Books Read in November 2021

It seems impossible that today could be the first Monday in December. That means I’m supposed to tell you about the books I read in November.

I happily spent more time working on my novel manuscript last month than reading, but I’ll fill you in on what I did read.

When Ghosts Come Home, by Wiley Cash

When Ghosts Come Home, by Wiley Cash

I’ve enjoyed everything else I’ve read by Wiley Cash. He’s a North Carolina author whose novels are set in North Carolina. They are places I’m familiar with and there’s something special about that. That said – and you may have guessed where I’m going with this – I didn’t like When Ghosts Come Home so much.

It’s set on Oak Island, North Carolina, and I could almost smell the saltwater air while reading the first half of the book. That’s all I can comment on, because I just didn’t have the interest or time to read the second half. I’m curious to know what was on that plane that crashed on page one, but the tremendous amount of backstory in the next chapters became a distraction.

Curious to know if I had the same reaction to the book as others, I read many online reviews. It turns out that many readers have given the novel five-star reviews, but a number have given it one- or two-star reviews for much the same reason I lost interest in the book. As of Saturday afternoon, 1,955 people had reviewed it on Goodreads.com, giving the book an average of 3.77 stars on a five-star scale.

I looked forward to reading this book, and got on the waitlist for it at the public library months ago. It makes me sad not to give it a glowing review. Since it’s received so many five-star reviews, maybe I need to put it on the back burner for a little while and give it another chance later.

The Silk Roads: A New History of the World, by Peter Frankopan

The New Silk Road: A New History of the World, by Peter Frankopan

I’m still making my way through this extraordinary book. Thank you, Chris Andrews, for recommending it to me.

World of Toil and Strife: Community Transformation in Backcountry South Carolina, 1750-1805, by Peter N. Moore

World of Toil and Strife: : Community Transformation in Backcountry South Carolina, 1750-1805, by Peter N. Moore

I’ve read this book before, but I’m getting even more out of it the second time around. It zeros in on the history of the location where my historical novel, The Doubloon (or, The Spanish Coin) is set in 1769. Bits of information in the book are enriching the story I’m writing and also giving me insight into the place in which some of my ancestors lived in the 1760s and 1770s.

If you have an interest in colonial American life in the far-inland portion of South Carolina along the North Carolina border, I believe you would enjoy this book.

The Judge’s List, by John Grisham

The Judge’s List, by John Grisham

John Grisham’s latest novel of legal suspense, The Judge’s List, was a welcome change of pace from the other books I was reading in November. I was on the public library waitlist for the book on CD for months and was able to check it out just a few days ago.

I found myself thinking I’d listen to just one more CD before bedtime but listening to a second or third one instead. It’s that kind of book. It’s Grisham at his best.

The story line is so convincing, it makes me wonder if a judge could actually get away with having such a double life. Also, what this judge is able to do on his computer gives me pause and makes me want to never get on the internet again!

Since my last blog post

I’ve tried to be more organized in reading other blogs. I try to read and comment on at least two or three blogs each weekday. I read more than three, but I try to leave thoughtful comments on at least two or three every day. It means a lot to me to receive comments on my blog, so I want to give some level of encouragement to other bloggers I enjoy following.

I worked on my novel. Making revisions isn’t as much fun as writing the first draft, but it has been easier than I anticipated. I’ve changed some characters’ names and made adjustments in the storyline based on recent research.

I spent some time on one of my hobbies – genealogy. My best “find” was a Revolutionary War Military Pay Voucher for one of my ancestors. Sewing has been another hobby of mine, but I’ve neglected it for several years. I literally blew the dust off my sewing machine cover last week and made a Christmas present for someone.

I also put some thought into the historical short stories I’ve written or plan to write. If I can get myself organized, I want to publish some of them in e-book form in 2022. I’ll keep you posted.

The colder, windy weather and seasonal allergies are keeping me indoors most of the time. I’m fortunate to have the option of staying inside where it’s warm.

