November was a blur, whew! Nothing new here: work-wise, -ber months have always been our busy season. But my personal errands also picked up so there’s little time for introspection and peaceful nights. I’ve had a couple of meet-ups with friends this month to catch up but I know that, historically, I’ve always picked up with my reading in order to have some semblance of personal life despite my busy schedule. This month, I’ve managed to read 18 books! (Technically, 16 books if we remove the short-story-esque books counted in my Goodreads.)
I know – it surprised me, too. I had a big romance binge this month. I have a couple of re-reads here, but most of the books I read this month are from book series so they were easier to digest and breeze through. It’s true that there is comfort in the hands of a good old romance book. I’m addicted to HEAs in romance because it gives me that sense of hope and happiness on dreary days when I need them. I’m not sure if I’ve ever read a romance without a HEA ending before and, if I have, I can’t even remember (update: apparently, I’ve read a couple).
This binge was also mostly in thanks to Scribd’s library. I’d like to think I’m pretty tight with my spending on books but more so in the last couple of months because I’m saving up for something big. Having a Scribd and Audible subscription really helped me manage this. Add the fact that I’m totally hooked to the convenience of reading through audiobooks lately. (Someday, I’ll try to draft a post detailing how I really enjoy audiobooks and the pros.)
Anyway, here are the books I’ve read this November 2021:
- The Hating Game by Sally Thorne – 5/5☕ [short review]
- How to Write Short: Word Craft for Fast Times by Roy Peter Clark – 4/5☕
- All the Way (Romancing Manhattan, #1) by Kristen Proby – 2.5/5☕ [review]
- All it Takes (Romancing Manhattan, #2) by Kristen Proby – 4/5☕ [review]
- After All (Romancing Manhattan, #3) by Kristen Proby – 3.5/5☕ [review]
- Three Simple Rules (Blindfold Club, #1) by Nikki Sloane – 3.5/5☕
- Overruled (The Legal Briefs, #1) by Emma Chase – 3/5☕ [review]
- Sustained (The Legal Briefs, #2) by Emma Chase – 5/5☕ [review]
- Appealed (The Legal Briefs, #3) by Emma Chase – 5/5☕ [review]
- Sidebarred (The Legal Briefs, #3.5) by Emma Chase – 5/5☕ [review]
- Tangled (Tangled, #1) by Emma Chase – 4/5☕
- Twisted (Tangled, #2) by Emma Chase – 3/5☕
- Spy x Family by Tatsuya Endo – 5/5☕
- Tamed (Tangled, #3) by Emma Chase – 3.5/5☕
- Holy Frigging Matrimony (Tangled, #1.5) by Emma Chase – 3.5/5☕
- Tied (Tangled, #4) by Emma Chase – 4/5☕
- Tangled: Extra Scenes (Tangled, #1.1) by Emma Chase – 3/5☕
- It’s a Wonderful Tangled Chrismas Carol (Tangled, #4.5) by Emma Chase – 3/5☕
I wanted to call this month The Great Romance Binge because given how slow I normally read, I’m not sure if I can read as much as this in a given month. The binge was started when I was researching for quick romance reads with adult characters (late 20s to 30+) and Kristen Proby’s Romancing Manhattan series appeared in the lists I’ve come across. The reading experience was honestly mediocre at first, like listening to a radio drama half-paying attention while I’m doing my work. But after reading the first book, I see the charm of reading a romance series especially if the stories are interconnected. The last time I read some romantic series, it was Talia Hibbert’s The Brown Sisters series and Abby Jimenez’s The Friend Zone series – but both of them I’ve read not consecutively. Romancing Manhattan is interconnected by the three brothers who have a law firm in Manhattan (which lead each of the book), but it was All it Takes that interested me most partly because it was more immersive on the law aspect of the story. That book made me look for legal romances that I can read which eventually led me to Emma Chase’s The Legal Briefs series.
