Reading Recap: November 2020

In lieu of having Thanksgiving, I read a lot of books. I read one of my favorite books of the year, listened to a lot of audiobooks while working multiple puzzles, and celebrated ‘nonfiction November’.

I also set up my affiliate store! You can go here and find all of the books I’ve read and recommended:

If you want to know more about what I’m reading, you can follow my Bookstagram @thelazybookshelf. Or you can follow me @heymeff for general silliness and sporadic posting.

I have been following Anne Helen Petersen on the internet for over a year. She’s a former culture writer at BuzzFeed and has a deep knowledge of public policy, history, current events, and pop culture that is really unique and insightful. I love her writing. This book details why millenials (anyone born between 1981 -1996) have become an American generation wracked with burnout. As a millenial, I found it both refreshing and depressing. It put words to so many of my experiences as a white middle class female with regards to college, finances, career expectations, and even dating. witnesses. It’s really short so I highly recommend it for anyone who is a millennial or knows a millennial. It might help you understand why we all want Bernie Sanders and AOC in charge of government and public policy 🙂

I am usually pretty quick to stop reading a book that I don’t like. But for some reason, I finished this one even though it wasn’t good. I think it’s a translation and in my opinion, the translation/writing wasn’t good. I read The Chestnut Man last year which was also a crime/thriller in translation from Book of the Month and I thought this would be a comparable title. But it wasn’t good. It’s told from three different perspectives and I didn’t care for any of them.

Investigative journalism is one of my very favorite genres. Killers of the Flower Moon, Just Mercy, and She Said are some of my favorites from the past couple of years. I *loved* this book so much. It’s part true crime, part coming of age after college, and part expose on the toxic masculinity that permeates the Ivy Leagues. Usually in journalism, the writer doesn’t use first person pronouns. But in this book, she writes about her own experience in researching Jane’s story, and I really enjoyed her thoughts and perspective. It gave me a really good book hangover.

Weirdly, this book is also set in Cambridge, MA, (We Keep the Dead Close is set at Harvard) but it’s fiction, and maybe because I’m newly married I really liked it? It’s a little slow and definitely more of a character driven novel rather than plot driven, but it wasn’t boring. It’s about a marriage (obviously) and reminded me a little of The Dearly Beloved without the faith element. It was a complete surprise!

Just like The Death of Vivek Oji which I read a few months ago, this book slapped me in the face. It was so sad! It revolves around three characters in India– one who is falsely accused of being involved in a terrorist attack. Spoiler alert: this one doesn’t have a happy ending. I’m not sure what I was expecting, but it was much more depressing that I thought it would be. The writing was incredible but the substance was just completely without hope.

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What did you read in November?

What else do you want to know about the books I’m reading?



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  1. I LOVED Killers of the Flower Moon, so I will have to check out We Keep the Dead Close. Sounds like an immersive one to pass the time on a winter afternoon!

  2. I also really really enjoyed Can’t Even – I read it the other month when Nerdette Podcast did their bookclub featuring the book – there’s an author interview AND a panel discussion which I highly recommend listening to both.

    So which book is the one that’s your favorite for the year – is it We Keep the Dead Close? (I keep seeing such good reviews of it, but I don’t usually go for that style of nonfiction)

    Here’s what my family and I have been reading recently including romance and YA for me & fantasy for my husband

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