Readers' Favorite

November 28, 2021

Thankful for Books - November Wrap-up

by Donna Huber

I hope everyone who celebrated had a nice holiday. I enjoyed my long week off from work. I made some progress on the "junk" room this week and my niece came over for a few days. Of course, there was plenty to eat. And I did a little bit of reading.

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Not much is going on life-wise. I'm still working through the French lessons on Duolingo and I've continued to do yoga every day with Yoga with Adriene (the December calendar is out if you want to join me). I finally got the books back on the new bookcase. I had Fridays off this month so I've been going room by room and doing a deep clean. I got the house so clean when I was home during the pandemic but since I've been back in the office for a year it has fallen apart again. It doesn't help that a mouse chewed through the refrigerator water supply line - I had to crawl under the house to fix it.


New releases are starting to slow down a little as we head into the end of the year. We featured a lot of new releases but also got to catch up on some titles from earlier in the year. Did you participate in Nonfiction November? We didn't officially but it just happened that each of us had a few nonfiction books in our TBR piles so we featured them this month. If you are wanting to read more nonfiction, check out these books.

Nonfiction November Posts:

I read a few science-themed nonfiction books this month. I kicked off with Jonathan Reisman's medical memoir The Unseen Body. He's a doctor and it's a mix of medical history, anatomy, and personal stories. Then I read Two New Books in Science NonfictionThe Other Dark Matter by Lina Zeldovich (I didn't know there was so much to know about poop) and Patient Zero by Lydia Kang and Nate Pedersen (a look at a number of pandemic diseases and advances in science throughout history). And then I switched gears and read a book about WWII - Lightning Down by Tom Clavin.

MK featured the biography The Ride of Her Life by Elizabeth Letts and a book about computer science and quantum physics in the context of the multiverse in  The Simulated Multiverse by Rizwan Virk (if you write science fiction you might want to check it out).

Susan read a memoir about a woman and her dog in Woodrow on the Bench by Jenna Blum and then 2 Nonfiction Books for Cancer SurvivorsAll of Us Warriors by Rebecca Whitehead Munn and A Way Back to Health by Kelley Skoloda.

Themed Posts:

We once again did a few themed posts to help readers discover similar books. 

We will start seeing more Best of lists in the coming month, but since I started this blog in 2011 I have put together a list of my favorite reads of the year that I think will make great gifts in my annual Holiday Buying Guide. Most of the books on the list came out this year, but there are a few older titles.

Popular Posts:

And for those that prefer single reviews, here are our most viewed reviews.

Death on a Winter's Day by Verity Bright (Donna)
The Riviera House by Natasha Lester (Susan)
Half-baked Holidays by Kat Bastion (MK)

Other Posts:

A couple of other posts you may be interested in...

Alison Deluca did a little pandemic reading with Phase Six by Jim Shepard.
Author Clark Rich Burbidge answered a few questions.

Popular on Instagram:

Something happened and I've been locked out of the Girl Who Reads account all month. Hopefully, it will be back in December. If not, I've started a personal Instagram account if you want to follow me - it's not just about books (right now it's cats and books).


I did not have another record-setting reading month. I did have a good reading month. I've read/listened to 15 books: 9 audiobooks and 6 ebooks. 14 of the 15 books were for review.

  1. Read more or as many reviews copies: 14/15 (YTD: 129/151)
  2. Read 12 backlog (prior to 2021) review copies: 0 (YTD: 1)
  3. Read/listen to 125 books: 151/125

What I read

Killer Research by Jenn McKinlay

Killer Research

This is such a fun cozy mystery series. I love the characters and the mystery always allows for a lot of character interactions. It is a real town effort to solve the mystery this time so we get a lot of time with all the characters and not just Lindsay and Sully. Read my full review.

Buy Killer Research at Amazon

Miss Eliza's English Kitchen by Annabel Abbs

Miss Eliza's English Kitchen

The Victorian era is not a period that I usually read, but I was interested in the cooking part. It reminded me of Jo Baker's Longbourn. The audiobook is well done. Read my full review.

Aloha Alibi by Jasmine Webb

Aloha Alibi

This was a fun, quirky cozy mystery. I really liked the characters right off the bat. I look forward to more books in this series. Read my full review.

Buy Aloha Alibi at Amazon
(The ebook was free as of 11/27)

Patient Zero by Lydia Kang and Nate Pedersen

Patient Zero

This was an interesting book. It kind of covered a little bit of everything. A lot of cool facts for trivia buffs. Read my full review.

Buy Patient Zero at Amazon

Murder at St. Margaret by Lynn Morrison

Murder at St. Margaret

There is a lot going on in this book as it is the start of a new series and the author has to establish the universe in which the series is set. At times, I forgot about the murder victim because so much attention was on Natalie learning about magic and her role in protecting the College's magic. The series has potential and I look forward to the next book in the series. The audiobook was well done. Read my full review.

Buy Murder at St. Margaret at Amazon
(Kindle Unlimited Subscribers can read the ebook for free)

The Other Dark Matter by Lina Zeldovich

The Other Dark Matter

This is one of the most fascinating books I've ever read. It was entertaining at times and totally informative. It does NOT read like a textbook, instead, you would think you were reading magazine articles. Read my full review.

