Reading challenge: November

It’s almost November, national novel writing month (nanowrimo) starts and writers all over the world work hard to write 50.000 words or even more to write their own novel. I won’t be joining this year, but I will be working hard to finish my own novel Salandrine. Yes, it has become official, Salandrine will be over 40.000 words, going 50.000 and thus, be a short novel!

Aside from writing, I’ll also be continuing my monthly reading challenge, and like last month, you’re welcome to join me! The challenge is open to suggestions and can be adjusted to your reading habits. November is more than just a month for writing. It’s also Adoption Awareness Month, and so I’d like this month’s challenge to include books with protagonists who are orphans.


OCTOBER’s reading list

Last month’s reading went okay. I finished reading Escape (Lake of Sins, #1) by L.S. Odea, which was an okay book on most fronts. I’d recommend this book to anyone who likes YA dark fantasy (review). My main reason for picking it up had been for OCTOBER’s monthly challenge to read a scary book (horror, dark fantasy, noir, etc), although it turned out to be less scary than I’d hoped for.

The other book on my October reading list was Throne of the Crescent Moon (The Crescent Moon Kingdoms, #1) by Saladin Ahmed, which has been going slow as of late. When I started reading the pages flew by, but I’m having a bit of trouble getting through the middle part of the book. A bit too much exposition and sidetracking for my taste, but I’m sure it’ll make sense a bit further in the book. Aside from that little bit of a downside, the book has to be one of the highlights of this years reading list. It has rich worldbuilding, dark magic, sword fights, and a wide variety of well-developed characters. This really is a must-read for anyone who likes fantasy books. (review will be added shortly). I will continue my attempt to finish this book in November.

With these books I met the following goals from OCTOBER’s list:

  • Read a book by an indie author
  • Read a book which has less than 50 reviews
  • Read a book by an author or genre you’ve never read before

I didn’t complete the challenge because I didn’t read enough books, but I did meet my 2017 reading challenge goal of 10 books! I’m super happy, but I’m not ready to quit yet. I have so many promising books just waiting to be read and deserving some more reviews so they can get discovered more.


November’s reading goals and booklist

The reading challenge rules as I wrote them last month:

“Here’s what I’ve got in mind for this. I’ll make a little list of traits like “stand-alone”, “written by an indie author”, etc. as well as a minimum amount of books I need to read. For now, ticking off multiple boxes with one book is allowed. If the challenge turns out to be too easy, the rule will fall and only one box a book will be allowed.”

NOVEMBER’s reading challenge: read at least 2 books, which meet at least 3 of the following requirements:

  • Read a book by an indie author
  • Read an advanced reader copy (ARC)
  • Read a fantasy book featuring witches, spirits, demons, magic or anything else of the occult
  • Read a speculative fiction book by a Black author
  • Read a book by a red-haired author or with a red-haired main character
  • MONTHLY CHALLENGE: a book with a protagonist who is an orphan.


So I’ve made a short list of books which would fit this month’s list of goals. I’ve got an Indie author, an ARC, a fantasy book dealing with occult themes, a speculative fiction book by a Black author, and a book with a red-haired protagonist.

  1. The Curious Tale of Gabrielle (Curiosity #1) by Zachary Paul Chopchinski; a paranormal fantasy with demons and time travel, published by Putrescent Oak Press. I received a free copy via Instafreebie. It sounds like an interesting and thrilling read with danger and mystery, so I’m all game.
  2. The City of Brass (The Daevabad Trilogy #1) by S.A. Chakraborty; a high fantasy novel set in a magical middle eastern kingdom, djinn, and political schemes. I received an advanced reader copy (ARC) for this book via Instafreebie. Expected publication: November 14th 2017 by Harper Voyager. It sounds like an intriguing book, and I’m curious about the setting and djinn.
  3. Of Cinder and Bone by Kyoko M.; resurrection of exincted dragons. that’s all I need to be interested. No publisher had been mentioned on GoodReads so I am assuming this self-published and they could use the extra reviews. I received a free copy via Instafreebie. This story concept is just… percect! I love it! It has everything I love in speculatiev fiction: a combination of science fiction and fantasy, dragons and I’m hoping a diverse cast of characters.

To meet the NOVEMBER’s challenge I’m adding another book which features a main character who is an orphan and grew up in the foster system. Although it will probably be too much, I’d like to add two more books as an extra option. One would be a re-read I’ve been looking forward to and the other would be a shorter piece of fiction.

  1. Hunt (Freya Snow #1) by L.C. Mawson; YA urban fantasy novel with a dash of sci-fi. An Autistic protagonist, demons and magic. Self-published September 23rd 2015 by Createspace Independent Publishing Platform. I received a free copy via Instafreebie. I mean, it has an Autistic lead, insta must-read for me although I’m not sure it’s ownvoices. I’m hoping the rep is good so I can shout it out to the rest of the autistic community on Twitter and Tumblr, because we need more of these. Also, fantasy, indie authored, and a combination of scifi and fantasy, so it’s absolutely perfect for me.
  2. Spectrum by Aidan J. Reid; science, human experimenting… sounds creepy. Also self-published June 18th 2016 through Amazon and could use the reviews. I received a free copy via Instafreebie. Honesty, I’m just curious about this one.
  3. The Killing Moon (Dreamblood #1) by N.K. JemisinThis would be a re-read. It is one of my favorite books and I’d like to read it again to this time write a review. It is amazing, with rich and original worldbuilding, dream magic, well developed and likable characters and a great writing style. Definitely, would recommend this book to all fantasy lovers.


Want to join me in this challenge? Comment with your reading list and share your progress on social media. Be sure to tag me! (@winthernovels on Twitter and GoodReads, @elisawinther on Tumblr and Facebook). Reviewed a book? Let me know and I’ll share it by the end of the month (links to your blog or website are fine too)!

If the challenge is too easy for you, feel free to add new requirements or add on to the minimum amount of books to read.

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