Month in Review: November 2019

This month, I read a book in French! I was not blown away by Coeur de Cristal by Frédéric Lenoir, a fairy-tale style novel about a prince who is unable to love, but it was easy to read and helped me with my efforts to improve my French skills. I hope to move on to some more interesting works. Any suggestions?

And after enjoying Shadowplay by Joseph O’Connor, I had to finally read Dracula — and was seriously underwhelmed. After a few deliciously creepy scenes, the story deteriorates into a lot of absurdly bad English, male incompetence, and a boring, anticlimactic final chase scene. Interesting idea, uneven execution.

On the plus side, I finally read Spinning Silver by Naomi Novik and liked it a lot. What have you been reading, good and bad, this month?




Other Books Read

  • Coeur de Cristal by Frédéric Lenoir
  • Dracula by Bram Stoker
  • Spinning Silver by Naomi Novik


Other Features and Events


Shared in the Sunday Post hosted by Caffeinated Book Reviewer, the Month in Review linkup at The Book Date, and the Monthly Wrap-up Round-up hosted by Feed Your Fiction Addiction

20 thoughts on “Month in Review: November 2019

  1. Lory, while I wasn’t as disappointed with Dracula as you, I totally agree about that anticlimactic final chase scene! As for my own reading, I read quite a bit of non-fiction, with two of my favourites being the histories of The Golden Antilles by Tim Severin and Margaret Tudor by Melanie Clegg. Happy reading in December! 🙂


  2. Oh wow, congratulations on reading a book in French! That is so cool.

    I’ve been meaning to read Spinning Silver forever, so I’m glad you liked it. I read a Norwegian mystery, The Whisperer, that was billed as less dark/gory than most Nordics. Which it was, but I didn’t love it. Meh. I’m about to start Boneland, by Alan Garner, and I’m excited about that.


  3. Félicitations pour avoir lu un livre en français !
    For more, I would suggest a contemporary author, for instance Les Nymphéas noirs (beautiful and suspenseful) de Michel Bussi ou Trois jours et une vie de Pierre Lemaitre – this one is shorter than his other ones, and without horrific crime scenes. A great writer. If you have some special desire of genres, etc, you can ask me, you know where to find me, lol. I can also probably send you a e-copy of whichever you would pick.
    AND did you know I was offering a French BooK Box, with some titles in French, if you so desire:


    1. Merci, I appreciate the recommendations. 🙂 At the moment I have found Bandes Dessinées make a great way for me to practice reading! There are so many good ones out there now (not just Asterix and Tintin).

      If I have the need for more reading I will let you know…


  4. I agree with your take on Dracula. The opening is great and the story of the ghost ship I found compelling. But on the whole I found it disappointing vis-a-vis my expectations.

    I am glad you liked Spinning Silver. I read and liked Uprooted when I read it a few years ago.

    I am reading Ducks, Newburyport which is a monster of a book. I have been reading it for almost two weeks and am only on page 350 or so of a 1000 page book. But I am enjoying the experience.

    I haven’t read that much in French. What I did read was a trilogy which is very much cribbed from Gone with the Wind only it is set in France in WWII. The first book is called La Bicyclette Bleue and the author is Régine Deforges. Also I enjoyed the La Dame de Beauté by Jeanne Bourin which was a historical novel about Diane de Poitiers.


    1. Is Ducks, Newburyport the one in the form of lists? I know it’s being raved about but it just sounds so boring. I suppose I should overcome my prejudice and see what it’s all about.


    1. What was the book? Do you remember the title? Did you like it? I’m curious about others’ foreign language reading experiences.

      I had to read a lot of books in French in college but I didn’t enjoy them at all! Partly it was the books themselves (the teachers always chose such depressing ones, like The Plague and Madame Bovary) and partly because I was so much slower at reading in French and I had a hard time getting past that. I guess I’m more patient now than I was at the age of 18!


  5. I’m so impressed with your French studies! I tried studying Japanese and was able to read picture books, but stopped working on it and really need to pick it back up. I’d forgotten about Spinning Silver and have it on my TBR.


    1. Hey thanks! I have to give credit to my high school and college teachers, they did a pretty good job when so much stuck with me after many years. Japanese would be a major challenge – it’s so different!


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