Buy The Other Dark Matter at Amazon

Pawsitively Secretive by Melissa Erin Jackson

Pawsitively Secretive

Another cute installment in the Witch of Edgehill paranormal cozy mystery series. I liked that the mystery wasn't about a murder. 

Buy Pawsitively Secretive at Amazon

Lightning Down by Tom Clavin

Lightning Down

I don't read a lot of historical nonfiction, but I really enjoyed this book. I read a ton of WWII fiction and many of those have been based on real people and events. Even with all the WWII fiction I've read, I still learned stuff about WWII that I didn't know. I liked that it mostly followed one person's story but gave enough details about the other people and events to be satisfying. This is a must read book for anyone writing WWII fiction and I recommend it to anyone who enjoys reading WWII fiction. Read my full review.

Buy Lightning Down at Amazon

Eli and the Mystery of the Hallowshine Dragon by Eve Cabanel

Eli and the Mystery of the Hallowshine Dragon

Loved the illustrations. They are brightly colored and whimsical. The story is cute and sure to capture the imagination of a curious child. Read my full review.

(Kindle Unlimited subscribers can read the ebook for free)

The Bone Cay by Eliza Nellums

The Bone Cay

A really good suspense novel. There's a bit of a mystery as well. The audiobook was well done. The cast is small so it was easy to follow the story. Read my full review.

Buy The Bone Cay at Amazon

Outback Creed by Jonathan Macpherson

Outback Creed

The audiobook was just over 4.5 hours so it is probably more of a novella than a full-length novel. I don't listen to too many books set in Australia, but I didn't have any problem with the accent. The cast is kind of large and I had some trouble remembering who was who and which side they were on. Read my full review.

Buy Outback Creed at Amazon

Death on a Winter's Day by Verity Bright

Death on a Winter's Day

I love Christmas books and when one of my favorite cozy mystery series does one it's like a double helping of fun. It is a great book. I love these characters more and more. The mystery was a good one - lots of suspects with unknown motives. Read my full review.

(Kindle Unlimited subscribers can read the ebook for free)

A Season for Second Chances by Jenny Bayliss

A Season for Second Chances

Despite the wintery cover and "season" being in the title, this is not a holiday story. It is set during the off-season in a seaside village so if you are looking for winter stories, this would be a good one to add to your list. I enjoyed the characters. There is a bit of romance, but this book isn't steamy. It is more about a woman starting again after finally having enough of her husband cheating on her. My review will post later in December.

The Hitwoman Owes a Favor by JB Lynn

The Hitwoman Owes a Favor

I'm a few books behind on this series but I found this one buried on my Kindle and was so happy. It's a quick fun read - great for the holiday weekend. Read my full review.

Burglary at Barnard by Lynn Morrison

Burglary at Barnard

I felt that this book was more focused on the murder mystery. We still learned more about the magic at Oxford but what we learned was more tied to solving the mystery. I enjoy the characters and they really have the potential to be a great ensemble cast. My review will post on Sunday as part of the tour.

Buy Burglary at Barnard at Amazon
(Kindle Unlimited subscribers can read the ebook for free!)

Donna Huber is an avid reader and natural encourager. She is the founder of Girl Who Reads and the author of how-to marketing book Secrets to a Successful Blog Tour.

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  1. Your list is impressively long. It always interests me how my lists can have no overlap with other readers. So many books/so little time!
    best….. mae at

  2. You had a great month. I especially admire how you are continuing to do yoga and to practice your French.

    I read a lot of nonfiction during November. Patient Zero intrigues me. I will look for it.

    I also like the sound of A Season of Second Chances. I will need some light reads in December after a heavy November.

  3. Thanks, I added several to my TBR list. Patient Zero, English Kitchen and Dark Matter.

  4. What a great list of books. I'm looking for some comfort reads for December and the Season of Second Chances sounds like a it would be perfect. Hope you have a great rest of the weekend! I'm trying to finish one book for Nonfiction November.

  5. Seems like you’ve had a great month, apart from your Insta issues. Hope that’s fixed soon.
    I love Nonfiction November. I’m intrigued by Patient Zero and The Other Dark Matter

    Wishing you a great reading week

  6. My goodness! I think your monthly wrap up can just about beat my whole year! Wow!!! I am also looking forward to the "best lists" coming out next month. Guess I have to start preparing my own list.

    Still need to start with The Witch of Edgehill series. It really does sound like such fun.

    Thanks for visiting us earlier and have a good week!

  7. Yoga, French, and reading... sounds like a great month. I love that you all review such a variety of books.

  8. Your bookshelf with flowers looks lovely and oh so inviting! I totall agree with you about cozy mysteries being fun to read (I saw your other post)! You had a great month with lots of wonderful links to visit!

  9. Looks like you had a great month and read many books. I do want to read Jenn McKinlay's series. It looks wonderful. Have a great week!

  10. Love the bookshelf pic! I just ordered the Simulated Multiverse too- looking forward to that one. Death on a Winter's day looks fabulous.