November was a hard month. We lost my father this month and throwing myself into audiobooks was the way that I coped. I don’t have many physical reads, but I did have several audio and e-books. I also caught up on all of my arcs for the year, which was awesome. So let’s dive into my November 2021 wrap up.
This is the Story of a Happy Marriage
Stretching from her childhood to the present day, from a disastrous early marriage to a later happy one, This is the Story of a Happy Marriage covers a multitude of topics, including relationships with family and friends, and charts the hard work and joy of writing, and the unexpected thrill of opening a bookstore.
As she shares stories of the people, places, ideals, and art to which she has remained indelibly committed, Ann Patchett brings into focus the large experiences and small moments that have shaped her as a daughter, wife, and writer.
My Rating: 5/5
My Review: This is the Story of a Happy Marriage came to me at the perfect time. Ann Patchett packed this essay collection full of wisdom on life, writing, and of course marriage. It was such a good read.
Thor: First Thunder #1
Revealed for a new generation: the origin-and first year on Earth-of the God of Thunder! Who is the enigmatic Doctor Donald Blake? What is the secret that drives him to travel the world, seeking its challenges, and how does it connect him to the banished Prince of Asgard? Why has Thor been exiled to walk amongst mankind-and battle threats from beyond the stars? And before the entire saga is over, how will he react when confronted by the likes of Tony Stark, Reed Richards and his devious brother Loki? Witness the legend reborn with a modern touch by Harvey Award-winning writer Bryan J.L. Glass (The Mice Templar) and acclaimed Eisner-winning artist Tan Eng Huat (SILVER SURFER: IN THY NAME)!
My Rating: 2/5
My Review: I wasn’t a huge fan on Thor: First Thunder. I just couldn’t connect with the character, which is weird because I normally love Thor. Also, I don’t remember anything that happened. Mostly, I just kept reading it so I could complete my Uncorked Librarian Prompt.
The Search for Synergy
“The Search for Synergy” is the story of two young men who are brought together by design to help save the world from the evil that lurks in The Void. Rome and Julian will have to join their fledgling powers and become a fighting duo of knight and dragon, working to fulfill a primordial destiny. This will be especially hard for Rome who, up until now, thought he was merely human.
My Rating: 3/5
Investigating a grisly murder, detective Will Heller finds himself drawn to person of interest Emily Kostova, the owner of a local bookstore. Emily’s broad knowledge of the Whitechapel murders, and of Jack the Ripper, persuade Will that his conversations with her might help him catch his killer. It is through these discussions that Will learns of Liesbeth Janssen, a woman accused of witchcraft in the seventeenth century.
When additional murders bearing the same bizarre characteristics provide enough evidence to clear Emily, Will is finally free to act on his powerful attraction to her. As they grow close Will discovers that the woman, he loves may be harboring a terrible secret.
My Rating: 3/5
My Full Review: https://wildwoodreads.com/2021/11/24/emilys-lair-review/
The Radium Girls: The Dark Story of America’s Shining Women
In the dark years of the First World War, radium makes gleaming headlines across the nation as the fresh face of beauty, and wonder drug of the medical community. From body lotion to tonic water, the popular new element shines bright. Meanwhile, hundreds of girls toil amidst the glowing dust of the radium-dial factories. The glittering chemical covers their bodies from head to toe; they light up the night like industrious fireflies. With such a coveted job, these shining girls are the luckiest alive — until they begin to fall mysteriously ill. And, until they begin to come forward.
As the women start to speak out on the corruption, the factories that once offered golden opportunities ignore all claims of the gruesome side effects. And as the fatal poison of the radium takes hold, the brave shining girls find themselves embroiled in one of the biggest scandals of America’s early 20th century, and in a groundbreaking battle for workers’ rights that will echo for centuries to come. A timely story of corporate greed and the brave figures that stood up to fight for their lives, these women and their voices will shine for years to come.
My Rating: 5/5
My Review: The Radium Girls was heartbreaking, but interesting. It was also infuriating. The injustice that these girls faced was ridiculous. The company refused to take responsibility for ruining the lives of their workers. But their story won’t go unheard.
Like the Willow Tree: The Diary of Lydia Amelia Pierce
In 1918, as the Great War rages in Europe, the Spanish influenza tears a brutal path across the United States, leaving devastation in its wake. Ordinary life is turned upside down as schools are closed, and all spheres of public life are shut down.Suddenly, eleven-year-old Lydia Pierce and her older brother, Daniel, find themselves orphans of the flu, and are taken by their grieving uncle to be raised in the Shaker community at Sabbathday Lake.
