Bisons and Dinosaurs and boob bags, oh my. (Edited to add: BOOK BAGS. NOT BOOB BAGS. What is wrong with me? Jesus.)

Sorry I disappeared for a little. I don’t know if it was depression or a weird physical sickness but either way I sort of fell apart for a little bit. Feeling tentatively better, but I’m also noting that it’s November and if you’re anything like me it means you need to unpack your light therapy lamp right this second and stop putting it off. Do it now. Done? Awesome. Let’s talk about books.

This month for the Fantastic Strangelings Book Club we’re reading A Grandmother Begins the Story.

Written by Michelle Porter, a descendant in a long line of Métis storytellers, A Grandmother Begins the Story follows five generations of Indigenous women as they reach for the stories to remake their worlds and rebuild their futures.

And I know what you’re thinking…five generations of women?  Isn’t that hard to follow?  And it would be if the characters weren’t incredibly unique and well-rounded.  Also, one of them is a bison.

Additionally, it’s apparently delicious, as Hunter S. Thomcat has tried to eat it several times.

It sounds like a strange sort of book, and it is, but in a really intriguing and important way that I loved.

More of a horror-nerd? Well, this month we’re reading The Paleontologist by Luke Dumas for the Nightmares from Nowhere Book Club.  Did you read his last novel, A History of Fear?  So good.

The Paleontologist is an atmospheric sort of mystery about a haunted paleontologist who returns to the museum where his sister was abducted years earlier and is faced with a terrifying and murderous spirit.  I’m not going to tell you anymore because I don’t want to spoil anything.  And if you’re a member of the club your November book is going to come with this fantastic book bag. Whoop!

(By the way, we currently have spots available in both clubs if you want in before the new year.)

Need more than one book to get though the month? Me too, friend. Here are a few November releases I enjoyed:

Starling House by Alix E. Harrow – A grim and gothic new tale from author Alix E. Harrow about a small town haunted by secrets that can’t stay buried and the sinister house that sits at the crossroads of it all.

The Mystery Guest by Nita Prose  – When I finished Nita Prose’s The Maid I was like, “Can we get a sequel?”  AND WE GOT A SEQUEL.  When an acclaimed author dies at the Regency Grand Hotel, it’s up to a fastidious maid to uncover the truth, no matter how dirty—in a standalone novel featuring Molly Gray.

The Manor House Governess by C.A. Castle – This spirited debut pays homage to the British classics—with a genderfluid protagonist and 21st-century twist—perfect for fans of Emily M. Danforth and Andrew Sean Greer.

The Madstone by Elizabeth Crook –  With echoes of Lonesome Dove and News of the World, the story of a pregnant young mother, her child, and the frontier tradesman who helps them flee across Texas from outlaws bent on revenge, even as an unlikely love blossoms.

The Bittlemores by Jann Arden – Some tough themes (child and animal abuse) but Jann Arden is always worth reading.

The Last Love Note by Emma Grey – In the aftermath of crushing grief, sole parent Kate Whittaker must learn to live and love again.  I’m not usually a romance fan but this one caught my attention and kept it.

The Favorites by Rosemary Hennigan – This book was listed as “dark acadamia” and I thought that meant boarding school horror but turns out it was about the abuse of privilege and power and I liked it even though I kept waiting for the vampires who never showed up.

Mimi’s Tales of Terror by Junji Ito – Nine true stories and urban legends brought to you by the master of weird horror.

Iron Flame by Rebecca Yarros – I haven’t actually finished this one yet because I just picked my copy up but this the sequel to Fourth Wing, which I really loved.

Happy reading and thank you for supporting Nowhere Bookshop! We wouldn’t exist without you.

40 thoughts on “Bisons and Dinosaurs and boob bags, oh my. (Edited to add: BOOK BAGS. NOT BOOB BAGS. What is wrong with me? Jesus.)

Read comments below or add one.

  1. I just read Starling House and LOVED it. Such a great atmospheric read and I absolutely loved the concept of the plot.

  2. Awesome reading suggestions!
    I’m glad you’re back to feeling a little better. Seasonal affective disorder and the time change means light therapy and good reading materials and a cozy spot to read with a hot beverage. Sending virtual hugs to you and your fans who need them.

  3. Just put a hold on “The Paleontologist” at the library. I took today off from work, so I’m about to make some cookies and get some reading done.

  4. Ok. Fine. I’ll give The Starling House another go. If you liked it, I’m sure I will. I trust your judgment ment. You haven’t steered me wrong yet! And thank you in advance for the tote! When I saw the picture, I immediately crossed my fingers. I love my starlings and nightmares. Thank you for letting me be a part of the family from super woke California. Thanks for keeping the fires burning out there!

  5. I came for the boob bags, I stayed for the book recommendations.

    (Oh my Jesus Christ. THIS is why I need an editor. ~ Jenny)

  6. Did you mean boob bags? Cause that what caught my eye and then I was disappointed that there were no boob bags in the post. Hahaha I couldn’t imagine what a boob bag would actually be! Now it’s a forever mystery.

