Posted in Books and Shows

November 2022: What I’ve Been Reading

Hey there!

I was just talking about books with a few people recently, and said that 2022 hasn’t felt like my best year of reading. There were a couple of months when I only read two books, and while I’ve still read quite a few, it just seems like most have been ok.

That being said, this month I read three books and enjoyed them all!

This month I read…

{As always, book summaries are from Goodreads…}

The Things We Cannot Say:

Summary:

In 1942, Europe remains in the relentless grip of war. Just beyond the tents of the Russian refugee camp she calls home, a young woman speaks her wedding vows. It’s a decision that will alter her destiny…and it’s a lie that will remain buried until the next century.

Since she was nine years old, Alina Dziak knew she would marry her best friend, Tomasz. Now fifteen and engaged, Alina is unconcerned by reports of Nazi soldiers at the Polish border, believing her neighbors that they pose no real threat, and dreams instead of the day Tomasz returns from college in Warsaw so they can be married. But little by little, injustice by brutal injustice, the Nazi occupation takes hold, and Alina’s tiny rural village, its families, are divided by fear and hate. Then, as the fabric of their lives is slowly picked apart, Tomasz disappears. Where Alina used to measure time between visits from her beloved, now she measures the spaces between hope and despair, waiting for word from Tomasz and avoiding the attentions of the soldiers who patrol her parents’ farm. But for now, even deafening silence is preferable to grief.

Slipping between Nazi-occupied Poland and the frenetic pace of modern life, Kelly Rimmer creates an emotional and finely wrought narrative that weaves together two women’s stories into a tapestry of perseverance, loyalty, love and honor. The Things We Cannot Say is an unshakable reminder of the devastation when truth is silenced…and how it can take a lifetime to find our voice before we learn to trust it. 

Quick Thoughts:

This was a book that had been on my list for quite some time. It was certainly a heavy read with the topic of the Holocaust, but it was a mix of informative and emotional. I enjoyed the flashbacks with Alina more than modern day with Alice. The meaning behind “the things we cannot say” was embedded in many aspects of the storyline. This is definitely a powerful book and one that makes the top of my list of books so far this year.

Rating:

Summary:

In her twenties, Emma Blair marries her high school sweetheart, Jesse. They build a life for themselves, far away from the expectations of their parents and the people of their hometown in Massachusetts. They travel the world together, living life to the fullest and seizing every opportunity for adventure.

On their first wedding anniversary, Jesse is on a helicopter over the Pacific when it goes missing. Just like that, Jesse is gone forever.

Emma quits her job and moves home in an effort to put her life back together. Years later, now in her thirties, Emma runs into an old friend, Sam, and finds herself falling in love again. When Emma and Sam get engaged, it feels like Emma’s second chance at happiness.

That is, until Jesse is found. He’s alive, and he’s been trying all these years to come home to her. With a husband and a fiancé, Emma has to now figure out who she is and what she wants, while trying to protect the ones she loves.

Who is her one true love? What does it mean to love truly?

Emma knows she has to listen to her heart. She’s just not sure what it’s saying.

Quick Thoughts:

I’ve read a couple of books by Taylor Reid Jenkins (Malibu Rising and Seven Husbands), and have loved them both. This book was one of hers that I enjoyed too. It was an interesting storyline with Emma dealing with both her present and her past. Of course, as a reader, I wondered which love she’d choose. I felt like the story advanced organically as she wrestled with her decision. The idea of “true loves” and love changing as a person grows and matures was really interesting. In the end, I thought Emma made the right choice 🙂

Rating:

4.5 ⭐️

Summary:

It’s Christmas week when 26-year-old Sabrina Post knocks on the door of the Vanderbilt suite at the Plaza Hotel in New York City, ready to accept the ghostwriting position for the memoir of Grayson Westcott—a famous art dealer.

A struggling journalist, Sabrina can’t believe her luck: a paycheck and six nights in her own suite at the Plaza. She feels like Eloise, the heroine from her favorite children’s books. To make the job even more exciting, Grayson recounts how he worked as a butler at the Plaza sixty years ago for none other than the author of the Eloise books, Kay Thompson.

What promises to be a perfect week is complicated when Sabrina meets Ian Wentworth, a handsome British visitor, at the hotel bar. When Ian assumes Sabrina is another wealthy guest at the hotel, she doesn’t correct him —a decision she doesn’t regret after learning that Ian is a member of the British aristocracy. But, things are not what they seem. The truth is: Ian is not a wealthy lord; he’s actually the personal secretary of Lord Spencer Braxton.

As the week unfolds, will Sabrina and Ian learn the truth about one another?

Filled with the magic that can only be found at the Plaza Hotel during the holidays, and revealing facts about the author of the Eloise books, Anita Hughes’s A Magical New York Christmas is both a holiday treat and a heartwarming story that reminds us that falling in love is the greatest miracle of all.

Quick Thoughts:

I decided to kick off the holiday season with a Christmas book, and I sure feel like I picked the right one to read first. I’ve read A Christmas in Paris by Hughes and loved it. This book was a mix of whimsy and nostalgia. I loved the references to the Eloise books, the setting of New York at Christmastime, the flashbacks, and there was touch of British too. This was the perfect first Christmas book of the season for me.

Rating:

Previous Christmas Reads:

Since 2019, I’ve made a point to read Christmas books in December. The last two years, I’ve read one in November to share in my November book review.

If you are looking for Christmas book recommendations, check out Sarah’s post yesterday…and here are some of the Christmas books I’ve read through the years:

I loved this entire series so much. I read all four in December 2019.

What are some of your favorite Christmas themed books to read? I’d love to add them to my Goodreads list.

Happy reading!

12 thoughts on “November 2022: What I’ve Been Reading

  1. I read One True Love recently too and really enjoyed it. The Things We Cannot Say was definitely a favorite of mine as well. I’ll have to check out that Christmas one; I just started reading Christmas books this week and already flew through A Nantucket Christmas.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I just requested A Magical NY Christmas from my library! I haven’t read any seasonal books yet, so that might be my first. I also requested a couple from Shay and Sarah’s posts. I read One True Lies many years ago and liked it a lot. I can’t do any more WWII books for a long time. I read so many of them for my old book club. I hope to do some reading this weekend!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I read some really good Christmas books this month too. My favorites were A Nantucket Christmas by Nancy Thayer and Evergreen by Susan May Warren…the second one was a bit more real life and meaty, because it was about family dynamics and past hurts. Both were excellent! I also read two by Anita Hughes- Christmas in London (a couple of months ago when it became available to me on Libby) and A Magical New York Christmas. One True Loves is one of my favorite books that I’ve all year. That story stuck with me for a long time…just the thoughts they both had about marriage and the art of communication.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I have loved Rimmer’s books that I’ve read including Things We Cannot Say. I just finished the German Wife and loved it too. I’m putting the NY book on my library list. Thanks for the recommendation!

    Liked by 1 person

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