November Reading Recap

Completed the Strategic Reading Challenge this month. Up to 203 books for the year, 1 this month alone (18 less 1 DNF); 9 fiction/8 non-fiction.

Completed in November:

  1. A House for Keeping (ebook, fiction). You know that thing where your friend says “hey, I wrote a book!” and that friend is already an amazing writer and now has channeled their skills into beautiful magical realism and you want to shout about it from the rooftops? No? Just me? OK. Well. If you’re a fan of magical realism and strong female characters, definitely give this one a go. (Also I’ve known the author for years and she’s awesome.)
  2. The Leadership Moment: Nine True Stories of Triumph and Disaster and Their Lessons for Us All (paperback, nonfiction, textbook). I would have probably picked this up outside of the class that I read it for. It’s a unique look at leadership in various situations.
  3. The Progress Principle: Using Small Wins to Ignite Joy, Engagement, and Creativity at Work (hardcover, nonfiction). Meh. A generic, redundant, simplistic book on leadership that’s not particularly innovative.
  4. Coaching Agile Teams: A Companion for Scrum Masters, Agile Coaches, and Project Managers in Transition. (paperback, nonfiction, reading challenge for work). I originally picked this up via ILL, and within the first chapter I knew I needed to own it. I rarely write in my books, and I highlighted the shit out of this one (the one I bought, not the library copy). A great read for anyone on an Agile or Scrum team, but there’s lots of good stuff for non-Agile teams as well. Big thumbs up.
  5. The Practice of Adaptive Leadership: Tools and Tactics for Changing Your Organization and the World. (hardcover, nonfiction). Meh. Yet another run of the mill leadership book.
  6. Good Omens: The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, Witch (paperback, fiction, recommended by a fellow challenge-taker for Pop Sugar). A re-read for me, and one I always enjoy. Can’t wait for the TV series.
  7. Night and Silence (hardcover, fiction). This is the first one in the series since they first came out (almost a decade ago!) where I didn’t re-read the entire series before I read the new one. It’s certainly not a requirement – Seanan does a great job with her “previously, on Toby gets into trouble and bleeds a lot” sections so you can pick right up even if you don’t have any background – but I did miss the weekend of immersion. Maybe for the next book! A solid entry in the series.
  8. The Confessions of Socrates (ebook, fiction, DNF). I won this book in a Goodreads giveaway, and it sounded interesting enough – a fictional account of the letters Socrates wrote on his deathbed. And yes, I suppose that’s what it was. I gave up after the first chapter. If you think about what it would sound like if someone tried to speak like a Greek philosopher, without having any basic concept of Greek philosophy, and anachronistically overlaid that on modern sensibilities and values, you’d have the basic idea of this book.
  9. The Third Hotel (ebook, fiction). I want to start by saying I don’t know how I ended up with this book; I must have sleep-ordered it from the library one day. The random appearance of this book in my library account should have been a clue, though. This book was odd. It’s beautifully written, and a bit of a love letter to Cuba, but I didn’t quite see the Gaiman comparisons, or “perfect for fans of horror movies!” notes that reviewers on Goodreads have mentioned. It might be a good book group pick? Maybe? This might be the oddest book I’ve ever read, and I read a lot of weird shit.
  10. Parsley, Sage, Rosemary, and Crime (ebook, fiction). Welcome to the point in November where term papers, busy season at work, and a sudden explosion of social life left my brain dribbling out my ears, so I picked up some nice fluffy adventures, romances, and mysteries to relax with in my rare moments of downtime. This one ended up being a little bit of all three. I can’t imagine there are many people who appreciate a Pennsylvania Dutch cozy mystery, but I’m definitely one of them, and I’m glad this series exists (and that my library has it).
  11. The Lady’s Guide to Petticoats and Piracy (ebook, fiction). The brain dribble continues! I took this out of the library and read it before remembering that I had pre-ordered it to get The Gentleman’s Guide to Getting Lucky (because I came out of the first book needing so much more Percy and Monty) – so I read the library copy instead of my own. Oh, well. As for the book – I didn’t love it like I did The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue, but I loved it in a very different way. I wish I could travel back in time and give this book to my younger self, who would have become as attached to Felicity Montague as she was to Wonder Woman and Marie Curie.
  12. The Curious Sofa (hardcover, fiction).  We spent a low-key Thanksgiving Day with our downstairs neighbors, and they had this adorable little book sitting out on the hearth…so I of course picked it up and read it. A very silly cartoon with lots of dirty puns.
  13. Walking With the Wind: A Memoir of the Movement (paperback, nonfiction). This was the last book for my Litsy Markup Postal Book Club group that ended last month; this was a chunkster, so we all took a bit of extra time. This broke my “easy reading for brain dribbles” streak, but it was a gorgeous, inspiring read (and I wanted to get it back to its owner). So, so good. Going on my recommendations list for sure.
  14. Principles of Managerial Finance (ebook, nonfiction, textbook). Turns out I didn’t need to take this class to graduate. Pro tip: if you’re going to take a finance class with a dry textbook and a professor who by all appearances is SO DONE WITH THIS JOB, make sure you actually need to do so. Or that you really, really like Excel. *shakes fist*
  15. Organizational Behavior (paperback, nonfiction, textbook). My biggest complaint about this text is its floppy cover. Both readable and informative, as textbooks go.
  16. The Heiress Effect (ebook, fiction). The next in the list of November’s brain dribble books. Enjoyable, but I just don’t love Courtney Milan’s characters the way I do Sarah MacLean’s.
  17. Hogfather (paperback, fiction). Meant to read last year for Pop Sugar, religion for Strategic. I started reading this earlier in the year, but I set it aside to wait for a more seasonally appropriate time. We watch this movie every Christmas, but this was the first time I’d read it in a few years. Much love, as always, for Sir Pterry.
  18. Shrill: Notes from a Loud Woman (audiobook, nonfiction). I had no idea who Lindy West was when I picked this up, so I didn’t exactly know what I was getting into. Highly entertaining.

Started in November (or before) and Still Going:

There are a lot of books on this list! With the exception of audiobooks I listen to at work, which I cycle through based purely on what’s available; things I need to pick up for school; and book club picks, I’m going to try not to add to this list before the end of the year (HA HA HA HA yeah. I add to this all the damn time.)

  1. Appetites: A Cookbook. Nonfiction; research for a paper.
  2. The Bobby Gold Stories. Fiction; research for a paper.
  3. Born to Run: A Hidden Tribe, Superathletes, and the Greatest Race the World Has Never Seen. Nonfiction.
  4. Collaborative Leadership: Building Relationships, Handling Conflict, and Sharing Control. Nonfiction.
  5. Don’t Panic: Douglas Adams & The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. Nonfiction.
  6. How the Dukes Stole Christmas. Fiction.
  7. Medium Raw: A Bloody Valentine to the World of Food and the People Who Cook. Nonfiction; research for a paper.
  8. Midnight’s Furies: The Deadly Legacy of India’s Partition. Nonfiction.
  9. No Reservations: Around the World on an Empty Stomach. Nonfiction; research for a paper.
  10. Questions of Character: Illuminating the Heart of Leadership Through Literature. Nonfiction. Reading challenge for work.
  11. The Things They Carried. Fiction. Textbook.
  12. We Fed an Island: The True Story of Rebuilding Puerto Rico, One Meal at a Time. Nonfiction.
  13. Where the Crawdads Sing. Fiction.
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