November in Review // Did I SLAY My Reading Slump?!

(Last Updated On: January 30, 2020)

How is it December? I was at a book event on Saturday for Shop Small Business Day and legit had a moment of HOW IS THIS YEAR ALMOST OVER?

November was a wild month for me, friends. Unlike the last several months, I have been actually enjoying reading — which may or may not be related to the fact that I’m not forcing myself to write reviews right after reading.


Most of my spoons have been spent on the 2019 Bookish Reader’s Choice Awards, which has been a lot of work but also a lot of fun! In case you missed it, the general voting round is now live! ๐ŸŽ‰


Nov19 Bookly Stats
Want charts like this? Check out my All About Bookly post!

I read a total of 3,373 pages across 9 books in November. In terms of my reading slump? Don’t know her! I did lose my reading streak about a week or so ago (womp womp) because I just couldn’t bring myself to read, but otherwise? Slump hath been slayed!

Let’s not talk about the fact that I haven’t written a good number of my October reviews yet, and my backlog of review to comes keeps growing, but I feel like reading for the first time in months… so I am just going with it.

โœจย As a quick reminder, I’ve done away with star ratings on my blog reviews. You can read more about my reasoning in this discussion post on ratings systems, but you can find my ratings on Goodreads!

My Favorite Reads of November

The Deep coverThe Deepย by Rivers Solomon is a masterpiece. There, I said it.

This book blew me away with its powerful prose and blend of history and fantasy. It’s a story of memory and history, the individual versus the group, of identity, of pain and of hope. This is such a beautifully crafted and powerful story that I can’t recommend enough.

Also, the audiobook is narrated by Daveed Diggs, which is awesome and full-circle.

Read my ARC Review


Crier's War coverCrier’s War by Nina Varela is such a stunning debut!

I pre-ordered this book solely because Sharon screamed about it on Twitter. And then Kate read it and love it. And then I didn’t read it for almost two months. And now I am angry for waiting so long! Rich world-building, lush writing, amazing and flawed characters. f/f enemies-to-lovers slow burn. This is a new fave, friends!

I was fortunate enough to attend an event and meet Nina yesterday at Mysterious Galaxy Bookstore, and let me tell you — she is hilarious and I want to be her best friend.

๐Ÿ“–ย  Full Review to Come

All November Reads

ARCs/copies from author or publisher are noted below by an asterisk *

  • * A Thousand Fires by Shannon Price –ย  you sayย retelling of The Iliadย and I am going to come running. I definitely picked up more Romeo and Juliet vibes from this than expected, but the themes of the Iliad are evident throughout โ€“ the underlying story being an important one of privilege and gentrification set in San Francisco. | ๐Ÿ“– Full ARC review
  • * Tarnished are the Stars by Rosiee Thor – by the time I finally read this science fiction debut, I already owned a finished copy — oops. Basically this book is amazing and I will be kicking myself for months because I was late on my ARC review. All those months I could have been shouting! The cast of characters and world is effortless diverse and is ownvoices for aro-ace rep! | ๐Ÿ“– Full ARC review
  • Capturing the Devil (Stalking Jack the Ripper #3) by Kerri Maniscalco – I finally stopped procrastinating and dove into a buddy read with Destiny and Reg for our last adventure with Thomas! I really didn’t like book 3, and I saw some negative reviews of this one, so my expectations were lowered tf down… and I didn’t hate it. | ๐Ÿ“– Full review
  • * Do You Dream of Terra-Two? by Temi Oh – this was a super overdue review copy from February. And I am kicking myself because the book was so good! If you love space exploration and character-driven narratives with a spotlight on mental health, pick this one up. | ๐Ÿ“– Full ARC review
  • If We Were Villains by M.L. Rio – I… just want to talk with everyone of my friends who screamed about this book, because perhaps my copy is different? ๐Ÿ˜›ย  This is a book that should have been for me but was NOT. | ๐Ÿ“– Full review
  • The Dark Descent of Elizabeth Frankenstein by Kiersten White – I wanted to love this one, but it took far too long to get going and the uneven pacing kept throwing me for a loop. The last quarter of the book? AMAZING. The rest? Meh. | ๐Ÿ“– Full review coming soon
  • * The Hive by Barry Lyga –ย  another overdue ARC down! This one is… terrifying, friends. It’s pretty much a look at what would happen if The Purge merged with social media cancel culture. | ๐Ÿ“– Full ARC review

Did Not Finish

  • None

November Statistics

Total Books Read: 9 | Total Pages Read: 3,373

Total Books Read in 2019: 83
Goodreads Reading Goal:ย 52 ๐ŸŽ‰

ARC Mountain Update

I recently put myself on an ARC Ban (as of July 12, 2019), and back in July I wrote a post about the ban to hold me accountable, and I’m reporting on the mountain each month.

