November Wrap-Up! || 2016

What joy! IT IS THE MONTH OF CHRISTMASNESS. I could not be more excited – I live for December. But that also means that it time for my November wrap-up! I had a very productive and weird month; I participated in NaNoWriMo and enjoyed my first month free having finished my degree at uni. What a feeling that was. I spent the first two weeks trying to recuperate from having study brain which meant I spent two weeks rolling around exhausted.

BUT NOW I’M BACK *breaks out dancing*. Hopefully December will be a fantastic blogging month for me (although to be fair my blogging didn’t actually suffer too much last month) and I’ll get a lot of reading done. The Christmas decorations are up and my granddad is flying over from Ireland to spent Christmas in Australia with us which is wonderful!

I’m planning on having a somewhat chilled reading month – I do want to read lots, but I’m going to be tackling some big books, classics and historical fiction. So I’m taking it one book at a time and seeing how many I can polish off before the 25th. There shall be plenty of lovely hot days to read outside coming soon, too, which will be glorious!

As always I’ll now quickly run you through the six books I got to in November and directly below are some links to my progress on my yearly challenges – although I’ll do a quick summation of those right at the bottom if you’re too lazy to click on the links (I empathise).

Progress for RMTBR challenge

Progress for Fairy-Tale Retelling challenge

Progress for the 2016 Pop Sugar Challenge

 The Gender Game

by Bella Forrest


book one in the Gender Game series

Genre: Young Adult, Sci-Fi, Dystopia
Author: Bella Forrest
Published: September 2016
Publisher: Createspace
Pages: 418 {kindle}

Will I continue the series? YES

I received this book via NetGalley and oh my goodness I’m so glad I got the chance to read this. This book was amazing and such a fantastic story – it’s a dystopian world in America after the environment dies, basically, and two countries reform: one run by women and the other by men. It’s absolutely fabulous and I can’t recommend it enough.

The Challenge Count:

RMTBR challenge points award: 0
Fairy-Tale Retelling: 0
Pop Sugar: N/A

My review


 The Dalai Lama’s Cat

by David Michie


Genre: General Fiction, Philosophy [Buddhism]
Author: David Michie
Published: October 2012
Publisher: Hay House Visions
Pages: 217 {paperback}

Will I read more books by Michie? YES

I’m not entirely sure how long I’ve had this book but I’m guessing at least three years (although I think it might be a bit longer) and I FINALLY READ IT. That is a very satisfying feeling. I can’t tell you how much I loved this, it was an incredible read. I can’t recommend this enough – it’s a hilarious book, perfect for cat lovers (in fact, a must read for cat lovers) and it’s really insightful too. Definitely read this is you’re feeling stressed or troubled by something!

The Challenge Count:

RMTBR challenge points award: 3
Fairy-Tale Retelling: 0
Pop Sugar: A Self-Improvement Book

Review to come


 A Torch Against the Night

 by Sabaa Tahir


book two in An Ember in the Ashes series

Genre: Young Adult, Epic Fantasy
Author: Sabaa Tahir
Published: August 2016
Publisher: Harper Voyager
Pages: 454 {paperback}

Will I continue the series? YES

Well, what can I say? This series has proven to be absolutely amazing so far. I’ve loved both books and this one certainly kept the momentum going. I’m very distressed at some events that occurred and I cannot wait to read the third book!!

The Challenge Count:

RMTBR challenge points award: 0
Fairy-Tale Retelling: 0
Pop Sugar: N/A

My review


The Light Between Oceans 

 by M. L. Stedman


Genre: Historical Fiction
Author: M. L. Stedman
Published: July 2012
Publisher: Vintage
Pages: 362 {mass market paperback}

Will I read more by Stedman? YES

This is a book that I’ve been trying to get around to all year because the movie came out in November. So I bit the bullet and read it . . . the day before I went to the cinema. #LastMinute. It was amazing though! The book is set in Western Australia and is a beautiful if somewhat tragic story that I can’t recommend enough for those of you that enjoy historical fiction or drama.

The Challenge Count:

RMTBR challenge points award: 1
Fairy-Tale Retelling: 0
Pop Sugar: A Book Set in Your Home State

Review to come



 by Aimee Jessica Russ

book one in the Recall Saga

Genre: Young Adult, Sci-Fi
Author: Aimee Jessica Russ
Published: January 2016
Publisher: Olympia Publishers
Pages: 281 {paperback}

Will I continue the series? YES

This was an interesting book – I read it for the subscription box, The Dragon’s Hoard, read-along and it was a weird combination of awkward writing but OHMYLORDTHEPLOT. So now I’m completely addicted and ready for book two!

