About a day later than usual, but I’m just glad my fingers recovered from whatever my COVID shot did to them to get this up. More posts and hopefully some Sisters of String and Glass by the end of the week!
For my personal Indie Books Challenge, I’ve decided to try to have at least half of all the books I read in a month be by an indie author or published by an indie publishing house, which I’m broadly defining as not published by one of the Big 5 because doing otherwise would break my already exhausted brain. So, how did I do in November?
I read 7 books and 4 were definitely indie books. I’m kind of surprised I actually made my goal of over half being indie reads, but mostly pleased I really enjoyed most of the books I read. Considering school has been super busy with both kids and Thanksgiving week was kind of packed with stuff, I’m quite pleased.
The Indie Books
The Thirteen Gates: Apprentice by Elton Gahr was my first indie read of November. I was expecting a lot of magic and monsters, but most of that was sadly lacking. Everything felt way too easy and I couldn’t shake the feeling it was teetering between MG and YA as it kept making me think of a 4th Grade level book series about video games my 7 year old son loves.
Right after, it was time to start on Rise of the Shadow by Michael Webb. I’d been really looking forward to this one! It’s the second in The Shadow Knight Trilogy, which manages to both be traditional high fantasy and something really unique. I adore the characters and the focus on business as a major part of the world building, and now I’m dying to know how it wraps up in the last book.
What with all the fantasy I read in November, the end of the month desperately called for a cozy mystery. I’m holding off on my e-ARC of the 19th Coffeehouse Mystery, Honey Roasted, because I love savoring these books over the winter break, so Murder in the Vineyard by Denise Jaden perfectly fit what I needed. This is the 4th in the Mallory Beck Cozy Culinary Caper and does not disappoint with a slightly more dangerous mystery, some great friends, delicious food, and an adorably grouchy cat whose a better sleuth than everyone else.
To wrap up the month, I’m currently working my way through Lucky King by Bruce Griffin Henderson, a fictional novel set right after 9/11 that follows the lives the 7 people after one receives a peculiar fortune in a fortune cookie. It’s not my usual type of read, but I do love ensemble casts, so was quite drawn to this one, even if I have no idea what it’s supposed to be about.
The Books from the Big 5
Noor by Nnedi Okorafor started November off for me as I had started reading it at the end of October. While I think this book has a lot to offer and an interesting story, I don’t think it was quite for me, but it has me looking at big companies in a different way!
The Bone Shard Emperor by Andrea Stewart had been an anticipated read for the past year, mostly because of Mephi, the most adorable creature companion ever. While I wasn’t a big fan of the traveling around to the different islands, there was also some wonderful world building and answers to some questions, as well as Mephi’s newest antic, which was a ton of fun.
A Swift and Savage Tide by Chloe Neill has also been much anticipated. The second in the Captain Kit Brightling series, it manages to swirl together Jane Austen, regency romance, and Napoleonic era literature. It’s a fantasy take on Napoleon’s escape from Elba with delightful characters. A quick and fast-paced fantasy, it almost feels like a guilty pleasure.
Thanks for reading!