How am I doing? lololol but at least it’s just 2020 ARCs so ๐Ÿ™ƒ

Current 2019 (& older) ARC Total: 17 (read 4, no longer interested in 2 others)
Finished in November:
4 (A Thousand Fires, The Deep, Do You Dream of Terra-Two?, The Hive)
ARC Reviews to Write: 2 (Darkdawn, The Hive)

Awesome Community Posts

I didn’t really blog hop last month. Apparently, I am still not used to my spoon limitations. One of these days I will find balance. One of these days I can be like I was before. But for now, I will have to be okay with my best being enough.

Thank you

Thank you, everyone, so much for visiting, liking, commenting, and sharing your bookish thoughts with me last month! I hope that you had a fantastic November, let me know how your month went in the comments below!

spacer_wLetโ€™sย go on another adventureย together!


  1. Haley

    December 5, 2019 at 1:51 AM

    I’m so glad to hear you enjoyed your reading this month! I call that kicking the slump’s ass in my books! And Most of your reads this month have been added to my tbr haha, like you I have put myself on an ARC ban, but, I’m finally making some headway, only 15 more to go through…which…is amazing compared to what. I started at lol. I can’t wait to read your review for Crier’s War!

    1. Kal

      December 8, 2019 at 12:14 PM

      It was so nice to feel “normal” on the reading front! 15 to go, total? Like including 2020? If so you are doing amazing lmao… my list is all overdue here hahahahahaha

  2. Tasya @ The Literary Huntress

    December 5, 2019 at 7:07 AM

    Yay congratulations for getting out of your reading slump! I’m sorry If We Were Villains didn’t work for you. I was one of my favorite read last year and I managed to get some of my friends obsessed on it too haha.
    I hope you’ll have a wonderful December!

    1. Kal

      December 8, 2019 at 12:15 PM

      I am so glad you loved If We Were Villains! I really wanted to like it, but it just didn’t work. Happy reading this month!

  3. evelyn

    December 5, 2019 at 7:44 AM

    Yeah for beating the slump!
    I hope you have a great December!


    1. Kal

      December 8, 2019 at 12:17 PM

      Thank you, and you too!

  4. Emma @ Words And Peace

    December 5, 2019 at 9:39 AM

    I’m not familiar with these titles, but sounds like this was a good month. Happy December reading! My November recap is here:

    1. Kal

      December 8, 2019 at 12:20 PM

      Thank you and happy December reading as well!

  5. Kristi @ConfessionsofaYAReader

    December 5, 2019 at 10:27 AM

    I’m so glad you got over your slump and read some great books in November!

    1. Kal

      December 8, 2019 at 12:22 PM

      UGH me too. thanks so much and happy reading~!

  6. Kayla @ Books and Blends

    December 5, 2019 at 10:31 AM

    I’m so glad you kicked your slump to the kirb!
    Also, what do you do about ARCs that you are no longer interested in? I have a few, but don’t’ know what to do.

    1. Kal

      December 8, 2019 at 12:24 PM

      Me too but I think it might be back, I’ve only read one book this month so far :'(
      The three that I had were from almost 2 years ago… so I just kind of pulled them off of my list and Kindle. The authors had reached out so long ago with mobi files, I felt it was best to just slip away than bring it up again to say no thanks.

  7. Macey @ Brine & Books

    December 5, 2019 at 6:57 PM

    Yay for crushing your reading slump!! I’m under a semi-slump simply because final exams and term papers are coming up :/ Can’t wait for break!

    1. Kal

      December 8, 2019 at 12:27 PM

      Bummer on your semi-slump! good luck with your finals and happy reading this december!

  8. Jamie @BubblyBooks

    December 5, 2019 at 7:10 PM

    Awesome wrap up! Felt the same way about the Dark Descent of Elizabeth Frankenstein just was a solid three stars for me. Happy reading ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. Kal

      December 8, 2019 at 12:29 PM

      Thank you, and I agree on Dark Descent. It wasn’t a bad book – just a decent, middle of the road read for me. Happy reading to you as well!

  9. Mere @ Lore of the Books

    December 6, 2019 at 4:43 AM

    Yay for slaying the slump!!! Felt the same about Elizabeth Frankenstein, because I have loved all of White’s other books!
    I am amused though because I like 90% of what you do (or so have found based on your reviews/suggestions) but I did like If We Were Villains but disliked Crier’s War! But I think CW is more because I had trouble getting into the world/plot overall more than the content itself.

