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  • Olivia Swindler

November Reading Roundup

Each November, I try to read more non-fiction. The days are shorter, and it feels extra cozy to curl up with a big biography. Though I had the same goal this November, by the end of the month, my brain was tired, so voilà, here you have my well-intended, poorly executed, non-fiction November.


You can find me reading light-hearted books for the rest of the year.




The Appeal – Mystery | 4/5

I enjoyed this modern take on the epistolary novel. Though I don’t think this book is for everyone, I found it almost impossible to put down. I enjoyed getting to know the characters through their email correspondence, and the story felt grounded in the theater company.


My Body – Memoir in Essays | 4/5

Firstly, this book is really well written. This collection of essays is poignant and applicable to everyone. This collection is beautiful and vulnerable. Before reading this, I didn’t know much about Emily Ratajkowski, and really enjoyed reading her story.


River of the Gods – Non-Fiction | 4/5

Before reading this book, all of my knowledge of the Nile came from The Prince of Egypt. This is an amazingly well-researched book on the exploration of the Nile. I particularly enjoyed the ending, when Millard explains how the effects of the explorers are still felt in Africa today. I enjoyed listening to this on audio.


You’ll Never Believe What Happened to Lacey: Crazy Stories about Racism – Non-Fiction | 5/5

Read this book. I loved Amber Ruffin before picking this one up, and this book made me love her even more. It is equal parts comedic and heartbreaking. I loved hearing the sisterly dynamic play out in the audiobook.


The Final Revival of Opal & Nev – Historical Fiction | 3.5/5

I really enjoyed this book's plot and characters, but I felt like the story could have been tighter. So many details were drawn out that made it difficult to follow the main story at times. This has been compared to Daisy Jones, and though the format is similar, the themes and tone are very different.


Friends, Lovers, and the Big Terrible Thing – Memoir | 5/5

It is impossible to read this book and not root for Matthew Perry. (Unless you are my sister, who hated this book. I stand by my five stars @Grace).


We Are the Light – Fiction | 5/5

This book is a profoundly stunning look at grief. I found the epistolary style almost impossible to put down. Though it centers around a mass shooting, I appreciated how Quick approaches such a timely and heartbreaking issue. I loved this book. If you are a fan of Mitch Albom, I think this book is for you.


A Wind in the Door – Young Adult | 5/5

Madeline L’Engle tells magical stories. I love how her stories take deep themes and weave them into simple yet poignant adventures.


Directed by James Burrows – Memoir | 2/5

As someone who almost exclusively watches sitcoms, I was excited to read this book. But, unfortunately, instead of an engaging memoir of possibly the best sitcom director of all time, it reads like a name-dropping resume.


Wrong Place Wrong Time – Thriller | 4/5

I loved the unique structure of this book! It took a few chapters to get into, but it was almost impossible to put down. The middle dragged on, but I was guessing until the end. (Also, the fact that there is not a comma in the title of this book drives me a little crazy...)

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