November 2021 Reading Wrap Up

November 30, 2021

November 2021 Reading Wrap Up

November 2021 Reading Wrap Up (collage of covers)

How was your November reading?

Although November was a productive reading month for me, I had very few standout reads.
Out of 13 books completed, I had one 5-star read, five 4-star reads, six 3-star reads, one 2-star read, and one DNF (did not finish).
I’ve now read 110 books towards my year end goal of 100. Do you set a year-end goal?

My favorite fiction read of the month is The Stranger in the Lifeboat by Mitch Albom (for its unique premise and thoughtful content) and my favorite nonfiction is Dolly Parton, Songteller (because Dolly).

Did we read any of the same books?

***This post contains Amazon affiliate links.
Titles are Amazon affiliate links or my linked reviews
ARC=Advanced Readers Copy (complimentary copy for review)

The Stranger in the Lifeboat by Mitch Albom (cover) text on a dark blue background...vignette of a rowboat on the water in front of a low sinking moon

The Stranger in the Lifeboat by Mitch Albom

5 Stars. Contemporary fiction. What if God showed up when you called out for help? Review available 12/3/21.

Dolly Parton, Songteller Icover) by Dolly Parton (Image: a portrait of Dolly Parton in a round portrait frame)

Dolly Parton, Songteller: My Life in Lyrics by Dolly Parton

4 Stars. Nonfiction. Memoir. I love Dolly! My review of Dolly Parton here.

The Postmistress of Paris by Meg Waite Clayton (black and white cover with red text) Image: a women in silhouette walks out of a building with her back to the camera and overlooks a view of the Eiffel Tower

The Postmistress of Paris by Meg Waite Clayton

4 Stars. (ARC) Historical Fiction. A brave American woman joins the Resistance Movement. My review of Postmistress of Paris here.

Escape From Mr. Lemoncello's Library by Chris Grabenstein (cover) Image: a graphic image of kids running along a yellow board game path

Escape From Mr. Lemoncello’s Library by Chris Gravenstein

4 Stars. Middle Grade Fiction. Fun and pageturning locked room adventure. Not reviewed.

A Single Rose by Muriel Barbery (cover) Image: a young man and woman sit on the porch of a Japanese house

A Single Rose by Muriel Barbery

4 Stars. Fiction Novella. (Novellas in November) Character driven and beautifully and quietly written. Thanks for the rec Davida! Not reviewed.

The Story of My Life (cover) by Helen Keller (image: a young girl sits with a book on her lap with one hand and holding a flower to smell with the other

The Story of My Life by Helen Keller

4 Stars. Memoir (novella). (Novellas in November) Interesting. Not reviewed.

A Vicarage Christmas by Kate Hewitt (cover) Image: a woman walks toward a row of houses in a winter scene

A Vicarage Christmas by Kate Hewitt

3.5 Stars Fiction Novella. (Novellas in November) Light women’s fiction. First in a series. Thanks for the rec Lisa! (I’ve also read the next in the series….see below!) Not reviewed. 

A Vicarage Reunion by Kate Hewitt (cover) Image: a man and woman and dog walk together in a lovely rural village

A Vicarage Reunion by Kate Hewitt

3.5 Stars. Light women’s fiction (second in a series but can be read as a stand alone). Not reviewed.

Christmas in Briarwood by MK McClintock (covere) Image: white text over a black and white background of snow covered pine trees

Christmas in Briarwood by MK McClintock

3.5 Stars. (#8 in a series but can be read as a stand alone) Light women’s fiction (Novellas in November)  with a substantial theme. Not reviewed.

A Winter's Wish For the Cornish Midwife  by Jo Bartlett (cover) Image:  a young woman walks in the snow next to a white picket fence decorated for Christmas

A Winter’s Wish For the Cornish Midwife by Jo Bartlett

3 Stars. Light women’s fiction. #3 in a series but can be read as a stand alone. (I forget who started me on this series….if it was YOU….leave a note in comments and I’ll link you!) Not reviewed.

The House on Mango Street by Sandra Cisneros (cover) Image: yellow text on an orange background

The House on Mango Street by Sandra Cisneros

3 Stars. Young Adult diverse read and own voices author. Novella (Novellas in November). Light on character and plot; abundant description of the neighborhood and people who make up the neighborhood. (content warning: rape with no details) Not reviewed.

Ethan Frome by Edith Wharton (cover) Image: a white house and a horse pulling a sleigh in a wintry snowy setting

Ethan Frome by Edith Wharton

3 Stars. Fiction Novella. (Novellas in November) Beautifully written (5 stars) but the ending is tragic and depressing (which greatly affected my rating).

