Books Read in November 2020

As has become my routine, my first blog of the month is about the books I read the previous month. I read a couple of good books in November, so I’m eager to tell you what I thought about them. As sometimes happens, more than one book with difficult topics presented themselves at the same time. This was a month of unpleasant topics, but the writing was excellent.


And the Crows Took Their Eyes, by Vicki Lane

You must read this book! It is historical fiction at its best.

And the Crows Took Their Eyes, by Vicki Lane

The name of this historical novel might be a turn-off for some people but, if you are a true fan of historical fiction, you must read this book. If you desire to learn more about the American Civil War, you must read this book. Vicki Lane has done a masterful job of weaving the story of the war in the mountains of North Carolina through the voices of five point-of-view characters.

This is a story that the history books rarely mention. If it’s mentioned, it is glossed over and allotted one sentence. I remember reading references in history textbooks such as, “Brother turned against brother” and “Neighbor turned against neighbor.”

Those descriptions of what actually happened in places like Madison County, North Carolina, don’t hold a candle to the depth of hate and evil that took place there. And the Crows Took Their Eyes, by Vicki Lane, puts flesh and bones, horror, heartache, and names on such mundane statements that you’ll find in history books.

Ms. Lane’s novel is based on a true story, and four of her five main characters were real people. It is not pleasant reading, but it is artfully written. The suspense slowly builds until unspeakable evil takes place. And the Crows Took Their Eyes is the perfect title for this tale of hate and revenge.

Oh, how I wish I could write historical fiction like Vicki Lane does!


A Time for Mercy, by John Grisham

I listened to this latest legal thriller by John Grisham. Michael Beck always does an outstanding job reading Mr. Grisham’s novels for the audio editions. He outdid himself on this one with the numerous accents. And Mr. Grisham outdid himself with some gut-wrenching courtroom testimony.

A Time for Mercy gets into some tough subjects. A boy kills his mother’s abusive boyfriend. To give more details here would be revealing too much, and I don’t want to spoil the book for you. It is a gripping story with many layers. I highly recommend it.


Since my last blog post

I finished writing a couple of historical short stories. I now have five stories completed and six others in various stages of planning and researching. Maybe I’ll get a collection of short stories published in 2021.

It has been refreshing to spend more time writing lately. I realized that I am happiest when I’m writing.


Until my next blog post

I hope you have a good book to read. I’m reading Fifty Words for Rain, by Asha Lemmie.

I hope you have quality, imaginative, and satisfying creative time, no matter where your creative interests lie.

Wear your mask and try to stay well until we all get through the Covid-19 pandemic.

Janet

20 thoughts on “Books Read in November 2020

  1. Great reviews, I am looking forward to reading “And the Crows Took Their Eyes”, as I love to read good stories, biographies and historical fiction. One of my favourite books was…might still be…”A Distant Mirror” by Barbara Tuchman which was a fictional account of a family from the XIVth Century, as well as Umberto Ecco’s “The Name of the Rose” which was historical as well…Great post Janet and I am so glad you’ve embarked upon such a good project. I know you will be successful. All the best and greetings from a very cold Valencia,
    F

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Thank you, Francisco. I hope you will get to read Vicki Lane’s new book. I’ll make a note of the historical novels you mentioned. What do you mean it’s cold in Valencia? I didn’t think it was ever cold on the Mediterranean! You have palm trees. How can it be cold? It’s cold here, too. Snow in the NC mountains. Coldest nights we’ve had so far this winter. U.S. Supreme Court unanimously rescued democracy today. There is light at the end of the tunnel but still a bumpy road ahead. Take care.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Yes, we heard about the SC decision, thank God! Soon the Nightmare will be over in the US and a new day will dawn…in Valencia there are some varieties of palm trees brought from Canary Islands, but they do thrive here. Our temperature, this time of year is between 4-6 degrees and the highs (midday) of 12-13 degrees Celsius, so it does get rather cold and on rare occasions we get snow but the worst is the cold rain storms (la gota fría) we get in December and January, but thankfully they don’t last too many days…take good care Janet and all the best,
    F

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I just realized I failed to respond to your last comment. I apologize. That’s interesting about your palm trees not being native. Today we hit 70 degrees and it was beautiful! Rain coming in tomorrow and then cooler weather returns… as it should in mid-December. I’ve been working on historical short stories. In North Carolina, we’re under a 10pm-5 a.m. curfew in an effort to curb the pandemic. Schools in our county revert to all-virtual instruction tomorrow because our numbers are continuing to rise. I learned today that the objective of the vaccine is to lessen disease symptoms enough to keep people from having to be hospitalized. The spread of the virus will continue. Sobering news. Stay safe. Janet

    Liked by 1 person

  5. It’s like being in a bad sci-fi movie this virus…stay safe and hopefully things will turn this time for the better, God willing. I think you will find great inspiration and success with your plans. I’ve been trying to put together a poetry book in Spanish and one in English but I find I get distracted, must stay focused…the weather here also was about 20 degrees Celsius which was nice and warm and with sunshine which made for a lovely weekend. Take good care and stay safe, all the best,
    F

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Yes, between the pandemic and politics, 2020 has been one for the books. 2021 will surely be a better time for all of us. Best of luck with your poetry books. I can’t imagine writing poetry in any language, much less in two! Perhaps we’ll both see our words in print somewhere besides our blogs in 2021.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Most writers do not write every day or even most days, but write some days. They regret that they are not prolifoc. But time passes and the pieces they’ve written accumalate and before they know it they have five, ten, twenty pieces that are in publishable shape. They are more prolific than they realized. So please do that t2021 collection you mentioned,,

    Liked by 1 person

  8. You’re welcome, Vicki! I love your books, and this latest one was the icing on the cake. I can’t wait to see what you do next. I’m thrilled that you found my blog!

    Like

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