  7. My therapist suggests getting the light box back out around August when there’s still enough light around that you may have the spoons to actually bring it out. I found it helps me avoid the “OMG it’s dark at 4pm, therefore I must put pajamas on and hide in bed” feeling, which makes the night’s a bit more productive for me. I definitely won’t make the mistake of getting my flu shot the day after we reset the clocks. Zero out of five stars on that idea.

  8. I’m not a big commenter on stuff. But I just wanted to share that I adore you. I am ALWAYS happy to see your name pop up in my email. You’re important to me. ❤️

  9. If I join the book club (I just picked up The Paleontologist yesterday! It looks excellent.) will I get a boob bag? I’m intrigued.

  10. I *NEED* a boob bag cause my boobs are out of control. I don’t even want to wear a bra because they are uncomfortable. No matter what I do.

    BOOB BAGS! ( . ) ( . )

  11. Jenny your posts always make me feel….Good. Light. Not alone. Like I’ve got this. Like maybe these are the best days of my life too. Also, I love Hunter S. Thomcat so very much. And, what really hugs my soul are all the commenters – from all over the country (world?) who are clever and kind and funny and wise. What a community you have built. Thank you 💜

  12. O thought sure you were referring to all the commercials. I get on IG and FB like they know my old lady boobs now need a bag and not some sexy perky bra. Damn next time

  13. Google “Breast Nest” and you will find SO MANY BOOB BAGS. I honestly want to try one on. Thanks for the book recommendations, too!

  14. Argh! that boo(b)k bag is awesomenesssss!

    Is that the light you use? I am in dire need of one, but they used to be so damn expensive and I kinda gave up even looking at them. But that one? That I could do.

    (That’s the one I used last year but then I misplaced the charging cord. I just bought a different one as a replacement but it doesn’t have a timer so now I’m regretting not reordering that one. ~ Jenny)

  15. hmm. 21 was me. I don’t know why I’m not signed it. ack. do not have spoons to deal. ~markira

  16. gurlllll DAYLIGHT SAVINGS!!! if you already weren’t struggling with life, the time change definitely would have thrown you for a loop. Plus it takes a few days for your body to readjust.

  17. Not gonna lie, I read this post because I wanted an explanation of boob bags!! 😉

  18. Now that I’m in my 60s I would call my bras a boob bag because I used to be a 38DDD but now I’m a 38 long.

  19. I have pre-ordered The Mystery Guest from Nowhere. I loved The Maid and am so happy we get a sequel!

  20. Huh. My daughter and I both went through the same sudden sickness/depression thing at around the same time. Maybe it’s the moon phase? Probably just the first calendar day of SAD for everyone. 🙁

  21. It was the lunar eclipse!!! When the moon is in the 7th house and Jupiter aligns with Mars, then peace will guide the planets —and boob bags will steer the stars. (Or so I’m told.)

  22. Like so many others, I was hoping for bra recommendations. Maybe we could get two of those tote bags…

  23. My email app truncated your lead until I tapped the “read more of this post” link – what I saw initially read “… it’s November and if you’re anything like me that means it’s time to unpack your …” , and my brain instantly finished that sentence with “S.A.D. (Seasonal Affective Disorder) light.”. Sure enough, when I opened the rest of the post, that’s basically what it said. Already unpacked and set up, Jenny!
    It puzzles my Torty cat Bolt (named for her habit of zooming through any door she isn’t supposed to go through if it’s open a millisecond too long, like into the garage or out the back door; then she goes about six more feet and sits down to lick a paw, looking pleased with herself, and waits for me to grab her and haul her back to where she belongs.)
    I tried explaining it to her, but she wandered off halfway through. She seems to appreciate me being less withdrawn, though.
    Hang in there! We’re over halfway from the equinox to the solstice, and then the days start getting longer again.

  24. I usually just skim these Strangelings posts since I am not in it, but I didn’t think twice about “boob bags”. I mean, it’s Jenny Lawson…why would I?!!

  25. If you *do* want boarding school horror style dark academia, check out Naomi Novik’s Scholomance trilogy. It’s absolutely brilliant. Best fantasy series I’ve read in years. The third book literally gave me nightmares, and it’s rare for a book to surprise me like that nowadays.

    (LOVE that series. I picked the first one as a Fantastic Strangelings pick of the month. ~Jenny)

  26. I love that I read “Boob Bags” in the title and a) didn’t even pause except to b) get excited about learning what a boob bag is! It’s got to be better than a boring old bra.

  27. Ok but as a reluctant carrier of a pair of weighty boobs, being able to detach and shove them into a bag would be AMAZING. Just saying.

  28. I keep adding books to my library list and then when the come off hold I’m like where did this pic come from. Most have been awesome so far and it’s fun to read outside my normal pics. Wish I could bend time as NOT NEARLY enough time in my life to read right now.

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