Going There by Katie Couric (cover) Image: white and gold text and a portrait of Katie seated in a white blouse and black pants

Going There by Katie Couric

2-2.5 Stars. Nonfiction. Memoir. Interesting in parts, but less inspirational than I was hoping. Skimmed a lot of it. Not reviewed.

The Wednesday Wars by Gary Schmidt (cover) Image: a boy sit at a school desk holding an open book and dropping pencils and an eraser

DNF: (54%) The Wednesday Wars by Gary D. Schmidt

2 Stars (for the 50% I read). I had high expectations for this popular Newbery Award Winner. The characters are not particularly likable and I kept feeling like the humor was written more for adults. I think many of the references might go over the heads of middle grade readers. Not reviewed.


What was your favorite November read?
Did we read any of the same books?
Which of these books is on your TBR?


November Blog Posts:

The Postmistress of Paris Review
New Titles For My Nonfiction TBR
Novellas in November Wrap Up
Finding Chika Review
Dear Authors, An Update on These Characters Please!
Nonfiction That Reads Like Fiction
My Newbery Project
The Stationary Shop Review
TTT: If You Like That, Read This
15 Favorite Memoir/Biography
Daughters of War Review
Dolly Parton, Songteller: My Life in Lyrics Review
Ribbons of Scarlet Review
TTT: Ten Memorable Book Quotes (volume 2)
Fiction/Nonfiction Book Pairings
The Day the World Came to Town Review
The Dutch House Review
Novellas in November 2021
Love and Lavender Review
My Year in Nonfiction 2021

Happy Reading Book Buddies!

“Ah, how good it is to be among people who are reading.”
~Rainer Maria Rilke

“I love the world of words, where life and literature connect.”
~Denise J Hughes

“Reading good books ruins you for enjoying bad ones.”
~Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society

“I read because books are a form of transportation, of teaching, and of connection! Books take us to places we’ve never been, they teach us about our world, and they help us to understand human experience.”
~Madeleine Riley, Top Shelf Text

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***Blog posts may contain affiliate links. This means that at no extra cost to you, I can earn a small percentage of your purchase price.

Unless explicitly stated that they are free, all books that I review have been purchased by me or borrowed from the library.

Book covers are credited to Amazon.




  1. I have read and enjoyed The Escape from Mr. Lemoncello’s Library, Carol. My eldest grandson and I did a buddy read a few years ago. It was fun. Going to check at the library and see if they have the Muriel Barbery. ❤📚

  2. A great eclectic list, Carol. Believe it or not, we did not have a book in common, although the Mitch Albom book is up this week for me.

    • I’m writing my #6Degrees post today…..I haven’t participated since May because I hadn’t read any of the books, but I’m jumping back in with Ethan because at least I’ve read it!

  3. We didn’t read any books that were the same. I definitely want to listen to Dolly Parton’s Life in Lyrics; I’ll have to wait until it’s available at my library or Hoopla. I thought of you after reading Trophy Son by Douglas Brunt, a novel about a teenage boy who becomes a professional tennis player. It was a 3-star for me – I much preferred Open by Andre Agassi. Real life was better than fiction.

    Having won a lot of GoodRead giveaway books this year, it looks like my winning streak is over. I haven’t won a book since the end of September. Probably a good thing because I have been focusing on books on my TBR.

    I’ve never had any luck with audiobooks in the past(my mind always wanders so I lose the thread). I read American Dreamer by Adriana Herrera on my Kindle, and really enjoyed this M/M romance. I decided to try the second book in the series on audio, and Sean Crisden did a fantastic job with the narration. He had various voices for the characters and acted it so well. I ended up blitzing the series, which is so easy to do with Hoopla. In addition to the romance, each story addresses a different aspect of the immigration experience.

    I learned two very important things about listening to audiobooks. Firstly, the narrator is absolutely key. Books with lots of dialogue is way to go because the narrator will act the roles. Books with little dialogue means that there is very little change in the voice (so my mind wanders). My other trick is to listen to the first half hour or so during the day without distractions so that I can get into the story. Once the story has my interest, I can listen to it before going to sleep at night. Setting the timer in 30-minute intervals helps find my place quicker the next day.

    On my TBR list for December are fluffy Christmas stories. Life is too busy to focus on meaningful novels.

    • That’s a great tip for listening to audio at 30 sec intervals! I’ll remember that! Narrators can make or break a story for sure! I don’t often read via audio, but my fav narrator so far is Ray Porter (Project Hail Mary).

      Nothing wrong with fluffy reads! Enjoy!

      • Project Hail Mary is on my TBR. I’ll just have to wait until the audiobook is on Hoopla or at the library website.
        I just downloaded the audio version of The Hating Game. I want to listen to it before seeing the movie. It has two narrators so that should be interesting.

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