Monthly Reading Roundup: October & November Edition

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|| MARCH || APRIL || JUNE || JULY || AUGUST || SEPTEMBER ||

Ok guys, this is so late and overdue, but I FINALLY have gotten through the two craziest months of wedding season and have time to put this together. While these two months were by far the busiest and craziest of the year, I still made time to read! I just didn’t get around to posting about October, so I decided to combine October & November. I read a total of 6 books over those two months (which meant I still hit my monthly goal of at least 3 books per month! Woohoo!)

These are the six books I read: Death at the Chateau Bremont, The Secret Life of Bees, Beartown, The Cost of Betrayal, The Way of the Heart, and The Rescuer.

Death at the Chateau Bremont

This 300 pg novel by M.L. Longworth is a fun little mystery book. It’s not overly serious or heavy but feels a bit like a Sherlock mystery, just with a French twist. I enjoyed this book a lot but it’s one of those books that I probably won’t re-read, because once you solved the mystery, you don’t really need to re-read the story. But if you’ve been on the hunt for a new (light) mystery novel, this might be for you!

The Secret Life of Bees

I first read the Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd about five or six years ago and I have had it on my shelf ever since. When I was cleaning out my bookshelf a few months ago, I found this book and decided it was time to read it again. Set in South Carolina in 1964 the book follows 14-year-old Lily Owens and her black “stand-in-mother”, Rosaleen as they flee from a life that only knows heartbreak and turmoil. Lily is determined to discover the secret of her mother’s past and stay free from her mean and quick-tempered father, “T-Ray”. If you haven’t read this book, I would definitely highly recommend it. It was a New York Times Bestseller for a reason and is what I would consider a rich American classic.

Beartown

This was the third Fredrik Backman book I read this year. I first read his novel “A Man Called Ove” back in March and I LOVED it. One of my favorite books I read all year. I excitedly picked up another one of his books in July: “My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She’s Sorry” but I was rather disappointed with it. So I was a little wary when I decided to give Fredrik Backman one more chance this year and I have to say that “Beartown” completely won back my love for this author. It is set in a tiny hockey town deep in the forest that has not been the best at anything in a long time. While the book revolves around the Junior Ice Hockey team that is about to compete in the National Semifinals with a chance of winning (a first in almost twenty years), the story has layers of depth and profound truths about humanity and culture. One of my favorite lines from the back cover is “In this story of a small forest town, Fredrick Backman has found the entire world.” This book covers some heavy things and is not for young readers, but it is so good and rich and I am adding it to my shelf next to “A Man Called Ove” and I will be re-reading both of them many times.

The Cost of Betrayal

This book is actually a collection of three romantic suspense novellas written by three Christian authors, Dee Henderson, Dani Pettrey, and Lynette Eason. I have been reading the O’Malley Series by Dee Henderson all year, but this was the first I had read anything by Dani Pettrey or Lynette Eason. I’m gonna briefly cover all three novellas separately.

  • “Betrayed” by Dee Henderson – This novella had an interesting storyline and a lot of promise (I’m a fan of Dee Henderson’s writing style) but I was hugely disappointed by the ending and it kind of ruined the whole story for me.
  • “Deadly Isle” by Dani Pettrey – Ok, I’m going to be brutally honest right now and just say the truth as it is: this was one of the most ridiculous things I’ve read in a LONG time. It has Hallmark level cheese and completely unrealistic scenarios (such as the main character diving to retrieve a body from the bay less than 24 hours after being shot in the arm). The mystery element was well done, but unfortunately, that was the only part of the novella that was well written.
  • “Code of Ethics” by Lynette Eason – This story was fast-paced and exciting, but I’m gonna be honest with this one too and say that the overall plot was rather unrealistic and the author probably needed to do a lot more research into police corruption.

So overall, this book was a bit of a dud with the best story being Dee Henderson’s and I didn’t even like that one because of the way she chose to end it.

The Way of the Heart

This was the third Henri Nouwen book I’ve read this year and just like the first two I read (“Life of the Beloved and “The Return of the Prodigal Son”), this book was incredible. It’s very short (less than 100 pages) and very easy to understand. Henri Nouwen breaks down the spirituality of the desert fathers in three sections: solitude, silence, and prayer. He is able to pass on the wisdom these desert fathers discovered in an easy and precise manner. While this book was originally directed towards those in ministry (especially the priestly ministry), it really is applicable to everyone. If you’re looking for a short spiritual read, check this one out!

The Rescuer

I’ve been reading the O’Malley series by Dee Henderson all year and I finally finished the 6th and final book in October. The Rescuer follows Stephen O’Malley, a paramedic who has been rescuing people his whole life but now needs to be rescued himself. The plot is intriguing and the mystery is well-written and suspenseful. It was a great end to the series!

Xoxo,
Mary Kate

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