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Hello Hello! How are you today?

I hope you had a lovely end to 2022 and that you are just as hyped as I am for all the 2023 reads. Before I get carried away with the books to come, here are the final books I read in 2022, throughout November and December!

I got COVID again in December and it made me even more tired that I had been previously, so I stuck to smaller reads, but I still managed to reach my GoodReads goal, so I’m chuffed!

Let’s have a look at the books I read in November and December 2022.

NOVEMBER

FAVOURITE BOOKS OF THE MONTH

Et à la fin ils meurent : La sale vérité sur les contes de fées by Lou Lubie — 5 stars

I got this book from my library as soon as it was delivered (new book alert!!) and I was so drawn to the cover and the title (in English it would be “And at the end they die: the dirty truth about fairy tales”). I absolutely love fairy tales, but I also like humour and this humorous graphic novel about the origin of fairy tales and the ridiculous and sometimes terrifying original stories and mentalities of the time was just fascinating. I read it very quickly, it is really well written and flows very nicely. The drawings were so pretty but also funny and I just loved the colour palette and the author’s way of speaking about fairy tales. I had a great time reading this book, and I think I might treat myself to my own copy because it was beautiful and I think it’s well worth it. If you can read in French or if this is eventually published in English, I HIGHLY recommend it.

The Boy, the Mole, the Fox and the Horse by Charlie Mackesy — 5 stars

I also got this one from my library, and I’m so glad because I had been wanting to read it for a while but for some reason kept putting it off. When I borrowed it, I couldn’t possibly have guessed the impact it would have on me. I read it in one sitting and I absolutely loved every minute of it. It is a very short book but it packs a punch because of the way it makes you feel when you are reading it. It is sweet, poignant, the drawings are beautiful and the dialogues between the characters are so important. It’s a book I think everyone should read as it basically tells us that we are enough as we are and that things will be okay (the very short version). Honestly, it’s part of my favourite books of the year list and I really need to get myself a physical copy because it is a warm hug on days when things go wrong, or when you need some comfort. Also HIGHLY recommend!

MY NOVEMBER READS

The Crooked Sixpence (#1 The Uncommoners) by Jennifer Bell — 3.5 stars

This was the Middle Grade Marvels book club pick for the month of October if I’m not mistaken and it took me so long to read since I got COVID in October and it left me in a bit of a state. I also got busier and busier as the end of the year got closer so had less time to read. I finally finished this book mid November, and it was okay, it just wasn’t amazing. I was hoping it would have been a lot better, but I suppose the first book sets up the series, it just wasn’t WOW for me personally. I don’t think I’ll be continuing the series but it was unique and well written, just not fully my cup of tea.

Northern Wrath (#1 The Hanged God Trilogy) by Thilde Kold Holdt — 4.5 stars

This was the last blog tour book I read in 2022, and I ended up listening to it on Audible, because let me tell you, it’s a chunky one. I won’t go into too much detail because I wrote a full review for it which you can find here, but I did really enjoy this book. I’m interested by Norse mythology so I’m really glad I got the chance to read this book in 2022, and I still need to finish the series. I’m going tocontinue on Audible as well because I quite like the narrator, and ith really chunky books it’s sometimes very tiring for my eyes on my Kindle. I did really enjoy this one and recommend for lovers of fantasy and mythology with very complex and loveable characters!

Universelle(s) (#2 Elles) by Kid Toussaint and Aveline Stokart — 4 stars

This is a French comic/graphic novel series about a girl who has DID (Dissociative identity disorder) and moves to a new school in the first book of this series, which is a lot for her to come to terms with. As her friends start to realise that she isn’t always “Elle”, she also realises that the identities that she has kept somewhat “imprisoned” are fighting to take control. In this instalment, one of the more nasty and vindictive identities has taken over and metaphorically locked Elle away inside her head. It sounds a bit complicated put like that, but it’s honestly so well done, and I think done in a sensitive manner while also showing the truth of what it is like to have this disorder. It was very interesting and I hope that there will be more comics in the series as I really enjoyed both of the ones I’ve read.

Idiss by Robert Badinter (original author), Richard Malka and Fred Bernard — 5 stars

This is also a graphic novel I got from one of my libraries I frequent and it is about a Jewish woman called Idiss who had a really big role during WWII to protect and care for her family. It is an adaptation from the biography written by Robert Badinter, who is her grandson. I hadn’t read that book, but I honestly didn’t need it because the graphic novel was so well executed that you didn’t need anything else to understand the plot of this story and get to know the characters. I haven’t read many biographies in the form of graphic novels, but I honestly really enjoyed it and although I wasn’t the biggest fan of the art style, I think that the story was enough to carry it for me. The last page honestly shocked me and brought a tear to my eye because I didn’t expect it to end so sadly, but I suppose it was a somewhat inevitable ending for this historical event. I loved it, and I know that’s a weird thing to say, but it was a beautiful and poignant story and I’m so glad I read it and got to know more about this wonderful woman.

