Monthly Wrap Up

November 2020: The Month I Started My Christmas Binge, Continued my Jeaniene Frost Binge, Re-Read Old Favorites & Discovered New Faves

November wrap up
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Hi everybody, and welcome to my November wrap up!

November was a great reading month for me as I read 10 books. There were some amazing books, some not-so-amazing books and some cherished re-reads. So pretty balanced overall!

I am now at 91 books read this year, which is almost double my reading goal of 50 books. And I know I have said that quantity doesn’t matter and that I didn’t want to pressure myself, BUT now that I’m so close to 100 books (a number I’ve never reached before), I REALLY, REALLY want to reach 100 books read in 2020. That means 9 books in December – should be doable, right?

Anyway, that’s December. For now, let’s look back at November:

What I Read
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Dragon Mystics & Dragon Mated by Jaymin Eve

I read the first book in this trilogy last month and though I wasn’t sold on this urban fantasy featuring dragon shifters, vampires and more, the story featured a strong friend group that kept me intrigued and had me picking up book 2 and 3. And honestly, I should have DNF’ed this as it was not my thing. I couldn’t get into the characters or the plot, and even the friendship group couldn’t save it anymore for me. But I forced myself through it and finished anyway, because apparently I still have problems DNF’ing…

Overall rating: 2,5-3 stars

Outfoxed by R.J. Blain

I read this ARC for a blog tour, but unfortunately it was another miss for me. I liked the idea of a fox-shifter/witch, a world tormented by devastating hurricanes and a romance with a bounty hunter, but the execution did not grip me. This was a whole lot of exposition with little plot and I was just confused all the time. I will not be picking up the sequel.

Rating: 2,5 stars

A Deal With The Elf King by Elise Kova

A Deal With the Elf King had me intrigued with it’s gorgeous cover and Hades/Persephone and Beauty and the Beast vibes. I sped through this story in about a day and really enjoyed it. It had everything I loved in a story, but my only gripe is that I wanted more. It felt too short with not enough time to really flesh out the story and the characters and their motivations. I have the same feeling often when I watch a movie – I enjoyed it, but it didn’t have the time to really draw me into the story.

Rating: 4 stars

A Kingdom of Flesh and Fire by Jennifer L. Armentrout

Okay, I remember reading the first book, From Blood and Ash, in the beginning of this year and having a few little issues with it that caused me to give it a 4 star rating. So yes, still 4 stars, because despite these little issues, it was one of those books that stayed on my mind for a long time and had me craving the sequel so badly. And then I read A Kingdom of Flesh and Fire and I FELL IN LOVE and am quite OBSESSED. I kind of want to re-read the first one, because I can’t imagine those little issues anymore, to be honest. I love this story, I love the characters, I love the romance and I NEED MORE NOW.

Rating: 5 stars

First Drop of Crimson by Jeaniene Frost

Guess who’s still in her Jeaniene Frost binge? (Spoiler: it’s me!) This month I picked up two novels set in the Night Huntress world, but not featuring Cat and Bones. Instead, First Drop of Crimson is Spade and Denise’s story and I was super pumped for this, because Spade was one of my favorite side-characters from the Night Huntress novels. This story definitely lived p to my expectations, and I loved the romance between Spade and Denise. Already itching for a re-read and I hope we’ll run into them again in the upcoming Night Huntress novels.

Rating: 4,5 stars

Eternal Kiss of Darkness by Jeanine Frost

I was initially a bit hesitant about my second Jeaniene Frost novel of November, since this one featured Mencheres. I liked Mencheres in the Night Huntress novels, but the centuries-old vampire always felt so distant and formal that I couldn’t imagine him as a romantic hero. Luckily, I was wrong – in fact, I think Mencheres secured his own place in my heart’s top romantic heroes. I loved the insight into his life, feelings and thoughts, and I LOVED his romance with Kira, the human private investigator who walked into his life at the perfect time.

