Reads for November 2022

Here are my spoiler-free reviews for November.

Adobe and Arsenic by Mia P. Manansala

“Her greatest nightmare was holding a party and not having enough food for everyone.”

This book made me laugh out loud. As a Filipino-American, I related to a lot of Lila’s (the main character) experiences culturally. Plus just like Lila, I grew up in a small town and I related to her frustrations of wanting to leave as soon as I got the chance. It’s an interesting mash-up of comedy, mystery, and food commentary. At the end of he book there are recipe for ube crinkle cookies and her version of adobo.

The Southern Book Club’s Guide to Slaying Vampires by Grady Hendrix

“Why do you pretend what we do is nothing?” she asked. “Every day, all the chaos and messiness of life happens and every day we clean it all up. Without us, they would just wallow in filth and disorder and nothing of any consequence would ever get done. Who taught you to sneer at that? I’ll tell you who. Someone who took their mother for granted.”

This book was such a surprise for me, I did not expect to like it so much. I tend to stay away from vampire genres. I was initially attracted to the book because the title sounded so funny! Anyways, a lot of the times the horror isn’t about the *spoiler alert* vampires and other monsters. As far as I know, they don’t exist in real life. Misogyny, racism, gaslighting, toxic patriarchy, and displacement ARE the horror and those who do it are far more terrorizing than any mythical monsters.

Lincoln in the Bardo by George Saunders

“What I mean to say is, we had been considerable. Had been loved. Not lonely, not lost, not freakish, but wise, each in his or her own way. Our departures caused pain. Those who had loved us sat upon their beds, heads in hand; lowered their faces to tabletops, making animal noises. We had been loved, I say, and remembering us, even many years later, people would smile, briefly gladdened at the memory.”

The format is so different from anything I’ve ever read, I was not sure I was going to like it. I thought “what’s with all these random quotes?” I have a rule when reading a book to give it a chance for 100 pages or 1/3 of the book if the book is less than 300 pages long. The format is intimidating but it passed my 100 pages test. My secret is if you approached reading Lincoln in the Bardo like a libretto (or a playscript), reading it would tolerable. I thoroughly enjoyed this book.

Book(s) I did not finish:

Racing the Rain: My Life as a Dog by Garth Stein

I had no idea this was the kid’s version of The Art of Racing in the Rain: A Novel. I should have picked up some of the subtle clues like the slightly different cover of a puppy instead of a more senior dog. I would rather read The Art of Racing in the Rain: A Novel.

What’s On Your Bookshelf is a monthly link-up co-hosted by Debbie (Deb’s World), Jo (And Anyways), Sue (Women Living Well After 50) and Donna (Retirement Reflections). #whatsonyourbookshelfchallenge

4 thoughts on “Reads for November 2022”

  1. Quite an eclectic reading month. I would have picked up The Southern Book Club’s Guide to Slaying Vampires on the basis of the title too (even though I’m not into a vampire genre…). Thanks for linking up.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh yes, I love venturing out in my reading life. I am not into the vampire genre either but *spoiler alert* “The Southern Book Club’s Guide…” is NOT young romantic genre :-P.


  2. I love your reviews Julie, some fun sounding titles there and the vampire one sounds a hoot! Isn’t it funny how some books jump out at us and others we aren’t too sure but give it a go anyway – this sounds like one of them! Thanks for joining us this month, it’s always great to have your posts.

    Liked by 1 person

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