Monthly Wrap Up – November 2020

This month was slow starting for me in terms of reading, I’m not sure why but I was in a bit of a slump! Maybe it was because I was being good and not doing a monthly haul this month so I didn’t feel that I had to race through to get to my new books. It definitely picked up 

I’ve tried to focus more on blog tour books and review requests this month in the spirit of ‘Galleyathon’ – even if they didn’t all come from NetGalley specifically! 

Books read this month

This month I read a total of 13 books (7 physical and 6 ebooks)

  1. The Ruby Locket by Melissa Wray
  2. The Fathers, the Sons and the Anxious Ghost by Jamie Adams (Blog tour)
  3. Nevernight by Jay Kristoff 
  4. The Smallest Man by Frances Quinn (ARC / Blog tour)
  5. There’s No Such Thing As An Easy Job by Kikuko Tsumura
  6. The Inugami Curse by Seishi Yokomizo (ARC) 
  7. The Dragon Republic by R.F. Kuang
  8. The Decagon House Murders by Yukito Ayatsuji (ARC)
  9. Fae Child by Jane-Holly Meissner (Blog tour)
  10. Leave the World Behind by Rumaan Alam
  11. Olive Kitteridge by Elizabeth Strout
  12. Nothing Good Happens After Midnight edited by Jeffery Deaver (ARC / Blog tour)
  13. Convenience Store Woman by Sayaka Murata
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Favourite books read this month

Nevernight by Jay Kristoff
This is the first in the Nevernight chronicle series which is definitely one that I will be finishing after such a strong start! I adored this fantasy novel, I loved the world, the characters and the tone of the novel. I wasn’t expecting this novel to have as much humour in it as it does which I really loved. 

There’s No Such Thing As An Easy Job by Kikuko Tsumura
In this novel Tsumura brilliantly captures work burnout and jumping from job to job as a temp. I especially loved how each job wasn’t exactly what it seemed and there was some kind of mystery surrounding them. 

The Dragon Republic by R.F. Kuang
It’s no surprise that this made it onto this list as I loved The Poppy War. All the characters were wonderfully developed and you could clearly see how they were impacted from the first novel. This was a brilliant second instalment to the series and had me incredibly excited for the last novel The Burning God

The Decagon House Murders by Yukito Ayatsuji
I do love a good detective fiction novel and this is one of the best that I have ever read. It simultaneously feels like a classic detective fiction novel but it also feels very contemporary and subversive in some ways, despite the novel originally being published in the 1980s. 

Leave the World Behind by Rumaan Alam
I can’t remember the last time a book left me as unsettled as this one. Alam has such a way with words and tone that you feel suffocated from the very pages, yet you can’t help yourself but keep turning them. Alam also clearly understands people as his characters don’t feel like characters at all, but people you have met in passing instead. 

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There’s No Such Thing As An Easy Job by Kikuko Tsumura

Firstly, huge thank you to Bloomsbury and NetGalley for providing me with an eBook and a print copy of this novel in exchange for an honest review. 

Publisher: Bloomsbury
Publication Date:
26/11/2020
Length: 416 pages
Genre:
Translated Fiction | Japanese Fiction | Contemporary Fiction

CW: n/a

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A young woman walks into an employment agency and requests a job that has the following traits: it is close to her home, and it requires no reading, no writing – and ideally, very little thinking.

She is sent to a nondescript office building where she is tasked with watching the hidden-camera feed of an author suspected of storing contraband goods. But observing someone for hours on end can be so inconvenient and tiresome. How will she stay awake? When can she take delivery of her favourite brand of tea? And, perhaps more importantly – how did she find herself in this situation in the first place?

As she moves from job to job, writing bus adverts for shops that mysteriously disappear, and composing advice for rice cracker wrappers that generate thousands of devoted followers, it becomes increasingly apparent that she’s not searching for the easiest job at all, but something altogether more meaningful…

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Monthly TBR – November 2020

With Christmas looming on the horizon, instead of a full monthly haul this month I’m going to outline what I hope to get through this month instead! As I mentioned in last month’s Thoughtful Thursday post, at this time of year I become a bit of a seasonal reader. This month also sees the next Galleyathon Round (9 November 2020 – 15 November 2020) and I have a few sitting on my shelf that I need to get through! 

The Dragon Republic by R.F. Kuang

In the aftermath of the Third Poppy War, shaman and warrior Rin is on the run: haunted by the atrocity she committed to end the war, addicted to opium, and hiding from the murderous commands of her vengeful god, the fiery Phoenix. Her only reason for living is to get revenge on the traitorous Empress who sold out Nikan to their enemies.

With no other options, Rin joins forces with the powerful Dragon Warlord, who has a plan to conquer Nikan, unseat the Empress, and create a new Republic. Rin throws herself into his war. After all, making war is all she knows how to do.


