What I Read November

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Hey loves. Coming at you today with book review form November. November was a busy month with audiobooks. From removing wallpaper, cleaning the house, Christmas shopping, etc. I put in a headphone and listened to some great audiobooks. I used my library card to my advantage of getting audiobooks and read a variety of books. 

Total physical/kindle books: 4

Total audible: 7

Total books for 2023: 121

Goal: 100 books 20 audiobooks

Title: The Woman in Me

Author: Britney Spears

Genre: biography

How I Read It: bought audiobook 

My Rating: 4 out of 5

Amazon Description: The Woman in Me is a brave and astonishingly moving story about freedom, fame, motherhood, survival, faith, and hope.

In June 2021, the whole world was listening as Britney Spears spoke in open court. The impact of sharing her voice—her truth—was undeniable, and it changed the course of her life and the lives of countless others.
 The Woman in Me reveals for the first time her incredible journey—and the strength at the core of one of the greatest performers in pop music history.

Written with remarkable candor and humor, Spears’s groundbreaking book illuminates the enduring power of music and love—and the importance of a woman telling her own story, on her own terms, at last.

My Review: I am a huge Britney fan. The first half of the book I was pretty disappointed it because I had heard it all before, some from her sisters book. The second half of the book I was in shock of the reality of what her family and other put her through. I give her so much credit for coming clean and telling her side of the story. But I always remember there is 3 sides to every story, his- hers- the truth. 

I listened to the audiobook. Michelle Williams did a great job showing compassion in her voice. 

Title: But Definitely Wear Mascara

Author: Nikki Oden

Genre: mom life

How I Read It: physical book

My Rating: 4 out of 5

Amazon Description: How often do you say to yourself, “I love my mom life?”

A lot, hopefully! If, on the other hand, you sometimes feel like motherhood is one long ride on the Hot Mess Express, this book is for you.

Being a mom is hard. And being a mom with goals and dreams is even harder. Harmonizing what you want to accomplish as a woman with everything you have to do as a mom is a challenge every mother faces.

The good news is that with some intention, planning, and a whole lot of grace, you can create what you want to experience in life, love, and motherhood.

In this collection of laugh-out-loud stories, lawyer and mom coach, Nikki Oden, serves up 40 bite-sized chapters filled with raw and easy-to-implement advice for any mom who has ever struggled with nurturing her career and her family at the same time. You’ll walk away entertained, inspired, and equipped with the tools you need to create a mom life you absolutely love.

My Review: Nikki shares true mom life as if you were a friend sitting down just chatting with her. From the good to the bad to the funny to the sad. Along with her stories she shares tips to help you thrive through mom life. She reminds you that you are not alone in your journey through motherhood. 


Title: Well to the Core

Author: Robin Long

Genre: health and wellness

How I Read It: physical book, bought preorder

My Rating: 5 out of 5

Amazon Description: You deserve to feel good―not just in your body, but in your whole being.

Robin Long, certified Pilates instructor and founder of Lindywell, is on a mission to help you reclaim your health, your fitness, and your body. In 
Well to the Core, join Robin on a journey toward holistic health and discover:
  • ten core components of an effective and realistic approach to healthy and balanced living;
  • a grace-over-guilt mindset to release shame and develop helpful habits in every season of life;
  • how breath, nature, rest, and play can improve your quality of life; and
  • exclusive Pilates workouts, mindfulness exercises, and deliciously crafted recipes to nourish your mind, body, and soul.
It is possible to break free from constant stress about what you’re eating, how you’re exercising, or how much weight you need to lose in order to really start living. This is where true wellness begins. Let Robin Long show you the way in Well to the Core.

My Review: As a Pilates lover and a Lindywell member I have been a big fan of Robin for years. I love her approach to health and wellness that isn't your typical diet culture instead is a life long achievable lifestyle that is different for every person. Her approach is practical and isn't afraid to tell you how it is. Robin shares changing your mindset to having a realistic approach to health and wellness, helpful habits, benefits of Pilates and a few workouts and recipes. 

