November Challenges Wrap-Up & December Reading Plans


I only intended to take part in #SciFiMonth in November, but by accident, I’ve ended up reading a few things for #MARM (Margaret Atwood Reading Month) and #NovellasinNovember as well. Most of these books cross over so these summaries make it look like I read loads more in November than I actually did!

For #MARM, I re-read The Handmaid’s Tale and first read The Testamentswith very mixed results.

For #SciFiMonth, I read eight of the sixteen books I had on my TBR list, AND a bonus read, so I’m counting that as a win! These books were the two Atwoods, plus Stillicide, Wilder Girls and Sealed, plus The Test, Nemesis Games, The Race and Ammonite. However, it’s pretty bad that I didn’t get to any of the SF by writers of colour that I had on my list. This will be prioritised either in December or early next year.

For #NovellasinNovember, I managed to read four novellas, which is four more than I normally read, and I actually liked half of them (though one of those was from my favourite novella writer, Cynan Jones). These were Stillicide, Sealed and The Test (reviews linked above) plus A Christmas Carol.

Reading Plans for December

My priority is to get through the following six books before the end of the year, roughly in this order:

  • The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison – book club read, meeting on 8th December!
  • Heaven My Home by Attica Locke – due back at library
  • The Echo Maker – Richard Powers – penultimate book on my TBR list for this year AND the final book on my 4.5 star challenge list
  • The Unpassing – Chia-Chia Lin – final book on my TBR list for this year
  • We, The Survivors – Tash Aw – highlighted in my mid-year round-up
  • A Door in the Stone – Amy Waldman – also highlighted in my mid-year round-up

I recently changed my Goodreads Reading Challenge back to its original total of 175 books. As of today, I’ve read 161 books and am partway through a re-read of Donna Tartt’s The Little Friend, taking my total to 162. 13 more books in December *might* be doable, as I always read a lot at the end of December and I’m still on strike until December 4th – but we’ll see!

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14 thoughts on “November Challenges Wrap-Up & December Reading Plans

  1. The Unpassing is excellent. My computer ate my review, so I still owe NetGalley at least a sentence or two about it, but I won’t be able to write in any detail after so much time has passed. I’ll be keen to see how you get on with the Waldman. Although I DNFed it earlier in the year, I’d be willing to try it again another time.

    Before the end of the year I’m hoping to get through the 20 books I’m currently reading, resume the rest of my “set aside temporarily” titles, read my last few 2019 release library holds if they come in in time, and read a few 2020 titles to get ahead. Maybe a touch ambitious 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    • Wow, best of luck with that! Since writing this post I have managed to finish The Bluest Eye but a bit uncertain about getting through the huge chunk of The Little Friend I have left plus 12 more! I’ve dumped Heaven My Home as I realised it was the sequel to something I haven’t read yet, so I’ll be happy if I can just get through the other four. Glad you enjoyed The Unpassing.


  2. Is Richard Powers the chap who wrote The Overstory, which I think I will love or hate if I ever happen upon a copy? I always read a lot between Christmas and the New Year, too – and I often read what turns into either a book of the year for that year or, unfinished at the strike of the New Year bell, becomes a book of the year for the next year! Happy reading in December. I seem to have a lot of books I need to read for one reason or another (giving to a friend for Christmas, review books, the end of my Iris Murdoch readalong, a pre-read for my next readalong …) so not sure where my TBR will come into it!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes! The Overstory was one of my top ten books of last year, so I decided to check out his backlist. As you can see, it’s taken me a while to get round to it… I always try and clear my TBR before going off on Christmas break so I can do some more spontaneous reading, but luckily because I got it down in October that isn’t too hard this year.

      Liked by 1 person

        • I used to have a big TBR a few years ago, but it really sapped my reading pleasure – I felt like I was just focused on getting through it and, because a lot of the books on it had been there for years, I often didn’t enjoy them when I got round to them as I forgot why they were there in the first place. Now my TBR tends to never build beyond a handful of books, so it’s easier to clear it! I employ quite ruthless tactics to keep it that way eg immediately donating unwanted books I receive as gifts rather than feeling I have to read them.

          Liked by 1 person

  3. I just started reading A Christmas Carol to my husband last night! So far, I’m enjoying the humor. After reading huge, chonky books by Dickens, it’s odd to see something so short.

    I enjoyed The Bluest Eye, though it’s been years since I read it. How does your book club make selections?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ha, I imagine it reads well out loud!

      This book club only reads books by writers of colour. I run the book club after my friend Ramla had a baby recently, so I ask the group for suggestions and add a few of my own, then we vote. I tend to try for a decent mix of ethnic backgrounds, countries and subject-matter (if left to its own devices, my group will pick stories of misery/struggle every time, so I’ve been trying to gently encourage them towards more diverse genres of writing by people of colour!)


  4. Pingback: Three Things… December 2019 | Laura Tisdall

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