My November


Hello! How are you? I know I said I’d be on break all of November, but I did actually post a couple of reviews, just to keep you on your toes. How is it December already? Are you ready for 2016 to be over? It just flew by for me…

We had a good month, though I’m sleep-deprived and tired but that’s normal when you have a toddler and a baby, no matter how great they are.

The weather wasn’t fantastic, but we did go out every time there was a slight chance of sun, like on this gorgeous day pictured above. We went to Bled, which we visit from time to time. Kiddo fell asleep on my husband’s shoulders, which was super funny because he was wearing his little sunglasses at the time and we didn’t even notice he was sleeping until I tried to show him something and he just sort of swayed in silence.

In Kiddo news: he’s talking a lot. He’s now forming full, grammatically correct sentences, and his personality is really starting to shine through. He’s also waking up in the middle of the night a lot, because those damn teeth are still growing. Last week, he showed up at our bed at about 3 am with his shoe in his hand (which meant he walked around the apartment a bit without us knowing), complaining he couldn’t get it on his foot. *sigh*

We’ve been baking a lot because he enjoys “helping” – of course it actually takes longer to bake anything if he’s there but it’s a great way to spend dark, rainy afternoons. He likes to scramble eggs, he adds pinches of salt, helps to weigh butter or flour, that sort of thing. It’s also good for him to see tangible results of his work – and he can eat them, too! :)

In Baby news: he’s SO BIG. Seriously, my arms and shoulders and back are killing me. Luckily, he doesn’t have colic so we don’t have to carry him around so much, but still. He’s starting to laugh out loud, he also coos a lot, and is a very cool baby in general. I know I’m biased but I really think my kids are pretty. :) We have a checkup and first vaccination on Dec 1st, so we’ll see how that goes.


exiled-queenI read quite a lot this month, despite the general lack of time. The best book of the month was definitely The Exiled Queen by Cinda Williams Chima – I am looking forward to continuing this series as soon as possible! I’ll also be reviewing it sometime soon to fangirl a bit. Other than that, my love affair with Lauren Layne’s romances continued from October. (Seriously, I could spend all my book budget on her books. I’m about halfway through her backlist and loving it.) I read a couple of other romances but they weren’t that good. It’s always a hit-or-miss when you try new authors.

rebel-of-the-sands-hamiltonI also read The One Memory of Flora Banks by Emily Baar, which I’d received for review, and it was very strange but kind of good. I’ll be reviewing it closer to publication date. I was also able to finally cross another item off my Autumn TBR list as I read Rebel of the Sands by Alwyn Hamilton – I liked it a lot! I’m glad I waited a bit because the sequel is coming in February. The cover is also one of the most gorgeous ones I’ve seen lately.

I re-read The Last Unicorn by Peter S. Beagle, which was such a disappointment. I remembered next to nothing about the story (I have terrible book amnesia) and what I read now was just… not for me. The sly commentary and the cynicism just got to me and kept throwing me out of the story and I also disliked all the characters, including the unicorn. I mean, who writes an unlikeable unicorn? *hangs head in sadness*

I also ventured out of my comfort zone by reading Simple (or rather, its Slovenian translation, Simpl, it’s a great translation) by Marie-Aude Murail (here’s the link to the English translation). It’s a very good book about two brothers, one of whom is 17 and a high school student, while the other is 22 and “simple”. It’s a powerful story about disability and the society’s reactions to it, but it’s also funny and lighthearted enough to be a truly wonderful read. If you get the chance to read it, I highly recommend it.

And then I read Paper Towns by John Green and was disappointed as well. I thought it was very similar to Looking for Alaska, with the added bonus of being completely pretentious. Eh.

But perhaps most importantly: we went to see Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them! I went in with really low expectations because I hadn’t read the book and I’m always wary of spin-offs – and I was blown away by how good it was! Newt was perfect and awkward and adorable, Jacob was a fantastic character, and I can’t wait to see what the next movie will bring! Have you seen it yet? :)

As I’m writing this, I’m also on track for my NaNoWriMo goal, which is great, since I wasn’t sure if I was going to be able to write as much with all the stuff in my life. But I found a couple of people to do word sprints with and you can’t even imagine how productive that is for a competitive person like me! So yeah, I’m about halfway through my WIP and loving it.


My reviewsSix of Crows (FANTASTIC!), When the Moon Was Ours (BEAUTIFUL!), and A Discovery of Witches (a reread but still good!).