Title: Bright Winter Lights

Author: Liz Maverick

Genre: romance

How I Read It:  audiobook

My Rating: 4 out of 5

Amazon Description: Light up your heart this holiday season as two old flames get a second chance at love....

Billionaire businessman Adam Bosch decides to bring a date to the family Hanukkah party this year in hopes of getting a break from his mother’s matchmaking. Trouble is, his busy schedule hasn’t left much room for romance. Since he’s always remained cordial with his high school sweetheart Sara Schwartz, he gets back in touch and asks her to be his plus one. And if he’s being honest, it’s a good excuse to see her again...since he’s never quite forgotten her.

Sara’s a successful designer with a close circle of friends and a thriving business—so what if her love life is nonexistent? When Adam resurfaces and asks her to pose as his date after all these years, she thinks it’s a ridiculous idea. But he’s charming, persuasive...and too cute to resist. Before long, they rediscover the spark that first brought them together. Will their holi-date turn into lasting love?

My Review: Such a cute short Hanukkah romance story. Sarah and Adam second chance love gives you all the heart felt feelings. The narration made it a fun listen. 

A Guy Walks In My Bar

Author: L Blakely

Genre: LGBQ Romance

How I Read It: audiobook

My Rating: 5 out of 5

Amazon Description: A sexy, passionate, utterly addictive standalone MM romance from #1 New York Times Bestselling author Lauren Blakely writing MM romance as L. Blakely...

Every bartender should follow one simple rule—don't go home with the customers. That’s been easy for me to stick to, until the night a cocky, confident, and sinfully charming hockey star walks into my bar.
This sexy athlete is too hard to resist, especially when he makes it clear how much he wants the “sarcastic, witty, hot AF” guy behind the bar—also known as me.
Still, I’m not keen on breaking my own rules since I know where that can lead—no place good.
But when that man makes his case with one bone-searing kiss on the streets of London, I throw resistance out the window. What could go wrong with a hot, no-strings-attached fling before he leaves town in five days?
Trouble is, soon our nights together lead to days, to long conversations, to getting to know each other, and to something I never expected—falling ridiculously hard for a man who’s getting on a plane to America when I live a world away. My life is here. His is there. And no amount of falling or feeling will change that one big problem.

My Review: I am a big Blakely fan and have the habit of just listening/purchasing her books without reading the description. I had no idea what I was getting into when I started this book. Wow this book was a lot, but damn was it hot. The narration the romance, the spark, the heat, the chemistry, the story line. I am getting flushed just thinking about it again. This book had it all. 

Title: Grimoire Girl

Author: Hilarie Burton Morgan

Genre: biography

How I Read It: audiobook from library

My Rating: 3 out of 5

Amazon Description: The long-awaited next book from actress and New York Times bestselling author of The Rural Diaries, Hilarie Burton Morgan. Through memoir essays and magical practices, Grimoire Girl connects us to the enchantment that exists inside us all.

Since childhood, Hilarie Burton Morgan has felt the call to record, keep, and catalogue life in all its strange wonder. It was a whimsical habit, with no clear goal. And then, when she became a mother, the importance of all that collecting snapped into focus.

In an effort to patchwork together an anthology of traditions, curiosity, and magical thinking that she could pass down, Burton Morgan realized she was crafting a grimoire.

In her most intimate book yet, Burton Morgan shares how she’s creating an inheritance of mischief and magic that will outlive her. What’s more, she shows listeners how they too can look at the elements of their lives and collect the pieces into a tangible collection of a lifetime of learning. Because in its purest form, a grimoire was a guide to keep you alive.

Like the grimoires of old, full of life-saving wisdom, these words record the people, places, ideas and habits that have kept Burton Morgan alive, in her signature voice that is at once honest, witty, and charming. Accompanied by whimsical two-color illustrations by Olivia Faust, the book also includes Simple Spells, which are ways to bring magic into your daily life: create an altar that delights and inspires, practice candle magic and poetry spells, make an oracle deck, or channel your inner kitchen witch with recipes and potions.

