November 2022 Wrap Up

And just like that, we’re at the end of November! This month was a great blend of cozying up with some good books and celebrating the holidays & also having good weekend plans. I went into the city twice to see Beetlejuice on Broadway (so worth going to see before it closes on Broadway!) & for a hockey game.

It also brought one of my favorite times of the year, Goodreads Choice Awards season. I know that there’s a lot of relevant conversations bout how exactly Goodreads chooses the finalists & how books are categorized by which genere., but I can’t help but look forward to voting each round!

I started holiday reading with Just Like Magic by Sarah Hogle (love!), Jenny Bayliss’s Meet Me Under the Mistletoe -perfect for readers who love books with a big cast of characters, as a friend group reunites in a English castle/estate for two of the friends’ wedding, set during the holiday season-, and Once Upon a December by Amy E.Reichert – very unique, set at the Milwaukee Christmas market and features a romance between a woman and a man whose family *magically* travels from Christmas market to market around the world. 

My favorite books of November where Things You Save in a Fire by Katherine Center, Part of Your World by Abby Jimenez (I voted for Book Lovers, but so sad it didn’t make the final round for the Goodreads Choice Awards!), Just Like Magic by Sarah Hogle, When Stars are Scattered by Victoria Jamieson and Omar Mohamed, and Mr.Perfect on Paper by Jean Meltzer. 

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Current Library Holds: November 2022 Edition

Here’s to sharing my current library holds list as we’re nearly at the end of November in hopes I get my hands on some of these titles ASAP!

Anon pls. by DeuxMoi – A few people I follow on bookstagram have read this one and they have loved the reading experiences, reminded them of the gossipy books they might have back in middle school or high school – I’m imaging Gossip Girl/Pretty Little Liars/The Clique vibes in my own mind?? I know this will be such a good binge-read. .

Before I Let Go by Kennedy Ryan – I haven’t read a book by Kennedy Ryan before, but there’s been so much hype & love for her latest release.

Have I Told You This Already?: Stories I Don’t Want to Forget to Remember by Lauren Graham – I didn’t realize Lauren Graham was coming out with a new book until days before this release. I LOVE her memoir and I’m so excited for this essay collection – I have it both on hold as a physical and audio copy.

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Mr.Perfect on Paper Review

59411914Summary (from the publisher):
As the creator and CEO of the popular Jewish dating app J-Mate, matchmaker Dara Rabinowitz knows the formula for lasting love—at least, for everyone else. When it comes to her own love life, she’s been idling indefinitely. Until her beloved bubbe shares Dara’s checklist for “The Perfect Jewish Husband” on national television and charming news anchor Chris Steadfast proposes they turn Dara’s search into must-see TV.
As a non-Jewish single dad, Chris doesn’t check any of Dara’s boxes. But her hunt for Mr. Perfect is the ratings boost his show desperately needs. If only Chris could ignore his own pesky attraction to Dara—a task much easier said than done when Dara starts questioning if “perfect on paper” can compete with how hard she’s falling for Chris…

My Rating: 4.5/5 Stars

My Thoughts:

I loved reading Jean Meltzer’s debut, The Matzah Ball, last December, & so many of my book reviewer friends have loved her 2022 release, Mr. Perfect on Paper — and I am so happy to say that I am now one of them!

 Set during the Jewish high holidays & Hanukkah, Mr. Perfect on Paper follows Jewish dating app creator, Dara, who gets so much media attention when her beloved grandmother describes Dara’s ideal man during a TV interview with Chris, a daytime news anchor. To help improve his show’s ratings and to satisfy Dara’s grandmother, the two team-up and create a mini series where Dara dates guys based on her list, with plenty of mishaps and some feelings between Dara & Chris involved. 

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End of Year Book Tag: 2022 Edition

I love this time of year for many reasons, but in the blogging world, I love putting together my best of books lists and anticipated lists. I’ve so many good books this year, including some below, that I know will make my favorites lists so hard to put together. As I’m writing this post on Sunday, I’m hoping that the first round of Goodreads Choice Awards comes out – I enjoy tailoring some of my end of year reading by including some of the nominees. The post that always kicks off my wrap up season is the End of the Year Book Tag, which always helps me reflect on my reading & plan some goals for the remainder of the year.

I’ve linked to my previous years’ End of Year Book Tags below. This tag was created by Ariel of Ariel Bissett.

Are there any books you started this year that you need to finish?

I’m currently in the middle of the fourth Bridgerton book, Romancing Mr.Bridgerton by Julia Quinn, and I’m hoping to finally finish it this week. This book isn’t super long, but I started reading it in September & admittedly put it down to pick up new releases…and never picked it back up, until this past weekend on the way home from the city to see Beetlejuice on Broadway. My best friend and I have been loving reading the books, but we will both agreed that while we love the Colin and Penelope ship, their book is slow-moving. 

Do you have a book or autumnal book to transition into the end of the year?

As always, my pick is always holiday-themed! I recently finished reading my first holiday book of the season, Just Like Magic by Sarah Hogle, but I’m saving the latest Bromance Book Club release, A Very Merry Bromance by Lyssa Kay Adams, for when I’m fully in the holiday spirit.  

