cricketmuse

a writer's journey as a reader

November Reading Round Up


I’m closing in on my Good Reads goal of 101 books!

Here are my November highlights:

Empty Places by Kathy Cannon Wiechman


Adabel Cutler is wanting to remember her mother, yet there are empty places in her memory and she can’t quiet the need to find the answer to why her mama left the family seven years ago.

Set in the Kentucky mining area of Harlan County during the lean times of The Depression, author Kathy Cannon Wiechman provides a rich portrait of a young teenage girl and her family struggling against hard times and poverty. 

Adabel’s voice and her persistence to find the truth is strong and aptly presented in the dialect of the area. The author’s research adds to the realism of the story and provides insights about the coal mining community that is beneficial to students studying The Great Depression.

The Versions of Us by Laura Barnett


Boy meets girl. Once. Twice. Three times. The typical romance story takes a turn of shoulda, woulda, and coulda. A girl and a boy meet in their young twenties, and readers follow three possibilities of their romance into their seventies.

It’s a bit like a choose-your-own adventure book, yet reading this type of format is not for one looking for a leisurely read. Just as one gets involved in version one, it changes to version two, and then goes to version three. And so goes the tempo. 

Personally, I gave up and followed version three and decided one read was enough, and did not go back and read the other two versions. 

It’s a clever idea, and I have tried other books that try this multiple plot device. They don’t work for me. I want it to work, but I don’t want to work that hard when I settle down for my leisure reading sessions.

The Alchemist by Paul Coelho


I experienced The Alchemist as an audio read the first time on a long drive a few years ago. I think having Jeremy Irons read the book to me enhanced the magical of the read. I highly recommend the audio version.

The second time I read it in one sitting, appreciative of the full color illustrations which complemented the story. Overall? I preferred the audio version. Jeremy Irons knows how to tell a story.

For those who disliked the book, and some of the reader reactions were intense, I suggest listening to the book, for it truly is like a long endearing bedtime story. Set aside apathetic notions and listen to a story of a boy seeking his heart’s desire. There’s still a bit of the child in all of us ( I hope).

And I continue reading…

With only a couple of more weeks until my December deadline I am trying to squeeze reading time in when I can: at the gym while I pedal in my mile or walk off my 💯 calorie warm up; decompressing after a long day trying to interest sophomores in how to analyze a short story; a few minutes before going to bed (and getting smacked in the face as I succumb to sleep).

A stack of books taunts me on my side table. I shall find time to finish strong. I shall. I shall.

Anyone else have a reading goal for the year?

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5 thoughts on “November Reading Round Up

  1. Empty Places jumps out at me here. Thanks for the review.

    In 2014 I had a GoodReads goal of 114 books. I made it to 111, and I was so arrrghed about falling short that since then I’ve made my goals much lower.

    You have had a great reading year no matter what the final number turns out to be.

  2. I’ve been looking for some good audio books–will try The Alchemist!

  3. The Alchemist went through my hands a few years ago, I enjoyed it to begin with but then quickly became less inclined to it. Your point about audio book is an interesting one though, perhaps processing the information differently would make an impact…certainly one to experiment with. Good luck with teying to complete your challenge!

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