So begin creating your own inheritance, take a long look inward and decide...

What wisdom will be written on the pages of your Grimoire?

My Review: A memoir full of advice, some witchcraft and mythology. I enjoyed how Hilary talks to you like you are her best friend. Sharing stories and secrets over a cup of coffee. The memoir makes you look back at your own life and think about what you want to be remember for. I listened to the audiobook. I may have enjoyed it more if I physically read the book and could see the lists, and additions that were added in.

Title: Paris: The Memoir

Author: Paris Hilton

Genre: memoir

How I Read It:  audiobook from library

My Rating: 3 out of 5

Amazon Description: From the woman who is credited for launching what we know as the celebrity focused, “brand” driven, social media obsessed popular culture of today, comes an honest and surprising memoir that reckons with that truth, and shows that there is so much more to Paris Hilton than you might believe.

I was born in New York City on February 17, 1981, three days after Valentine’s Day. 

From the time I was a toddler, my brain skipped and flickered with the chemical imbalance of ADHD. Sometimes it was too much.

I’m not bragging or complaining about it, just telling you: This is my brain. It has a lot to do with how this whole book thing is going to play out, because I love run-on sentences—and dashes. And sentence fragments. I’m probably going to jump around a lot while I tell the story.

I came of age during the most turbulent pop culture period ever.

The character I played—part Lucy, part Marilyn—was my steel-plated armor.

People loved her. Or they loved to hate her, which was just as marketable. I leaned into that character, my ticket to financial freedom and a safe place to hide. I made sure I never had a quiet moment to figure out who I was without her. I was afraid of that moment because I didn’t know what I’d find.

I wrote this book in an effort to understand my place in a watershed moment: the technology renaissance, the age of influencers. I also wrote this book so that the world could know who I am today. I focused on key aspects of my life that led to what I am most proud of--how my power was taken away from me and how I took it back, how I built a thriving business, a marriage and a family.

There are so many young women who need to hear this story. I don’t want them to learn from my mistakes; I want them to stop hating themselves for their own mistakes. I want them to laugh and cry and embrace every aspect of who they are with fearlessness and pride. We all have our own brand of intelligence, and, girl, fuck fitting in.

My Review: I listened to the audiobook and love that Paris narrated herself. I felt like it was hard to keep up because to kept jumping back and forth in the story. I had no idea about her dark past from reform school but give her so much credit for coming out about it. I also love all the things she is doing to prevent that from happening to other kids. There is a lot more of her life that she could have shared and felt like was brushed under the rug. 

Title: Fourth Wing

Author: Rebecca Yarros

Genre: fantasy romance

How I Read It: audiobook from library

My Rating: 5 out of 5

Amazon Description: Enter the brutal and elite world of a war college for dragon riders from New York Times bestselling author Rebecca Yarros

Twenty-year-old Violet Sorrengail was supposed to enter the Scribe Quadrant, living a quiet life among books and history. Now, the commanding general―also known as her tough-as-talons mother―has ordered Violet to join the hundreds of candidates striving to become the elite of Navarre: 
dragon riders.

But when you’re smaller than everyone else and your body is brittle, death is only a heartbeat away...because dragons don’t bond to “fragile” humans. They incinerate them.

With fewer dragons willing to bond than cadets, most would kill Violet to better their own chances of success. The rest would kill her just for being her mother’s daughter―like Xaden Riorson, the most powerful and ruthless wingleader in the Riders Quadrant.

She’ll need every edge her wits can give her just to see the next sunrise.

Yet, with every day that passes, the war outside grows more deadly, the kingdom's protective wards are failing, and the death toll continues to rise. Even worse, Violet begins to suspect leadership is hiding a terrible secret.