    1. Kal

      December 8, 2019 at 12:34 PM

      I am glad you loved White’s other books, and I am looking forward to tackling one of the many on my owned TBR soon! I love retellings, so all of her books are my cup of tea. I am really glad you liked If We Were Villains — I think a lot of my experience was related to the pansexual subplot and how painful it was for me to read. Sorry you didn’t enjoy Crier’s War though — I was hooked with the characters and everything else was gravy haha

  10. Veronika @ Wordy and Whimsical

    December 6, 2019 at 7:49 AM

    I enjoyed If We Were Villains – I read it last month too! – but I really was debating with myself over 3 and 4 stars. I expected a lot more based on the hype, and I was bored at multiple points. Also, I hate how, at the beginning, both the detective and the narrator said that they still don’t fully GET what happened… but then the whole thing was so straight-forward? I can’t even. I loved The Dark Descent of Elizabeth Frankenstein, so it’s a bummer you didn’t, and I couldn’t properly finish the final Jack the Ripper book, it was a skim-read. I’m looking forward to all these reviews + The Hive, because it sounds GOOD. Hope your December has been going well! ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. Kal

      December 8, 2019 at 12:37 PM

      OH MY GOD, yes on the prologue not really matching how the rest of the story unfolded! I was also bored. So bored. I LOVED the last third of Elizabeth Frankenstein… it is too bad about the slow af start lol. I skimmed… a decent amount of Capturing the Devil; the whole subplot with Thomas’ father pissed me off and bored me in equal measure. Happy reading!

  11. DB @ DB's Guide to the Galaxy

    December 8, 2019 at 6:05 PM

    You showed that reading slump the curb!! Well done โญโญ I’ve seen so many people talk about how The Deep is really really good. I think I should really make a new Goodreads shelf for books I’m putting on my ‘high tbr’ or whatever I choose to call it ๐Ÿ˜„
    Tarnished are the Stars looks so good! I’m glad you like it as I’m really looking forward to it. The Hive seems like a good read too!

    1. Kal

      December 22, 2019 at 10:12 AM

      I CURB STOMPED THAT SLUMP! But then it came back this month so hahaha, joke’s on me I guess! I have a goodreads shelf for books that are highly wanted because of friend recommendations… but to be honest I kind of forget it exists when trying to figure out what to read so it doesn’t really help much lol.

  12. Sophia @ Bookwyrming Thoughts

    December 9, 2019 at 2:49 PM

    NO. Okay, to be fair I thought the same on Saturday and Sunday??? Like wow, it’s December 1 tomorrow, what the actual hell is going on? I’m really happy to hear you’ve kicked your reading slump in the ass as it deserves; who cares about the backlog of review to comes? I don’t know what you mean by that. (lmao, I have too many plus a review request from July. Shittttt.)

    I felt the same about The Dark Descent of Elizabeth Frankenstein. Not so great beginning, but amazing ending! It gets super dark and I loved it… other than the beginning (which I felt like was a drag).

    1. Kal

      December 22, 2019 at 10:15 AM

      SOPH WHERE IS TIME GOING!? Apparently I just time traveled because the last time I replied to comments was 14 days ago, and I don’t remember 2 weeks going by? BUT I DIGRESS. That backlist of RTCs gives me anxiety for some reason? I don’t know why. I’ve written a review for everything that I’ve read for a little over 2 years now, and I think that’s done some unhealthy things to my brain when it comes to my relationship with reviewing.

      The Dark Descent was so good based on the second half of the book! But man… the beginning was a slog. Hahahah

  13. AhanaRao

    December 11, 2019 at 7:04 AM

    WHOAA ๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜ Walking into your posts is like walking into an art museum. ONE DAY I SHALL WRITE A POST AS WONDERFULLY AS YOU DO. Youโ€™ve totally slayed November Kal, no doubt about it. Congratulations! Also Iโ€™m super worried about my 2020 list of books ๐Ÿ™ƒ๐Ÿ™ƒ๐Ÿ™ƒ๐Ÿ™ƒ๐Ÿ™ƒ๐Ÿ™ƒ. And I STILL have books to finish this year. And itโ€™s December already.

    1. Kal

      December 22, 2019 at 10:54 AM

      ๐Ÿ˜ญ๐Ÿ˜ญ๐Ÿ˜ญ Excuse me but I didn’t ask for these tears?!!?! Thank you so much for the compliment! And yea, I am screwed forever on ARCs. Doomed to be behind for all of eternity. This is fine.

      1. AhanaRao

        December 23, 2019 at 6:27 AM

        Awww ๐Ÿฅฐ๐Ÿ˜˜๐Ÿ˜˜๐Ÿ˜˜
        Hahahahaha I feel you. This is fine. โ™ฅ๏ธ

  14. Annemieke

    December 16, 2019 at 10:14 PM

    The Deep really does sound super great. And husband just ordered a copy of Criers war for me <3

    1. Kal

      December 22, 2019 at 11:56 AM

      Ahhh, good husband! I hope you enjoy Crier’s War, Annemieke!

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