I was about to begin this with ‘I can’t believe it’s October’, but I think that’s exactly how I start every single wrap-up I ever do. So let’s change things up.
WHERE THE HECK DID OCTOBER COME FROM??
CHRISTMAS IS IN LESS THAN 2 MONTHS?!
HOW DO I SLOW TIME DOWN??
Okay, now that’s out of my system, let’s have a squiz at the books I read in October. It was a busy month for me, but unlike the previous few months, I actually managed to get quite a few books read! I think the reason for this is I did a really good job of balancing the kind of books that I read. I read a couple of quick reads and a couple of longer ones, and gave myself adequate time to get through them all.
So firstly, I read Boy, Lost by Kristina Olsson, which is a heartbreaking memoir about a young woman (the authors mum) who has her young son stolen from her by her abusive husband. The story follows young Mim as she falls in love, marries and moves away from her family, learns the horrors of an abuse relationship, suffers a miscarriage, and finally tries to leave her husband. As she is on board the train (pregnant), with her young son, her husband boards the train and takes her son from her arms. Terrified for herself and her unborn child, Mim stays on the train and goes home to her family. The book follows how the events unfolded afterwards and the scars that were left for both Mim and her son Peter. It’s a beautifully written book that will probably make you cry. I highly recommend it.
I then read Beauty in Thorns by Aussie author Kate Forsyth. I adored Kate Forsyth’s book Bitter Greens when I read it a couple of years ago, so I was extremely excited to read this Sleeping Beauty re-imagining. I have mixed feelings about it and I definitely enjoyed Bitter Greens more, but I still really appreciated this book. My main issue was that it seemed to drag on and there was quite a lot of repetition which felt like it could have been skipped out. The length of the story gave it a sense of realism and definitely aided the story in the sense that you felt for the characters and what they experienced because of how time passed. However, I do think that it caused the story to meander a little bit too much in some places. It also felt a little bit ambitious to call it a Sleeping Beauty re-imagining. The story was beautiful and its link to the original Sleeping Beauty story was clear and made for a interesting plot, but I don’t think there was enough of a link to call it a re-telling. On a positive note (because there were MANY positives), I love Kate Forsyth’s writing so much; her descriptions are gorgeous and she has such a knack or writing historical fiction. I would recommend this to lovers of historical fiction, and those interested in the time of the Pre-Raphaelite artists who I found to be so very interesting. Beware though, this is not a light-hearted romantic read. The women in this story go through horrible things and I felt a lot of frustration and anger toward the male artists. It’s a beautifully woven story and a powerful historical romance.
The third book I read was a spontaneous $2 op shop buy, and that was Everything Everything by Nicola Yoon. I’ve seen this book all over bookstagram and even though I felt like I knew the story, I felt like a super quick read. This was indeed super quick and although I enjoyed it, I did find that I started to get a little bored halfway through. I think because I knew how the story played out generally, I wasn’t too invested. I also didn’t really connect with the characters, but I find the premise of the story to be interesting. The twist did get me and I thought it was quite cool, but also a little bit neat and perhaps problematic for some readers. Overall, it’s a light read (surprising considering some of the subject matter), and one I’m happy I picked up. I doubt it’s one I’ll ever re-read however.
The final book I read this month was The Two Towers by J.R.R. Tolkien and I loved it. It’s Tolkien so it’s dense and descriptive and meandering, but I just adore this world. It took me a while to read (the better part of 2-3 weeks), but I was busy and it is, as I said, dense. I loved reading little scenes that didn’t make it into the movie and the way the story progressed. I’m actually even more impressed by the movies now that I’ve read two of the three books because, considering the complexity of the story, I think they did an excellent job in putting it together on the screen. I found that I enjoyed Sam and Frodo’s scenes more than I expected and I have a fresh appreciation for Samwise Gamgee – what a character! His scene with Shelob was so badass and I just think he’s such an underrated character. I also liked Frodo more in the books than the movie and that may be due to the fact that the books don’t include the scene where Frodo trusts Gollum over Sam (I was SO mad in that scene). Overall, love it. Tolkien, you’re the man. I freaking love this world.
Let me know what your favourite reads of October were, I’d love to hear! Did anyone read anything spooky?