November 2019 Wrap Up
We are going to completely ignore the fact that I even had a TBR for November. I read a bunch of stuff, but very little of it was on that list. Hold on to your hat!
Bibliophile: An Illustrated Miscellany by Jane Mount - This was a fun little book by the author of The Ideal Bookshelf. She paints pictures of the thing she's writing about. There are pages on favorite bookstores, authors, books, etc.
Treat! by Christian Vieler - This is an adorable photography book. The author tosses treats to a dog and takes pictures of the dog trying to catch it. They are so cute!
The Memory Police by Yoko Ozawa - It's official. I like Yoko Ozawa. I really liked her first book I read, The Housekeeper and the Professor. This one is written in the same spare style. Her books are a little weird, but so comforting. In this one, things "disappear". When that happens everyone has to get rid of all they have of that thing. Then they start the process of forgetting it. Only some people don't forget. Those people are considered dangerous and are rounded up and removed by the Memory Police, who act a lot like the Gestapo. Our main character finds out her beloved editor is a rememberer, she and her friend hide him in a space between floors in her house. It's bizarre, but also fascinating.
Exposing Hate: Prejudice, Hatred, and Violence in Action by Michael Miller - This was an interesting YA non-fiction about hate groups in the United States. It had interesting graphics and information about these groups. I learned a lot and I don't feel like it talked down to its audience.
Kitty Genovese: The Murder, the Bystanders, the Crime that Changed America by Kevin Cook - I first learned about Kitty Genovese in my Sociology classes in college. This book gets into the nitty gritty of what happened that night. The story all along has been that no one called the police. Except at least 3 people did. But the way the call system was set up was so bad, that the police dropped the ball. The book also went into details about how this woman was murdered. It's truly horrific and the man who did it had no remorse. Ever. Gross.
Fortune's Children: The Fall of the House of Vanderbilt by Arthur T. Vanderbilt II - This book has been sitting on my TBR for years. I finally got around to it, and was not disappointed. I finally decided that the author is not directly related to the line of family descended from the Commodore. Nevertheless, he shows how the family went from being the wealthiest family in the country, to being completely broke, in less than a century. Spoiler Alert: it's mostly due to outrageous spending.
I had to read some picture books for my reading group, so I'll just quickly wrap those up here: You Are My Friend: The Story of Mr. Rogers and His Neighborhood by Aimee Read - A picture book biography of Mr. Rogers. It was cute, but pretty boring. Dandy by Ame Dyckman - This was adorable! A lion man is determined to get rid of the dandylion in his yard, but his daughter has fallen in love with it. The neighbor animals are making fun of him for this weed. They all learn a lot. Leyla by Galia Bernstein - A little monkey is tired of her loud, obnoxious family so she leaves. She spends some time chilling out with a lizard. Then she gets lonely and goes home. Meh. Misunderstood Shark: Friends Don't Eat Friends by Amy Dyckman - This was awful. It's a sequel to a book in which the shark eats his friend while they are filming a TV show. In this one, the friend is angry and won't do the show. This narcissistic shark throws a fit because the friend is mad at him. I'm not even kidding. Gross.
Serpent & Dove by Shelby Mahurin - I really enjoyed this one. It's marketed as YA, and the main characters are teens, but a large part of the story is the two of them navigating marriage. Which doesn't seem very YA to me. Anyway, Lou is a witch who has run away from her coven because her mother, the head witch, tried to sacrifice her. It's two years later, and she gets into a situation with a man who is a witch hunter guard and they are forced to get married. It saves his reputation as a guard and offers her some protection from her mother. He is straitlaced and honorable. She is a sassy, loud-mouthed, disrespectful, thief. It's an interesting pairing. The book read really quickly and had lots of twists and turns and fun side characters.
Over the Top: A Raw Journey to Self Love by Jonathan Van Ness - I read this in 2 days. It was pretty engrossing. The grooming and self-care expert from Queer Eye was raised in a tiny little town in middle America which made his life as a gay boy really difficult. He made some terrible decisions and ended up in some really awful situations. But he pulled through and now he's living his best life as a TV star.
Start Here: Read You Way Into 25 Amazing Authors edited by Jeff O'Neal and Rebecca Schinsky - Rebecca Schinsky is one of my favorite people at Book Riot. This is a collection of essays with suggested reading pathways for 25 authors. I'm really happy they didn't just do classic authors. Yes, there is Jane Austen, but there is also Neil Gaiman. Sherman Alexie was in here, but this book was published in 2012 and we didn't know he was such a garbage human then, so I'll let it pass. I know the folks at Book Riot would not include him currently.
So there it is, folks! 13 books, if you count the picture books. Not too bad. Espcially since I didn't really have a brain for at least one week out of the month.
What did you finish this month?