November 2015 Reads

Life According to Steph

I am linking up again with Steph and Jana for their monthly “Show Us Your Reads” book link-up. I am looking forward to reading everyone’s book posts and adding to my TBR list!  Here are the books that I read in November in order from least to most favorite:

3 Stars:


George by Alex Gino – I first heard about this book from Lisa @ expandng when her online book club was reading this.  While I didn’t get it read in time to join her book discussion, our family finally finished reading it together this month.  I plan on doing a future post on this book, so I’m going to refrain from commenting too much on it here.  However, I can say that I was a little disappointed and expected a better book.


The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo – This is a non-fiction book that I had heard a lot of great things about.  Kondo is a Japanese cleaning consultant who walks readers through organizing and simplifying using The KonMari method.   It was just not inspiring to me and I could not join in talking to my things and thanking them before disposing of them.


Please Don’t Come Back from the Moon by Dean Bakopoulos – This author came highly recommended from Jana, so I decided to give him a try.  From what I could tell, this is the author’s first book so I chose to read this one.  One summer, several fathers left their families and went “to the moon” where they are never heard from again.  Wives and children are left to deal with the aftermath of these men abandoning them.  The book follows Michael Smolij and his friends through the years as they rebuild their lives and try not to follow in their fathers’ footsteps.  Overall, I found the story very hard to get into, a little strange and thought it was just so-so.

4 Stars:


Calling Me Home by Julie Kibler – This book tells the story of an unlikely friendship between an 89 year old white woman, named Isabelle, and a middle-aged African American single mom, named Dorrie, who is her hairdresser.  The two embark on a road trip where Dorrie learns about Isabelle’s past, which included a relationship with a black man during the 1930’s, when mixed race relationships weren’t tolerated.  This book had been on my TBR list for awhile and I’m glad that I finally picked it up from the library and read it.


The Expats by Chris Pavone – This is another book that has been on my TBR list for what seems like forever (I’m trying to read through the oldies on my goodreads list!).  Kate and Dexter Moore move to Luxembourg with their two young sons, when Dexter gets a new job.  They end up meeting another American couple abroad who they become friendly with, though Kate becomes suspicious of them.  Soon, Kate is discovering secrets about her husband, their “friends”  and a possible crime.   I listened to this book on audio and the storyline really kept my interest.  It was a bit difficult to keep track of the timeline of the story though, since it seemed to jump back and forth in time.


Some Girls Are by Courtney Summers – This is a young adult book that I listened to on audio.  To finish the title, it could read Some Girls Are Really Mean!  Regina Afton used to be part of the popular crowd.  But when she ends up being the target of a rumor, her “friends” abandon her and she becomes a social outcast.  Her ex-best friend seeks revenge on her for something that she didn’t do.  Through the severe bullying that she entails, Regina comes to terms with her past behavior.  I found the ending pretty anticlimactic and was hoping that Anna would learn some kind of lesson and get what she deserved.  The audio version was really good and I think hearing someone read this helped make me more empathetic to Regina’s angst.  It’s very sad that bullying like this really occurs.

5 Stars:


One For the Murphys by Lynda Mullaly Hunt – This is a middle grade chapter book.  It tells the story of 12 year old Carley who is sent to a foster home after an accident leaves her mother hospitalized.  She meets the Murphys, a family with three boys.   After a rough start, Carley feels like she finally found the perfect family  This book gets 5 stars for making me cry.  This book is heartbreaking and makes me appreciate what I have and makes me want to be the best mom I can.




  1. The Expats sounds like a great book that would totally keep my interest! I’m adding it on Goodreads right now! I heard somewhere else that Some Girls Are was a great book, and even though it sounds like a tough read, I think that I’m interested in that too! Thanks for the great recommendations!

  2. Please Don’t Come Back from the Moon is my favorite Dean Bakopoulos book! I’m sad you didn’t love it. And Some Girls Are was heartwreching to read. A rough story, definitely.

    I have the Life Changing Magic on my nightstand right now. I’ve heard very mixed reviews about it and I’m looking forward to checking out the hype and forming my own opinion.

    • Yeah, Please Don’t Come Back From the Moon just wasn’t my cuppa. Looking forward to hearing what you think about the Life Changing Magic….

  3. I’m interested in trying out Please Don’t Come Back From The Moon. The story sounds so different. The Expats looks like something I would like too. Adding these to my list!

    • Please Don’t Come Back from the Moon was very different! It just wasn’t my kind of thing. I recommend the Expats!

  4. I plan on reading the tidying up book but I will not be talking to my items. Some girls are is on my list to read. Bullying is so big in schools now it is sad.

    • Some Girls was really good in a sad way. Lots of people have enjoyed The Magic of Tidying Up, so hopefully you’ll get something out of it!

  5. The only one I’ve read is “The Life-Changing Magic…”, and I found some helpful tips, but 100% agree with not being able to get on board with some of her philosophies. I mean I’m not telling my stuff thank-you at the end of the day, that is just too much for me to swallow. The Expats sounds pretty interesting.

    • The Expats was a good book that kept me interested while driving to work! Not all audiobooks meet that criteria!

    • I too would love nothing but to be able to read and cuddle with my cats for a month!

  6. Just added Calling me Home to my to-read list. It sounds like a fascinating book! I haven’t read The Life Changing Magic, but feel like I have after seeing it everywhere! I feel like I would be able to talk to my objects and thank them either. Super weird.

    • Yes, Calling Me Home was a great story! Some people are really into The Life Changing Magic….it just wasn’t for me.

  7. The Dean Bakopoulos book and Some Girls Are are already on my “To Read” list. I’m sad to see that you didn’t love the Bakopoulos book, but I still really want to read it (as well as his other novels).

    I’m adding The Expats to my list. I haven’t heard of this one before, and it sounds like the kind of book I’d really like!

    • Yes, unfortunately, the Bakopoulos book wasn’t my thing. I recommend The Expats and Some Girls though!

  8. I am so glad you said that about “tidying up” ! I thought the same thing while reading the reviews! Just not my thing I guess! Some Girls are was a rough read for me but I finally finished!

    • Yeah, I think you either like or don’t like The Magic of Tidying Up. Some Girls was definitely a rough read….but good.

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