November 2020 Reading Recap

In November, I attempted NaNoWriMo, and I did not win. Which is fine. Work was wild. I’m not on any contractual deadline. I read a lot, but I feel like this month had more duds in it than usual. It happens.

Read Cover-to-Cover in October

A Monstrous Love by Magen Cubed

  • Four f/f horror erotica stories in one!
  • There are ghosts, cannibals, vampires, and demons
  • Takeaway: Horror aesthetic with sex scenes are great

The Harpy by Megan Hunter

  • Adult literary fiction about a wife getting cheated on
  • The narration gets increasingly feral even though not a whole lot happens
  • Takeaway: Effectively leaving endings open to interpretation

The Blade Between by Sam J. Miller

  • Adult contemporary dark fantasy about a town haunted by literal ghosts and gentrification
  • Plot by Grindr dates
  • Maintaining relationships as an adult is hard
  • Takeaway: Melding together so many seemingly disparate elements

The Factory Witches of Lowell by C.S. Malerich

  • Adult fantasy novellas about witches rising up against their employers and use magic to form a union
  • Yes, the leads kiss (it’s f/f)
  • Takeaway: Effectively leaning into a time period while leaving few stones unturned

Audiobooks

I’ll Be Gone in the Dark: One Woman’s Obsessive Search for the Golden State Killer by Michelle McNamara

  • Adult true crime nonfiction following the saga of the writer behind My True Crime Diary
  • Published posthumously and re-released once the culprit had been put behind bars
  • The editors did a fantastic job piecing together the narrative in a voice consistent with the completed chapters
  • Takeaway: How to write empathetically about victims of heinous crimes

TThe Troop by Nick Cutter

  • Adult horror about a camping trip going horribly wrong when a half-dead man appears in their camp
  • The adults don’t fare much better than the kids
  • Gruesome details
  • Takeaway: How to create a character more terrifying than parasite eating everyone arrive

Wonderland by Zoje Stage

  • Adult horror about a family moving upstate to live their best lives, but an entity has other plans
  • Incredible first two thirds where I audibly gasped a few times
  • Ending really didn’t work for me
  • Takeaway: Revisit the opening to make the ending stick

Lobizona (Wolves of No World #1) by Romina Garber

  • Young adult fantasy about an undocumented immigrant who discovers she’s magic, but also learns that her abilities haven’t been encountered before
  • When this book works, it works
  • Tonally inconsistent between the first third and the major plot arc of Manu’s time at magical school
  • Takeaway: Keeping the stakes consistent

The Trauma Cleaner: One Woman’s Extraordinary Life in the Business of Death, Decay, and Disaster by Sarah Krasnostein

  • Adult nonfiction about the life of a trans woman who runs a trauma cleaning company
  • Be sure to check the trigger warnings before reading
  • Heavy, but ultimately hopeful
  • Takeaway: Maintain a healthy distance between admiration and profuse praise

December is for clearing out my TBR and catching up on books I was anticipating. And ARCs. And holidays. Oh boy.

Until next time,
Jo

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