November Wrap-up & December TBR: Trying to hit all of my yearly goals πŸ’ͺ

Hello there!

Hope you have had the loveliest beginning to December! I’m over the moon that we are in the Christmas (and my birthday!) -month now, and I’m ready for all things Christmas β˜ΊοΈπŸŽ…

Today I’m going over all the books I read in November (which was way more than I expected!), and what I’m hoping to get to in December. Throughout these last two months of 2021 my goal is to crush my yearly reading goals. If you missed my recent look into how I’m doing with my goals and resolutions so far, check out the post here.

Without further a do – let’s get into it!

A gif of a stack of books, a ribbon and christmas ornaments appear and make the stack into a christmas tree

November Wrap-up

In November I took part in Remember November, a readathon all about crushing those yearly goals and getting to the books that have been waiting for way too long. The readathon was hosted in the Devour Your TBR group in Goodreads, hosted by the amazing Destiny @ Howling Libraries πŸ₯° Check out the goodreads group here, and make sure to also look into Destiny’s amazing blog 😍

In November I managed to really step up my reading game! Whereas I have previously read about 4 or 5 books a month, last month I flew through 9 books. Here’s what I read with some quick thoughts on each one:

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Dial A for Aunties by Jesse Q. Sutanto. ⭐️⭐️⭐️.5 (3.5/5 stars) πŸ“ Contemporary πŸ“± Ebook πŸ“š Library copy ✨ Author of colour, characters of colour including main character

  • Dial A for Aunties is a laugh-out-loud funny romcom about Meddy who is forced to go on a blind date by her aunties, and then ends up killing her date by accident.
  • I loved how silly this book is, and it was really quick to read
  • The meddling aunties are simply the best part of the book!
  • There were some small things that made me a bit frustrated in the second half of the book – the miscommunication trope and some issues with suspending my disbelief mostly
  • Overall a really fun, light read!

No One is Talking About This by Patricia Lockwood. ⭐️⭐️ (2/5 stars) 🌼 Literary fiction 🎧 Audiobook πŸ“š Library copy

  • This is an odd book – in a way it is about internet, and how difficult it is to step away from the virtual world when something awful happens outside of it
  • I binge listened to this one over three days before it got returned to the library, and I feel like I’m still baffled by it. In short, I didn’t really get it.
  • I appreciate what this book was trying to do, but maybe I wasn’t the right audience for it? You might enjoy it if you are deeply fascinated by odd books, or you are fiercely attached to social media.

Orion’s Kiss by Claire Luana. ⭐️⭐️ (2/5) πŸ‰ Fantasy πŸ“± Ebook

  • A silly light-read about a girl who is a reincarnated nymph/titan trying to stop a curse that makes another reincarnated being murder her reincarnated sisters over and over again across lifetimes (that was a lot of the word ‘reincarnated’ 😡)
  • Fun to read, but sadly didn’t have as many flashbacks to the previous timelines as I would have hoped
  • The plot is a bit predictable and slightly underdeveloped. This had a lot of potential and the writing is great, but it was frustrating how everything just came together conveniently
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City of Ashes by Cassandra Clare (#2 in The Mortal Instruments). ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ (4/5 stars) πŸ‰ Fantasy 🎧 Audiobook 🍾 Read as part of the Remember November challenge!

  • One of my yearly goals was to continue with the Mortal Instruments series. I loved the Infernal Devices by Cassandra Clare and I want to get deeper into the shadowhunter universe, but I wasn’t a big fan of City of Bones which made me dread picking up City of Ashes. I’m really happy that I did though – because I ended up really enjoying it!
  • I was gripped by the action similarly to Infernal Devices, and I started to grow on the characters
  • I have to admit that the relationship between Clary and Jace is really odd though, I don’t know where that is going
  • A solid Shadowhunter book that made me eager to pick up the next.

Rose on Poissa (Rose is Gone) by Katja Kettu. ⭐️⭐️.5 (2.5/5 stars) 🌼 Literary fiction πŸ“– Hardcover πŸ“˜ Read in my native language, Finnish 🎁 Gifted to me 🍾 Read as part of the Remember November challenge!

  • Rose is Gone is a melancholic, slow book told in letters. We follow Lempi who returns to her childhood setting after 45 years to see if her father finally remembers what happened long ago when her mother disappeared
  • This was a tough one to read, the writing style was difficult to get into and I found it largely difficult to understand even though I read it in my native language.
  • One thing that really bothered me was the fact that the author, a white woman from Finland, somehow decided to write a book about the Ojibwe people. The main character was also Ojibwe, but with a Finnish father. I cannot understand why a white woman would write about the Ojibwe when she cannot possibly know if she is showing the culture respectively. I would much rather read books about the Ojibwe people written by people part of that culture, and I feel like others have no business telling these stories.

