Priest seems to find himself in messy cases, that’s for sure.

Great to see Priest’s work colleague Georgie Someday play such a starring role too. And the fish. Mustn’t forget the fish.

 

Circus Hearts - All the little Bones by Ellie MarneyCircus Hearts: All the little Bones by Ellie Marney

Now this was cool. Kinda like a running away to join the circus book but in this case the runaways are already performers – Sorsha is a trapeze artist while Colm is a strongman, and both are very good at their art.

Circus Hearts is a friends-to-lovers story as well as a coming of age tale and one I enjoyed a lot. The romance was lovely and I especially liked Marney’s portrayal of circus life.

I have plans to read book two in this three-book series over the Christmas break. I’m keen to see what happens to Fleur in Circus Hearts: All Fall Down.

 

Manhunting by Jennifer CrusieManhunting by Jennifer Crusie

This was a hoot of a book, with super-snappy dialogue and some very funny moments. I was glad I picked it up because it was perfect for my mood. I was after something easy and fun and feel-good, and Manhunting was all that and more.

This is only my second Jennifer Crusie – the first was Faking It – and I really should read more. I’ve lost count of the number of fellow authors who’ve recommended Welcome to Temptation, Bet Me and other much-adored titles in the Crusie backlist. Makes me feel left out.

 

What reads did you enjoy in November?

 

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12 thoughts on “My Favourite Reads of November 2018

  1. Malvina

    Cathryn, I have to say that Manhunting is my favourite Jennifer Crusie. I read it before the applause generated from Getting Rid of Bradley hooked more readers for her. It still remains my fave. Love your list, happy Christmas!

    1. Cathryn HeinCathryn Hein Post author

      Merry Christmas to you, too, Malvina and thanks for dropping by! I was looking up Crusie’s backlist earlier in the week and wondered about Getting Rid of Bradley. I didn’t realise it was her breakout. Another I’ll have to add to my list.
      Too many books, so little time!

      1. Karen Schwartz

        I must go back to Manhunting. It didn’t make much impression first time around although I loved Getting Rid of Bradley. So clever! Do you realise you sold me MH when you were at Rendezvous many moons ago, Malvina? You sold me stacks of fabulous books!

        1. Malvina

          That’s a awesome, Karen. I loved having a chat when you came in! But I don’t remember everything you bought…! 😍

  2. Karen Schwartz

    Cathryn, always love this column. I’ve got Circus Hearts, haven’t read it yet. This month, I had two standout reads. One was the new Robert Galbraith, Lethal White, which I thought was absolutely stunning. The second was Sinning Across Spain by Ailsa Piper, about an Australian woman who agrees to take on some acquaintances’ sins and expiate them by doing the pilgrimage to Santiago (apparently a recognised medieval practice for people who couldn’t do the walk themselves). A friend recommended this one and I thought it was wonderful.

    1. Cathryn HeinCathryn Hein Post author

      Ooh, I’ll definitely be chasing down Sinning Across Spain, Anna. The Camino has been on my bucket list for years now and it’s a trip I WILL make, and I try to read and watch everything on it. Ta for the rec. Have you read Tim Moore’s Spanish Steps: Travels With My Donkey? It’s also about a Camino journey and one of the funniest books I’ve ever read. There was a 3 part series on Fox recently – Pilgrimage: A road to Santiago – that was interesting too.
      Hope you enjoy Circus Hearts!

      1. Karen Schwartz

        Oh, thanks for the Tim Moore recommendation. I’ll chase that up. I doubt I’ll ever do the walk but it’s always going to be a dream. Did you know Alison Brideson did it?

  3. Sue Gerhardt Griffiths

    Manhunting sounds like a fun read. One day I must pick up a Jennifer Crusie book, they do sound good.
    I read many books last month but only five made it onto my November list as the rest are for my December reading challenges as I wanted to get a head start. Four of the books I read were excellent and the other book I decided not to read due to having watched the movie and a couple of scenes were a bit hard to stomach and I did read a few reviews mentioning the author of the book beating her camels multiple times so I didn’t want to visualise even more of those disturbing images in the book.

    Anyway, here are the four reads that I thoroughly enjoyed: Best of Friends by Cathy Kelly, Resurrection Bay by Emma Viskic, Jennie Gerhardt by Theodore Dreiser (an outstanding read and now my all time favourite book!) and Searching for Audrina by Kathryn White.

    1. Cathryn HeinCathryn Hein Post author

      Did you enjoy Resurrection Bay, Sue? Emma Viskic has become and auto-buy for me. That series is so good!
      I’ll have to look up Theodore Dreiser now Jennie Gerhardt has become your all-time favourite book! As for that other author beating her camels… that’s definitely not something I’d want to visualise either.
      Thanks for sharing and merry Christmas!

      1. Sue Gerhardt Griffiths

        Oh, I sure did, Cathryn, will be looking forward to reading Emma Viskic’s next book in the series.
        When I came across the book Jennie Gerhardt I was completely surprised to see my maiden name in a book title and got a bit of a kick out of it, I mean it’s not everyday you spot a name like Gerhardt. I had no idea what to expect but by the end of the book I was blown away by the story and brilliant writing.
        A month later and I’m still thinking about the book – I must say I’ve never read one like it – not yet anyway. I’ve read some phenomenal books but Jennie Gerhardt trumps them all.

        Merry Christmas, Cathryn!

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