Monthly Wrap-Up: November 2020

Hi everyone! Welcome to my October monthly wrap-up post. I am sure these will evolve over time, but for now I’ll include Book Coven book club, fave books you can buy now, books to look out for and books I want to read soon. November has really been about me applying for a promotion so it has been a bit light on the reading side of things. I have my interview tomorrow morning though so hopefully after that I can get back into things!

Book Club

Every month the mods of the Book Coven get us to suggest books that make up the book club bracket. We then vote all the way through to a final, and that’s the book we read together over the course of 3 weeks. Then the amazing Paragraphs and Pages asks us some super insightful questions and off we go. This month the club read The Once and Future Witches by Alix. E. Harrow – but I decided to skip this book having not been impressed with The Ten Thousand Doors of January.

Next month we are reading Written in the Stars by Alexandria Bellefleur which I’m really excited about. Look at the gorgeous cover!

Favourites

I did get to read a few really good books this month! The first one that really captured my attention was Piranesi by Susanna Clare. It has the same sort of vibes as The Starless Sea so if you loved that you will probably like the mind-twisting Piranesi. You can find my review here.

I read a couple of contemporary novels this month but my favourite was The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett. It’s historical fiction but more recent. It’s a book with great social commentary and rich character development – I was gripped from start to finish despite it being character driven. You can find my review here.

The last book I’m going to put in my favourites is The Bone Season by Samantha Shannon – a book I decided to re-read this month. I think this one got me out of a bit of a slump – it was really fast paced and the last 100 pages or so are WOW. The only reason it didn’t get 5 stars from me was the info dumping at the beginning. You can find my review here.

Books to Look Out For

I did read one a couple of eARCs this month – The Awakening by Nora Roberts and Just the Two of Us by Ryu Hyang. The Awakening is a fantasy set in present day that I found really sweet. It had super innocent vibes and felt a bit like a warm hug.

Just the Two of Us is a romance that is so, so heart-warming. It is grumpy and sunshine at its best. The characters really made this book, which has been described as a k-drama in book form.

Next month?

I’m not sure what I’m going to read in December. My friends are doing a re-read of A Court of Thorns and Roses so I might join them for book 2 and book 3 since I read the first one earlier this year.

I will also read more of The Bone Season series, I can’t wait to re-read The Mime Order and read The Song Rising for the first time in preparation for The Mask Falling in January.

Anyway, wish me luck in my interview. I’m really nervous, but a good friend told me to pretend I’m excited about it and I think it works? Hope you guys had a great November! On to the last month of 2020.

Book Review: Piranesi

Hi guys! Sorry it’s been it’s been a little while I’ve been a bit tired! But I finally finished another book that I felt like I could review – and that is none other than Piranesi by Susanna Clarke. I’ve not read Jonathan Strange and Mr Norell yet, so this is my first book by Susanna. I am grateful it’s a much shorter book than her previous that’s for sure!

In the books I’ve read, the only book similar to Piranesi is The Starless Sea by Erin Morgenstern. Both books present a different world accessible to only those that know how in an ordinary, modern world. Piranesi is short, but packs in a mysterious story full of strange events and puzzles for the reader to figure out. I’m not sure any of the revelations in the book came as a huge twist or surprise for me, but I enjoyed the book a lot.

Star rating: 5 stars

Piranesi is alone in a House – not an ordinary house, but a House with lots of different rooms that span kilometres. His only company is The Other, another man who Piranesi sees a few times a week. The House is full of many statues and sometimes the Tides sweep in and Piranesi has to run for cover and hope he doesn’t drown.

For a concept that’s quite abstract, I found the book to be very accessible. Susanna’s writing is very smooth and addictive in its descriptiveness. Piranesi exudes innocence and although said to be in his thirties, his narration (through journal entries) is very child like. I loved reading how he put his own story together page by page.

There are a small number of characters in the book, which I enjoyed because it gave me something to focus on in a bizarre world with a strange plot. The world itself would have been extraordinarily unique if I hadn’t already read The Starless Sea. It was interesting to see Piranesi use his incredible knowledge of the House, and to watch his interactions with The Other Develop.

Overall this was an intriguing book that I’m glad I picked up. It’s short but takes a while to read due to the complexity and pace, but I’d recommend it if you like abstract ideas with a little magic thrown in.