Monday, December 4, 2023

November Reads

I started November laid off from a job I had hardly spent two weeks at. Great times! My whole life was projected into some chaos, but I felt I a little more grounded than the first time I found myself jobless. That's what a master's degree will do for you. I've spent a lot of time applying for jobs. I work a lot because I feel so guilty when I take time off. I didn't take time off when I got hired at my new job between that and my old job, because, I JUST CAN'T. I suck at work boundaries and time off. Well, God and/or the universe was like loooooool, think again!

At the end of October, Stephanie Garber came to Nashville for a booksigning, and try as I might, I couldn't a ticket to the event. Granted, I did get a signed copy of A Curse for True Love. I had stared reading the Inheritance Games trilogy by Jennifer Lynn Barnes, so I decided I'd finish that first, before reading A Curse for True Love.

My first weekend was a birthday party for a dear friend of mine, we had a perfect weather for a bonfire, but I made myself finish the last book in the Inheritance Games the night before.

I didn't get permission to put the people from the party in the pictures

The Inheritance Games
The Inheritance Games by Jennifer Lynn Barnes- Excellent book, it was easier for me to read because there was a lot of showing, no info dumps. I missed so much when I only listened to this book. The shorter chapters help the pace for sure. I have a lot of questions about how Tobias Hawthorne managed to get the number 10/18 to link up as they did, and I missed the slow burn of enemies to lovers between Greyson and Avery when Jameson and Avery had such good chemistry. It’s a repeat of Emily for sure! Harry possibly being Tobias II was not surprising to me, though.

The Hawthorne Legacy by Jennifer Lynn Barnes - I enjoyed this one a lot because there was more juicy moments and Grayson started to open up more to Avery. Avery found more info on her past. I kind of saw it coming, but we got to see what Avery's parents were really like. I don't want to spoil it for anyone, but there are lot of narcissistic mothers in here, except Avery's. I loved Nan, completely hilarious.

The Final Gambit
by Jennifer Lynn Barnes - I rushed through this one and I managed to get the ending. The true villain was revealed, and I started to wonder if JLB came up with this ending first and then reversed it and made the mystery this way. I kind of saw the ending, and I kind of wonder what happened to Toby, but then again, Toby did kill Kaylie, he kind of deserved what he got, but I loved that he loved Avery the way he did. And yes, I'm reading the Brothers Hawthorne, it seems like a companion novel, not a continuation of the original story for Avery.

A Curse for True Love by Stephanie Garber - y'all don't understand how excited I was about this one! We start the book with Evangeline having a case of amnesia from Jacks, and Apollo sweeps her off her feet, then basically keeps her a prisoner in the castle, which is not cool. Evangeline is lured to the wishing garden to the wishing well and one of her guards pushes her into the well. She is only saved by a "mysterious" man that we recognize as Jacks. Apollo is awful through this book and he wants to control Evangeline, which was awful to see. The gaslighting he does is just gross and inappropriate! Worth the read, though.

For the Love of Men by Liz Plank really made me think about how there's been a movement for women, but not men in the 20th Century. Let me explain: the point of feminism is to take steps away from patriarchy and the damage it does. Feminism has done a lot for women when it comes to getting away from patriarchy, but not for men. Men still cling to old toxic patriarchial ideals, although men/boys are the first victims of patriarchy: they participate in weaponized incompetence with housekeeping and childrearing and tie their identity to financial providing, and there are so many toxic, dangerous things that result from this that result in early death due to suicide (I work with preventing this professionally). The best way we've seen this dismantled is in countries where universal paternity leave is paid and a thing, as well as maternity leave is paid and universal as well. I'd love to see it in the US, myself, but there are a lot of staunch advocates against it, unfortunately. Happier countries where the average citizen is wealthier than the average citizen in America started doing this and the results have stabilized so much for them.


When I'm working really hard, I like to listen to Podcasts, so here are the ones I listened to this month:

Yes, this is my hometown. Yes, I'm very ashamed over this. Quite a compelling podcast, and I knew a few of these people mentioned in it. Back in 2016, I remember the outrage over the incident that prompted this podcast being made: children from Hobgood Elementary in my hometown witnessed a fight and took a video of it, begging the kids fighting to stop it. A few days later, cops came to Hobgood and arrested the girls that were trying to stop it for... not stopping the fight, took them to the Juvenile Detention Center in Rutherford County, and traumatized them by handcuffing them while they were sobbing and screaming for their parents. They didn't do anything wrong. We were infuriated, but two juvenile court lawyers blew the lid off the juvenile court judge for the county telling the Murfreesboro PD to arrest and jail as many children as possible and it had been going on for years for the mildest of incidences. Just knowing this went on with the poorest and most at-risk population in hometown really enraged me. I highly recommend this listen, hopefully it will encourage you to get more civically engaged at the local level.

So, as I said in the intro, I went through a larger stressor of losing my job on Halloween. You'd think that would leave me lots of time to read, but on the contrary, it didn't. I spent a lot of time stressing and calling lawyer's offices and putting applications in and doing interviews and trying to do gig work to make up the difference. But the good news is, I have a new job starting in the new year! I don't put the name of my company up on my social media or my blog, because this blog is all about books and writing and occasionally politics, and I don't want any of my employers to look like they endorse my politics (because honestly, they are not their business and I don't bring them to work). 

Thanksgiving nommage!

I had a great Thanksgiving, although it was different from what I've done previously, but it worked. It's been a rough holiday since so many people in my family have passed away during this time. Two more people passed away during this week, which was a downer. We had funerals, but we got through.

I'm personally working on my Spanish to go see my sister for Christmas and have a metric TON of December birthdays in my family to work on and be inundated with! 

And HOME had it's book birthday in November! I can't believe it's been published, and I'm so proud of it! If you're just finding out I am published and want to support me, please give it a read and a review!

I swear going on walks saved my sanity!
I injured my knee halfway through the month, so I had to rest it. It's most just been annoying and I haven't gotten to dance as much, but I got cleared to go back to exercise on December 1st. It's such a relief! What was your big thing this November? 

No comments:

Post a Comment