And I’ll leave you with this gorgeous photography post – her photos are amazing, I’ve been following her blog and Instagram for a while now. I wish I had skills like that!


What have you been up to this November? 

Are you excited for the holidays? How was Thanksgiving if you celebrated it?

I’d love to hear from you! :)

Let’s be friends: emailbloglovin’twitterinstagramgoodreads.

  • I know, I can’t believe it is December already either! Glad to hear you had a good (if sometimes tired) month. And well done on NaNoWriMo! I usually try and take part every year, even when I am so busy that I really have no business finding even more things to add to my schedule – but this year I just had to get real and admit to myself that NaNo would be pushing it. I broke like a 5 or 6 year win streak, but oh well, I guess keeping my sanity is more important lol :D

    • Thanks, Mogsy! I won NaNo in the end, it was fun. I didn’t have a lot of trouble with it, actually, plotting the story beforehand seems to have helped. But yeah, life interferes so often with creative things. :( Maybe you’ll manage next year!

  • Hey! How adorable that your kiddo fell asleep with his little sunglasses on! I wonder how I would feel re-reading The Last Unicorn. I read the book when I was in high school and loved it. I also was obsessed with the movie as a child.

    My November was . . . stressful. The whole election thing has been so tough and really quite scary. But I’m hoping that December will be a great month. I’m ready for the holidays.

    • I think The Last Unicorn is just not the book for me. It’s a classic – this is why I read it in the first place – but I just don’t get it.

      And yeah, I can imagine the elections were stressful for lots of Americans. I was floored by the results and I live on a different continent. I hope you’re doing better now and that you and your family are safe. And yes, December should prove to be a happier month, I like the holidays, too!

  • Stiiiill need to read Six of Crows myself… I feel so behind.

    • I think you might like Six of Crows. But I understand falling behind with reading new releases – I feel like I’m never caught up.

  • Greg Hill

    Glad it was a good month! Love that pic! Looks like a very cool area. I had to lol a little about your little one coming in at 3am with his shoe- I’m sure it wasn’t funny but it IS a funny story. :) Everyone seems to be loving Fantastic beasts, I’m glad they seem to have done a good job with it. I sadly have not seen it yet… I can’t seem t omake it to the movies anymore! .

    I’ve never read The Last Unicorn though I saw parts of the animated film years ago on HBO. It seemed a little weird, I don’t know. Anyway thanks for the photography link- I always like looking at sites like that. Happy December!

    • Yeah, this part of Slovenia is beautiful, the Alps make for some amazing scenery.

      To tell you the truth – we laugh at Kiddo, too, because the alternative is to be annoyed, which is just wrong when he’s still half-asleep. :) We did the same when he was little (and now that Baby is still little), when he pooped in the middle of the night or whatever. What else can you do but laugh?

      Fantastic Beasts was the first time we’d been to the movies since … August, so yeah, I get what you’re saying. Life just gets in the way! It’s easier to watch stuff at home.

      Happy December to you, too! :)

  • Maraia

    I know we caught up recently, but I always love your monthly recaps! I don’t think I’ll get tired of your Kiddo and Baby updates any time soon. :)

    I love that picture from Lake Bled. I went there on a day trip, but I didn’t get any pictures from that angle.

    I don’t know if you already knew this, but Fantastic Beasts (the book) doesn’t have a plot, it’s just Harry’s textbook. I’ve heard that the movie doesn’t have much of a plot, either, but that doesn’t seem to be a problem, haha. I’m hoping to see it this month!

    Good job on NaNoWriMo!

    I had a great Thanksgiving! We had a lot of company (over a 5-day span, not just on the actual holiday), so I was pretty exhausted by the end, but it was worth it. We also ate leftovers through this past Wednesday. xD

    • You’ll get tired of updates when they’re grumpy teenagers and all I’ll have to say will be “they smell and listen to bad music”. ;) But we’ll be OLD then omg. Well, you’ll be a bit younger but still. Gah.

      Yeah I know Fantastic Beasts is a textbook, a bestiary of sorts, right? And it did have a bit of a plot but I think it was more of a grand opening for the rest of the four movies. O_o We made a pact to go see all of them with the two friends that went with us this time, so we have double dates planned for ten years to come, ha. (Ditto for Star Wars, we’re all huge geeks.) Let me know what you think of the movie, will you? I just loved Eddie Redmayne as Newt, he’s so adorably twitchy. :D

      I’d love to participate in a big Thanksgiving fest once. I guess we could cook all the traditional stuff here and have it as well but it just doesn’t seem logical to make huge amounts of food for a holiday we don’t celebrate.

