Books I Read November 2021

by - Wednesday, December 08, 2021

I feel like I didn't read all that much in November, and when I looked back at my GoodReads, I realized it was because I got stuck in two books that were kind of a slog. One had come pretty highly recommended and the other was by a favorite author. So I had two disappointments mixed in with some other fun and fast thrillers, one of my favorite genres. 

Books Nov2021

Five Stars

Survive the NightSurvive the Night by Riley Sager
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This audio book kept me great company on my long runs. It takes place mainly in one setting -- on a car ride from a college in New Jersey to a girl's hometown in Ohio. Charlie gets a ride with Josh who she meets through the ride share board at her school. She's leaving town because her roommate was killed. We aren't sure why Josh is leaving town, but he's a questionable character, and Charlie is stuck with him for hours. I definitely didn't see the twist coming right away, and I didn't want my runs to end so I could figure out how things would end.

Four Stars

Need to KnowNeed to Know by Karen Cleveland
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I could not put this book down and flew through it in a couple of days (would have been even faster if I didn't lose a day to travel). It's a debut novel by a former CIA analyst, and this book tells the story of a CIA analyst who works on the Russia desk. She hacks into the computer of the handler of a suspected Russian sleeper cell operating in the U.S. and what she finds turns everything she knows completely upside down. Without giving away too many spoilers, the main character needs to figure out who she can trust and how to keep her family safe. Four stars instead of five because there were parts where I didn't think the book was totally believable, but if you love a fun and fast thriller, you should definitely read this book.

Managing Up: How to Move up, Win at Work, and Succeed with Any Type of BossManaging Up: How to Move up, Win at Work, and Succeed with Any Type of Boss by Mary Abbajay
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

A colleague recommended this book after we had a series of new leaders start at the beginning of the year. I appreciated the concise advice on approaches for working with all different types of leadership styles.

Three Stars

The Love SeasonThe Love Season by Elin Hilderbrand
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I'm on a quest to read all of Elin Hilderbrand's books, but sometimes it's hard to find her older ones at the library. So I did this book as an audiobook, and I really enjoyed the soothing tone of the narrator's voice. I also enjoyed the broad strokes of the story that flashes back and forth between present day and the past, but I didn't love some (or many) of the characters. I also thought there was one storyline where I wanted more from the ending, but didn't get it.

L.A. WeatherL.A. Weather by María Amparo Escandón
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I thought this book started out a little slow, though it did eventually pick up as you got more invested in the family saga. It follows a multigenerational Mexican-American family over the course of the year as each of the family members grapples with strained relationships and major identity shifts around professional and personal goals. For a book titled for the weather, I thought the weather (wildfires specifically) would play a larger role in this book. But other than one story line, I thought the weather actually fell more into the background of the story.

Two Stars

Apples Never FallApples Never Fall by Liane Moriarty
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

I usually enjoy Liane Moriarty's books, but this one was a major struggle for me. It took me nearly two whole weeks to read because I found the plot really slow and wasn't really excited to pick it up and actually read it. It started off with a really interesting premise, but it was way too long and I just didn't care enough about any of the characters to stay invested for more than 450 pages.

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