The Challenge Count:

RMTBR challenge points award: 0
Fairy-Tale Retelling: 0
Pop Sugar: N/A

Review to come


Ten Thousand Skies Above You

by Claudia Gray


book two in the Firebird series

Genre: Young Adult, Sci-Fi [Dimensional Travel]
Author: Claudia Gray
Published: November 2015
Publisher: Harperteen
Pages: 432 {paperback}

Will I continue the series? YES

My god. This book. THIS SERIES. I don’t know what to do with myself having finished this book. I’m planning on stealing a copy of the third book off a friend because I absolutely need to find out how things are going to resolve themselves. This is a sci-fi series not to be missed!

The Challenge Count:

RMTBR challenge points award: 0
Fairy-Tale Retelling: 0
Pop Sugar: N/A

My review


 What else did I blog about this month?

The Statistics

Genres Read:


Pages Read:


Total: 2,164

Progress Towards Goodreads’ Challenge:

116%, or, 81/70 books

Evidently, I have completed this challenge WITH GREAT GUSTO.

Overall progress of RMTBR challenge:

Points accrued in November: 4
Number of books read in November that counted: 2
Total points: 39
Mini challenges completed: 2/10

Yeah, not doing so well on this one. AH WELL.


The Fairy-Tale Retelling Challenge:

Retellings Read: 9
Level Achieved: Goose Girl

Overall progress for Pop Sugar Reading Challenge:


What about me?

Hm, this is a tricky one for this month. I had planned to do epic things in November –  I wanted to read 15 books and do all the baking! But I read six and didn’t bake anything. It was one of those months. I have, however, gotten all my Christmas shopping done which is a relief. As I said previously, our Christmas decorations are all up (although our tree is missing a star because we can’t get the damn thing to stay on the top).

I’ve been trying to get all my paperwork done for America, too. I fly to the States in January and I’m getting very excited! If you’ve missed this news (or you’re new – hi!) I’m moving to Florida for at least six months to work in Disney World in the theme park! It still doesn’t feel very real to me but I cannot even begin to think about packing. That’ll be fun in January.

On the American front, I’d been planning to write you all a nice little (or, let’s face it, knowing me it would’ve been huge) post on my blogging plans for the next six months whilst I’m in fairytale land. BUT I’ve decided against that – truth be told, I could plot away and give you a nice schedule but until I’m moved into my apartment, unpacked and working/playing I’ll have no idea how much time I’ll have to blog. So the bottom line is that YES I will continue to blog even if it’s one post a month and YES I will continue to read but mostly e-books as I’m not taking physical books with me.

I won NaNoWriMo! I finished November with 52,000 words written down of what is essentially a second draft. The Fire Under the Mountain (my book) is a project I’ve been working on for about 10 years now – because yes, back in primary school I used to sit in the library with a little sketch book and draw up characters and plot ideas. Finally, it has come to fruition. I haven’t finished the book yet, but it certainly feels good to have made that much progress. The journey was certainly an interesting one and you can read about my experience HERE or make your own judgements about my state of mind through the following tweets I posted throughout the month:

Stats wise, my blog has been doing surprisingly well considering my general inattention to it whilst I’ve been writing. So thank you all for sticking around to read my typo-riddled ramblings. I hit 500 followers on Instagram also which was amazing and OH MY LORD am I enjoying Instagram at the moment. I recently decided to nick my dad’s camera (one of those big fancy ones) and suddenly photo-taking has become a whole lot more fun. Twitter, however, remains a statistical mystery to me.

Speaking of Twitter, I’ve been keeping an eye on Miss Audrey Greathouse who has been doing a lot of writing throughout NaNo which I hope means she’s brewing plots for more Peter Pan retellings to follow her amazing book The Neverland Wars.


I managed to squeeze in more movies than I realised in November. I’m on a strict budget as to how many movies I can afford to go and see at cinema at the moment so I’ve had to plan which movies I’ll go and see. But a twist of fate meant I got a bonus movie in there and of course then there were those that I watched on TV.

Doctor Strange, 2016: 7/10 stars
Obviously I had to go and see this one because Benedict Cumberbatch is LIFE. It was also a very good and hilarious movie. I can’t wait for the next one.

A United Kingdom, 2016: 8/10 stars
This movie doesn’t actually come out (in Australia, at least) until
Christmas time. I won tickets to an advanced screening through Dymocks (bookstore) and it was fantastic! Definitely go and watch the trailer guys because it’s 100% worth it.

