The Sun Down Motel by Simone St. James 5 Stars

In 1982, Viv heads to New York with dreams of being an actress. Instead, she ends up in Fell, working the night shift at the Sun Down Motel. Strange things happen during the night, and soon Viv disappears. In 2017, Carly’s mom passes away, and she decides now is the time to finally learn more about her aunt Viv, who disappeared in 1982. Carly packs her car and heads to Fell, New York.

The Sun Down Motel weaves together 1982 and 2017, switching between Viv and Carly’s point of view. I’ve read several books that take this approach, switching times and point of views, and I think The Sun Down Motel is one of the most successful at it. It’s very clear who is talking and where. St. James weaves hints between the different times. She does an outstanding job at keeping you on the edge of the seat and wanting to keep reading because you need to know what happened.

I finished this book in three days. I couldn’t put it down and when I wasn’t reading I was thinking about it. I’m sure the genre (ghost + mystery) isn’t for everyone, but I loved it. So much so, I added all of St. James other books to my library wish list.

Nothing Like I Imagined by Mindy Kaling 5 Stars

Nothing Like I Imagined is six short books from Kaling. She covers different topics in each book from being a single mom to finding friends in LA. All with Mindy’s humor coming through. I’ve been a fan of Kaling for years and always enjoy her writing. I’m not a mom or Hindu, but I could see myself in her stories. Maybe because we are the same age? Or share social anxiety? If you are a fan of Mindy Kaling, I think you would enjoy these essays. If you’ve never read or watched anything from Mindy Kaling (are you living under a rock?) these are short enough that if you hate them you didn’t waste over 20 minutes on one.

Feck Purfuction by James Victore 2 stars

Feck Purfuction was nothing new. It was a very surface level look at being creative and doing what you love. It was well written and a fast read. I also enjoyed the art between chapters. Feck Purfuction is a friendly reminder if you need it.

Ugh, he just lost a star by telling people to go gluten-free. No. Do not do this unless you medically need to. This is terrible advice for many reasons. Without this little footnote, I’d have given this 3 stars. It became very hard for me to finish the last 10% or so after reading that. Seriously. It diminished everything else he had to say to give such awful. He even called it a “pro tip” Not very pro at all.

Ugh. This book. I wanted to like it. I liked some of it BUT and this is a big but it was so simple. And that gluten tip. It’s still bothering me. It’s actually not healthy to give up gluten if you have no medical need to do so. You miss out on vital nutrients. Ok, I’m done now.

I didn’t finish Atomic Habits this month but only have one section left so I will cover it in Decembers book corner. I also started another book, The End of October, which will be in December’s blog.

What books did you read in November? Drop them in the comments!

Categories: Books


Jenna Volden has a degree in business and has spent the last 10 plus years working for others. She believes it is time to start her own photography and writing business. She enjoys running, coffee and helping others achieve their goals. Gluten-free foods are a lifestyle, not a choice, for her due to celiac disease. She is currently based in Phoenix, Arizona.