Monthly round-up: November, 2016

O.k. so one more day till I need to start panicking about Christmas…November how can you have gone by so quickly?  Overall though, you were a pretty good month.  I got to see friends, spend time with family, became addicted to at least two new TV shows thanks to Netflix (How To Get Away With Murder and iZombie), and finally managed to finish the left-over Halloween candy – just in time for the last minute rush to lose weight before putting it all on again on the 25th.

Book wise, you were pretty good too.  Here’s what I read, loved and liked (there were not I really didn’t this month I am pleased to report)…

Loved it

Only one this month in the loved column and that was Find Her by Lisa Gardner,  an author I really, really, should read more of.  Find Her is what happens when a young woman is kidnapped, locked in a box and survives, or at least makes it out alive.  I couldn’t put this one down and couldn’t recommend it highly enough.


Liked a lot

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Her Final Breath by Robert Dugoni, the second in the Tracy Crosswhite series this sees Tracy back in Seattle and on the trail of a serial killer with a difference – he gets the victims to kill themselves…a clever twist in the tale.

Small Great Things by Jodi Picoult, which I wanted to love but couldn’t because of the feeling I was being beaten over the head with the message.  This focuses on race relations in America, a difficult subject to tackle but done well for the most part.

The Doll’s House by M. J. Arlidge, the third in the Helen Grace detective series.  This was another cracker with Helen desperately searching for a missing girl only to come across a serial killer.

The Redemption of Galen Pike by Carys Davies, a great collection of short stories that took me from Wales to Australia via Birmingham and Siberia and introduced me from some interesting, heart-warming and intriguing characters.

Hag-Seed by Margaret Atwood, a modern retelling of The Tempest with a prison replacing the island and a play within a play.  Interesting and involving but maybe not for everyone.

Liked a little

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Behind Closed Doors by B. A. Paris, a good debut that shows we never really know what happens between a couple when the doors and curtains are closed – this was a real page turner, I would just have liked a little more character development.

The Girls Next Door by Mel Sherratt, which opens with a brutal scene of violence and shows just how cruel teenagers can be.  Personally, I couldn’t get away with the annoying teenagers in this one but it wouldn’t stop me recommending the book.

The Exit by Helen Fitzgerald, a book I had high expectations for after reading The Cry but was left feeling disappointed in because of one scene (I know but sometimes that’s all it takes) that meant I no longer believed in the story.

Along the way I also wrote about…

What books I’d be willing to fight for on Black Friday

My A to Z of books

Night time reading (how late doI stay up?)

and created a page (in part of my ongoing efforts to organise my blog) of Reviews by author.

So, like I said, not a bad month.  How was yours? What did you read?


This month I’m linking up with Kathryn at The Book Date for her month in review.  Head over and see what she and others have been reading too.



  1. What a great month. I want to read Lisa Gardner, will put this one on my list. I need to read the 2nd in the MJ Alrdige series. I really enjoyed Behind Closed Doors and Small Great Things is calling my name, it may just be my 1st book of the year I choose.


    • It was. We got our first box of chocolates delivered by a neighbour yesterday and I just thought “no, not yet”. The treadmill will have to be my new best friend this month.


  2. Looks to me like you had a very productive month. I haven’t read a Lisa Gardner but I see those who like crime and suspense a lot enjoying her books. It will be interesting to see what I think of Small Great Things. It will be 2017 by the time I read that! Ouch!


    • 2017 – I can’t even think about it. The Jodi Picoult seems to be garnering good reviews – but mixed between loved and liked so I hope you enjoy it – next year.


  3. It’s certainly been a great month for you – it’s great that you loved/liked more books than you didn’t:). I’m still promising myself to get stuck into Hagseed at the start of December – thank you for your review. I hope you have a really good December reading month.


    • It is – though I do sometimes wonder if it’s because I don’t test myself too much with new genres. It’s going to be one of my new year resolutions – a new genre or author each month. We’ll see how that impacts things.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Okay… though I would just say – by all means have a go and I hope you discover all sorts of gems. But I’ve rekindled my passion for reading by sticking with books I LOVE rather than trudging through books I feel I OUGHT to read:).

        Liked by 1 person

  4. I love MJ Arlidge’s Helen Grace series…I’m patiently waiting for Hide & Seek to come out in the US 🙂 I also enjoyed Find Her – what a crazy book! I listened to it and those scenes when she was stuck in the box…OMG!!! Like Laurel-Rain, Behind Closed Doors happened to be a favorite of mine – I’m a sucker for a good psychological thriller! Have you read The Girl Before by Rena Olsen – I really liked it, but it’s definitely not a book for everyone. Have a great December 🙂


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