On My Nightstand: November 2019

I can’t believe it’s already December—this year really flew by! In November, I didn’t have as much time to read as I would have liked, but I did still manage to finish four books. I also hit my reading goal for the year, which was to finish 62 books—ten more than I read last year. Now that I’ve accomplished that goal, I’m aiming to read 70 books by 2020, which seems like it might be doable.

As is custom on these posts, I wanted to call out that I’m part of a program where Random House will send me some of their new titles each month. I’m under no obligation to post about any titles I receive, so I really can tell you my own opinion (good or bad!) about them. I’ve starred the books Random House sent me for free below. I’m so lucky to be sent books and that’s not lost on me!

I’d love to know what you’re reading—drop me a note in the comments below! And, just a housekeeping note that when I share my December roundup of books, I’ll also share my top five books of the year. You can see my top five books of 2018 in this post.


Originally known to the world as Emily Doe when her Victim Impact Statement went viral. For the first time ever, Chanel publicly claims her identity and in this beautifully written memoir, she tells the story of her assault on Stanford’s campus by Brock Turner, and the shame, anger, and depression that follows. She tells the story of how she realized she was assaulted, to telling those close to her, to the nationally-followed trial that follows.

Would I recommend it? Absolutely—Chanel’s writing is beautiful and her story is one that everyone should read.


The holiday season begins, and Laurel and Zach have been struggling to get pregnant. Laurel’s beloved grandmother who raised her, Helen, is also showing her age and needs in-home care. Then, Mrs. Miracle is sent from the Angel Care Network to take care of Helen, and Helen becomes convinced she is a real angel. Laurel and Zach question whether or not Mrs. Miracle really is an angel, but do notice Helen is happier, and begin to see signs pointing to a special arrival of their own.

Would I recommend it? Meh, there are better books out there—this one was extremely cheesy and very predictable, but sometimes those books are just what you need.


Elin Hilderbrand’s first novel not set in the modern day, this story takes place in the summer of 1969. Much like the country, the family in the story is experiencing tumulus times. Blair, the oldest sister, discovers she’s pregnant with twins and soon after finds evidence her husband is cheating on her. Kirby, a social activist, takes a job on Martha’s Vineyard, and soon finds herself in an interracial relationship and struggles with a secret from her past. Tiger, the only son, has recently been deployed to Vietnam—and Kate, his mother, has taken to alcohol to soothe her pain and worry. 13-year-old Jessie suddenly feels like an only child, ignored by her mother and grandmother, and often left to her own devices.

Would I recommend it? Eh—I’ll read anything that Elin Hilderbrand writes, but this one wasn’t my favorite. I thought the plot took a really long time to pick up, and personally, the late 60s/early 70s isn’t my favorite historical time period to read about.


Lori is a therapist who listens to patients all day in her LA office. One day out of the blue, her boyfriend breaks up with her. He tells her he can’t be with her anymore because she has a 10-year-old son and he doesn’t want to be a parent for eight more years until he goes off to college. Blindsided, she decides to find a therapist of her own. Throughout this hilarious book, Lori examines her own experience with therapy, and brings in stories of her own patients.

Would I recommend it? Absolutely! I could not put this book down—it was engaging and funny—and I think pretty much anyone could relate to this one.


Sam and Tate first met in London 14 years ago, when they were both traveling with their grandparents. They quickly fall in love, and Tate shares a big secret with Sam—she’s actually the daughter of a famous actor. A few days later, the paparazzi hounds her at her hotel, and Tate realizes that Sam has sold her out. Fast forward 14 years, and they meet again under different circumstances—can true love happen twice?

Would I recommend it? Yes! This was a really cute read—I finished it in one sitting! It’s very predictable, but sometimes you need that level of predictability in your life.

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