Mental Dumbbells – November Edition

Since this month was so focused on finishing NaNoWriMo, I didn’t set the bar very high in the reading category. However, I ended up reading much more than I expected. There were a few days this month that were miserable at work and reading let me mentally get away a bit. Isn’t it fun how a good book can just transport you to another reality? Now that I’m out of school, I love reading again. This month I finished 4 books, all of which were purchased on clearance at the now defunct Borders. I miss Borders.

Life of Pi by Yann Martel

I’m a little torn about my feelings on this book. The main premise is a young boy, son of a zookeeper, travelling with his family overseas with many of the Zoo’s animals. The ship sinks and you follow their struggle to survive.

The survival story was beautifully told and I honestly loved the story about the boy and the tiger. However, it was a really, REALLY tough read. Simply put, animals died (some of them in a very gruesome manner) and I cried A LOT. It’s not a feel good summer read if you catch my drift. It was a heavy, powerful story that left me emotionally drained. In the end I’m not sure I believe the post it, I wasn’t too happy. I was moved by the story, especially the end, in a thought-provoking and intrigued kind of way.

Overall I probably wouldn’t recommend it to many people because of the heavy story line. You need to be in the right frame of mind to read this book. The story was beautiful, but it was difficult and emotionally draining to finish.

Everything else this month was a little lighter since Life of Pi was so tough.

November Reads

Tales from the Yoga Studio by Rain Mitchell

This is the kind of book you pack on a vacation and can read in a few days. It was a light and fun read. It’s the story of several women living around Los Angeles working through their various life struggles, and how an amazing teacher at a little Yoga studio in Silverlake helps them through those tough times with her yoga practice.

I really liked this book for the fact that it was light and entertaining. I enjoy yoga myself so it was relaxing to read about the practice and imagine owning my own little yoga studio in the artsy Silverlake area. It was a fun love story with an empowering female based storyline.


 The Sweet Life in Paris by David Lebovitz

I’ve always dreamed of packing up a few bags and moving to Paris or Italy for a year. I still may do it someday, but in the meantime, I tend to pick up books that talk about others doing that same thing. I like to live vicariously through them. So it goes without saying that I loved this book. You are probably familiar with David Lebovitz from his hugely popular ice cream book, The Perfect Scoop, and other cookbooks. This book has many of his great recipes littered throughout the stories of his experience living in Paris.

David is hilarious and kept me laughing throughout the story. I’ve also tagged several of the recipes to make in the future. This could be a great gift for a book loving foodie in your life.


One Hit Wonder by Charlie Carillo

I bought this book on a whim because I tend to buy books if I like the cover, I also liked the concept of the storyline. It’s the story of (you guessed it) a one hit wonder who wrote a chart topping love song 20 years ago. He comes back home to live with his parents after some bad luck and runs into the woman who inspired the love song he once wrote.

The book was good, but was far too long in my opinion. There were also several detailed one night stands that I could have done without, if for no other reason that to shorten the story. I did a lot of talking to the characters in this book. So while reading it, I would shout…’just call her already!’…’don’t say that dummy!’…or ‘good lord will this ever end?’

The book redeemed itself in the last few chapters, the best ending I could ask for, but it just took forever to get there.


I think I’m going to continue the reading trend into next month and try to finish another 4 books. With all the busyness of life, I tend to forget how relaxing reading can be.


2 responses

  1. Pingback: November Monthly Recap | Changing My Destiny

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