The Bullet That Missed (#3 The Thursday Murder Club) by Richard Osman — 4.5 stars

And the final book for November was the latest book in The Thursday Murder Club series by Richard Osman, which I have been buddy reading these past three years with Stephen from Stephen Writes. We were so excited to continue this series as we are big fans of this world and these characters and it did not disappoint. It was such a wholesome, cosy and comforting book for me as I was still feeling poorly when I read it. I still love these characters just as much as I did in the first book and I love getting to know them more. I love how the reveals are done and it’s honestly such a well-written series and it makes me feel so good when I read it. I suppose the people who grew up with Harry Potter and who “felt like coming home” when they read it, can relate to the feelings I have when I read the Thursday Murder Club books. It is one of my favourite series and I cannot wait for the next book coming out in September 2023.

NOVEMBER READING STATS

Number of books: 7

Number of pages: 2,013 pages

Star ratings:

3.5 stars: 1 book

4 stars: 1 book

4.5 stars: 2 books

5 stars: 3 books

Average rating: 4.5 ⭐

Genres: 1 French nonfiction fairy tale graphic novel, 1 children’s graphic novel poetry, 1 MG fantasy mystery, 1 adult fantasy mythology, 1 French YA graphic novel, 1 French biographical graphic novel and 1 mystery.

DECEMBER

FAVOURITE BOOKS OF THE MONTH

Le Manifeste des 343 : L’histoire d’un combat by Hélène Strag, Adeline Laffitte and Hervé Duphot — 4.5 stars

I picked this one up from my library the last week of December because I had been searching for books on feminism and women’s rights, etc. This one popped up and I thought it looked so good. I’m glad I read it! It is about the fight for making abortions legal in France in the 1970s and how the pill became legal as well. I really liked learning more about women’s history and women’s rights are there were some elements in this book that I’d never heard of before, like a lot of famous women signing a petition saying they had had an abortion so that the government would pass the law for it to become legal. I also liked the art style which was really beautiful, and the colours were all pink and grey inside, so it was also visually very pleasing. This was a really interesting and informative graphic novel that I’m very glad I read in December.

Quelque part entre les ombres and Artic Nation (#1-2 Blacksad) by Juan Díaz Canales and Juanjo Guarnido — 5 stars

I had heard about the comic series Blacksad so many times in the last two years and I either never fully fancied it or never thought about reading it. This month, we received the last book in the series at my library, so as I was getting it ready to be lent to our readers, I had a peak inside and decided I needed to read the whole series. I’m so glad I did because I loved the first book so much and the second one was just as good. They are both making my favourite books of the month because they were SO good. I love the art style, and the story, getting to know the main character who is very complex and interesting. I love that this features animals as “humans”, it’s sort of a metaphor I think, and I find it really well executed. I also love that it’s a mystery comic series, and it has hooked me right in. I’m excited to continue this series in January.

MY DECEMBER READS

Atlas des monstres connus & méconnus by Sergio Aquino — 2.5 stars

This book was kind of a flop, and once again from my library. I actually think I only read books from my, librarian December and most of them were in French! I thought this one looked amazing when I saw it on the shelves, but it just wasn’t for me. It’s a kind of encyclopaedia about all the different popular and lesser known monsters in literature and different civilisations. The art style was really good and actually quite haunting, but the descriptions for each monster were kind of a bit bland and I just thought it could have been better. So this was the worst book of the month, but I think the one that could have ended up being the most interesting, so that’s a shame, but onwards and upwards.

The Essential Calvin and Hobbes: A Calvin and Hobbes Treasury (#1-2) by Will Watterson — 4 stars

I also found this book in my library but it was in English, yay!! I had heard about Calvin and Hobbes so many times since starting my career as a librarian, but I honestly didn’t fancy it until my colleague showed me this edition and I thought “oh well, why not”. Well, I was hooked from the very first page. Calvin is a bit of a mischievous boy, gets himself into a lot of trouble and embarrasses his parents so much… and Hobbes is his cuddly toy tiger who comes to life when no adults are about. I just loved the idea of this comic strip collection. They were fast to read, I just picked it up when I felt like it and read a little bit each day. It was great jumping backing into the story because there isn’t really an end and a beginning as the strips are very short. I also thought this was very tongue is cheek humour and had a lot of criticisms about life and society, and even years ago when it was written, it was very modern for it’s time. I think I might go on a search for more of these comics because I had such a great time reading them, and Calvin and Hobbes are honestly the cutest together, I loved it!