There’s No Such Thing as an Easy Job by Kikuko Tsumura 

A young woman walks into an employment agency and requests a job that has the following traits: it is close to her home, and it requires no reading, no writing – and ideally, very little thinking.

She is sent to a nondescript office building where she is tasked with watching the hidden-camera feed of an author suspected of storing contraband goods. But observing someone for hours on end can be so inconvenient and tiresome. How will she stay awake? When can she take delivery of her favourite brand of tea? And, perhaps more importantly – how did she find herself in this situation in the first place?

As she moves from job to job, writing bus adverts for shops that mysteriously disappear, and composing advice for rice cracker wrappers that generate thousands of devoted followers, it becomes increasingly apparent that she’s not searching for the easiest job at all, but something altogether more meaningful… 


The Smallest Man by Frances Quinn

When should my story begin? Not when I was born, a butcher’s son, in a tiny cottage just like all the other tiny cottages in Oakham. Who’d have thought then that I’d ever have much of a story to tell? Perhaps it starts when people began to nudge each other and stare as I walked with my mother to market, or the first time someone whispered that we were cursed. But I didn’t know then. No, I think my story begins on the day of the Oakham Fair, in the year of 1625. 

When I was ten years old and I found out what I was. Nat Davy is a dwarf. He is 10 years old, and all he wants is to be normal. After narrowly escaping being sold to the circus by his father, Nat is presented to Queen Henrietta Maria – in a pie. She’s 15, trapped in a loveless marriage to King Charles I, and desperately homesick. Nat becomes a friend to the woman who’ll become the power behind the throne and trigger the Civil War, but in the eyes of the world he’s still a pet, a doll to be dressed up and shown off. Nat longs to ride and hunt like the other boys at court. The real boys. But he will never be accepted. 

Loosely based on a true story, this epic tale spans 20 years; during which the war begins, Nat and the queen go on the run, Nat saves the queen’s life, falls in love with the most beautiful girl at court, kills a man, is left in exile. Told from his unique perspective as the smallest man in England, with the clever and engaging voice of a boy turned man yearning for acceptance, this story takes us on an unforgettable journey. He’s England’s smallest man, but his story is anything but small.


The Fathers, The Sons and the Anxious Ghost by Jamie Adams

Three guys in their thirties have something in common. Their children all go to the same school. One day a tragic event leads to them having to deal with a lurking aftermath which draws them into each other’s lives and causes them to rethink their attitudes to just about everything.

The children tell the second part of this story, ten years after the initial events. The dust seems to have settled until one of them uncovers information that throws everything back into chaos.

The third part… well that will have to wait.


The Inugami Curse by Seishi Yokomizo

A fiendish classic murder mystery, from one of Japan’s greatest crime writers

In 1940s Japan, the wealthy head of the Inugami Clan dies, and his family eagerly await the reading of the will. But no sooner are its strange details revealed than a series of bizarre, gruesome murders begins. Detective Kindaichi must unravel the clan’s terrible secrets of forbidden liaisons, monstrous cruelty, and hidden identities to find the murderer, and lift the curse wreaking its bloody revenge on the Inugamis.


The Glass Woman by Caroline Lea

1686, ICELAND. AN ISOLATED, WINDSWEPT LAND HAUNTED BY WITCH TRIALS AND STEEPED IN THE ANCIENT SAGAS.

Betrothed unexpectedly to Jón Eiríksson, Rósa is sent to join her new husband in the remote village of Stykkishólmur. Here, the villagers are wary of outsiders.

But Rósa harbours her own suspicions. Her husband buried his first wife alone in the dead of night. He will not talk of it. Instead he gives her a small glass figurine. She does not know what it signifies.

The villagers mistrust them both. Dark threats are whispered. There is an evil here – Rósa can feel it. Is it her husband, the villagers – or the land itself?

Alone and far from home, Rósa sees the darkness coming. She fears she will be its next victim…


A Burning by Megha Majumdar 

For readers of Tommy Orange, Yaa Gyasi, and Jhumpa Lahiri, an electrifying debut novel about three unforgettable characters who seek to rise—to the middle class, to political power, to fame in the movies—and find their lives entangled in the wake of a catastrophe in contemporary India.

Jivan is a Muslim girl from the slums, determined to move up in life, who is accused of executing a terrorist attack on a train because of a careless comment on Facebook. PT Sir is an opportunistic gym teacher who hitches his aspirations to a right-wing political party, and finds that his own ascent becomes linked to Jivan’s fall. Lovely–an irresistible outcast whose exuberant voice and dreams of glory fill the novel with warmth and hope and humor–has the alibi that can set Jivan free, but it will cost her everything she holds dear.


This is just a glimpse of my general TBR which is growing by the day! I’m hoping that I will get through more books than the one listed, however I’m currently having a slow start to the month and haven’t managed to finish one book yet! 

What are you guys planning to read this month? Do you have an idea of what you’re going to read or do you just pick a book off your shelf at random after finishing one? Let me know in the comments!

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