In chronological order, here are the books I read last month:
1. The Jaguar's Children by John Vaillant. Since I actually started this book in September and read it bit-by-bit through all of October, it hardly seems fair that it counts toward my November stats. But I finished it on the first day of the month, so I'm counting it! Good book, coming out in February.
3. God Loves Haiti by Dimity Elias Leger. Debut novel, well done, about the terrible earthquake in Haiti. The author is a Haitian writer-turned-hipster-editor of a major NYC literary magazine.
4. The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion, read by Dan O'Grady. Though I've read the book quite a few times by now, I'd never listened to it. When the audio version became available for only $14.99, I decided to pick it up to add to my collection. The reader is Australian and he does a good job, but I was very curious to note that, unlike my reading experiences, I didn't laugh out loud while listening. Here's my original review.
6. The Martian by Andy Weir. I probably never would have read this book, if it weren't for Sarah and Ally. But they convinced me to try it, and though I did a good bit of skimming over the science bits, it made for a good story. I'm glad I read it, and I have moderate hopes that the movie will capture the essence of the book.
7. The Half Brother by Holly LeCraw. This book is my jam, y'all. I'm a total sucker for the prep school setting, and the writing is quite good. Our narrator isn't 100% reliable here, and the author lays down wallop in the middle and again at the end. I won't put any spoilers here, but I will say that I'm a disturbed enough reader that I would have preferred a different ending.
9. There's Something I Want You To Do by Charles Baxter. There's some pretty amazing writing happening in this short story collection, but I'm afraid that the content didn't do much for me. Me, I prefer my short stories to feel complete and not to feel, when I come to the last page, that some pages have fallen out of my book. If you're a fan of the "snapshot"style of short story, these could be right up your alley.
10. The Elegance of the Hedgehog by Muriel Barbery. Read by Barbara Rosenblatt and Cassandra Morris. Despite having read this book several years ago and loved it, and despite having two good readers, this reading experience somewhat disappointed me. Just goes to show that timing can be everything when it comes to reading. Ms Rosenblatt in particular was quite good, with an excellent French accent and a voice that reminded me of a cross between Colleeen Dewhurst and one of the Redgrave ladies.
My stats rather interest me this month. I think it's the first time all year that I've read equal numbers of male and female authors (I usually skew pretty heavily female). And though there is only one writer of color on my list, 40% of the books qualify for the "diversify your life" shelf I've created on Goodreads. This can be writers *or* primary characters who are non white, or LGBT, or differently abled, etc.
What about y'all? What was good for you in November? What was a dud?