Penny's Passion: What I Read in November 2022

Wednesday, December 7, 2022

What I Read in November 2022

November was a fast month and not a lot of reading happened, but I'm sharing what I did read today for Thinking Out Loud Thursday.

Jodi Piccoult and Jennifer Finney Boylan's new book, Mad Honey, was high on my list when it came out in October.  It floated to the top of my to-be-read list and past others that had been there for a while.  This book was a real page-turner for me!  Make sure you read all the way to the very end with the authors' notes.  Click HERE  to watch a cool clip with Jodi.  Here's the book summary from Amazon ~
GOOD MORNING AMERICA BOOK CLUB PICK A soul-stirring novel about what we choose to keep from our past and what we choose to leave behind, from the New York Times bestselling author of Wish You Were Here and the bestselling author of She’s Not There

Olivia McAfee knows what it feels like to start over. Her picture-perfect life—living in Boston, married to a brilliant cardiothoracic surgeon, raising their beautiful son, Asher—was upended when her husband revealed a darker side. She never imagined that she would end up back in her sleepy New Hampshire hometown, living in the house she grew up in and taking over her father’s beekeeping business.

Lily Campanello is familiar with do-overs, too. When she and her mom relocate to Adams, New Hampshire, for her final year of high school, they both hope it will be a fresh start.

And for just a short while, these new beginnings are exactly what Olivia and Lily need. Their paths cross when Asher falls for the new girl in school, and Lily can’t help but fall for him, too. With Ash, she feels happy for the first time. Yet at times, she wonders if she can trust him completely. . . .

Then one day, Olivia receives a phone call: Lily is dead, and Asher is being questioned by the police. Olivia is adamant that her son is innocent. But she would be lying if she didn’t acknowledge the flashes of his father’s temper in Ash, and as the case against him unfolds, she realizes he’s hidden more than he’s shared with her.

Mad Honey is a riveting novel of suspense, an unforgettable love story, and a moving and powerful exploration of the secrets we keep and the risks we take in order to become ourselves.

Next up is In Order to Live by Yeonmi Park.  Wow.  Talk about an eye-opener!  I listened to this book and hearing Yoenmi tell her story was impactful.  In Order to Live was our library book club selection.  At our meeting, the discussion was lively and interesting.  I choose to open the meeting by showing Yeonmi's TED talk, which was only a little over 10 minutes long.  It was a powerful way to bring her voice into our discussion.  

Here's the book summary from Amazon ~
In In Order to Live, Yeonmi Park shines a light not just into the darkest corners of life in North Korea, describing the deprivation and deception she endured and which millions of North Korean people continue to endure to this day, but also onto her own most painful and difficult memories. She tells with bravery and dignity for the first time the story of how she and her mother were betrayed and sold into sexual slavery in China and forced to suffer terrible psychological and physical hardship before they finally made their way to Seoul, South Korea - and to freedom.

Park confronts her past with a startling resilience. In spite of everything, she has never stopped being proud of where she is from, and never stopped striving for a better life. Indeed, today she is a human rights activist working determinedly to bring attention to the oppression taking place in her home country. Park’s testimony is heartbreaking and unimaginable, but never without hope. This is the human spirit at its most indomitable.

Matthew Perry documented his life in his new book Friends, Lovers, and the Big Terrible Thing.  Friends is one of my all-time favorite shows and I was a little nervous about reading the book.  I didn't want to not like Matthew Perry after reading it!  Happy to report that I still like him.  He's very honest about the mistakes he's made in his past and took total responsibility for them.  Here's the book summary ~

“Hi, my name is Matthew, although you may know me by another name. My friends call me Matty. And I should be dead.”

So begins the riveting story of acclaimed actor Matthew Perry, taking us along on his journey from childhood ambition to fame to addiction and recovery in the aftermath of a life-threatening health scare. Before the frequent hospital visits and stints in rehab, there was five-year-old Matthew, who traveled from Montreal to Los Angeles, shuffling between his separated parents; fourteen-year-old Matthew, who was a nationally ranked tennis star in Canada; twenty-four-year-old Matthew, who nabbed a coveted role as a lead cast member on the talked-about pilot then called Friends Like Us. . . and so much more.

In an extraordinary story that only he could tell—and in the heartfelt, hilarious, and warmly familiar way only he could tell it—Matthew Perry lays bare the fractured family that raised him (and also left him to his own devices), the desire for recognition that drove him to fame, and the void inside him that could not be filled even by his greatest dreams coming true. But he also details the peace he’s found in sobriety and how he feels about the ubiquity of Friends, sharing stories about his castmates and other stars he met along the way. Frank, self-aware, and with his trademark humor, Perry vividly depicts his lifelong battle with addiction and what fueled it despite seemingly having it all.

Friends, Lovers, and the Big Terrible Thing is an unforgettable memoir that is both intimate and eye-opening—as well as a hand extended to anyone struggling with sobriety. Unflinchingly honest, moving, and uproariously funny, this is the book fans have been waiting for.

Three good books in November - I'll take it!  Usually, the days between Christmas and New Year's are ones I fill with reading.  Do you have any suggestions for books I should move to the top of my reading list?

Now it's your turn - what are you thinking out loud about today?  Link up and share! 

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  1. Thanks so much for hosting. My entries are 1 and 2.

  2. I read Mad Honey and Matthew's book in November too and really enjoyed them both; though Matthew's book has really stuck with me and it's one I find myself recommending to others.