What Shannon Read, What We Read: Monthly Recap

What Shannon Read: November 2022

It’s December. What?!

How’s life? How was your November?

Mine was busy and included a great Thanksgiving, plus what Ben and I now call “birthday season.” My birthday is actually November 28, but I had so many celebrations, little and big, that we’ve been celebrating for a solid two-and-a-half weeks.

Special thanks to all my loved ones who showered me with cake, gifts, a manicure, coffee, dinner out, drinks, and a generally amazing amount of festivity!

I remembered to take a few pics, but not many. You know how it is.

On to the November books!


What Shannon Read in November

Nonfiction November is officially over. Did I actually read any nonfiction in November? Surprisingly, yes. I’ve been on a solid fiction kick for a while, but I managed to sneak in a few nonfiction volumes, including some re-reads.

Some Notes:

Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind

Fascinating look into the history of humans and how our species developed. The first half of the book is about the evolution of humans and the second is about how humans formed societies, especially after the agricultural revolution.

This was a re-read for me for good reason. It’s one I keep coming back to.

Jog On: How Running Saved My Life

I loved this memoir about running because it focuses, not on racing and achieving, but on how running can help support mental health.

British writer Bella Mackie suffers from severe anxiety and, after the break-up of her marriage, she decides to go for a jog as a sort of coping mechanism. Running becomes one of her main methods for dealing with stress and anxiety. In the book she talks about why it’s effective and goes on to detail her journey as a runner.

One of the reasons I loved Mackie’s story is that she talks about how running is accessible for everyone. It was especially encouraging to me as someone who wants to run but hasn’t been able to make it a habit. Yet…

2 Elizabeth Berg books

I enjoyed both Elizabeth Berg books, but favored The Pull of the Moon, which is about a middle-aged woman whose children are grown and who is on a sort of mission to find herself.

She leaves her husband at home one day and takes a road trip around the country by herself. Throughout her travels, we learn more about her and her life.

Self-Compassion: The Proven Power of Being Kind to Yourself

This is another nonfiction re-read for me. In it, Neff talks about why being kind to yourself helps and how to do it. Recommend.

Nobody, Somebody, Anybody

This is a novel with a quirky main character that reminded me of the book The Maid by Nita Prose. It’s about a woman who longs to be an EMT, but is working as a housekeeper in a resort and just can’t quite get it together to take her EMT certification test.

Over the course of the book, we learn about her relationship with her father, her burgeoning friendship with her neighbor and landlord, and watch her start to form a life of her own, rather than living in the shadows watching others live.

The House Next Door

I started this a little past Halloween this year, but it’s one of my favorite books to read during spooky season. It features a married couple living in Atlanta and their neighbors.

A house is built on the lot next door to them and things go terribly wrong from the very beginning–for anyone who comes in contact with the house.

I love the southern setting and the relationships between the couples in the insular neighborhood. And the creep factor is fun too.


That was it for November! I’m planning to read a couple more running memoirs in December.

I’ll also be re-reading Wintering: The Power of Rest and Retreat in Difficult Times by Katherine May, which I like to re-read in the winter, of course. And I just got a fantastic book from my sister- and brother-in-law: Rooted: Life at the Crossroads of Science, Nature, and Spirit. I’ll be digging into that.

Do you have certain books or kinds of books you like to read in the winter? If so, let me know what they are.

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