November 2016 Wrap Up

It’s time to say hello to December, I feel like November flew by, which I’m very happy about, as today I’m boarding a plane! In fact, as this post goes live, I’ll be in the sky! I’m off to visit my sister in Zaragoza, Spain for four days and as you can guess, I’m very much looking forward to it! So my advance apologies, if it takes me a while to reply to comments/share posts – I’d love to say I’ll be ‘sunning it up’ but my sister tells me it’s quite cold this time of year, nonetheless, it’s my first holiday outside of the UK for about seven years so I don’t care if it’s snowing, I’m going on holiday!

On to the bookish news, I started a book club, well it’s officially starting in January of next year but I’m excited nonetheless. There’s currently a vote going on on Instagram to decide our first read. If you missed it, you can check out my post containing all the information you need about how it works here and if you’re on Instagram, find us at: criminallygoodbookclub

This month I read 12 books, DNF’ed 1 and listened to 1 audiobook. With the help of Goodreads and a calculator, I read 4385 pages this month!

The Good

The standout 5 star reads of the month were:

The Doll Funeral by Kate Hamer, her writing speaks to my soul; it’s dark, it’s beautiful, it’s compelling – you can read my review here.

The Wolf Road by Beth Lewis, a literary thriller with a dystopian-mystery feel to it. An exceptional debut novel that I high recommend –  review here.

Behind Her Eyes by Sarah Pinborough – #WTFthatending, need I say more!? Well, I do say more in my review, which you can read here.

The Bird Tribunal by Agnes Ravatn (translated by Rosie Hedger), a mesmorising read; Norwegian crime fiction at its finest – review here.

The other reviewed and recommended reads of the month were:

A Spy Came Home by H. N. Wake

Love You To Death by Caroline Mitchell

Ragdoll by Daniel Cole

Devil’s Demise by Lee Cockburn

What Alice Knew by T. A. Cotterell

Being the organised person I am [trying to be], I read two books for upcoming blog tours. You can catch my stop of the Scared to Death tour on the 18th December, not only am I sharing my review but I’ve got a great Q&A with the author herself – Rachel Amphlett. I’m also on the tour for Her Every Fear by Peter Swanson on January 17th (super organised right  😉 or super scared of missing deadlines!)

Continuing my buddy read of the DI Helen Grace series by M. J. Arlidge, with my friend, Amy, I also re-read Pop Goes the Weasel, as soon as I stop procrastinating, the buddy read book review will be up. The same goes for the audiobook review of Subject 375 by Nikki Owen, narrated by Yolanda Kettle.

The Bad

Sadly, this month I did not finish Dark Places by Gillian Flynn, I made it 270 pages of the way and had to abandon it. I found myself feeling really bored with the story, I just didn’t care how it ended. I give Flynn her credit, she knows how to write unlikable characters but not every book is for everyone and this one just wasn’t for me.

The New

Okay, surely I need some kind of award for this – this month, I only bought *drum roll please* 5 books! I also swapped 2 books on Read It Swap It, bringing my total of owned books to read (not including review copies) to 143 books!

  1. Dark Water by Sarah Bailey
  2. The Versions of Us by Laura Barnett
  3. Rage Against the Dying by Becky Masterman
  4. You by Caroline Kepnes
  5. The Little Red Chairs by Edna O’brien
  6. Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs
  7. The Beautiful Dead by Belinda Bauer


To Review

I’ve currently got 12 books to review, I’m hoping it becomes 13 today, as that will mean I’ve been approved for The Girl Before by J. P. Delaney on Netgalley. Pictured are the first five I’m planning to read in December (subject to change on a whim):

Of the remaining 7, two are to be reviewed as part of Mystery Thriller Week, which isn’t till February next year (Portraits of the Dead by John Nicholl and Medea’s Curse by Anne Buist). Two for blog tours in January (Gilding the Lily by Justine John and Porcelain: Innocents of the Flesh by Lee Cockburn) and one I’ve just found out is part of a series (The Exiled by Kati Heikkapelto) so I’m on the hunt for the books that came before. Lastly one that’s not released until June 2017 (Final Girls by Riley Sager) – I’m organised but not that organised!

And the last one, I’m particularly excited about as it’s time to bring some True Crime to the blog in the form of an autobiography: The Blood on my Hands by Shannon O’Leary.

the-blood-on-my-hands-shannon-olearySet in 1960s and ‘70s Australia, The Blood on My Hands is the dramatic tale of Shannon O’Leary’s childhood years. O’Leary grew up under the shadow of horrific domestic violence, sexual and physical abuse, and serial murder. Her story is one of courageous resilience in the face of unimaginable horrors.

The responses of those whom O’Leary and her immediate family reach out to for help are almost as disturbing as the crimes of her violent father. Relatives are afraid to bring disgrace to the family’s good name, nuns condemn the child’s objections as disobedience and noncompliance, and laws at the time prevent the police from interfering unless someone is killed.

The Blood on My Hands is a heartbreaking—yet riveting—narrative of a childhood spent in pain and terror, betrayed by the people who are supposed to provide safety and understanding, and the strength and courage it takes, not just to survive and escape, but to flourish and thrive.

And there we have it folks, my month in books, I also celebrated my 3 month blogiversary on the 18th November, you can see my blogger appreciation post here for some amazing blogs to follow.

How’s your month been?

What were your stand out reads of the month?

17 thoughts on “November 2016 Wrap Up

  1. Wow you had a great reading month! You read so many books! I’m surprised to discovered that you didn’t like Dark Places from Gillian Flynn. I was anticipating that read since I liked her Gone Girl. I’m glad you still have more good reads than bad ones! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It was definitely a good reading month, I really liked Gone Girl too, I think that’s why I stuck with Dark Places for so long as I was hoping it’d get better for me but sadly it didn’t. I’ve heard Sharp Objects is really good so I’m going to give that a read at some point.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Dark Places is a very different book to Gone Girl but it just didn’t work for me but I’m still going to give Sharp Objects a try, a few [trusted] people have said it’s really good


      1. Sharp objects is my favorite out of the three. But it’s more DP than GG I think. It’s more mystery than domestic thriller.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Have a wonderful break!
    It looks like you had a brilliant November in terms of books anyway – I’m glad to see you have The Versions of Us on your shelf, I really enjoyed it earlier this year and I want to read The Doll Funeral as I was living in the Forest of Dean at the very time the book is set. I also really like the look of The Blood on My Hands

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks!
      It was your twitter post that brought The Versions of Us to my attention so thank you. O cool, you definitely have to read The Doll Funeral then! I’ve a feeling The Blood on my Hands is going to be a super emotional read but one I’m definitely looking forward to!

      Liked by 1 person

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