In November, I read 8 books which means I beat my previous record of books read in a month of 7 books! And no, I’m not counting the graphic novels that I read in my September reads because I feel like that different. This month I had mainly 2 and 3-star reads but I did manage to sneak in a 4-star read! In my last what I read post, I mentioned I had a few scary and horror books planned for this month as I am still very much in the mood to read something scary but when am I not? haha
Make sure to follow me on Goodreads to be updated on what I’m reading and on StoryGraph if you’re curious about my book statistics.
My star reading scale
★★★★★/5 – Loved it! Would reread and recommend it to others.
★★★★/5 – Kept me entertained. I would reread.
★★★/5 – Didn’t love or hate but would recommend to others.
★★/5 – Did not enjoy it and probably skimmed through most of it.
★/5 – I hated it and regret wasting my time with this book.
DNF – Did not finish. This will probably be rare because I like to finish every book I start.
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Hallowe’en Party by Agatha Christie ★★/5
A teenage murder witness is drowned in a tub of apples. At a Hallowe’en party, Joyce, a hostile thirteen-year-old, boasts that she once witnessed a murder. When no-one believes her, she storms off home. But within hours her body is found, still in the house, drowned in an apple-bobbing tub. That night, Hercule Poirot is called in to find the ‘evil presence.’ But first he must establish whether he is looking for a murderer or a double-murderer!
I read this after watching the film adaptation, A Haunting In Venice. The book and the movie are completely different! First off, the location, in the book the story takes place in England not in Venice. Venice is definitely more picturesque and looks gorgeous in the film and I believe the director specifically wanted to make a film set in Italy so that’s probably why they went with Venice. The film doesn’t really follow the story in the book just some of the character names. Anyways, back to the book, this was another disappointing read by Agatha Christie. I was intrigued in the beginning but the middle and end parts just lost me and involved too many people for me to keep track of so I rated this 2-stars.
You can purchase Hallowe’en Party here
Cackle by Rachel Harrison ★★★/5
A darkly funny, frightening novel about a young woman learning how to take what she wants from a witch who may be too good to be true.
Throughout October, it seems like every bookish person whom I follow on Instagram was reading books by Rachel Harrison. I’ve never heard of this author before but they write a lot of horror books which is perfect for October so I quickly read a lot of her books on the Libby app. I didn’t even read the description of any of her books and just added them and was able to read some of her books in November. I wouldn’t call Cackle a horror nor a thriller but it’s a nice fall witchy read.
I did not like the main character though. She decided to move from New York to a small town following a breakup from her boyfriend of 10 years. She’s one of those people who hops from relationship to relationship and needs constant validation from other people because she has never spent true time with themselves to process their emotions and feelings (you know the type). I find these types of people annoying so reading this book had me rolling my eyes and grinding my teeth at parts especially when she mentioned her ex which was a constant throughout the book. It’s even more frustrating because of what happens in the end, it made me dislike her even more! haha
You can purchase Cackle here
Crying in H Mart by Michelle Zauner ★★★★/5
A memoir about growing up Korean American, losing her mother, and forging her own identity.
This was a sad book. I listened to the audiobook which was read by Michelle Zauner. The entire time I just wanted to hug her! I’ve listened to Japanese Breakfast so I am familiar with Michelle Zauner but I never knew anything about her past and relationship with her mother, it was very interesting to read. This is a very raw and emotional book about grief so be prepared if you have a difficult time reading about death and grief and shed a couple of tears.
You can purchase Crying in H Mart here
A Psalm for the Wild-Built by Becky Chambers ★★★/5
Centuries before, robots of Panga gained self-awareness, laid down their tools, wandered, en masse into the wilderness, never to be seen again. They faded into myth and urban legend. Now the life of the tea monk who tells this story is upended by the arrival of a robot, there to honor the old promise of checking in. The robot cannot go back until the question of “what do people need?” is answered. But the answer to that question depends on who you ask, and how. They will need to ask it a lot. Chambers’ series asks: in a world where people have what they want, does having more matter?
This is about a tea monk who stumbles across a robot in the middle of the woods who wants to help people. There was a lot of world-building that confused me. I did enjoy reading this but wish there was more. Just when I felt like it was getting good, it ended. There is a second book so I can’t wait to read that next!