Friends, enemies, lovers. Everyone at Basgiath War College has an agenda―because once you enter, there are only two ways out: 
graduate or die.

My Review: The hype on social media got me to listen to this book. The narrators were amazing at capturing your attention. The author kept you hanging on with the fast paces action and every troupe. I am not normally a fantasy reader but this book had me second guessing what I like. 

Title: Iron Flame

Author: Rebecca Yarros

Genre: fantasy romance

How I Read It: audiobook from library

My Rating: 2 out of 5

Amazon Description: Everyone expected Violet Sorrengail to die during her first year at Basgiath War College―Violet included. But Threshing was only the first impossible test meant to weed out the weak-willed, the unworthy, and the unlucky.

Now the 
real training begins, and Violet’s already wondering how she’ll get through. It’s not just that it’s grueling and maliciously brutal, or even that it’s designed to stretch the riders’ capacity for pain beyond endurance. It’s the new vice commandant, who’s made it his personal mission to teach Violet exactly how powerless she is–unless she betrays the man she loves.

Although Violet’s body might be weaker and frailer than everyone else’s, she still has her wits―and a will of iron. And leadership is forgetting the most important lesson Basgiath has taught her: 
Dragon riders make their own rules.

But a determination to survive won’t be enough this year.

Because Violet knows the real secret hidden for centuries at Basgiath War College―and nothing, not even dragon fire, may be enough to save them in the end.

My Review: By unpopular opinion, I was not a fan of this book. It was drawn out, boring, and long. I kept listening hoping it was going to get better. The beginning felt like it was missing something, the middle just kept going with in depth, and the ending was fast paced and messy. 

Title: Leave me Breathless

Author: Carrie Elks

Genre: romance

How I Read It: ebook

My Rating: 5 out of 5

Amazon Description: She’s his best friend’s little sister. Completely off-limits. And now she’s moving in with him…

When Gabe Winter’s best friend calls with an unusual request – give his broken-hearted little sister a roof over her head for a few months – he readily accepts.

But he doesn’t expect Nicole to be quite so enticing. Or for her to bring out all the feelings in him. Feelings he thought he’d buried long ago, beneath his easy-going façade and womanizing reputation.

But now they’re spending late nights watching movies together, snuggled beneath the blankets with popcorn in their hands. And there's inches between her lips and his.

It’s wrong but it’s also inevitable. He’s falling for the one woman he shouldn’t want.

He’s in over his head, but drowning never felt so good.

My Review: Perfect holiday read. A forbidden love with a hallmark vibe but add spice. 

Title: Peppermint Wishes

Author: D.L. Darby

Genre: Christmas romance

How I Read It: audiobook

My Rating: 3 out of 5

Amazon Description: No one should be alone for Christmas. At least, that’s what Evelyn Montgomery‘s parents always told her. So when she finds herself very alone for the festive holiday, she decides to book a weekend at Sutton Lake.

It’s there, in a whirlwind of fate, that she meets Jonathan, her gorgeous, albeit grumpy, neighbor across the lake, who also happens to be spending Christmas alone.

After sharing the weekend together, they part ways, but when she leaves, Evelyn realizes maybe parting ways isn’t what she wants at all.

Returning to Sutton Lake to find him, she discovers that not everything about that Christmas weekend was as it seemed. Jonathan is nowhere to be found, and no one from the town remembers her from her visit just one week ago.

Doubting herself, Evelyn wonders if she made it all up.

Was her trip to Sutton Lake just a dream?

And if it was, maybe that means Jonathan was just a figment of her peppermint wishes.

My Review: I really wanted to love this book. The story line of a Christmas romance is favorite with the Hallmark feel and add some spice. I was thrown off by the "was it all made up" and then the end. I enjoyed Darby's writing style just not this story line. 

Currently Reading

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1 comment

  1. I've been debating about the 4th Wing... I do read so many great reviews but I am not usually a fan of fantasy books either. You read quite the variety of books this month!


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