Looking for your next book? Check out everything I read in November 2023 ... from a popular memoir to thrillers, romances, and more, there is something for everyone!
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After returning from a long trip to Ireland and Scotland at the end of October, then heading to Mexico City (one of my favorite cities!) in the middle of November, I was a bit short on reading time this month! I ended up finishing five books, including two audiobooks.
It's pretty rare that I read a memoir, but I couldn't resist checking out The Woman in Me by Britney Spears. And it actually ended being by favorite book this month! I also loved The Heaven & Earth Grocery Store. These two books couldn't be more different, but both were excellent. Check out my reviews of both below, plus the other books I read this month.
Did you read anything that you'd recommend this month? Let me know in the comment section below!
Books I Read in November 2023
I've included links for all of these books on Bookshop.org and Amazon so you can easily find them, as well as my ratings for each book (one star is lowest / five stars is highest).
The Woman in Me by Britney Spears
Hear Britney's story in her own words in The Woman in Me! From her rise to pop stardom to her relationships, motherhood, conservatorship, and so much more, this memoir is Britney Spears' story of freedom, fame, survival, faith, and hope.
I rarely read nonfiction, and even more rarely, memoirs ... what can I say, I love the escape of a novel! But I couldn't resist listening to Britney Spears' new book, and it really lives up to the hype. Her story is very sad and painful (my heart really broke for her), but I think it ultimately felt hopeful. Britney sheds a little light on her rise to fame, and her joys and struggles along the way, but much of the book focuses on her conservatorship (and the events leading up to it). This is a pretty quick read, so even if you're more of a fiction read like me, I'd highly recommend checking it out! I listened to the audiobook, which is narrated by Michelle Williams (she does an amazing job), on Everand (you can get a free 60 day trial to Everand here).
The House in the Pines by Ana Reyes
A troubled woman confronts her past in The House in the Pines! When Maya was a high school senior, her best friend Audrey suddenly died in front of Frank, a strange man who they'd been hanging out with all summer. Years later, Maya is living in Boston with her loving boyfriend, and trying to kick a secret addiction that she's used to forget her painful memories. Maya's recollection of the past is full of gaps, but when she sees a recent YouTube video which shows a woman keeling over in front of Frank, she knows it's time to finally figured out when happened that fateful summer. After returning to her hometown, Maya begins digging up her past, but time is running out, and all roads lead back to Frank's cabin in the woods.
I thought The House in the Pines had a clever concept, but I really struggled to get into this story. The main character Maya is an unreliable narrator, and while I don't necessarily mind that trope, I'm not a fan of helpless / unstable female main characters. It just kind of rubs me the wrong way. The book's central mystery did have a very interesting (and creepy) explanation, but I didn't like how it was executed and couldn't get over my annoyance with Maya throughout the slow moving story.
Act Your Age, Eve Brown by Talia Hibbert
Can a hot mess turn her life around? Find out in Act Your Age, Eve Brown! As much as Eve Brown tries to succeed, everything in her life and career always seems to go horribly wrong. But after she ruins an expensive wedding, her parents are fed up. It's time for Eve to finally grow up ... she's just not sure how. Uptight Jacob Wayne is a bed and breakfast owner who will accept nothing less than perfection. So when chaotic Eve turns up to interview for a chef position, he tells her not a chance in hell. But when Eve accidentally hits him with her car, Jacob finds himself with a broken arm and an understaffed B&B. Soon Eve has worked her way into Jacob's kitchen and his spare bedroom. Jacob hates everything about that (at least he should), but the heat between them soon causes his frosty exterior to melt.
Act Your Age, Eve Brown is the third book in the The Brown Sisters. I really loved every book in this series, including this one, which was great conclusion to the trilogy! This is a fun enemies to lovers story, and I really found myself rooting for Eve (she's not such a mess after all). I listened to the audiobook on Everand, and thought the narrator did a great job. Definitely check out this book series if you like spicy romances with diverse / neurodivergent characters!
The Trouble with Goats and Sheep by Joanna Cannon
A neighborhood is alive with rumors in The Trouble with Goats and Sheep! It's 1976, and Mrs. Creasy has gone missing. Her neighbors are buzzing with rumors and blame her disappearance on the recent heat wave, but Grace and Tilly aren't convinced. As the young girls travel door to door searching for clues, they uncover more secrets than they ever imagined. It's soon clear that everyone on the Avenue has something to hide, and Grace and Tilly begin to realize that the secrets surrounding a fateful day tens years ago are the same ones Mrs. Creasy discovered just before she disappeared.
It took me a minute to get into this book, but I ended up really enjoying it! The story is told from multiple perspectives, so you hear from the young, yet intuitive girls, as well as their older neighbors, each of whom has their own personality and worries. All the characters are actually a little hard to keep track of at first, but you get to know their quirks pretty fast. This was an interesting look at community and how quickly rumors spread (and can sometimes get out of hand). I love the twist at the end, too!
The Heaven & Earth Grocery Store by James McBride
Love sustains a community in The Heaven & Earth Grocery Store! In 1972, workers in are digging a foundation for a new development in Pottstown, Pennsylvania when they discover a skeleton in a well. Who it is and how it got there are long-held secrets of the residents of Chicken Hill, a run down neighborhood where African Americans and immigrant Jews once lived side by side. Moshe and Chona Ludlow live on the hill, where Moshe owns an integrated theater and Chona runs the Heaven & Earth Grocery Store. When the state begins searching for a deaf Black boy with plans to institutionalize him, Chona and Nate Timblin, the Black janitor at Moshe's theater and a leader of the Chicken Hill's African American community, work together to keep the boy safe. As Chicken Hill's residents struggle to survive on the margins of white, Christian America, and the truth about the body is finally revealed, it becomes clear how love and community sustains the neighbors even in harsh times.
Somehow, The Heaven & Earth Grocery Store is the first book I've read by James McBride, but it certainly won't be the last! This book is such a gem. All of the characters are so well developed, and it was interesting to find out their back stories as the book progressed. Parts of the story are quite upsetting, but the book somehow manages to be uplifting at the same time. I just loved it and can't wait to read more of the author's books.
And that's everything I read in November! I hope you found something new to read! Have you read any of these books, or did you finish anything this month that you'd like to recommend to me? Let me know if the comments!