You can purchase A Psalm for the Wild-Built here
I Want to Die but I Want to Eat Tteokbokki by Baek Sehee ★★★/5
Baek Se-Hee is a successful young social media director at a publishing house when she begins seeing a psychiatrist about her–what to call it?–depression? She feels persistently low, anxious, endlessly self-doubting, but also highly judgemental of others. She hides her feelings well at work and with friends, adept at performing the calmness, even ease, her lifestyle demands. The effort is exhausting and overwhelming and keeps her from forming deep relationships. This can’t be normal. But if she’s so hopeless, why can she always summon a yen for her favourite street food, the hot, spicy rice cake, tteokbokki? Is this just what life is like? Recording her dialogues with her psychiatrist over a 12-week period, Baek begins to disentangle the feedback loops, knee-jerk reactions, and harmful behaviours that keep her locked in a cycle of self-abuse.
I was excited to finally read I Want to Die but I Want to Eat Tteokbokki (this title is such a mood) when I read the first few chapters I was immediately drawn in and wondered why this got such a low score on Goodreads. However, then the book took a turn and I understood the low ratings, not that that matters. The first 2/3 of this book is a dialog between Baek Sehee and their therapist which I enjoy because as someone with mental health issues, I like to learn coping mechanisms and how others tackle their struggles. But then the discussions ended and there was still a good chunk of the book left. The last 1/3 of the book is the author and their thoughts and random stories about their past, it was like reading a whole new book! It was strange and unncessary as I felt like it didn’t add anything to the book overall.
You can purchase I Want to Die but I Want to Eat Tteokbokki here
Black Sheep by Rachel Harrison ★★★/5
Nobody has a “normal” family, but Vesper Wright’s is truly…something else. Vesper left home at eighteen and never looked back—mostly because she was told that leaving the staunchly religious community she grew up in meant she couldn’t return. But then an envelope arrives on her doorstep. Inside is an invitation to the wedding of Vesper’s beloved cousin Rosie. It’s to be hosted at the family farm. Have they made an exception to the rule? It wouldn’t be the first time Vesper’s been given special treatment. Is the invite a sweet gesture? An olive branch? A trap? Doesn’t matter. Something inside her insists she go to the wedding. Even if it means returning to the toxic environment she escaped. Even if it means reuniting with her mother, Constance, a former horror film star and forever ice queen. When Vesper’s homecoming exhumes a terrifying secret, she’s forced to reckon with her family’s beliefs and her own crisis of faith in this deliciously sinister novel that explores the way family ties can bind us as we struggle to find our place in the world.
This was my second book by Rachel Harrison that I read in November, I’m currently reading my third! This is about a girl who was born into a cult and leaves to live an ordianry life but she goes back to attend her best friend/cousin’s and ex-boyfriend’s wedding. Again, I wouldn’t call this a horror book but there were some scary moment throughtout Black Sheep. I found this predictable at times and felt like the middle part of the book wasn’t unnecessary. With that said, there was a twist and it was surprisingly dark.
You can purchase Black Sheep here
Lotería by Cynthia Pelayo ★★★★/5
The Mexican board game of Lotería is a game of chance—similar to bingo. However, in Lotería instead of matching up numbers on a game board, players match up images. There are 54 cards in the Lotería game, and for this short story collection you will find one unique story per card based on a Latin American myth, folklore, superstition, or belief—with a slant towards the paranormal and horrific. In this deck of cards you will find murderers, ghosts, goblins and ghouls. This collection features creatures and monsters, vampires, werewolves and more. Many of these legends existed long before their European counterparts—passed throughout the Americas via word of mouth, collected just like the tales the Brothers Grimm. These are indeed fairy tales—Latin American fairy tales—but with a horrifying slant.
This is a short story collection with a story revolving around one of the 54 Loteria cards. Some of the stories are themed around Latin American folklore or mythology some that I knew and some that were completely new to me. I loved this! Some of the stories were short but scary. Not every story is interesting, there were a few boring stories in the middle of the book that made me lose interest but there were more good stories than bad. My favorite stories from this short story collection include El mundo, El alacran, and La chalupa.
You can purchase Lotería here
Y/N by Esther Yi ★★/5
Y/N, a novel about a Korean American woman living in Berlin whose obsession with a K-pop idol sends her to Seoul on a journey of literary self-destruction.
This was such a strange read. This tells the story of a woman who accompanies her friend to a K-pop concert and she then becomes obsessed with one of the members. Unable to control this obsession she decided to travel to South Korea after her favorite idol leaves the group in search of him. The story interested me because I find the subject of parasocial relationships very fascinating, especially as a K-pop fan I find people who take fandom culture to the next level (like sasaeng fans) very odd. I also didn’t enjoy this writing style, I had to reread a lot of sentences and paragraphs over and over again for them to make sense. It was very artsy fartsy and I think took away from the plot. The story itself was quick-paced but very strange in parts and then the ending was just so sudden. I felt like I missed something so I kept going back to make sure I didn’t miss anything. Overall, I was disappointed with Y/N.
You can purchase Y/N here
Have you read any of these books? What did you read in November?