Looking back, looking forward: November 2015


November was an interesting month reading wise. I feel I’ve read a good mixture of new books and old, some by authors who are new to me and others by authors I already know and love. Most of my reads were classics and historical fiction, but I also read one collection of short stories and one fascinating non-fiction book.

Let’s look back at November before looking forward to December.

Favourite books this month:


Lustrum by Robert Harris (2009) – This is the second part of a fictional biography of the Roman statesman Marcus Tullius Cicero. I loved the first book, Imperium, and thought this one was even better.

The Last Enchantment

The Last Enchantment by Mary Stewart (1979) – I enjoyed all three books in Mary Stewart’s Merlin trilogy, of which this is the last.

Also read and reviewed this month:

The Silvered Heart by Katherine Clements (2015)
Master of Shadows by Neil Oliver (2015)
Death in Venice & Other Stories by Thomas Mann (1897-1912)
Dickon by Marjorie Bowen (1929)

Read but not yet reviewed:

The Master of Ballantrae by Robert Louis Stevenson (1889)
The Good Soldier by Ford Madox Ford (1915)
Royal Mistress by Anne Easter Smith (2013)
The Georgian Menagerie by Christopher Plumb (2015)

Looking forward to December

As we move into December, I am in the middle of two books – The Storm Sister, which is the second book in Lucinda Riley’s Seven Sisters series, and The Sea-Hawk by Rafael Sabatini – and am enjoying both. The Sea-Hawk is the last book I need to read for my Ten from the TBR project, so you can expect an update on that (and another selection of ten books) later in the month.

I don’t have any other plans for December’s reading, so I’ll just see what I’m in the mood for. At the end of the month, of course, I’ll be posting my list of favourite books of the year. I feel that I’ve read a lot of good books in 2015, but not many that really stand out from the rest, so this year’s list could be either very easy to compile or very difficult! I’m hoping that some of my December choices will be the outstanding reads I’ve been waiting for.

How was November for you? Do you have any reading plans for December?

13 thoughts on “Looking back, looking forward: November 2015

  1. Laurie Brown says:

    Actually, there are two more books in the Merlin series; ‘The Wicked Day’ and ‘The Prince and the Pilgrim’. I’ve read ‘Wicked Day’ but have never read ‘P&P’. ‘Crystal Cave’ is by far the best of the series, IMHO. I read it in my mid-teens and was totally swept away.

    • Helen says:

      Thanks for commenting, Laurie. The Crystal Cave is my favourite too. If I’ve understood correctly, only the first three books in the Arthurian series are referred to as the Merlin Trilogy – the other two are about different characters? I have my copy of The Wicked Day ready to start as soon as I’m in the mood for it!

  2. eduardodefrutos says:

    The book I enjoyed the most last month was A Tree Grows in Brooklyn (several months ago I also read by the same author Tomorrow Will Be Better, another outstanding novel).
    Just now I am reading Lila by Marylinne Robinson.

  3. piningforthewest says:

    I’m hoping to read a few more classics before the end of the year, probably a Trollope or two.. Books 4 and 5 in the Merlin series are definitely worth reading, although not as good as the first three.

  4. jessicabookworm says:

    Looks like you’ve had a good and varied month – I am rather jealous because I would like to read Mary Stewart’s Merlin trilogy and Dickon by Marjorie Bowen. I do have a copy of Master of Shadows by Neil Oliver which I would love to get round to in December, although will have to see when I finish Kingmaker: Broken Faith by Toby Clement. Otherwise I don’t really have any plans. I wish you happy reading in December 🙂

  5. Lory @ Emerald City Book Review says:

    I participated in several events in November (including my own Witch Week!) and it was great fun but a bit hectic. In December I want to hunker down and focus on some of the books that have been waiting patiently on my shelves for months. Like that copy of Haphazard by Starlight (poems for each day from Advent through Epiphany) that I bought last year because it sounded like such a wonderful idea and then never opened.

  6. Jo says:

    I have been reading some good books, some average, some wonderful. Trouble is I am behind in my reviews and the blog is being slightly neglected due to overwhelming time at work. I a, hoping that it will all resolve itself soon.

    My challenge at the moment is to simply write my November roundup post and go from there.

    I am waiting until I finish work in two weeks to start The Storm Sister as I want to escape into it.

    • Helen says:

      I have just finished The Storm Sister and really enjoyed it, although I think I preferred the first in the series. It will be the perfect book for you to escape into over the Christmas holidays. 🙂

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