“She has always known that houses are bodies and that her body is a house in more ways than most.”Daisy Johnson, Sisters
Happy December! In spite of the pandemic and the numerous terrible things happening in the world I am glad to realize I am still capable of feeling the holiday vibes. So much so that I almost forgot to share my November wrap-up. These are the stories I loved last month:
Horrid by Katrina Leno – 3.5⭐
Ayako by Osamu Tezuka – 5⭐
The Turn of the Screw by Henry James – 3.5⭐
Cockfight by Maria Fernanda Ampuero – 5⭐
Goodbye, Vitamin by Rachel Khong – 3⭐
Sisters by Daisy Johnson- 4⭐
In Praise of the Stepmother -5⭐
Horrid is a super cute horror tale. I think it is marketed as YA horror, and it’s a great starting point for anyone planning to explore the genre. Ayako is a historical drama set on post war Japan. As always with any Osamu Tezuka I loved it a lot. I read The Turn of the Screw because I loved the Netflix series The Haunting of Bly Manor. It was a bit challenging to read but I appreciate it for being a great source material. Goodbye, Vitamin was a cover buy so I wasn’t really expecting much from it. It’s not bad, but it’s certainly not memorable either. Sisters I read because I love Daisy Johnson and I wasn’t disappointed. My favorite thing about Daisy Johnson is that she can always take a familiar tale and twist it into something refreshing. In Praise of the Stepmother is a third reread. I first loved this in the libraries of university, and I was only able to get a my own copy this year. I love how rereading always lets me discover new things from an old favorite.
Cockfight is my absolute favorite last month and definitely in my top 5 this year. I love it so much I still haven’t found the right words to tell you all about it but I will. It helped to inspire me a lot while I was struggling to write a story of my own. It gave me the direction I needed. I am excited to share with you my very first short story soon, I am just awaiting updates from the anthology project that I submitted it to.
I also completed my Goodreads Reading Challenge of 100 titles!!! Keyword “titles” because they are not all “books” — some are zines and other short reads so if you haven’t reached this number yet it’s never about the numbers but about your personal goals and what’s fun for you, okay?
Notable movies/series I’ve seen:
His House (Netflix) – 9/10🍿
Criminal: UK (Netflix) – 10/10🍿
Berserk: The Golden Age Arc – 8/10🍿
Rebecca (Netflix) – 7/10🍿
His House is about a young refugee couple trying to rebuild their lives in a small English town. I admit we only watched it because of Matt Smith on the Netflix poster, but it is the best surprise from last month. It is deliciously relevant, with the right amount of suspense of beautiful execution. Criminal: UK is a minimalist show, just interesting conversations and great crime stories. Berserk is based on a popular manga series and I would recommend it if you like good stories, surprising plot and violence. Rebecca is a classic “the book is better than the movie” situation. But I guess it’s worth seeing if only for the gorgeous sceneries and if you are curious about the book.
NOVEMBER BOOK HAUL
After nine months, we finally had the opportunity to visit our favorite bookstore. It was bittersweet because I really missed the place, and it is just as lovely as our last visit. We also felt safe inside the store and all health protocols were followed. However, it’s just not the same as before — no leisurely browsing of the shelves, no random touching of spines, no coffee dates with friends afterwards. I suppose it will still take time to figure out how to enjoy the outdoors again. For now we’re happy to mostly stay at home and make sure everyone is safe.
Here’s my book haul. I think I would have gotten more if I was more comfortable in browsing the shelves. I prefer discovering backlisted books along with the shiny new publications, but I’m really happy getting these two. I have waited years for a new book by Susanna Clarke, and I’ve only heard good things about The House in the Cerulean Sea. I also got a 2021 planner and a cute bookmark.
NOVEMBER JOURNAL SPREAD
Even though I still haven’t began to learn calligraphy, I think my penmanship is looking better at least? I just enjoyed all the autumn colors for this spread. I hope you like it!
What were some of your favorites last November–bookish or not?
Any plans for the holidays?