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  • Writer's pictureOlivia Swindler

November Reading Roundup

I hope your last few weeks have been spent curling up with a good book. I know for me, evenings spent reading is one of the best ways to combat the darkness.

Before I get to the books I read in November, a very exciting announcement! My newest novel, Break the Glass, is officially out in the world! Order it now, shout it from the rooftops, and leave a review on Amazon (seriously, they help so much!) Thank you to everyone who has sent pictures of their freshly arrived copies; it brings me so much joy!

Hidden Potential | Non-Fiction, 5/5

Adam Grant has quickly become one of my favorite writers. I found this book to be a perfect blend of research, stories, and practical tips. I really enjoyed it!

I found this book extremely informative. I appreciated the combination of science and real experiences. I wish I had read this book so I could have underlined it.

Fourth Wing | Fantasy, 4/5

I finally gave in and read it...I guess I like dragons now.

Our Missing Hearts | Fiction, 3/5

This book is utterly heartbreaking. I loved the writing but found the content to be too heavy for me personally. I also felt that it was a little repetitive, which caused the book to feel long.

I was able to get through this book thanks to the audio, read by Lucy Liu.

The Helsinki Affair | Fiction, 4/5

This is a fun fast-paced spy novel. I really loved the main character, Amanda Cole, and found her relationship with her father to be really touching. I did get a little lost in all the side characters, and found trying to follow them to be a little distracting.

It was also a joy to get to hear Anna Pitoniak speak at Politics & Prose in D.C.

Dear Committee Members | Fiction, 4/5

I really enjoyed this humorous epistolary novel. If you have ever found yourself writing a letter of recommendation, this book is a must-read. I really enjoyed it on audio.

I don't know how to give this book a star rating–so I won't.

I love Britney Spears. I am so thankful that she is now able to tell her story. My heart is broken for everything she experienced from an early age. It is obvious that a lot of this book was cut, as it does feel like it is missing some additional layers of backstory.

Honestly, as someone who reads a lot of memoirs, this book is not well written. The writing is chaotic and feels childlike. But really, the quality of the writing is not the purpose of this book. I am so glad that Britney can tell her story on her terms.

Bright Young Women | Fiction, 4/5

This book is such a unique take on police procedurals and thrillers. Though it is extremely dark, I really enjoyed the way this book tackled our obsession with true crime.

Spare | Memoir, 2/5

This is a burn book Regina George would be proud of.

Before reading this book, I loved Prince Harry and was quick to defend against any naysayers. But after reading this audiobook, I understand his critics. His attitude is such that he has done nothing wrong, and life has just been done to him. He talks a lot about losing his mother at the age of 12, which is how old I was when I lost my own mother, but he writes and laments as if no one in the world could know pain so deep. It also drove me insane that he called her "mummy" throughout the entire book.

Even if you love the royals and their drama, I would skip this book.

This is such a fun, sweet (literally) rom-com. I loved Stella and Samual, but like the best rom-coms, the side characters make this story. The food writing in this book was also wonderful, and had me dreaming of an Italian getaway.

Thicker Than Water | Memoir, 4/5

The writing of this memoir is stunning. I love the way Washington writes, and the fact that she reads the audiobook brings it all to life. I do wish it would have been a little tighter and some throwaway incidents dug into more.


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