Le Printemps de Sakura by Marie Jaffredo — 3 stars

This French children’s graphic novel features Sakura, an 8 year old little girl who lost her mother in an accident a few years prior to the events in this book. Her father has to leave Tokyo and go to India over the summer holidays for his job, so he takes Sakura to stay with her maternal grandmother in a tiny village in Japan. This was a sweet book and the illustrations were very pretty, but unfortunately it did let me down a little bit. I think the subject was good, but maybe the author was trying to not show or say too much in case she triggered anyone, but she didn’t really get that balance right in my opinion. I think it’s only a case of opinions, but my colleague thought the same thing as I did! In any case, it was an okay graphic novel about an important subject and had a really nice art style, I just wished for a little extra “je ne sais quoi”! 

La Peau de l’ours, Coeur de renard and La Nuit des croque-souris (#1-3 Le Temps des Mitaines) by Loïc Clément and Anne Montel

This is a French children’s comic series set in a fantastical world where animals are the characters and are just like humans, go to school, have businesses and live in houses that look just like our everyday objects (a jam jar or a pencil sharpener, for instance). This comic series follows a group of rag-tag friends as they have to face kidnappings, finding their magic, zombies and lots more adventures. I’d also heard a lot of good things about this series so decided to give it a go and I’m not disappointed, it was so good. I actually read all the other books in this world!! I loved the characters and the art style was absolutely stunning. They were really quick comics to read but also had a lot of substance and important messages for children and adult alike. I’m so glad I read this series and I really hope there will be more instalments. 

It Ends with Us (#1) by Colleen Hoover — 4 stars

I never thought I would read a Colleen Hoover book, but I saw this one on a shelf in my library and thought “what the heck”. I’m not too sure what I think about this one to be honest. It’s not a cutesy romance, and it was more “violent” than what I expected. I gave it 4 stars because it was really well written and I think overall it was a good story, but I also felt uneasy reading it because of the subject of domestic abuse and violence that was very vivid. TWs for rape, drinking, marital abuse, injuries, and I think the list goes on… I’m kind of confused over this book as well because I was so hooked by it that I couldn’t even stop reading. So this is my weird book of the year, I enjoyed it but also didn’t, if you know what I mean. I think I will try other books by this author, just steer clear of any including domestic abuse and toxic relationships. 

Le mystère de la chambre morne (#0 Le Temps des Mitaines) by Loïc Clément and Anne Montel

This is a children’s novel written about the universe in Le Temps des Mitaines comic series I talked about just above. It is set 20 years before the events of the comic series and it features some of the characters’ parents as they themselves have to come to terms with their new magic, and something very weird happens to them when they are in detention one Saturday! I enjoyed this book, but I have to say that I think the comics were better. The plot was a little far fetched in my opinion, although I loved learning about these characters that I met in the comic series and then they are 20 years older. It was an interesting novel to be adding to this universe, but I definitely recommend reading the comics first! 

Professeur Goupil est amoureux, Professeur Goupil autour du monde and Professeur Goupil et les rires qui s’envolent (#2-4 Professeur Goupil) by Loïc Clément

These are some very short little children’s novels that are also set in the world of Le Temps des Mitaines and which were so cute and wholesome. They feature Professeur Goupil who we see a little bit of in the comic series and a lot more of in the novel I talked about previously. I’m so glad the author created these books for this character because he was so intriguing in the novel and I want to learn more about him! I think I missed the first book in this mini series as it must have been lent out to someone else when I picked these up, but I can always read it as soon as it is back. I really enjoyed these books, I think I read them all in under an hour as they are super short. The illustrations are just like in the comics, they are so pretty. These books put a smile on my face and I’m glad I’ve read nearly everything from this universe because it’s so enjoyable and a really unique and lovely story with some fantastic characters. I hope there will be more comics and more little novels to read soon! 

DECEMBER READING STATS

Number of books: 14

Number of pages: 1,806 pages

Star ratings:

2.5 stars: 1 book

3 stars: 2 books

4 stars: 7 books

4.5 stars: 2 books

5 stars: 2 books

Average rating: 3.96 ⭐

Genres: 1 French feminist nonfiction graphic novel, 2 mystery comics, 1 fantasy creature encyclopaedia thing, lol!, 1 English comic strip collection, 1 French children’s graphic novel, 3 French MG/YA fantasy comics, 1 NA contemporary romance, 1 MG/YA fantasy and 3 MG/YA fantasy mini novels.

Physical Books left on Ellie’s TBR: 609 books.


That’s all for now, I hope you enjoyed reading this post.

See you soon, stay safe,

Ellie xx

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