Rating: 4,5 stars

Well Played by Jen DeLuca

Well Met was one of my fave rom-coms read in 2019 and I was eager to dive back into the world of renaissance faires (I really want to visit one someday). I liked the character of Stacy and her story. I was pleasantly surprised (not sure why, since it’s obvious from the blurb) that it featured a bit of a pen pal romance and liked the love interest. It didn’t have all the magic from Simon and Emily’s story last year, but it was still super enjoyable and I’m already so excited for April and Mitch’s story!

Rating: 4 stars

An Ember in the Ashes / A Torch Against The Night by Sabaa Tahir (re-read)

I’ve been saying I wanted to re-read these two books in time for the release of the final book for a while, and this month I did just that! These books are some of my all-time favorite, but I hadn’t read the third book yet and with the fourth and final book coming out in just a few days, it was the perfect time for a binge-read! Even after a few years, I still adored these books and the characters of Laia, Elias and Helene. I’m a little scared for what book 3 and 4 have planned for me, but I’m eager to find out!

Rating: 5 stars

Blog Features
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Top Ten Tuesday

My Non-Bookish Hobbies

Book Titles That Would Make Great Song Titles

Characters I’d Name A Pet After

Ten Books & Other Things I’m Thankful For In 2020

Quote It Wednesday

Can’t Wait Wednesday

Malibu Rising by Taylor Jenkins Reid

Under The Whispering Door by TJ Klune

Calendar Girls

Calendar Girls
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Calendar Girls – November 2020 – Author’s Day – Fave Author

Update on my Commenting Issues

I think my difficulties are over? I don’t want to be too happy too early, but I haven’t had any issues in a few weeks. I think the problem was something I did to make my site https instead of http because since I switched back to http I didn’t have any issues anymore. I do want to test more and find a way to make my site https secure again, so perhaps the commenting issues will come back and in that case please let me know if you encounter any issues.

What I Listened To
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There were quite a few fun new music releases this month, but these were my favorites:

MY FAVE: Xia – Pit A Pat

Did you know that this artist is actually the reason I got into kpop? I discovered his song called Flower about 4 years ago and I thought it was a masterpiece and also just the song I needed at that moment. Pit A Pat is his first new song in 4 years and I love the catchy, happy pop feeling!

BTS – Life Goes On

Umm, BTS’s response to 2020 and COVID hit me right in the feels. And that music video? Tae driving by the stadium? The guys performing in an empty venue? Jin dropping the pizza? Genius.

Little Mix – Sweet Melody

Little Mix is one of those bands that have been consistently releasing songs I end up loving and Sweet Melody is no exception.

Mamamoo – Aya

Queens. That is all.

What I Watched
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I didn’t watch that much, but I did get started on my Christmas binge with this adorable series:

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Dash & Lily

I have to admit I have not yet read the book this Netflix series is based on, Dash & Lily’s Book of Dares by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan, but if it’s even near as cute as this mini-series, I need to remedy that immediately. I watched this entire series on one lazy sunday and fell in love. I already want to rewatch it. Christmas dares, New York, bookstores,… this felt super magical and cute and was perfect to get into that Christmas spirit.

Other

We started watching The Queen’s Gambit and The Crown (still on season one) I haven’t seen that many episodes yet, but both series have been amazing so far!

I also re-watched The Princess Switch in prep for the sequel, but since I started it after 9, my eyes closed for several parts during the movie… Luckily, it was a rewatch 😉

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Life Update
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Well, November was pretty slow on the life front since Belgium went into lockdown again. All non-essential shops were closed, homeworking was preferred (I’ve been doing three days at home, two at the office each week) and we’re only allowed one contact outside of our family (living in the same house). So yeah, not much to do (but read!).

I have to admit that it’s been getting harder and harder for me to deal with everything. The upcoming holiday period will feel difficult and lonely, but I try to remember to stay positive and that everybody’s health is what matters most of all. I’m lucky to still be able to work and that everyone I love is healthy. The sooner we beat this pandemic, the better!