Yotsuba! Vol 14 by Kiyohiko Azuma (#14 in Yotsuba!). ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ (5/5 stars) πŸ“ Contemporary πŸ–Ό Graphic novel or manga πŸ“± Ebook ✨ Japanese author, Japanese characters, rep for a single dad

  • Yotsuba is one of the most wholesome mangas I have ever come across – and this instalment was not an exception
  • It’s funny, it’s wholesome, and it’s impossible to think that this wouldn’t put you on a good mood! Go pick it up! Get all of the Yotsuba volumes!
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Undercurrent by Toyoda Tetsuya. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ (4/5 stars) πŸ“ Contemporary πŸ–Ό Graphic novel or manga πŸ“± Ebook ✨ Japanese author, Japanese characters

  • Kanae’s husband has suddenly disappeared and left her dealing with a bathhouse business by herself
  • This standalone manga is heartbreaking and beautiful. It provides deep, emotional discussions of suppressed trauma and grief.
  • The drawing style is simplistic during interactions, but beautifully detailed in the more impactful moments which was a very effective way to show the difference between the two
  • Really enjoyed it, but it is a difficult read

Somebody Give this Heart a Pen by Sophia Thakur. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ (5/5 stars) πŸ“œ poetry 🎧 Audiobook πŸ“š Library copy ✨ Author of colour

  • A striking poetry collection by the award nominated slam-poet, Sophia Thakur. The audiobook is read by the poet herself and it was a great experience!
  • I loved the audiobook so much that right after I finished it, I listened to it all over again
  • The poetry collection discusses grief, relationships and breakups, everyday life, and relationships with parents

A Torch Against the Night by Sabaa Tahir (#2 in An Ember in the Ashes). ⭐️⭐️⭐️.5 (3.5/5 stars) πŸ‰ Fantasy 🎧 Audiobook πŸ“š Library copy ✨ Author of colour, characters of colour 🍾 Read as part of the Remember November challenge!

  • This second instalment in An Ember in the Ashes series is equally intriguing as the first. The writing style is great, and the characters are amazing! There have been some really tricky conflicts in this series which have kept me at the edge of my seat.
  • Although I mostly enjoyed A Torch Against the Night, I found myself unexcited about picking it up. The plot is mostly focused on travel and a heist – two fantasy tropes that I tend to dislike
  • Overall a good sequel, but it didn’t work well for my personal tastes. I bet I would like the next one better if it comes without a heist? πŸ˜…

December TBR

In December, I hope to read a final few books from my yearly TBR and try to hit my goal of 80 books in 2021. Although I would love to achieve these goals, I’m just going to enjoy this festive month and do my best ☺️ Here’s what I would love to read:

Finish some current reads

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The Key in the Lock by Beth Underdown. πŸ”Ž Mystery 🌷 ARC πŸ‘― buddy read with Stephen @ Stephen Writes πŸ“± Ebook πŸ“– Currently: ~50% of the way through (length: 304 pages)

Red Sister by Mark Lawrence. πŸ‰ Fantasy πŸ“± Ebook πŸ“– Currently: ~55% of the way through (length: 500 pages) 🍾 On my yearly TBR

Human Kind by Rutger Bregman. πŸ—Ί Nonfiction 🎧 Audiobook πŸ“– Currently: ~ 35% of the way through (length: 496 pages) 🍾 On my yearly TBR

Seleesian Nakija (the seer of Seleesia) by Erika Vik. πŸ‰ Fantasy πŸ’™ In Finnish ☁️ Paperback πŸ“– Currently: ~20% of the way through (613 pages) 🍾 On my yearly TBR

Read some holiday reads

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In a Holidaze by Christina Lauren. πŸ“ Contemporary πŸ“± Ebook

Hapless Maelyn sends a plea to the universe on her drive to a family Utah cabin to spend Christmas: ‘Please. Show me what will make me happy.’ This wish spurs Maelyn stuck on a loop to repeat the trip to Utah and relive the same Christmas over and over again.

This Time Next Year by Sophie Cousens. πŸ“ Contemporary 🎧 Audiobook πŸ“š Library copy

Down-to-earth baker Minnie Cooper knows two things with great certainty: that her New Year’s birthday has always been unlucky, and that it’s all because of Quinn Hamilton, a man she’s never met. But everything might change this year.

Baby, It’s Cold Outside by Emily Bell. πŸ“ Contemporary πŸ“± Ebook

Laughing under an Italian sky, knowing Andrew and Norah had to part, Andrew made her a promise: If they are both single on Christmas Eve in ten years’ time, they will meet under the clock on Grafton Street, Dublin.