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, 2016: 10/10 stars
This was incredible. Of course. But seriously, this actually surpassed my expectations of it. The cast was fabulous, the story was beautiful and I didn’t realise just how much I missed HP until the music came on in the cinema. AMAZING.

The Dressmaker, 2015: 5/10 stars
Hm, this was interesting. Definitely not what I was expecting it to be at all. If ever a movie were Australian, this is it. I don’t know if I’d recommend this but wow, it was something else.

Eat Pray Love, 2010: 7/10 stars
I can’t believe I hadn’t seen this before! This movie was inspirational and absolutely stunning. Stop putting it off if you haven’t watched it yet!

The Light Between Oceans, 2016: 7/10 stars 
This was beautiful. It’s a stunning page to screen adaptation and I definitely recommend it. I loved the acting and the setting (Western Australia represent!). Argh, I couldn’t get enough of this story.

TV Shows:

I gave it my best go to get some TV show watching done this month. I wasn’t that successful – seriously, how does everyone manage to watch so much TV?!

Call the Midwife, series 4
I finished it! You’ve probably been staring at this section all year wondering how it’s taken me so long. Well HAH. I got there. Although there is another series to watch I don’t have it at the moment, but I’m glad I got to the end of this series!

Miranda, series 3
I also finished this one! Gosh, that ending though. What a rollercoaster of emotions. I don’t think I’ve ever screamed so much at the TV. I can’t believe this is all over now – I’m devastated!

Downton Abbey, series 5
You got it, I’ve finally gone back to this to finish it off. I was actually half way through series 5 but I decided to start from the beginning (of series 5) because I couldn’t remember everything. Once I’ve watched this there’ll just be series 6 to go – how sad!

War & Peace, series 1
I started watching this and I’m thoroughly enjoying it. I’m finding it difficult to sit down and watch an episode time wise but wow it’s a really good series and THE SETTING. So beautiful.

Secrets of War
I had time this month to watch some programs on the History Channel too which I love to do in my spare time. I’ve only watched a couple of episodes but I just love learning new things from these sorts of programs.

Tick! November done! 

What was your favourite book that you read in November? 

End Note

~~ Kirstie ~~

18 thoughts on “November Wrap-Up! || 2016

  1. I have to see Doctor Strange and Fantastic Beasts as soon as I can!
    War and Peace is really a beautiful show, I’m glad you’re enjoying it. I loved it but I wish it was a bit longer.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. There won’t be a second series, these six episodes cover the whole book. But the book is huge, so they had to leave out some things, that’s why I wish there were more episodes.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Great recap for this month Kirstie, it seems like you got through some amazing books if your reviews are anything to go by! I loved A Torch Against the Night and Ten Thousand Skies Above You, I can’t for the next book in both series now especially after the way they ended!
    I got to see Doctor Strange and Fantastic Beasts as well and wow they were just amazing movies! I have already pre-ordered both that’s how amazing I thought they were and how much I want to see them again! It’s still over a year away but I’m so excited for the next Fantastic Beasts movie.
    Seems like you had a great reading month for November, hopefully you’re December will be the same. Also I just wanted to say I love you bookstagram photos as well, they always look so gorgeous and well put together.
    Happy reading! 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Beth! Yes omg both those books are just killing me with suspense!

      I don’t blame you for having pre-ordered those films 😍 I’ll definitely be getting FB on DVD and (im)patiently waiting for the second movie!! Thank you ❤️

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I always look forward to your recaps because I LOVE your graphs so much 😅 Sorry your November didn’t exactly go to plan, but six books is still really good and having your Christmas shopping done already is amazing. I haven’t even started mine 🙄🙃 I loved Fantastic Beasts soooooo much.

    It’s super exciting about your stay in the US!! I hope everything goes wonderfully for you ♥

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Even though you didn’t read as many books as you would have liked, it looks like you had a very good quality read month!

    M.L. Stedman! She is such a mystery to me. When I wrote my review for The Light Between Oceans, she was the first author I had come across that hardly had any type of information about her on the internet… She is very mysterious indeed. I do hope she comes out with another book, she is a very talented author.

    You are going to have such an amazing time here in the U.S! Maybe we will even make a Yank out of you lol

    Congrats again on finishing your degree and winning NaNoWriMo!! Such huge accomplishments!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Haha thanks, Amanda! It was definitely one of best reading month’s quality wise, not only were all the books good but nearly all of them were 5-star reads!

      I’m really hoping that Stedman writes more books because she’s clearly a very talented – if mysterious – author! I’m getting so excited to go the States 😄We have to work out when you’re going to be there so I can try and say hi!!

      Liked by 1 person

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