November Round-Up – The Books I Read In November 2015

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In November I read seven books, six of which are fiction and one is illustrated/children’s fiction –

Beside Myself by Ann Morgan (Bloomsbury) – Ann Morgan’s exciting debut novel is a gripping psychological thriller focusing on twin sisters and a childhood prank gone wrong. Touches on themes including identity and mental illness and what can happen when a person ‘falls through the cracks’ in society.

Carrying Albert Home by Homer Hickam (Harper Collins)Carrying Albert Home is the heart-warming story of a husband and wife who go on an unlikely road trip to return an alligator, Albert, to his natural habitat. Inspired by stories passed onto Hickam from his parents this is a humorous and charming story. A thoroughly enjoyable tale about marriage and love that is filled with adventure.

Trigger Mortis by Anthony Horowitz (Orion) – A thrilling James Bond novel from Anthony Horowitz which stays true to the original Bond stories. It includes all the classic components of a James Bond adventure along with the introduction of Jeopardy Lane, a resourceful Bond girl who challenges his perceptions of her. This combined with a masterfully crafted villain results in a story that will appeal to Bond fans new and old.

Korakas by Anne Holloway (Big White Shed) – This is the story of a mother and daughter and an island that holds their secrets. With chapters alternating between the two women we see both of them as they adjust to life on the island, and make their discoveries. There is a focus here on storytelling in various forms from the stories passed on through the family to town folklore and mythology. An enjoyable read about love, family and finding out who you are.

The Fox and the Star by Coralie Bickford-Smith (Particular Books) – A visually stunning book that is a treat for readers young and old. Written and illustrated by book cover designer Coralie Bickford-Smith this is a charming fable about need and loss.

The Keep by Jennifer Egan (Abacus) – A contemporary take on the gothic horror story, this novel contains stories within stories as it follows lonely New Yorker Danny and his cousin Howard as they look to convert a castle into a luxury hotel. Egan creates a sense of unease throughout with its gothic elements but it is given a modern twist with a twin story running alongside about Ray, a prisoner who is writing a story – Danny and Howards.

Crooked Heart by Lissa Evans (Black Swan/Transworld) – Set in the Second World War, Crooked Heart is a heart-warming and humorous story about the need for love and support and the lengths people will go to get by as war takes its hold. Vee Sedge takes in orphaned evacuee Noel Bostock, seeing his potential to make money. Despite their differences it becomes apparent that they need each other to survive in troubled times. With its glorious cast of flawed and believable characters this is an excellent read.

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Full reviews of all my November reads can be found in my November Archive.

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