Thursday 7 November 2019

October 2019 Reading Wrap Up

Sorry for posting this wrap up so late but I've got a ton of uni work due in the next couple of weeks so most of my attention has been on that but it's here! I managed to read a total of 11 books in October which I'm pretty pleased with. Commuting really does help with the amount of books I can read as I have an hour train journey to uni and an hour train journey back so I spend most of my time reading and I'm able to get a good chunk of my book read. I had a bit of a mixed bag this month, with some amazing reads, a couple that were just average and one that really disappointed me.


The Price Guide to the Occult by Leslye Walton

I wanted to kick of my October TBR with something that would be perfect for the spooky season and I spotted The Price Guide to the Occult in my local library. I thought the cover was gorgeous and it sounded like it was going to be right up my alley, it had witches and an atmospheric island setting. And for most of the book it was, but during the last third it began to feel a little flat. There was just too much description and not enough action. The ending was so lacklustre and the whole thing was over far too quickly and far too open ended for me. There was just too much detail missing.

I did really like Nor’s character though and especially her relationship with her best friend Savvy, it was well developed and one of my favourite elements of the book.


The Curious Incident of the Dog In the Night-Time by Mark Haddon

My next read wasn't much better. Curious Incident is such a well known and well loved book and I was really excited to read it. I think I went into it expecting something completely different and therefore I didn't find it very fulfilling. The mystery aspect is what I wanted and what drew me to the book but by the end the plot had veered off into a completely different direction.
I did really like the way the book was written as well as being able to read from the POV of someone with Autism. I had some minor issues with it and overall I was simply expecting something else from it.

The Twisted Tree by Rachel Burge 

This was a solid four star read for me right up until the very end. I adored the wintry Norwegian setting and the spooky atmosphere it created. The setting was so vividly described, it made me very glad that I was snuggled up in bed and not in the middle of nowhere in the freezing cold. The characters of Martha and Stig were intriguing throughout and their relationship was adorable. I also loved the mythological aspects as a lot of Norse mythology was weaved into the story and was really interesting to read about. I think the abrupt ending was what made me only give it 3.5 stars as it just felt a little too anticlimactic after the rest of the book was so fast paced.       

The Reader on the 6.27 by Jean-Paul Didierlaurent

The Reader on the 6.27 was such a charming little book. This was one of my mum's books and I initally wasn't going to pick it up but someone had blurbed the book and compared it in style to the film Amélie which is one of my favourite films so I decided to give it a go. It's pretty short at less then 200 pages but the writing style is superb. The romance is captivating and all in all it's a quirky tale about a love of books and the power of storytelling. 

Alex in Wonderland by Simon James Green

If you're looking for a LBTQ+ YA novel with a ragtag group of friends and excellent british humour then look no further. The book revolves around Alex, an adorably awkward teenager dealing with first love and a summer job at a rundown seaside arcade. This is a really funny and sweet read and whilst it's pitched as a romance, it's much more about the friendships Alex makes as he begins to come out of his shell and about finding out what he's capable of.


Beartown and Us Against You by Fredrik Backman

Next I read both books in the Beartown duology by Fredrik Backman. I initially picked up the second book first as it was in the new in section of my library without realising there was a first book. These are very character driven books with a very distinctive writing style but it's so beautifully told and so full of life. These books follow the residents of Beartown, a hockey town in Sweden and how they fall in the wake of a tragedy and then build themselves back up again. I actually enjoyed the second book even more than the first as it felt like coming home, being reunited with such a vivid setting and familiar characters.


Murder in the Graveyard by Don Hale

A gripping true story about a murder I was unfamiliar with but by the end of the book was completely invested in. This was a recommendation from my dad and was a fascinating book that explores the case in great detail. I've seen some reviews that had a problem with Hale's narrative and how it appears to center around him a lot but I think his personal experiences really added to the book. There is so much detail put in that the names of suspects and witnesses begin to get a little muddled but I was wholly invested in this book and finished it in less then a day. If you like true crime then definitely check this one out.

Caraval by Stephanie Garber  

This was my biggest disappointment of the month. It's been raved about so much and has been compared to The Night Circus which is a book I adore but it paled in comparison. I think my biggest issue with it was the character of Scarlett, she's one of the most annoying protaganists I've ever read about. She had no personality and zero character development and spent the entire novel going back and forth between saving her sister and trying to resist the urge to throw herself at her love interest. Speaking of, the romance didn't do much for me either as I didn't feel any chemistry between the characters. I did like the magical descriptions and the fantastical elements but I don't know if I'll be continuing with the series or not.  

Gothic Tales by Elizabeth Gaskell 

I've never read anything by Elizabeth Gaskell before but I thought that this collection of spooky short stories would be perfect some Halloween reading. My enjoyment of these stories was quite mixed as I enjoyed some but others I felt were too long and and didn't quite feel gothic enough in comparison with others. My favourites from this collection were The Old Nurse's Story, Lois the Witch and The Grey Woman.

The Bones of You by Debbie Howells

My final read of the month was a physchological thriller that deals with a murder in the English countryside and one women's quest to discover the truth. I didn't go into this with high expectations so my lack of enjoyment was expected. I found the mystery very basic and whilst I didn't hate the book, nothing about it wowed me either. It was very drawn out with a lot of parts that probably didn't need to be included. I also guessed the twist ending very early in the book so that added to my low rating as I found it quite predictable.

What did you read in October? Have you read any of these books? What were your opinions? Leave a comment below and happy reading!

1 comment

  1. I have Beartown sitting on my TBR shelf, so I’m glad you liked it. I loved the other Backman books I’ve read. Good luck with your uni work!

    Aj @ Read All The Things!


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