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Murder by Death

I read cozy and historical mysteries, a bit of Paranormal/UF, and to mix it up, I read science and gardening books on occasion.

November reading from the rear view mirror...

I read 17 books in November.  A lot of short books; some dense, some not so much.  Here's what shocked me though:  9 of those 17 were non-fiction, which I'm pretty sure is a personal best not only in terms of a fiction/non-fiction ratio but in number of books read.


I know I'm a pretty generous reader; beyond expecting good writing/editing and to be either entertained or informed (preferably both) I don't demand much from my books.  I also tend to be pretty picky with what I pick up as I generally buy my books and am not keen to waste my money, so my TBR is skewed to start with.  Even so, this month had an exceptional number of good or great reads.


I had two 5 star reads this month, both non-fiction:

Holy Sh*t: A Brief History of Swearing - Melissa Mohr  Housekeeping vs. the Dirt - Nick Hornby  


Two 4.5 star reads, one each of fiction/non-fiction:

The Book of Human Emotion - Tiffany Watt-Smith  Girl Waits with Gun - Amy Stewart  


and six 4 star reads, only 1 of which was non-fiction, but 1 was poetry (for cats, but STILL poetry!):

Poetry for Cats: The Definitive Anthology of Distinguished Feline Verse - Henry Beard 

Lawn Order - Molly MacRae  

The Daughter of Time - Josephine Tey  

Shakespeare Wrote for Money - Nick Hornby  

Superfudge - Judy Blume  

Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing - Judy Blume  



My two biggest disappointments this month were:


Hitler's Art Thief: Hildebrand Gurlitt, the Nazis, and the Looting of Europe's Treasures by Susan Ronald  which I thought tried too hard to make Gurlitt sympathetic and dwelled too much in irrelevancies with a narrative bogged down under the weight of its own details. 


The Dressmaker by Rachel Griffiths and narrated by Rosalie Ham, which was beautifully written, brilliantly narrated and I hated it.


I know BookLikes has continued to frustrate a lot of us with slow-to-the-point-of-death speeds, but I've noticed those slow periods lately have been quite cyclical; for me the site is at its worst in the early mornings (when I normally use it, of course) and it speeds up dramatically mid-morning.  Since I have the luxury of flexibility, I wait until mid-morning and I've been able to enjoy the site a lot more this month (also: no down time all of November I think?) - I've even been able to dig into the book database and do some large-scale cleanups, something I haven't been able to do since June of last year.  Hints of behind the scenes attention has me cautiously hopeful for a better year next year.


Now if I can just kick this reading slump to the curb...