Midnight in Everwood by M. A. Kuzniar. πŸ‰ Fantasy πŸ“± Ebook πŸ“š Library copy

A spell-binding retelling of The Nutcracker, filled with enchanted toys, decadent balls, fierce feminine friendships and a forbidden romance.

Read some graphic novels

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The Tea Dragon Society by Kay O’Neill. πŸ‰ Fantasy πŸ“± Ebook ✨ LGBT+, disability rep, characters of colour

The Tea Dragon Festival by Kay O’Neill. πŸ‰ Fantasy πŸ“± Ebook ✨Black main character, nonbinary character, m/m relationship

The Tea Dragon Tapestry by Kay O’Neill. πŸ‰ Fantasy πŸ“± Ebook ✨ Black main character, disability rep

The Tea Dragon Series are beutifully illustrated graphic novels packed to the brim with wholesome content and adorable tea dragons.

Taproot by Keezy Young. πŸ‰ Fantasy πŸ“± Ebook ✨ LGBT+ rep (m/m relationship?)

Blue is having a hard time moving on. He’s in love with his best friend. He’s also dead. Luckily, Hamal can see ghosts, leaving Blue free to haunt him to his heart’s content.

Short reads and anthologies

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How the King of Elfhame Learned to Hate Stories by Holly Black. πŸ‰ Fantasy πŸ“± Ebook

Once upon a time, there was a boy with a wicked tongue. Before he was a cruel prince or a wicked king, he was a faerie child with a heart of stone.

Fierce Fairytales by Nikita Gill. πŸ‰ Fantasy πŸ“œ poetry πŸ“± Ebook

In this rousing new prose and poetry collection, Nikita Gill gives Once Upon a Time a much-needed modern makeover. Through her gorgeous reimagining of fairytale classics and spellbinding original tales, she dismantles the old-fashioned tropes that have been ingrained in our minds.

The Angel of Khan el-Khalili by P. Djeli Clark (#0.2 in Dead Djinn Universe). πŸ‰ Fantasy πŸ“± Ebook ✨ Characters of colour, author of colour

A sequel short story to A Dead Djinn in Cairo, free to read in Tor here

Let me Tell You This by Nadine Aisha Jassat. πŸ“œ poetry πŸ“± Ebook ✨ Author of colour, discusses racism and gender

The electrifying debut collection from a powerful new voice in UK poetry.

Other books I would love to get to

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City of Glass by Cassandra Clare (#3 in The Mortal Instruments). πŸ‰ Fantasy 🎧 Audiobook

Third instalment in the Mortal Instruments series set in the shadowhunter universe. The previous books have been filled to the brim with action, twists, and great characters!

A Master of Djinn by P. Djeli Clark. πŸ‰ Fantasy πŸ“± Ebook ✨ Characters of colour, author of colour

Cairo, 1912. A world filled with djinn and angels that roam among humans. Agent Fatma has to solve a tricky murder, but what if the murderer is not human?

These Hollow Vows by Lexi Ryan. πŸ‰ Fantasy πŸ“– Hardcover πŸ§šβ€β™€οΈ Fairyloot copy

Brie hates the Fae, but when her sister is sold to the sadistic king of the Unseelie court to pay a dept, she will do whatever it takes to get her back.

Once Upon a Broken Heart by Stephanie Garber. πŸ‰ Fantasy πŸ“– Hardcover πŸ§šβ€β™€οΈ Fairyloot copy

How far would you go for happily ever after?

Whew! That was a long list! I won’t be able to get to all of these books but it’s nice to have books to choose from. I have also planned to buy some books for myself on my birthday and if I find something irresistible, the TBR may have to bend a bit 😁

Have you read any of these books? What did you think? Any ideas on what I should prioritise in December? I would love to know!

Thank you so much for reading! I hope you have a magically cozy day filled with relaxing moments.

8 thoughts on “November Wrap-up & December TBR: Trying to hit all of my yearly goals πŸ’ͺ

  1. I hope you’re enjoying the festive season, Pauliina! ❀ I’m so happy to hear that you had a good reading month in November! Also good luck with your December TBR πŸŽ„ I’m currently listening to In a Holidaze on audiobook, but I’m not too far into it πŸ˜„

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Oh ive been wanting to read this time last year too! And give this heart a pen sounds pretty good- ill stay on the lookout.

    Good job reading that many books, wow! Goodluck on your tbr & have fun πŸ₯°
    Happy reading xx

    Liked by 1 person

  3. So much amazing reading, way to go! I hope your December reading is going well, too. ❀ Thank you so much for the kind words, that was so sweet πŸ₯Ί I love having you join in on the readathon themes! And I hope your birthday was AMAZING!

    Like

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