November 2021

This has been a manic month. I finally finished the last book in my Regency Belles of Bath series and I taught a class on Expressive Writing (which meant I had to learn all about Expressive Writing), but fortunately I managed to squeeze in a little reading too.

So I know I said that my first read this month was going to be Watermelon, but I ended up finishing it just before midnight on 30th October so my actual first read this month was Therese Beharrie’s And They Lived Happily Ever After. Therese is a really good friend and I received an ARC, but this book had me at almost the very first line: ‘You brought a book to a party?’ I completely loved the heroine, Gaia, mainly because she’s the kind of person who brings books to parties. She suffers from social anxiety in a way I can relate to AND she’s a romance writer, which led to some really funny moments. It’s a lovely book. Original, funny, but tear-jerking too. Honestly, if you like a good emotional cry, Therese’s books are definitely for you (and I’m not just saying that. Try  it and see.)

My second book was Belonging by another friend, Liz Martinson, in which a writer (big tick for me) goes to the Highlands (another tick) and falls in love with a film star (tick, tick, tick) before moving to Yorkshire (endless ticks!) It’s quite action-packed and I don’t want to give spoilers, but it was a fast-paced, emotional read that I really enjoyed.

Unfortunately, I never got around to Shirley Jackson, but I absolutely LOVED my next read, Natalie Jenner’s The Jane Austen Society. I mean, it’s a historical novel about Jane Austen novels so it was basically catnip for me. I read it in a weekend when I should (I mean, really should) have been writing because it was just so touching and poignant and completely addictive. 

Finally, I picked up Yaa Gyasi’s Transcendent Kingdom. I was completely blown away by her first book, Homecoming, so I was really excited to read this and it was just as compelling. Different, but still deeply thought-provoking and beautifully-written. I got very emotional (again!) and I’ve now officially added her to my list of must-read, buy-whatever-they-write authors. 

So that’s it for November. I’ve no idea what I’m reading next, but I’m going to plunder my bookshelves tonight and I can’t wait! Have a very happy Christmas and I hope you get all the books you ask for.

Love, Jenni

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