Ah, The Legal Briefs series. This book series honestly holds a huge chunk of my heart mostly because this is where I found one of the best rom-coms I’ve read to date, i.e., Sustained by Emma Chase. I feel like I’ve professed my love for this series and Sustained in particular just about anywhere: discord servers, book twitter, bookstagram; I even recommended it to my sister. This book just straight-up made me so happy. I don’t like children normally, but apparently, I love reading about them if they are as adorable as the McQuiad kids. Add the narration which was pretty spot on. I don’t normally pay that much attention to who narrates my audiobooks but Sebastian York (a.k.a., Jake Becker) was such a delight. (Sebastian York cursing in an audiobook = one for the books 💯). Overruled was written in dual POVs. But Sustained, Appealed and Sidebarred (a novella in Jake’s POV) were all written in the male POV only. Apparently, Emma Chase is the queen of male POVs (per my Goodreads snooping) and I definitely do not disagree at this point. I normally don’t like cocky male POVs but, for some reason, Emma just made it work and I love her books so much for it.
And then here we are to the (almost) final lap: Emma Chase’s famed Tangled series (talk about conquering the backlist, huh). As a result of my Goodreads surfing, I rediscovered the Tangled series. It turns out, I already rated it 1 star back in 2016 when I first read it LOL but I decided to give it another try. While I could recognize why my younger self would rate this as such, I enjoyed Tangled more this time around. Sebastian York’s (yes, the same one) narration contributes a lot to that. Drew’s POV, though immature and obsessive to an almost annoying degree, was sweet and so freakin’ hilarious. And then it was an Emma Chase rabbit hole all the way. They said that Drew Evans was Emma Chase’s best male lead – and after a lot of books with his egotistic and annoyingly charming voice, I can see why. He is the sort of character that grows on you with each book. Jake Becker (from Sustained) is still my number one but Drew Evans came pretty close. It was just pure fun trying to read through everyone’s adventures. By the time I finished It’s a Wonderful Tangled Christmas Carol (a hilarious novella where 3 holiday spirits visit Drew, ala A Christmas Carol, to make him realize the error of his ways), I feel like I’ve known everyone dearly and I low-key miss this fun family once I finished the last story.
Then there were a couple of other books here as well. I finished How to Write Short, a nonfiction that detailed some techniques in writing short but powerful pieces. This will be reviewed in my next Non Fiction Round Up post. I also re-read Sally Thorne’s The Hating Game because the trailer for the movie adaptation just dropped recently. I also marked the SpyxFamily manga as finished this month (it’s hard to track my manga reads because they are listed per volume, but whatever). The anime adaptation is coming out in 2022 and I’m darn excited about it. I also read Three Simple Rules on a whim, which randomly came up in our discord server. And what can I say? It was spicy and it delivered a good time – but I don’t think I’ll be reading the rest of the series because it was just too much LOL.
What I’m reading right now
I wanted to slow down after that crazy November but who am I kidding? 😅 Anyway, here are the books I’m currently (actively) reading right now:
- Infused: Adventures in Tea by Henrietta Lovell – This is a chill and fascinating memoir by someone who has a deep appreciation of high-quality tea. It was quiet in tone. It’s more focused on expressing her love of tea and detailing the places she’s been to in search of tea while also offering up some tea tidbits that I’ve been dying to know for quite some time. I feel like I’ll appreciate this more if I am exposed to tea culture more but this is definitely good for beginners as well if you want to listen to someone who unquestionably loves and knows what she is talking about.
- No Longer Human by Osamu Dazai – I finally braved and opened this book. I was hesitant before for fear that it won’t live up to my expectations. But these past few months just reinforced the fact that just because others like it, doesn’t mean I will like it too. I’m 40% in and I’m honestly not feeling it that much. I see the similarities in tone and themes to Dostoyevsky’s Notes from Underground (at least, on a couple of pages I was able to read from the latter). I think I would’ve appreciated this book more if I have a different mindset and if I’m currently experiencing a dark episode (my like for books are usually driven by how much I can relate to them) – which is a good thing, I guess? Since it means that I am not in that place right now. And for that, I am grateful.
Aside from that, I only have one priority book to read this December: Fonda Lee’s Jade Legacy. The much-anticipated conclusion to The Green Bone Saga was out last November 30th and I am both scared and psyched to dive into it. I already got a copy and I am stuck between trying to take it slow and inhaling the shit out of that book. Tell me I am not alone in this. 😵
That was my November in books. I’m clocking at 72 out of 20 in my annual Goodreads challenge (360%) which is crazy! I also can’t believe we have less than a month (4 weeks!) to go before 2022 is here. Time flies fast, for sure, and it’s hard to keep up. But we still try (I hope). 😅