November Round-Up – The Books I Read In November 2016


November was perhaps my busiest ever month for blogging with seven book reviews, four subscription box unboxings and four posts from the Nottingham Festival of Literature! Here is a recap of what I got up to with links to each post!

Book Reviews –

Lyrebird by Cecelia Ahern (Harper Collins) – As part of the blog tour for Cecelia Ahern’s latest novel, I discovered the story of Laura, a young woman who has lived a mysterious life in the woods away from modern society. But when a film crew stumbles across her peaceful home, they discover that Laura has a gift for mimicry – earning her the nickname ‘Lyrebird’ – a gift they want to share with the world. This is an enjoyable, moving story from a much loved writer.

The Bird Tribunal by Agnes Ravatn (Orenda Books) – I also took part in the blog tour for Agnes Ravatn’s brilliant and unsettling thriller, The Bird Tribunal. It tells the story of a TV presenter who leaves her career and partner behind, finding employment as a housekeeper for a reclusive employer who has secrets of his own. As the pair begin to adapt to life with one and other, an obsessive relationship is born, and the tension is built up until a chilling conclusion. A haunting, gripping psychological thriller.

The Power by Naomi Alderman (Penguin Viking) – I was gripped by Naomi Alderman’s latest novel The Power, which I couldn’t resist picking up based on its intriguing premise. One day all of the girls in the world discover they have a strength they never knew they could have – the power to inflict pain, and even death, at the touch of their fingertips. As women around the world begin to harness their new powers, we follow the lives of four of those women and how their lives and those around them change as the power is now in their hands. A surprising and thought provoking read.

My Sister’s Bones by Nuala Ellwood  (Penguin Viking) – Due for release early next year, I was excited to take part in the blog tour for My Sister’s Bones, which is one of the best and most surprising thrillers I have read this year. Kate Rafter is a reporter who has returned from a war zone with emotional scars and a nightmare she cannot wake up from. She returns home after her mother’s death, but is unsettled by what she sees at her childhood home, and what she hears. In addition she has to contend with her difficult relationship with her sister Sally, and both girls carry with them memories of a troubled childhood. Ellwood has presented a highly readable thriller with plenty of twists and turns that is sure to be a hit when it is published next year.

Human Acts by Han Kang (Portobello Books) – I was moved by Han Kang’s novel Human Acts which is inspired by the events of the Gwangju uprising in 1980’s South Korea. In this harrowing story we see the brutality of humanity through the eyes of the victims and those close to the violence. And as we read these individual stories it is hard not to be moved by them and Han Kang has bought the experiences of the victims to the forefront of our minds, describing the suffering in unflinching detail. It is at times a difficult read, but a very important one in highlighting the extent of the suffering whilst giving those victims a voice.

Wood Green by Sean Rabin (Dodo Ink) – The second of Dodo Ink’s launch titles is an exploration into the life of two writers. Michael is an aspiring writer who travels to the small town of Wood Green to work for reclusive writer Lucian Clarke. Inspired by his employers work, Michael seeks inspiration for his own writing but it soon becomes clear that things are not quite as they seem, and the lives of the two men begin to merge together. Also dealing with the lives and loves of the Wood Green inhabitants and the complexity of emotions that reside in a place so small, this is an enjoyable, strange novel about fiction and reality.

Men Like Air by Tom Connolly (Myriad Editions) – My final review for November was of Tom Connolly’ second novel, Men Like Air. This was a love letter to New York City which provides the backdrop for this story of four men and their relationships. As nineteen-year-old Finn travels to New York to settle the score with his older brother Jack, a gallery owner named Leo reflects on his life. Leo feels unsettled in comparison to oldest friend William who is happily married. But as the four men cross paths after Finn wanders into Leo’s gallery, a series of events ensues which will change all their lives forever. A heartfelt and humorous tale of life and love across New York City.

You can read full reviews of all of my November reads by clicking the links above and they can also be found in my November 2016/Book Reviews archives.

Subscription Box Unboxings

Nerdy Bookworm Box – October 2016 – ‘Doppelgangers’

Nerdy Bookworm Box – November 2016 – ‘Magical Beasts’

Ninja Book Box – November 2016 – ‘Slightly Surreal’

Illumicrate – November 2016

Nottingham Festival of Literature

Day 1: Michael Symmons Roberts and Alison Moore

Day 3: Jenn Ashworth and Jon McGregor in conversation

Day 5: An evening with Amit Chaudhuri

Day 6: Jack Monroe

As always, I would like to thank everyone who has read and shared my blog posts this month. I really appreciate the support and hope that you enjoy the blog – thanks for reading!

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