Things that made me happy this month:

  • Setting up our Christmas decoration!
  • All the books!
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THINGS I’M LOOKING FORWARD TO NEXT MONTH:

  • Two weeks of holiday!
  • All the Christmas movies I plan to binge.
  • Snuggling on the couch with hot chocolate, books and a blanket.
  • Re-reading some of my favorite books.
  • End-of-year lists with favorites (especially looking forward to my Spotify most listened in 2020 list)

How was your November? What did you read? What did you listen to and what did you watch? What are you looking forward to in December?

Lindsey xoxo
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16 Comments

  1. Ugh! I miss Spade and Mencheres now. It’s been so long. 😭

    1. I know, I just finished their books and I already miss them too! Hope you’ll get in a re-read someday soon 😉

  2. Hooray for so much reading! I forgot that Dash and Lily was on Netflix – I just read that book!

    1. I love months where I get a lot of reading done 🙂 Ooh, I hope you enjoyed the Dash and Lily book – I definitely still want to try the book too.

  3. notesbyj says:

    Great post! I need to watch Dash and Lily. I enjoyed the Queens Gambit. I’ve never read anything by Jeanine Frost but Eternal Kiss of Darkness sounds intriguing

    1. Dash and Lily is great if you’re looking for something sweet and Christmassy 🙂 I need to finish Queens Gambit for sure. If you like vampire romance books, Jeaniene Frost is definitely a recommendation.

  4. Happy December! Good luck with reaching 100 books. I’m trying to do that too. I think I’m at 94? I haven’t updated Goodreads in a while, so I’m not sure.

    1. Thanks! Ooh, you’re close to 100 books too – good luck with your reading goal! Hope we’ll both reach 100 books and have some great reads to end the year with 🙂

  5. Sophie @BewareOfTheReader says:

    Yes Christmas will be so weird! We can’t have both our moms home!

    1. Indeed! I completely understand that we have to be safe, but I’m also so bummed that the rules are not loosened just a liiittle bit more to allow for 2-3 people to visit at least. But we’ll just try and make the most of it!

  6. Happy December!

    Sounds like you had a good end to your reading at the end of the month luckily. It always feels so weird when your reading month doesn’t seem to start off that well.

    1. Yeah, it definitely was a slow beginning and I felt a big slump coming on because of it, but luckily it turned around just in time 🙂
      Hope you’ll have a great December too!

  7. Lauren Becker says:

    This whole pandemic really does bring you down sometimes, so I get that. I’m sorry it’s been rough sometimes though. I hope that December will be a good month – even if the holidays look different. A two week break to watch movies and read and be all cozy sounds fab!! I want to watch Dash and Lily, so glad you thought it was cute!

    -Lauren
    http://www.shootingstarsmag.net

    1. Yes, indeed, I guess we’re all more than ready for this pandemic to be over!
      So looking forward to the holidays and yes, a two-week break 🙂 Hope you’ll enjoy Dash and Lily!

  8. Literary Feline says:

    You can definitely get to 100 books read before the end of the year. 🙂 If it were me, not so much. LOL

    That is too bad about Outfoxed. It sounded so promising. Yay for Well Played. I didn’t get to read that one this year, but I am looking forward to it. I loved Well Met.

    Dash and Lily is so adorable! My husband and I binge watched the entire season. So cute.

    I am right there with you with the pandemic blues, especially going into the holiday. My state is on lockdown now and will be through Christmas. So many people are tired of it and more and more people are outright ignoring the restrictions as hospitals fill to capacity. It’s not a good situation.

    I hope you have a great weekend, Lindsey.

    1. Haha thanks for the vote of confidence! I’m not sure I’ll make it to 100 books, but I’ll at least be very close 🙂
      Hope you’ll enjoy Well Played as much as you loved Well Met!
      Dash and Lily was indeed so adorable, I’m already itching for a rewatch 🙂
      I’m sorry to hear about the situation in your state right now! It’s pretty much similar here, people are so tired of the restrictions and more and more people are just starting to ignore them. It’s definitely not a good situation to be in and I hope things won’t get worse so everything will take even longer to get back to semi-normal.
      Hope you’ll still have a great December though!

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