November 2017 Reads

January 2, 2018

I set a goal in November to read 10 books, but only finished 8. Stay tuned for my next post to see if I was able to finish my reading challenge in December!



The Joy Luck Club by Amy Tan
4/5 stars

Synopsis (from Goodreads): In 1949, four Chinese women, recent immigrants to San Francisco, begin meeting to eat dim sum, play mahjong, and talk. United in shared loss and hope, they call themselves the Joy Luck Club. With wit and wisdom, Amy Tan examines the sometimes painful, often tender, and always deep connection between these four women and their American-born daughters. As each reveals her secrets, trying to unravel the truth about her life, the strings become more tangled, more entwined…

What I Thought: I usually prefer books that are plot-driven. This book is definitely not that. This book changes point of views throughout the book between four Chinese born women and their American born daughters. I really enjoyed learning about each of the characters and found it to be an enjoyable read.


Orbiting Jupiter by Gary D. Schmidt
5/5 stars

Synopsis (from Goodreads): When Jack meets his new foster brother, he already knows three things about him: Joseph almost killed a teacher. He was incarcerated at a place called Stone Mountain. He has a daughter. Her name is Jupiter. And he has never seen her. What Jack doesn’t know, at first, is how desperate Joseph is to find his baby girl. Or how urgently he, Jack, will want to help. But the past can’t be shaken off. Even as new bonds form, old wounds reopen. The search for Jupiter demands more from Jack than he can imagine.

What I Thought: This was a really quick read that will give you all the feels. It’s a young adult book that was recommended to me by the young adult librarian where I work.

The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
4/5 stars

Synopsis (from Goodreads): He was in love with the golden girl of a gilded era. He was Jay Gatsby, a self-made millionaire who gave wild and lavish parties attended by strangers. “In his blue gardens men and girls came and went like moths among the whisperings and the champagne and the stars.” She was Daisy Buchanan, a young rich beauty with bright eyes and a passionate mouth. “High in a white palace, the King’s daughter, the Golden Girl.” Even her voice was “full of money.”

What I Thought: I love old movies – the ones with Cary Grant, Gregory Peck, Audrey Hepburn, etc. As I was reading this, I kind of felt like I was reading one of those old movies! This won’t make my favorite books of all time list or anything, but it was still really good.


The Four Tendencies: The Indispensable Personality Profiles That Reveal How to Make Your Life Better by Gretchen Rubin
5/5 stars

Synopsis (from Goodreads): During her multibook investigation into understanding human nature, Gretchen Rubin realized that by asking the seemingly dry question “How do I respond to expectations?” we gain explosive self-knowledge. She discovered that based on their answer, people fit into Four Tendencies: Upholders, Questioners, Obligers, and Rebels. Our Tendency shapes every aspect of our behavior, so using this framework allows us to make better decisions, meet deadlines, suffer less stress, and engage more effectively.

What I Thought: I first learned about the four tendencies framework when I read Gretchen Rubin’s book, Better Than Before. I also listen to her podcast, Happier with Gretchen Rubin. Learning about the four tendencies truly changed the way I view myself and other people. So I was super excited to read The Four Tendencies. It gave me even more insight into the way different people respond to expectations. I am now always trying to figure out what tendency people are!


The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah
5/5 stars

Synopsis (from Goodreads): Despite their differences, sisters Vianne and Isabelle have always been close. Younger, bolder Isabelle lives in Paris while Vianne is content with life in the French countryside with her husband Antoine and their daughter. But when the Second World War strikes, Antoine is sent off to fight and Vianne finds herself isolated so Isabelle is sent by their father to help her.

As the war progresses, the sisters’ relationship and strength are tested. With life changing in unbelievably horrific ways, Vianne and Isabelle will find themselves facing frightening situations and responding in ways they never thought possible as bravery and resistance take different forms in each of their actions.

What I Thought: SO. GOOD. This is one of those books that as soon as I finished it, I just wanted to put it in someone’s hands and say “please read this!” This might be the best book I read in 2017!


Pretense by Lori Wick
4/5 stars

Synopsis (from Goodreads): Meet the Bishop sisters — Two women at the crossroads of life On the outside, the Bishop girls appear as different as sisters can be. Mackenzie is a mahogany-haired beauty who’s inherited the determined nature of her Army officer father. Her infectious sense of humor and rare gift of imagination are often hidden by a reserved manner. Radiant, blond Delancey views the world through an artist’s eyes, drawing what she sees with wide sweeps of emotion. Her charming and trusting personality easily wins friends and admirers, but also leaves her sensitive heart vulnerable to hurt. As the girls grow, unexpected difficulties threaten their world. Will their life-changing experiences bring them together or tear them apart? Where will they find the love they seek?

What I Thought: This was a re-read. I LOVED this book as a teenager, but it wasn’t quite as good this time around. I still gave it 4 stars, but was tempted to give it three.


The Revenant by Michael Punke
3/5 stars

Synopsis (from Goodreads): The year is 1823, and the trappers of the Rocky Mountain Fur Company live a brutal frontier life. Hugh Glass is among the company’s finest men, an experienced frontiersman and an expert tracker. But when a scouting mission puts him face-to-face with a grizzly bear, he is viciously mauled and not expected to survive. Two company men are dispatched to stay behind and tend to Glass before he dies. When the men abandon him instead, Glass is driven to survive by one desire: revenge. With shocking grit and determination, Glass sets out, crawling at first, across hundreds of miles of uncharted American frontier. Based on a true story, The Revenant is a remarkable tale of obsession, the human will stretched to its limits, and the lengths that one man will go to for retribution.

What I Thought: This was the only audiobook I listened to in 2017. I mainly listened to it while running at the gym. It’s definitely not my typical genre, but I was reading it for a book challenege. If you like westerns or adventure stories, then you would probably really like this one.

The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis
5/5 stars

Synopsis (from Amazon): Four adventurous siblings—Peter, Susan, Edmund, and Lucy Pevensie—step through a wardrobe door and into the land of Narnia, a land frozen in eternal winter and enslaved by the power of the White Witch. But when almost all hope is lost, the return of the Great Lion, Aslan, signals a great change . . . and a great sacrifice.

What I thought: This is my first time reading The Chronicles of Narnia and I loved the first book. I’m reading them in the publication order, so that’s why this one was the first one I read. I loved the symbolism and the characters of the four siblings…and of course Aslan.

I’m behind on posting, so I’ll post the books I read in December tomorrow!

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