If you are looking for a new desktop wallpaper to download, here’s a free digital download of a pretty desktop calendar that you can use for the month of November! There’s also a download for a smartphone wallpaper if you prefer. Keep reading to get your November 2018 desktop calendar or just scroll past all the text and download the file you want.
Not much happened in October. Mostly, I worked, went to the gym, and read books. It’s been grey and rainy, and I think this streak of bad weather has rendered many of us a pretty miserable. October wasn’t very exciting but I did get a lot of cookbooks I had pre-ordered in the mail! I cannot wait to share my thoughts on each of them. I might dedicate the next few months to the new baking books I’ve acquired because there were so many great baking books that came out this fall.
October reading list
Since October was pretty chill, I read 7 books. I tried really hard to read at the end of the day instead of mindlessly watching Netflix. I enjoyed some of these books so much, I didn’t mind skipping my tv time for them. Also of note, I didn’t much enjoy the last book on my list, though it is a food memoire. The funny thing is that about halfway through the book, the author meets a biker dude who is the head of a biker pack and falls in love, and at that point in the story, I realized I’d already read this book. Go figure it took more than half the book to realize it! Anyways, here are the books I read in the last month, I highly recommend most of these!
- Educated by Tara Westover (find it on Amazon or Kobo US or Kobo Canada): I literally could not put this book down. Tara Westover tells the story of what it was like growing up in a Mormon house, isolated in the country, with a father who is bipolar, paranoid about the “Illuminati” and dedicated to preparing them for the End of Days. Her father stubbornly doesn’t believe in modern medicine and believes that God’s will controls their lives and their outcomes. The children don’t go to school, but aren’t homeschooled either. They work with their father, forced to do tasks that are too dangerous for them or that they are too little for. They often hurt themselves and are left to suffer. I was so horrified by Tara Westover’s story and what she went through as a child. I wished the story was made up because her childhood and how she was raised was so shocking to me. In her late teens, Tara decides she wants out and so she writes an exam that gets her into a college. She studies hard, struggling to adapt and find her place in the rest of the world. Eventually, she goes on to pursue a PhD. The story is incredible and this book is a page turner.
- The Girl with the Red Balloon by Katherine Locke (find it on Amazon or Kobo or Kobo Canada): Ellie Baum, an American teen visiting Berlin, is transported in time, back to when the Berlin wall divided East and West Germany. She gets to live firsthand what it was like back then in Germany. There are flashbacks in the story to when Ellie’s grandfather was in a German prison with his mother during World War II, telling the tale of how he survived though his mother didn’t. This book is a fictional tale about people with magic red balloons who worked in secret to try to save as many as they could, getting them out of Germany during World War II, and later, transporting people across the Berlin Wall to save them.
- Sourdough by Robin Sloan (find it on Amazon or Kobo US or Kobo Canada): Lois is a computer programmer who works on robots. She is dedicated to her job and eats only out of necessity, until she discovers a delivery place with the most delicious spicy soup and sourdough. She loves the food so much she orders the same dish every day until the brothers, makers of her favourite spicy soup, show up at her door and gift her the sourdough starter. This is a quirky tale of a woman who learns to make sourdough and then leaves the lab to sell bread, but in the end, its also a story of self-discovery, learning, love, and life.
- The Kiss Quotient by Helen Hoang (find it on Amazon or Kobo US or Kobo Canada): Stella is a mathematician who has dedicated her life to her work and has only gone on a handful of terrible dates that ended very badly. Assuming that she is the problem, she decides to hire an escort to teach her how to date, how to kiss, and even how to have sex. In the process, Stella learns how to enjoy life. The Kiss Quotient is a lovely story, but please note that it does get a little racy!
- Something in the Water by Catherine Steadman (find it on Amazon or Kobo US or Kobo Canada): I was instantly hooked from the first chapter of this book, which opens with the end of the story: a wife burying her dead husband but we don’t know why she is doing this or how he died. Then the story goes back to where it all began: the newlyweds go on a honeymoon and discover something in the water that literally changes EVERYTHING. The story is a little predictable, but the book is a real page turner and I couldn’t put it down.
- Rich People Problems by Kevin Kwan (find it on Amazon or Kobo or Kobo Canada): I have mixed feelings about the Crazy Rich Asians series of books. On the one hand, they are entertaining and funny. On the other hand, I am shocked by how much money the ultra high net worth population can throw out without thinking. The series is filled with storylines of rich people behaving badly, rich people mistreating other rich people, rich people looking down on other people, rich people wasting millions (or even billions) of dollars…. I found these themes particularly prominent in the 3rd instalment of Kevin Kwan’s books. So while the book was a light, entertaining read, there were a lot of points in the story when I was so disgusted and horrified by how the characters treat each other that I was tempted to abandon the book. In this third instalment of the series, the grandmother of the family, owner of one of the largest properties in Singapore, is dying and the family gathers, partly to say good-bye, but mostly to try to lay claim to the billion dollar property she will be leaving behind.
- Life From Scratch by Sasha Martin (find it on Amazon or Kobo US or Kobo Canada): this is a food memoire about Sasha Martin’s life, her struggles, and how she ends up cooking her way across the globe, learning to cook and bake recipes from every single country on the planet from her home kitchen in the United States.
- Bake From Scratch Holiday Cookies (find it on Amazon): I am so excited about the 2018 edition of the Bake From Scratch Holiday Cookies. This special issue is a must-have during the holiday season, featuring many well-known bakers and bloggers. I am a big fan of Bake From Scratch magazine, and I look forward to their special issues.
NOVEMBER 2018 DESKTOP CALENDAR AND SMARTPHONE WALLPAPER
If you are looking for a new desktop wallpaper image, I made this November 2018 desktop calendar (and Smartphone wallpaper) just for you! This digital download can be used as a free desktop background for your computer (or smartphone). Simply click the size of the image you need below and the image will open. Then download that image by right clicking on it to save it to your computer (or do what you’ve got to do to save it to your phone). Find the file in your folder of Downloads (or Photos) and right click on the image title to set the image as your wallpaper/desktop image. Note the file may have also been saved to your desktop depending on the settings of your computer.