      • Maraia

        Hahaha, I’m sure you’ll still have some funny stories for us. Although you might not find them quite as humorous. :P

        Yep, it is! I can’t believe there are going to be four movies. It seems like overkill, but I’m sure I’ll see them all anyway. I like your double date pact! That’s cute. :) I have a feeling based on how busy December always is that I’ll end up missing Fantastic Beats in theaters, but I’m DEFINITELY going to make sure I see Star Wars. o/

        Ooh, you guys should come celebrate with me and S. at some point! That would be awesome. :D

        • I think we’ll always try to find the humor in situations with kids because otherwise, it’s either yelling or crying, and I don’t like those options. :)

          I can’t wait for Star Wars. I love Felicity Jones and I think it’s going to be awesome. A. is even more excited, he’s as much of a SW geek as I am a HP geek, so he’s been talking about it since it was first announced.

          And YES. We will do this. We’ll plan and talk and do this and then you’ll have to roast a turkey. :D

          • Maraia

            Roast a turkey?! I have no idea how to do that. I’m a life-long vegetarian, lol. You and S. will have to take care of that. xD

          • How did I not know that you’re a vegetarian? Ummm isn’t there something called a tofurkey? :D (I’m guessing it isn’t actually turkey-shaped though.) Maybe we’ll go with a roast chicken, though, turkeys are enormous.

          • Maraia

            I don’t know, I thought it had come up, but maybe not! I’ve never had tofurkey, but I can’t say it sounds very appetizing, haha. Someone brings a turkey and stuffing to our house every year, but other than that, all the dishes are vegetarian. There’s plenty to eat without turkey, but we could do a chicken, too! :D

  • Aw, I miss babies!
    I really liked rebel of the sands too, I’m excited for book 2. And we liked Fantastic Beasts too, so did my kids although they called it the ‘fake’ Harry Potter because the characters from the other movies weren’t in it. Hope you had a nice November!

    Nereyda│ Nick & Nereyda’s Infinite Booklist

    • Babies are great. I’m already lamenting the day they lose their fat cheeks and chubby legs because they’re the best. <3

      Haha, 'fake' Harry Potter is right. I liked the subtle mentions of that other world – and that we'll get Grindelwalt's story!

  • Aww, the kids sound great! Minus the early morning wake-up calls. ;) Hopefully, those teeth will finish growing in a hurry.

    I’m glad you liked Rebel of the Sands; I’m hoping to read it at some point. And I haven’t seen Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, but I can’t wait to do so! Just have to survive finals first. Also, I’m very impressed by all that NaNo progress in the midst of two young kids and everything else you do. That’s incredible! Best of luck on the second half!

    • The kids are great. I’m really grateful for my little family and it’s so cool watching them grow and learn. And I’m sure they’ll learn to sleep through the night EVENTUALLY. :D

      Good luck with your finals, Kel, you can do it! :) And Fantastic Beast will be a good reward.

  • Your November sounds fab (look at all those books you read!) and I saw Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them today, wasn’t it amazing? Eddie Redmayne completely won me over in the film and I am completely in love with Newt Scamander. I didn’t know what to expect because I’d not read much about the film intentionally to not spoil myself. I’m glad I went in blind having only seen the trailer.

    I’m glad kiddo and baby are doing well. Why was kiddo trying to put his shoes on exactly? That’s a strange late night thing to do for sure. I’m glad he’s enjoying his ventures into baking. It really is a great way to keep children occupied on rainy days. I used to bake a lot with my nan and it was always great having edible creations at the end.

    I’m glad NaNo went well for you. How goes the WIP? Are you happy with it so far? I know you’re not revealing details but I figure I’d ask.

    • Eddie Redmayne <3 <3 He was so adorably twitchy and awkward and I love this character so much. I went in completely blind, too, I had very low expectations. I also want to steal that woman's (sorry, forgot the name) entire wardrobe and also Newt's coat because it's fabulous. AND I want a niffler. (I hope someone is making notes and getting me one for Christmas.)

      I have no idea why he was trying to put on his shoes, he was obviously going somewhere and had to get ready. We still don't know whether he was sleepwalking or actually awake. Kids are awesome like that.

      I baked a lot with my mom, it's a great hobby. I still like baking now and though Kiddo isn't really helping now, I'm hoping he'll pick up some skills along the way.