Thrust into the Shaker’s unfamiliar way of life, Lydia, a fiercely independent girl, must grapple with a new world that is nothing like the one she used to know.Lydia must work hard, and all the while she worries about her headstrong brother, who has run away. In time, and with her courageous spirit, Lydia learns to overcome the devastation wrought by the Spanish flu pandemic and find the joy in living with the Shakers — yet she cannot stop wondering, will Daniel ever return?
My Rating: 4/5
My Review: I loved the Dear America series growing up. And I still do. Like a Willow Tree followed an orphan of the Spanish Flu pandemic. It shows that there is hope after tragedy. Plus, learning about the Shaker Community was interesting.
The old, abandoned house at the end of Grace’s street is a local legend. All the neighbors say it’s haunted, but every Halloween someone leaves candy on the front porch. Grace and her friends decide to investigate, hoping to find out once and for all if someone—or something—really is haunting the place. But what if there is more to the house than there seems?
My Rating: 3/5
My Review: Honestly, I didn’t know this was a children’s novel. And it is very, very young. It was fun, but I’m definitely not the intended audience.
Night is Elie Wiesel’s masterpiece, a candid, horrific, and deeply poignant autobiographical account of his survival as a teenager in the Nazi death camps. This new translation by Marion Wiesel, Elie’s wife and frequent translator, presents this seminal memoir in the language and spirit truest to the author’s original intent. And in a substantive new preface, Elie reflects on the enduring importance of Night and his lifelong, passionate dedication to ensuring that the world never forgets man’s capacity for inhumanity to man.
Night offers much more than a litany of the daily terrors, everyday perversions, and rampant sadism at Auschwitz and Buchenwald; it also eloquently addresses many of the philosophical as well as personal questions implicit in any serious consideration of what the Holocaust was, what it meant, and what its legacy is and will be.
My Rating: 5/5
My Review: What can I say about Night? It doesn’t need my review. It’s a bestseller for a reason. It is gorgeously written, but heartbreaking. I think everyone should read this.
The Orchid Thief
The orchid thief is John Laroche, a renegade plant dealer and sharply handsome guy in spite of the fact that he is missing all his teeth and has the posture of al dente spaghetti. This national bestseller follows him into the Florida swamp to relate his mesmerizing true story of beauty and obsession.
My Rating: 3/5
My Review: I’m not even sure how I ended up with this one in my Libby library, but it was a lot of fun. It was wild ride. And I was shocked to find that there is a whole culture based around orchids complete with it’s own drama.
The Death of Jane Lawrence
Practical, unassuming Jane Shoringfield has done the calculations, and decided that the most secure path forward is this: a husband, in a marriage of convenience, who will allow her to remain independent and occupied with meaningful work. Her first choice, the dashing but reclusive doctor Augustine Lawrence, agrees to her proposal with only one condition: that she must never visit Lindridge Hall, his crumbling family manor outside of town.
Yet on their wedding night, an accident strands her at his door in a pitch-black rainstorm, and she finds him changed. Gone is the bold, courageous surgeon, and in his place is a terrified, paranoid man–one who cannot tell reality from nightmare, and fears Jane is an apparition, come to haunt him. By morning, Augustine is himself again, but Jane knows something is deeply wrong at Lindridge Hall, and with the man she has so hastily bound her safety to.
Set in a dark-mirror version of post-war England, Caitlin Starling crafts a new kind of gothic horror from the bones of the beloved canon. This Crimson Peak-inspired story assembles, then upends, every expectation set in place by Shirley Jackson and Rebecca, and will leave readers shaken, desperate to begin again as soon as they are finished.
My Rating: 2/5
My Full Review: Coming Soon
Witch of Ware Woods
Eighteen-year-old Sara is not normal, and she’s losing her grip on hiding her inexplicable power. Hunted by a dark witch and facing devastating losses, Sara finds refuge in Ware Woods—a spellbinding forest protected by witches, shapeshifters . . . and thorny secrets. Here she discovers true magic and an electric connection with Thomas, a wickedly charming and equally headstrong witch from a dangerous family.
But Sara is an outsider who has brought darkness and a fatal prophecy to the forest. To prove she belongs in Ware Woods, Sara is tested and pushed to master new magics, all while concealing the monstrous force that makes her undeniably different.
As the dark witch closes in on her and an insidious blight threatens Ware Woods, Sara must release her full power—and either save the forest and everyone she loves or destroy everything.
My Rating: 4/5
My Full Review: https://wildwoodreads.com/2021/11/29/witch-of-ware-woods/
So that’s my November 2021 wrap up. What did you read this month?