A month in review: November

While last month was a month of prolific reading, this month has been the opposite.

Because I haven’t had time off entirely devoted to reading? Perhaps.

Because I’ve been focusing on hibernation, Christmas shopping and All The Work? Also possible.

Because I’ve been working my way through some seriously epic reads? Even MORE possible.

Here’s what I managed to wade through this month:

1st to Die by James Patterson


I am a bit of a floozy for anything crime related, whether it be books, TV or film, and Mr Patterson here is a bit of a legend in that genre.

I enjoyed it but no fireworks went off. I liked the characters. I liked that I didn’t guess who did it for a good long while. I like that there are about 3,000 more instalments in the series.

However, I think it’s abundantly clear that a man wrote it. I don’t have anything against male authors, but when you’re writing from the point-of-view of a woman, you have to be believable. No women that I know would describe their best friend as “carrying around 20 unnecessary pounds”. That one insignificant description shattered the illusion for me, but I will still be reading book #2.

Grab your copy here.

Love is a Mix Tape: Life and Loss, One Song at a Time by Rob Sheffield


I was expecting a bit more from this book, perhaps because I was in the mood for a good cry. I think I thought the balance would be heavy on the tragic love story, light on the musical references, but it wasn’t. Instead I was left with a selection of totally random anecdotes revolving around a particular song, with the dying wife as a bit of an afterthought almost.

It kind of reminded me of Love Story because of the “I’m supposed to be sad but I’m not sad” vibe.

Grab your copy here.

Tiger Lily by Jodi Lynn Anderson



Peter Pan has never been my favourite fairy story. I’ve never particularly liked Peter, or Wendy, or Tinkerbell, and now I know why.

I am totally Team Tiger Lily.

This retelling is incredibly original, hugely compelling, and just so very different from the well-known tale. The writing is beautiful, the emotion is real, the characters kick arse, and that tension is PALPABLE.

I whole, whole, wholeheartedly recommend.

Grab your copy here.

The 12 Week Year: Get More Done in 12 Weeks Than Others Do in 12 Months


This is one of those “how to set goals and achieve them” kind of books that I insist on reading for work, and as far as the genre goes, it’s a pretty good one. The premise is that to keep your momentum, you don’t set goals at the start of the year, you set them every three months. It also provides you with a handy framework to keep your track to reach those targets.

I’ve only just started implementing it, so I can’t tell you whether it works or not, but I love the concept.

Grab your copy here.

The White Queen by Philippa Gregory


When I was about 12 I read Wideacre by Philippa Gregory, and the amount of incest involved has quite literally scarred me. I still have nightmares every now and then.

Because of that, I’ve always been a little reluctant to give another Gregory a go, but I’m glad the Semi-Charmed Winter reading challenge pushed me in that direction.

I love history, and I love strong, independent, women, and I loved The White Queen. Elizabeth Woodville is not somebody I knew a lot about – in fact that whole pre-Tudor period is a little hazy for me, which is probably what kept me on such tenterhooks.

I already have the next in the series ready and waiting on my Kindle – can’t wait!

Grab your copy here.

#BeMoreDan by Dan Meredith


For those that don’t spend much time in entrepreneurial circles, Dan Meredith is a beardy, sweary business-coachy type (and more).

His Facebook group, Coffee with Dan, is filled to the brim with no-nonsense, effective, actionable tips and advice, and it’s one of my new favourite places to hang out. Earlier this month, Dan was selling a copy of his latest ebook with 100% of the profits going to two wonderful charities:

Because I’m a sucker for a good cause, of course I bought it. This book is filled with lots of “Danisms” all about running a business YOUR way, increasing visibility, and smashing your income goals.

A New York Winter’s Tale by Mark Helprin


This one was a bit bloody epic. 768 pages of surreal yet totally magnetic flim flam.

What I thought was going to be another cut-and-dry doomed love story was… just… not. I don’t even know how to summarise this book without writing one of my own – so much happens.

Anyone with a thing for magical realism, turn-of-the-century New York, love stories and insanity – read it and read it now.

Grab your copy here.

Reading Goals: December

I’m still chuntering along trying to reach my reading goal of the year (and happy to report I’m now officially on track).

The 1st of December marks the start of my other favourite reading challenge – the Goodreads Seasonal Challenge. It’s on the epic side, so I’ll have to post my reading list in instalments (something to look forward too, eh?).

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