November Wrap-Up 2015

So I read and re-read more books than I anticipated over the last couple of months, having said that most of these are for my university course, but I hope to get back to my TBR pile over the christmas break before i get my reading list for next semester.

Selected Poems by Oscar Wilde - 4/5
This has started a love affair with Wilde, I had never read anything of his until I studiedThe Ballad of Reading Gaol in class. And now I'm obsessed, my little book of selected poems if full of random notes to myself and accidental analysis because I just can't help it when I read poetry anymore. I don't really know what it is about Wilde's poetry that makes me re-read it over and over but I don't think that matters anymore as long as i enjoy it and get something new from it each time i go back.

Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov - 4/5
I reviewed this fully while back, but I re-read it in preparation for the week we were studying it in class, and my opinions haven't changed so check that out here. However I definitely think it improves with each read so my rating of it has gone up, but this is also due to a deeper understanding of the text.

The Monk by Matthew Lewis - 2/5
Hooray another university text! I was dubious about this book before i read it, mainly due to the subject matter, but I was surprised to find it was an easier read than others had led me to believe. I definitely agree with my english lecturer in that it was the trashy book of it's time, think 50 Shades or other such books. I didn't like that it went off on chapter long tangents that are basically irrelevant to the main plot and overall meaning behind the book. But if you are looking for an easy yet controversial read this book would be it, having said that I won't be reading it again.

The Talented Mr Ripley by Patricia Highsmith - 2/5
I actually listened to the audiobook for this one, as I was travelling a lot on the week I was required to read it so it made sense to listen to the book so my luggage was a bit lighter. Turns out this was probably the best way to understand the book, as you can understand the tone of the narration and the context of the book a lot better. I'm not 100% sure I was listening to the official audiobook as I found a free download, but who ever narrated the one I listened to added a whole bunch of meaning I didn't get having gone back and read chapters as a part of my exam prep this week. Given I have read a lot of crime novels this semester this isn't up there with my favourites, however I might come back to the Character of Mr Ripley in other Ripley novels later next year.

The Princess Bride by William Goldman - 4/5
I have been a lover of the film of this abridged version of this book for quite some time now. So unsurprisingly this book was an absolute joy to read, and quite frankly I am glad it exists, the idea of reading a persons favourite bits of a novel is fascinating as well as creating a far better and easy to read novel. Goldman's abridgement is a clever one, explaining and making anecdotes when he cuts out sections. If you love the film you will love this, I laughed in public reading this, and quite frankly i should have finished it faster than I did.

The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle - 3.5/5
Another University read this one, not that I have any complaints due to my unadulterated love for the BBC's Sherlock. (Can we discuss that I might be a little excited for the Christmas episode?! It is even going to be in the correct time period!!) Anyway back to the book, as with all Sherlock Holmes books it is made up of many short stories as written by Watson, who narration is nothing short of incredible, how do you fit a character such as Holmes into such a short amount of pages... Naturally I am now going to read even more of the Sherlock books. 

Eat Pretty by Jolene Hart - 4/5
Welcome into my life fantastic little book of recipes and advice for how to eat in-tune to what your body wants, may you be forever useful, except when you mention meat and fish of course. While I did read this whole book from cover to cover, I know I will be coming back to it as a little reference guide, to see what is in season, to discover which veggies I should be eating for certain vitamins and minerals, and for recipes, because I cannot go without new recipes for too long. It turns out food can change your life and the way you perceive yourself and as a lover of food and positive thinking I won't say no to that idea any time soon. 

Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert - 5/5
I am going to write a full length review about this book, oh the ideas it has given me. There is so much to learn from this book, and as a love of the Eat, Pray, Love book as well Gilbert is gradually climbing the ranks of my favourite authors. So watch this space for a lengthy set of thoughts about this book that has taught me so much about creativity and how to live creativity without having to be an artist.

So that's my November and a little bit of October Wrap up, here's to a better reading month in December!

XO, Miriam

Related Articles


  1. I read Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde a few months ago and adored it! I've been looking for some more of his work to try, you've convinced me that his poems are a good place to start! x

    Bethan Likes

    1. Dorian Gray is on my TBR for next year, I can't wait to get around to reading it now! x

  2. These look like beautiful editions. A lot of these are on my own TBR for next year. I haven't explored any of Wilde's poetry yet, but I've read his novel and a fair few of his lovely plays and shorter stories. I always find that I don't enjoy books as much when I'm told to read them by University, but afterwards I can enjoy them so you might want to have another read of some of your Uni texts later on just to make sure.

    Sterling, XLeptodactylous

    1. Thank you, most of my editions are from charity shops! Yeah I find the same thing with uni texts, I generally go back after a year or so before I read them again so I don't have any prejudice against the book. x