      And I'm pretty happy with the story, yeah, it's about 80% done (the first draft, that is, it'll need major revisions). I promise you'll get to beta read it when it's ready, okay? :)

      • I know, I am fully in love with Eddie Redmayne as Newt Scamander. If only he wasn’t married I would totally stand a chance. I mena, we’re both British we’d have a total connection. And which woman? Do you mean Tina or her sister? I would just love to dress in that prohibition style clothing but I don’t think I could pull it off. And if you manage to successfully get a niffler for Christmas you have to tell me where you got it. I kind of want a bowtruckle as well because they look cute (also, in case I’m ever in handcuffs extremely useful).

        And that’s cute, with sleepwalking at least you know they usually grow out of it and they can’t tend to do a lot of harm. Whatever he was up to it was adorable just the image of him wandering around with a shoe in hand in the middle of the night.

        As they say, every little helps. I may not be a very good baker (which is quite funny considering it’s my surname) but I like to think I picked up a few things from my baking sessions with my nan. It at least gets him comfortable in a kitchen and that’s the key thing.

        80%, now that is impressive. Good look finishing! And I am totally holding you to that promise. I will be an excellent beta reader (or more likely very terrible but I will try my hardest).

        • I meant Tina. Her sister’s wardrobe was fabulous, too, though, so I wouldn’t be picky if I was ever let loose in the wardrobe from the set (though I’m probably a head taller than all of them).

          That niffler scene in the bank vault was hilarious. I’m really glad they kind of aged up the movies (I think they’re good for a YA public but also for adults) and I’m looking forward to more intelligent humor.

          RIGHT your surname is Baker. Why didn’t I connect that before? Do you get baking jokes a lot? :D I know a girl here whose surname is Trol (yep, it’s the Slovenian spelling of “troll”), which I think is awesome but she probably doesn’t love it as much.

          • Tina’s wardrobe is perfect for everyday and her sister’s would be perfect for any day I wanted to dress up fancy because her clothes are way too dressy for me to wear normally. I’ve googled though and the actress who plays Tina is 5″11, she’s a giant! I would definitely drown in her clothes.

            Any scene with the niffler in was pretty hilarious. That would be a useful thing to own if you were a thief I have to say.

            I don’t get a lot of baking jokes, but I used to when I was younger. I think people just notice my name less as I’ve gotten older. It only gets mentioned anytime there’s a bake sale at work and people question why I’ve not brought anything in. And that is an awful surname! I would have changed it by now if I was her. But then you get attached to your name, don’t you? I always wonder if I could change my name when/if I ever get married because I’ve lived with it for 25 years, it’s my name, you know?

          • Ha, then her clothes would probably fit me, I’m 5’11” :) Gah let’s just go raid both their closets and divvy up the spoils.

            And yeah, thieving with a niffler is the way to go. I’d reconsider a career in crime if I had one. ;)

            I’d never change my surname if I was called Trol. :D It’s fantastic. And I know what you mean about keeping your name when you get married. I kept both, so my name is super long now, but my reasoning was also this: Mrs. B is my mom, while Mrs. V is my mother-in-law, and I don’t want to be mistaken for either, thanks very much. So now I’m Mrs. B. V. and it’s terrible sometimes (like when I’m introducing myself on the phone, I always have to repeat it to them if they need to spell it) but it’s also ME.

  • Glad to hear you and the fam are doing well! My niece turns one tomorrow and I forgot how delightful it was to have a little baby around. Also glad to hear you enjoyed Rebel of the Sands. I’m trying to determine if it’s too early to preorder the sequel. Happy December!

    • I’ll definitely be buying the sequel to Rebel of the Sands in paperback – it has another gorgeous cover! Thank you for recommending this one. :)

      Happy December to you, too!

  • It seems impossible that it’s already December. I feel like the year only just started! I so want to read that Cinda Williams Chima series – I think I own the first book but I’m not even sure? Regardless it sounds right up my alley!

    I saw Fantastic Beasts too and I also went it with low expectations. I’d read the books and of course, you know me and the HP books but I was scared it wouldn’t live up to the hype. I loved Newt and the rest of the characters, I loved the beasts and I’m really excited to see the next movies :D For me nothing will ever compare to the original story but I’ll GLADLY take anything from the Wizarding World I can get!

    Happy December! xx

    • I agree, the original story of HP is forever going to be my favorite, but I loved Newt so much. I like that they aged the movies up a bit, what with the hero being an adult and all, and I didn’t think it would be this funny! I can’t wait to see it again – and the sequels, too.

      Happy holidays, Micheline! :)