It's a real good thing I did those first 5 books in the middle of the month, because I proceeded to kill it the rest of the month. Not that I read all the books on my TBR. I just ended up reading 7 more books.
I want to start with some stats for the month. Lets mix things up a little bit.
Total Books Read: 12
Pages Read: 3098
Male Authors: 3
Female Authors: 8
Non-Binary Authors: 1
Authors of Color: 1 (Which begs the question: Are Italians white?)
Translated Books: 2
And now for the books I read in the second half of November:
Wotakoi: Love Is Hard For Otaku, Vol. 1 by Fujita - I'm not even sure where I heard about this manga, but it's pretty cute. Otaku is the Japanese word for nerd. These 4 young, working, professionals are trying to hide their otaku traits at work to advance professionally. The two main characters are dating, but they are not really admtting it. It's cute. It's not about angsty high schoolers, and I can usually figure out what I'm looking at in the panels which doesn't happen in some manga that has a lot of people yelling all the time.
An Ear to the Past: Fact & Fiction From My Storytelling Ancestry by Cynthia Canfield Barnes - Every few years, I request this from the library to keep it in circulation. This time I actually read it. I own a copy, of course, but I haven't actually read it for awhile. There was a lot more dishing of salacious details than I remembered. It was fun.
Auntie Poldi and the Sicilian Lions by Mario Giordano - This was not nearly as much fun, or nearly as quick reading as I expected. And I don't know why. The main characters were entertaining. Maybe the plot was just a little slow at first. It did pick up later, so maybe that's it. I probably won't keep reading the series.
Five Survive by Holly Jackson - This was fabulous, and I don't even really like thrillers. Jackson wrote a series of YA mysteries with thriller-y endings, but this was a thriller almost from the gate. 6 young people, aged 17-21, have borrowed an RV to drive from Pittsburgh to Gulf Shores for Spring Break. They planned to stop overnight at a campground, but they get lost and end up in the middle of a rural woods with no cell service, and with a flat tire. They get the tire changed and someone shoots out all four tires. And the gas tank. Then he starts making demands. Someone has a secret and he wants to know what it is. Now they have to figure out who has the secret and how to get out alive. Very twisty. Perfectly paced.
The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue by V.E. Schwab - So fantastic. Just stellar. I read this book for the Read Harder challenge to read a book chosen by a friend with different reading taste. First I had to find a friend that reads and also has different taste. I chose Cayley, who goes to my church. She was fantastic. She went and looked at my Goodreads list and picked this one. And she nailed it. Addie was loveable, the love interest was loveable, the bad guy is... well, the devil. At exactly the halfway point, I had to stop reading it for a few days while I dealt with a twist that just happened. Loved it. Also this was the book that met my 2022 Goodreads reading goal of 100 books!
Mary: The Adventures of Mary Shelley's Great-Great-Great-Great-Great Granddaughter by Brea Grant and Yishan Li - I listen to a podcast that is hosted by Brea Grant. It's a book podcast. I didn't realize the connection until I was going through my NetGalley shelf and found this sitting there and recognized her name. Mary is a direct descendant of Mary Shelley and all the women in her family are famous authors. She feels a lot of pressure to decide what she wants to write. She would rather draw. Anyway, it turns out that what a lot of women in the family also share is an ability to heal monsters. Guess who got that gene? But she's not sure she wants to do that either. This is a graphic novel, so I blazed through it in a lunch hour. It was cute, but not earth-shattering.
Genderqueer: A Memoir by Maia Kobabe - I am on a committee at work that reviews materials that have been challenged by a customer. This one was challenged so I read it to make a decision on what the library should do with it in our system. This is a graphic memoir, so it didn't take very long to get through. This is a great window on what it is like to be non-binary. Maia doesn't want to be female, but she doesn't really want to be male, either. This would be fantastic for someone who is feeling the same things, but doesn't know what to call them, or how to explain it.
So there are the 7 books I read in the second half of November. I'm not mad about it. That's a pretty good showing.