The Mud and Stars Book Blog

thoughts from a girl who spends her days in other worlds…

November Haul and the Month of Starting Over

on December 1, 2015

November is over which means not only is it Book Haul time again, but it’s also officially Christmas, therefore nobody is allowed to judge me for listening to holiday music (which I definitely have not been doing since October….)

The downside to the arrival of December is that there’s only one more glorious month of my Ian Somerhalder calendar to enjoy….

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If anyone fancies buying me the 2016 calendar for Christmas, I certainly won’t object! 😉


***Starting Over***

November has been a busy month for me because I started a new job!

Anyone who knows me outside of this blog will probably already be aware that, for a large part of this year, I’ve been extremely unhappy (to the extent that it had started to turn me into a different person) and in desperate need of a fresh start.

This job has given me the break I needed (blogging has helped an awful lot too, as it’s given me some purpose), and right now I am a million times happier than I was a few months ago! The best thing ever is that I now get to write as part of my job, which is basically all I’ve ever wanted!

I’m very lucky to have a supportive and lovely boyfriend, family and friends who have helped me so much this year, and definitely deserve some kind of medal for putting up with me and my dark cloud of misery for so long!

I am now working as part of the Marketing team for Oxford Dictionaries, aka the folk who publish the Oxford English Dictionary, and who picked an emoji as Word of the Year 2015… This emoji, to be precise:

emoji cake

For anyone who feels particularly strongly about the fact that an emoji is not a word (as apparently a significant proportion of the internet does…), I joined too late to be involved in this decision (although I personally think it was a fun, if controversial, choice!), so please don’t throw any big, bulky print dictionaries full of actual words at me in protest! 17474d3a52fd7efdada7b5896b5c590617474d3a52fd7efdada7b5896b5c590617474d3a52fd7efdada7b5896b5c5906


This month I’m bringing you the tiniest book haul since I started this blog… I can’t believe I only bought 4 books in November…

 

***To have and to hold***

Frenchman’s Creek – Daphne du Maurier

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I took an emergency trip to Waterstones a few days ago when I realised I hadn’t bought any physical books this month (which felt hella sacrilegious), and this is what I came back with.

I love Daphne du Maurier’s writing and really want to read a few more of her novels. Plus, apparently the love interest in this book is a pirate, and I do so have difficulty resisting a pirate…

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Image via Giphy


***Digital Love***

I bought 3 e-books this month, and managed to squeeze in reading all of them! Unfortunately I won’t have time to review these in full, but here’s what I thought of them anyway:

The Cranberry Hush – Ben Monopoli

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I finally joined Goodreads this month, and I found this one whilst searching for books similar to Know Not Why (strong contender for my favourite read of the year). I was drawn to this book because of the beautiful title (one of the characters, Griff, has synaesthesia – he sees colours – and ‘cranberry hush’ is how he describes the isolated little bubble of quiet calm his friend Vince seems to live in). This is a story about unrequited love: the main character, Vince, fell in love with his roommate, Griff, in college, but stopped speaking to him abruptly, deciding it was too painful to stay friends with someone who would never feel the same way, and hasn’t seen him in several years. One day, in the middle of a snowstorm, Griff shows up at Vince’s door, and all of the feelings come rushing back. I experienced so many emotions whilst reading this book! It’s beautifully written, sweet, and I really related to Vince and Griff, who are both in a kind of post-college slump, with no clue as to where their lives are headed, and feeling nostalgic for their student days (ugh, I know how this feels so hard!)


Take My Picture – Giselle Ellis

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If you’re willing to ignore the super-cheesy cover, I really recommend this novella! This was another Goodreads find, and I’m so happy I discovered it (yet so disappointed this author hasn’t written any more books for me to devour!) The story follows Jake (a photographer) and Aaron (who has been working as Jake’s assistant for five years), two people who are clearly supposed to be together, but too clueless to realise. Jake is heartbroken every time Aaron starts seeing somebody new, and Aaron doesn’t feel any more comfortable witnessing Jake’s endless string of one-night-stands, yet still they refuse to see it’s because they have feelings for each other. I never would have thought it possible to create such a compelling and slow-burn love story within so few words, but there’s nothing insta-lovey about the romance, and I completely bought into the chemistry between the characters. This is a quick, single-sitting read, but I promise it will make you feel ALL THE THINGS in a very short space of time. I completely fell in love with this book.


Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe – Benjamin Alire Saenz

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Unusually for me, this is the only YA book I bought in November! So many people have recommended this one to me, and I finally understand why! This is a coming-of-age story about a boy named Aristotle (‘Ari’) who has a lot of questions: about life and all its peculiarities, about the secrets his family are keeping, and about growing up and all the weirdness that entails. One day, he meets a boy named Dante (isn’t that just the best coincidence?) who offers to teach him how to swim, and Ari’s first real friendship with someone outside of his family begins to blossom, over the summer of 1987. Ari is an inquisitive character, and rather naive, but that’s one of the things I loved about him – he felt like a genuinely real person, bewildered by life in the most relatable of ways, and his relationship with Dante was adorable. There is a romantic element to the book, but most of the focus is on the friendship which comes first, and it’s very strongly portrayed. Everyone should read this novel – it will make you think about life and all its mysteries in a hundred different ways!


So, that’s it for November! Have you read any of these books? Which books did you add to your TBR this month? Recommendations for December buys are most welcome 🙂

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11 responses to “November Haul and the Month of Starting Over

  1. Sourin says:

    Hmmm, pretty sure you have been listening to Xmas songs all year let alone since October…

  2. Aristotle and dante was so good! I hope you enjoy it, looking forward to hearing your thoughts on that one. Take My Picture sounds good too. Great book haul, by the way!

    • mudandstars says:

      I loved Aristotle and Dante too, it was an amazing book! Yess Take My Picture was great – there was a little bit of angst but just the right amount – mainly it was just happy and sweet, so perfect comfort reading 😊

  3. I love the inclusion of the emoji in the dictionary! I strongly believe it is the most universal emoji there is – everyone agrees on its meaning. I keep hearing about Aristotle and Dante so I may have to buy that one this month!

    • mudandstars says:

      Yay, glad you approve! Me too, I think it’s my most used emoji, it can be used in so many situations (although mainly I use it when I make a rubbish joke haha!) Aristotle and Dante was such a good book, I really recommend! Hope you enjoy if you end up buying it!

  4. TheSheShe says:

    Aristotle and Dante is an amazing book!! And the Cranberry Hush sounds really good, and I am about to go find it.

  5. Annelise B. says:

    I would use 2015’s calendar FOR EVER if I were you LOL How cares 2016 will be a new year when you have an Ian Somerhalder calendar??
    CONGRATULATIONS ON THE NEW JOB! It sounds amazing! I totally understand your desperation to feel “useful” again, I’ve been felling the same way since I finished my dissertation (I lost my job in July thanks to the crisis here in Brazil, so my dissertation was my safe boat until I had it delivered, haha! But the blog doeas helpo, though)
    And don’t worry, my haul for november was also not a big deal 😦 December is Christmas and Michael Bublé’s time, we will have a better haul!
    Oh, one more thing: I nominated you for the One Lovely Blgo Award 🙂 You don’t need to do it if you don’t feel like it, I just wanted you to know how lovely I think your blog is!
    https://anneliselestrange.wordpress.com/2015/12/08/one-lovely-blog-award-3/

    • mudandstars says:

      Haha, I think I may have to buy the 2016 one, but keep the 2015 one up as well! You can never have too much Ian on your bedroom walls 😉 ❤ And thank you for the congratulations, I am really enjoying the job and feeling so much happier than I was before! I'm really sorry to hear that you lost your job, where were you working before? And what were you doing your dissertation on? I miss studying and university so much!
      I'm glad to hear you're also a Michael Bublé fan! I only ever seem to listen to him at Christmas haha, but I do love his Christmas album! I am hoping to have a good book haul next month too, hopefully I will get some books for Christmas 🙂
      Also thank you so much for nominating me! I think your blog is lovely too! I did a post for the One Lovely Blog Award last month, but perhaps I can do another one at some point in the future too! 🙂 Thanks for the nomination all the same! xx

      • Annelise B. says:

        Agreed! If I could afford it, I would buy it too! I love calendars and come oon, IT’S IAN! *—* ❤

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