Is there a new release you’re still waiting for?

I don’t have too many more upcoming 2022 releases, but I am looking forward to Well Traveled (Well Met #4) by Jen DeLuca. 

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What I’ve Been Reading Lately: November 2022 Edition

Another day of catching you up on my recent reads! Over the two weeks, I’ve been delving into some adult contemporary – I guess some are considered women’s fiction, but I‘m not a fan of that label…and spoiler for a new-to-me author below, but I feel like Katherine Center is more contemporary, but on the edge of contemporary romance?? – my first holiday read of the season, a short story collection from my favorite beach read author, a new YA book, and an amazing graphic novel geared towards younger readers, but perfect for readers of all ages.

Just Like Magic by Sarah Hogle – I decided while giving out candy on Halloween that it was time for me to dive into holiday books this season, starting with Just Like Magic! Sarah Hogle’s Just Like Magic follows a woman, Bettie, whose life is not the one of luxury she previously had or promotes on her social media accounts. When she drunkenly plays Mariah Carey’s “All I Want for Christmas” on her vinyl, a mishap leads the holiday spirt, Hall, to appear and help Bettie get through the holidays with her family. Sarah Hogle’s books have this sense of quirkiness that I love – it did take me the first 50 pages or so to really settle into Just Like Magic – Bettie isn’t the most likable MC – but I love its humor and quirkiness, as Bettie spends the holiday with Hall and her over-the-top family. Overall, the book is unique but has many of the holiday tropes we’re all looking for this time of year.  My Rating: 4/5 Stars

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Eight Nights of Flirting Review

51Qpz5lDqqL._AC_SY780_Summary (from the publisher):A sixteen-year-old girl is on a mission to find the perfect boyfriend this Hanukkah, but love might not go according to plan, in this charming winter romcom from the author of The Summer of Lost Letters.

Shira Barbanel has a plan: this Hanukkah, she’s going to get a boyfriend. And she has the perfect candidate in mind—her great-uncle’s assistant, Isaac. He’s reliable, brilliant, and of course, super hot. The only problem? Shira’s an absolute disaster when it comes to flirting.

Enter Tyler Nelson, Shira’s nemesis-slash-former-crush. As much as she hates to admit it, Tyler is the most charming and popular guy she knows. Which means he’s the perfect person to teach her how to win Isaac over.

When Shira and Tyler get snowed in together at Golden Doors, they strike a deal—flirting lessons for Shira in exchange for career connections for Tyler. But as Shira starts to see the sweet, funny boy beneath Tyler’s playboy exterior, she realizes she actually likes hanging out with him. And that wasn’t part of the plan.

Amidst a whirl of snowy adventures, hot chocolate, and candlelight, Shira must learn to trust her heart to discover if the romance she planned is really the one that will make her happiest.

My Rating: 4/5 Stars

My Thoughts:

If you’ve just changed your Halloween decor for the upcoming holiday season and want your reading life to match, look no further than Hannah Reynold’s YA contemporary, Eight Nights of Flirting

Eight Nights of Flirting follows Jewish teen Shira during Hanukkah, as her huge family, filled with her parents, aunts, uncles, and tons of cousins & led by her grandparents spend the holiday in their family home on Nantucket. Shira has her eyes on her great uncle’s intern, Isaac, and teams up with her former crush, Tyler, to help her learn everything about flirting. As Shira and Tyler spend time together during their ‘lessons’ and trying to figure out the romantic past of one of Shira’s ancestors, Shira finds herself questioning if Isaac is the one she really wants after all. 

Eight Nights of Flirting is a semi companion novel to Hannah Reynolds’s The Summer of Lost Letters, in that Shira’s cousin is the male love interest in The Summer of Lost Letters. I’ve had The Summer of Lost Letters on my TBR, but just recently picked up a copy from the library – I guess the only ‘spoilers’ in Eight Nights of Flirting for Lost Letters surround whether  if Abby and Noah end up together and the connection between their grandparents. In short, I don’t think you necessarily have to read The Summer of Lost Letters before Eight Nights of Flirting, but there are minor spoilers for Hannah Reynold’s debut.

ANYWAY, Eight Nights of Flirting is one of the few novels I’ve read set on Nantucket other than of course Elin Hilderbrand’s novels, but aside from Elin Hilderbrand’s Winterstreet series, it was such a cute portrait of winter life on Nantucket. The book is set across the eight nights of Hanukah & then some, as Shira & her family celebrate with their family traditions, including a play led by Shira’s mischievous cousins in hopes of getting their grandparents to be on better terms with one another. It was such a fun read filled with banter, between Shira’s close-knit relationships with her cousins and of course, her friendship with Tyler. I think the book had the perfect balance of holiday fun and relationship development, alongside some self-discovery.

Overall, Eight Nights of Flirting is such a cozy YA contemporary perfect for the holiday season! 

I was provided with a review copy from the publisher in exchange for review. By no means did receiving this book affect my thoughts & opinions.

Have you read Eight Nights of Flirting or The Summer of Lost Letters? What YA contemporaries have you been loving lately? Share in the comments!