My November and December 2020 reads

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I haven’t read much in November, and with my 12-days-of-blogmas didn’t feel like writing a sad book overview, therefore decided to combine the last two months of the year into this post.

2020 has ended! Finally! It was such a long, long year. And I must admit, I read quite a lot thanks to that. I have finished reading … books! The most I have since I started reading again in 2014. Wow!

December was a better reading month again. I got into the midwinter-mood and got a couple good midwinter reads in. As a supply reader, I always just grab a book that’s available, but this time I went on a quest to find some good ones fitting my mood. It worked well! Maybe I’ll do it again some day. 🙂

So let’s get to it! What did I read this November and December?

73. Reaper Man by Terry Pratchett (4/5 blue star)
This read has cost me a lot of sleep, even after waking up at 3am I wanted to continue reading. I didn’t really like Mort much, but Reaper Man was a lot of fun! I enjoyed meeting Mrs. Cake after having read Going Postal recently, Rat Death was amazing too, but the one character that cracked me up the most was Modo the University gardener. Just too funny! 😀

74. The Chemist by Stephenie Meyer (4/5 green star)
A bit of a fatty, I still can’t believe I read this in just a couple of days. But it’s a good story and it reads fast. This Jason Bourne-like story has gooed character building and often had me yelling to the book, like some people do at their television. There was also a bit of romance, which at first got me a bit mad because “why does the lead woman ALWAYS have to fall in love”, but it was fitting to her character. On the run, never save, always alone even in her past, now didn’t “just” fall in love but had all the struggles a person of her character should have with it. She breaks out of her normal character multiple times, and in the end gets rewarded for it. Even though I’m not a believer of the ultimate happy ending, sometimes it’s good to know that it CAN happen if you work for them.

75. The Righteous Men by Sam Bourne (3/5 green star)
An international killing spree to bring back Jesus. Right… I picked up this book in a reading slump and after a slow start was rather surprised about the correct explanation of the term hackers and other basic information about hacker culture aspects. That hardly happens in non-technical stories! As far as the story itself is concerned, there was a lot of codebreaking and telling of ancient stories, and ofcourse the chase of the mystery itself. I liked it, but I didn’t love it. Even though it wasn’t very predictable and the character building was done well.

76. Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë (1/5 purple star)
I gifted this to someone for Christmas and decided to read it myself too, so maybe we could talk about it together. But… you know what, I DNFed this one after ten days of reading. I just didn’t enjoy it, all that drama! And the long centences where hard to get through. I was so not looking forward to my reading time, that I decided to just stop. Apparently, I am not a Jane Eyre fan. It happens!

77. Soul Music by Terry Pratchett (3/5 blue star)
The best sentence from this book was: “We’re on a mission from Glod.” 😀
Every time I read one of the DiscWorld Death stories, there is a part (usually in the middle) where I feel the story isn’t going anywhere. There are just, things happening. I feel this might be the reason I like these Death novels less than the Watch series. There was a lot of wizard action (and non-action) in Soul Music. I loved how they all turned in Rock Rebels. But the best characters were again, Death of Rats and Modo the gardener. I can’t help it, I like them a lot! Susan is great too of course, and considering her suddenly changed life managed well on her first Death tour. I wonder how she and Buddy will be doing in the sequel…

78. Merry Midwinter by Gillian Monks (4/5 green star)
I really liked it. There is so much nostalgia! And it’s also fun to read about how things went on for the Monks family during the 50’s-60’s. And the fairytalish folklore feeling really made me feel cozy. There is a lot to celebrate during December. Something to choose for anybody.

79. IJskoud by Suzanne Vermeer (3/5 green star)
Everything about this book was predictable and that was also the thing that made it a nice quick read. On some days you just need something like that.

80. Midwinter by Rosamunde Pilcher (4/5 blue star)
Due to diverse circumstances, 5 people end up in a house in Schotland. Oscar has just lost his wife and daughter and has brought along Elfrida who also recently lost love and is trying to build a new life. Carrie and the 14-year old Lucy join them, after two more sad stories. Then suddenly stranger Sam arrives at their door. Sam just returned from New York. And snow happened.
The pace is real nice and the writing style is different than most books I read. In each chapter you follow a different character. But the stories fit together perfectly.
It’s a romance but I feel it’s more about the healing power of friendship, and these people coming together with all of their sad stories, healing their hearts is very moving and make you believe in kindness a bit more again.

81. the Summer Children by Dot Hutchison (5/5 green star)
I feel I keep repeating myself over these books, but wow… the way Dot Hutchison describes all the emotions every person in these stories have is so correct. It makes me feel like I am right there and makes me feel either the confused scared kid or the adult trying to do good and be okay. The story itself is pretty straightforward if you have spend any time in this world, but also true horror. I did needed to look at some kittens and baby goat for a while after finishing, to make me okay-ish again.

82. Hogfather by Terry Pratchett (4/5 blue read)
This one was chosen as the December read by the IGGPPC Bookworms. I started reading right after Christmas and was surprised about how fast it went. I normally need about a week to ten days to get through a Discworld novel. It’s actually better than previous Death books. It’s all about the power of believe, to make the sun come up again. This could easily become a Christmas re-read! And since this is my first physical copy it was also great getting to read the annotations throughout the story instead of in the back of your ebook.

83. Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka (4/5 green read)
A strange read, which soon gives you a dark and weird feeling. But it was written well and I couldn’t lay it down. I’m not really a fan of shortstories, but this one I liked a lot!

84. Last days on Ellis Island by Gaëlle Josse (4/5 green read)
The last days on Ellis Island read as a sad memory of a lost love and the dissociation that followed after. It’s an emotional read, which makes you feel as hollow as the Director. Tormented by bad memories he writes about the many things he observed. Hoping to leave them behind on the island. But will he? Is it possible to forget the thing he did? Scared of what life might be off the island, he wonders how it will be to trade in his lonely life. But he is cursed. Fire and water.

And that was it! These were my November and December 2020 reads. It’s time to start counting again for 2021! Have you read any of these too? What did you think about them? Do you have a recommendation for something similar? Or is there anything you would like to know? Ask me in the comments!