The festive season is now upon us but before I set out on some Christmassy reads, it’s time for another wrap up. Throughout November I finished 13 books (4 novels, a novella, 3 non-fiction books, 2 graphic novels, a short story collection, a poetry anthology and a play). I was predominantly in the mood for shorter reads for most of the month, hence the decent number I got through, and this brought my yearly total up to 126.
The highlight amongst them was in fact my most recent read, Spyglass by Hélène Deschamps. It’s the autobiography of a young woman who served as an undercover agent for the French Resistance and the American OSS during WWII, surviving against extreme odds time and time again, and completing dangerous missions despite her fears out of duty and honour to resist Hitler’s Nazi regime. Her life was truly incredible and has a ‘stranger than fiction’ feel, though what I respected most of all was the humanity she instilled within it, never afraid to admit her doubts, fears and regrets.
I also loved The Country Set by Hannah Dale, a collection of gorgeous paintings of animals native to the British countryside, accompanied by some interesting information about each species. Sweet Home by Carys Bray and Dolly by Susan Hill also stand out, the former being a collection of stories that focus on the struggles of family life and the latter a creepy novella that gets under your skin.
Undoubtedly one of the most unique reads however was Nutshell by Ian McEwan, a re-telling of Shakespeare’s Hamlet about betrayal and murder, narrated from the perspective of an unborn child. Yes, really.
All-in-all it was a very successful and enjoyable reading month and I look forward to seeing what December will bring.
What was your favourite read in November?