Until my next blog post

I hope you have at least one good book to read. As in November, I have too many books vying for my attention and time to do them all justice. It’s a wonderful predicament to be in. I’m so blessed to live in a country where I have free access to a world of books through the public library system.

Thanks for taking the time to read my blog post today.  See you next week.

Janet

21 thoughts on “Books Read in November 2021

  1. Wow that Grisham novel sounds very interesting. I am still in awe as to how much you accomplish in reading and in your diligence in writing not just your novel but also the short stories and the blogs. I must not be administering my time correctly because I cannot find so much time and I get up early…Take good care Janet and keep going, step by step one does go a long way. Hope your weather is good and your days are happy ones and all the best,
    Francis

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I really like John Grisham’s books. I think I’ve read 26 of them. I know legal suspense isn’t exactly your genre, but you might just like him. Don’t mention reading lists– mine is miles long. I won’t live long enough to read them all. I hope you’re enjoying your spring/summer. I’m envious!

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  3. I’m afraid I sound more productive than I am. The work on my novel seems slow as molasses, I can’t seem to get even three or four short stories completed to put in a little e-book, and my reading list gets longer instead of shorter. Our weather is fluctuating between cold and unseasonably warm — which is wreaking havoc with my respiratory allergies. Our area is in a drought. All outdoor fires have been prohibited due to the risk of wildfires. Thanks for your ever-encouraging words. I hope you, too, are having a productive week. And if not, I hope you’re enjoying your days and not feeling guilty for not pushing yourself. Janet

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  4. Sometimes we are too hard on ourselves Janet. I gave up a long time ago feeling guilty about doing or not doing things. I now forgive myself more generously and I think I get more done. My week is as productive as I can make it, but I am not really pushing myself like I used to years and years ago. Now the things I do, I believe, have more quality, therefore there is less quantity. I think that is one of the advantages of getting to a certain age. Well, in any event I do congratulate you on your efforts and your reading. I have been reading very little, although a little book about the life of Tolkien just came to my hands and I have started to read it and it is very interesting as that is one of the English writers that I have always admired having read The Lord of the Rings several times years before the movie ever was made. One thing I have to say that I love about my city is that while the north of the country is under snow and alerts for blizzards we are enjoying 16 degrees Celsius and sunny skies, no need to bundle up yet. Take good care and continue with the short stories, I am sure they will make a grand e-book and I would love to read it.
    All the best,
    Francis

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Janet, I’m always impressed at all the reading you accomplish every month. I’m lucky to average a book a week. The Silk Road book sounds particularly interesting to me. I’ve realized recently that the connections cultures made because of the Silk Road trade were particularly influential in history. Thanks.

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  6. Reading The Silk Roads: A New History of the World has helped me piece together many events and people in history about which/whom I hadn’t made a connection. And some things I was just ignorant of, such as the Rus who settled Russia were Vikings! I think you would love it.

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  7. I agree with you about accomplishing less since we’re of a certain age — and I hope you’re right that the quality is better. I’m finding that the thing that bothers me most now is not having the energy to do everything I want to do and regretting that I won’t have the time or energy to do the things I want to do before it’s too late. I do try to tell myself at the end of each day that I did the best I could that day. One of my mother’s sayings was, “Live one day at a time.” She modeled that all her life, but for me it’s easier said than done. The book about Tolkien sounds interesting. Enjoy it.

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  8. I quite agree with your mother’s philosophy towards life. I try to follow the same modus vivendi and I don’t really worry too much about tomorrow, but I am not careless either, we do live in a material world and philosophy does not pay the bills nor guarantee a comfortable old age…I am ashamed to say that I have not been able to go back to the Tolkien book, although I have not forgotten it. Hope you do accomplish all…or most…the things you wish to do, especially your book. I am sure you will find the necessary energy, stamina and willpower. As one matures one sees things more rounded and complete and with less confusion, therefore we can still accomplish the same things we did while much younger. All the best. Wishing you a very happy holiday period.
    Francis

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