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Welp… that sure was a month! With all the pressure from the election and Covid spiking, November has been a wild ride.
We here at Alchemy all had to re-imagine thanksgiving in a new way this year with our families. From no thanksgiving to a delivered thanksgiving, to a thanksgiving outside with masks… we did all the different pandemic versions between us.
I don’t know about you guys, but I’ve been leaning HARD into holiday cheer. Between the global pandemic, world news, and stressful work I’ve needed an outlet. So I’ve been listening to Christmas music since mid-November. #SorryNotSorry
If you want to join us in creating a little holiday cheer we’ve got you covered on all angles from a book lovers gift guide, to the best advent calendars to help you countdown, to stocking stuffers you’ll absolutely love.
I found it difficult to read at the beginning of the month but then really needed the escapism after the election so I went hard on my TBR pile. It’s been so nice to get through so many books this month.
Between all the amazing books I’ve been able to read and the holiday cheer that I’ve been able to concoct I’m ending November on a high note.
This is the book that I can gladly say that #BookstagramMadeMeDoIt. As for most of the country, Nov 3rd was an incredibly stressful day this year. I picked up this book as a distraction from looking at the polls every 5 seconds, and I was blown away. This book gripped me; I read it in a frenzy over approximately 8 hours over the course of the day.
Addie has made the deal with the devil; she will live forever, but no one will ever remember her. Over the past 300 years, she has lived on the edge of history until one day, someone remembers her name…
You know, I was prepared not to like this book. I don’t even know why, it checks a lot of my boxes: smart female narrator, period drama, and murder. But sometimes, Taurus that I am, I convince myself I’m not going to like something come hell or high water. But that being said, I’m glad I stuck with this one.
It’s the story of a Rosalind: a scientist who originally worked with Fermi on the Atomic Bomb and who is now stuck in anonymity working behind a jewelry counter at the local Chicago department store. Her past comes back to haunt her as the FBI (via a dreamy agent) pushes her to gather intelligence on her former coworker and lover- who just may be selling secrets to the Russians during the Cold War.
I can’t say too much here, but her struggle between her heart and her head, and her identity as a woman versus as a scientist are incredibly familiar, even now. It’s a beautiful story, and I highly recommend!
Jennifer L. Armentrout
Okay, so one of my friends literally bought the first book in this series, From Blood & Ash, and sent it to my kindle so I would read it and we could talk about it. This one sucked me in from the first chapter.
Poppy is “The Maiden” the one chosen by the gods. As she bucks tradition and expectations more and more you begin to question exactly who chose her… and for what. I’m not a huge rule breaker, so even though I thought Poppy’s existence was ridiculous and she SHOULD break the rules, I still got stressed every time she did, and boy did she ever.
The chemistry between her and her love interest was off the charts, and there are some really interesting questions about what we consider normal within the societies that we live in. I really like that Poppy wasn’t one-dimensional, she was both intensely courageous and strong, but also when power dynamics were in the mix she was more vulnerable to being victimized.
I gulped this book down. Alice says it’s more “romantic fantasy” but I really liked the world-building here and there are so many mysteries still to uncover about what REALLY is going on.
So those were the best books we read as a whole in November. However, it was a really tough race. Below are some other excellent 4 and 5 star reads!
What was the best book you read in November? Do you disagree with our picks?
Let us know in the comments!