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Presented by State Library Victoria

Books I read in November

Can I just say how quickly this year has gone by? Like there is only one month left of 2019 and soon we’ll be in 2020 which is pretty crazy. This year so far has definitely been my best or most productive reading year and this was certainly helped on by the fact that I was an Inky Judge as also that I started to properly write book reviews for every single book that I read. In terms of page count, for some reason, has been going down for the past 5 months(since July), but since the holidays are approaching, I’m hoping to end the year really well and am hoping to get through loads of books in December. 

That being said, I read a total of 13 books, including 6 fantasy books(1 absurdist, 3 YA and 2 adult/epic fantasy), 2 paranormal books, 3 historical fiction books, 1 classic and 1 sci-fi. In terms of reading different genres, I would say it pretty good in that I read other things that weren’t fantasy, although I will say that paranormal and historical fiction is almost like fantasy.

I began the month by finishing off the last two books in the Raven Cycle by Maggie Stiefvater. I did talk a bit about this series in my October Wrap up, but essentially, these books have amazing characters and a well rounded plot that moves forward more in some books compared to other books. Overall, I will give the series a solid 4 stars, but I didn’t love it so it has not become one of my favourite series or anything. It is paranormal fiction and is mostly set in the U.S state of Virginia in this imaginary town. 

Blue Lily, Lily Blue: 8/10

The Raven King: 8/10

Following this, I read my first historical fiction of the month which was The Last Balfour by Cait Duggen which is a book set in Scotland when everyone was busy persecuting witches. The great thing about this book is that it is written by an Australian author and that it is very short, so if you don’t have much time, this is a great book to read. It packs quite a punch and and needless to say, I really enjoyed it. There is quite a fair amount of fantastical elements in it as well such as magic.

The Last Balfour: 7.5/10

After this, I read my first Terry Pratchett book which was The Amazing Maurice and His Educated Rodents. Admittedly, I did not know much about it apart from the fact that the Discworld books are hugely popular. While this is definitely a weird book, it is actually technically YA. I enjoyed it but do feel that books that are so far out of the norm to the point where the main character is a talking cat that absurdist books may not be for me.

The Amazing Maurice and His Educated Rodents: 6/10

Then I had one of only two, two stars for this month which was a real shame and that is the hugely popular Spin the Dawn by Elizabeth Lim. I was excited going into and I ended up enjoying the first part of the book. This is an Eastern inspired fantasy about this young woman pretending to be a guy and vying for the position of the Imperial Tailor. Then the second half of the book was your standard popular clichéd YA fantasy and I lost all interest by the end of the book.

Spin the Dawn: 4/10

After the disappointment, I read to fantasy books that I really enjoyed which were Nevernight and Godsgrave which are books one and two in the Nevernight Chronicle by Jay Kristoff. I would say that these are more New-adult or perhaps even adult fiction due to some of the explicit content in these books, but I originally though that these were YA, but there not but are marketed as such. Nonetheless, I really liked both of these books and would certainly recommend them. They are fantasy books set in a Roman like world and follows Mia Corvere who is out for revenge against the Consul of the Republic.

Nevernight: 8/10

Godsgrave: 9/10

Historical fiction numbers 2 and 3(technically, book 3 was the last book I read this month but they are both in the same series) was Lords of the Bow and Empire of Silver by Conn Iggulden. They are the second and fourth books in the series, I read book one last year and I don’t have three in my possession but, since they are based off real life events that I already know the basis of, it didn’t do anything for the story. This is a series that is based off the rise of the Mongol Empire and begins detailing the life of Ghengis Khan, although by book 4 he is already dead(not a spoiler, it happened 800 years ago) and tells the story of his ancestors. Really good historical fiction books I do like that they are based off real life people that once existed.

Lords of the Bow: 8/10

Empire of Silver: 8/10

The Lies of Locke Lamora by Scott Lynch was my next book and it is the first book in a planned series of seven that is hugely popular in the epic fantasy community. While it is fantasy, it feels more like a mystery novel as there are not much fantastical elements in it and is more about crime and such(the main character, Locke, is a thief). I had loads of fun reading this book and there are lots of things, I guarantee you, that you will not see coming.

The Lies of Locke Lamora: 8/10

Skyward by Brandon Sanderson followed and if you have not seen my review of this young-adult sci-fi novel, then well, let me tell you, it is amazing and the sequel just came out a few days ago which means the hype us real.

Skyward: 10/10

Animal Farm by George Orwell was my only classic and I only read it because I had to for school next year so I thought why not read it a bit early and then re-read it again before the term actually starts. I actually did enjoy and really liked the way that Orwell satirised real historical events. It was a bit obvious as to what event in the book was relating to real life events of the Russian Revolution and subsequent leadership of the country under Joseph Stalin. Also, naming the character that is meant to be Stalin, Napoleon, beautiful.

Animal Farm: 8/10

I basically had a string of really enjoyable books, and then Spirit Gate by Kate Elliot came long and made me want to die. I picked it up due to the fact that I had no library books to read and it was really my only option at the time and I regret it, should have re-read Lord of the Rings or something instead. It is adult fantasy and spends the longest time in the book on worthless travel and equally worthless world building on places not on the map and have no relevance to the actual story. The central character is a pervert and spends much of the book looking at girls half his age.

Spirit Gate: 3/10

Average star rating: 3.38

Average out of 10 rating: 7.35

So overall, while I read some really good books, including a new favourite(Skyward), I also had plenty of disappointments. When I worked out the average star rating, I actually was surprised to see it so low since I thought I had read more good books, but I guess not. As I’m typing this, I have almost finished Weapon by Lynette Noni(which is like the most trendy book on the website right now)so I’ll have a review for that book soon. 

If anyone has actually read the entire thing, then I applaud you and happy reading for the month of festivities, food and gifts!

7 comments

imosshelf

I have to add some of these to my tbr! You’ve had a very productive month, I see :)

6d ago
zitongbooks

Haha thank you, I guess I have!

6d ago
inky State Library Victoria

Ooh I want to read Mongol Empire books and The Last Balfour. I love historical fiction. And thanks for the not-spoiler alert about Ghengis Khan being dead! Ha!

6d ago
zitongbooks

I hope you enjoy them if you get the chance to read them! Historical fiction is definitely pretty cool.

5d ago
sylvs

Glad you got out of your book slump! I'm definitely going to read some of these myself ;)

1d ago
zitongbooks

Thank you and I hope you enjoy them!

1d ago
sylvs

In reply to zitongbooks

Thank you :D

6h ago