Happy Halloween! It’s the end of October, which can only mean one thing (other than Halloween) – it’s time for another monthly wrap up! This month, I read nineteen books (well, seventeen and two standalone short stories) so this is going to be a long post. So some candy and let’s jump right in!
What I Read:
The Anatomy of Dreams by Chloe Benjamin – ★★★★☆. I read Chloe Benjamin’s second book, The Immortalists, almost two years ago and loved it. I’ve been meaning to read this one since. And while it wasn’t as great – which I expected, since this is her first published novel – I did still enjoy it. I do like her writing, and will definitely plan on picking up her next book (whenever that comes out).
The Grace Year by Kim Liggett – ★★★★★. This book was marketed as The Handmaid’s Tale meets The Power. Which sets expectations pretty high. Fortunately, The Grace Year exceeded them. Just don’t let the pink cover convince you this book isn’t the wonderfully dark, historical, feminist Hunger Games it is.
Why I’m No Longer Talking to White People About Race by Reno Eddo-Lodge – ★★★★★. Another book that’s been on my TBR for a while. I actually listened to the audiobok, which I really enjoyed, because it’s read by the author. It was fascinating, as an American, to read about racism and civil rights in another country. Because it is important everywhere.
The Bone People by Keri Hulme – ★★★★★. One of my goals this year was to read more books that aren’t as well-known. I hadn’t heard of this book before this year, but it won the Man Booker prize in 1985, and it sounded really great. It’s unlike anything I’ve ever read, and I loved it. It’s one of those books that will stay with me for a long time.
Randomize by Andy Weir – ★★★☆☆. Amazon recently came out with the Forward Collection – a collection of sci-fi short stories available for free on Kindle Unlimited or on the Kindle app for just a few dollars – and obviously I had to read the Andy Weir one. It wasn’t as good as his novels, but it was pretty good. Definitely an interesting story.
You Have Arrived at Your Destination by Amor Towles– ★★★☆☆. I was also curious about the Amor Towles story, because I loved A Gentleman in Moscow. This one was a little confusing, but once I got into it, I found it to be an interesting concept.
Wilder Girls by Rory Power – ★★★★★. I picked this one up because it was recommended by Casey McQuiston – author of Red, White & Royal Blue – so, obviously I needed to read it. And she was right, Wilder Girls was amazing. Really weird, but really great.
The Chestnut Man by Søren Sveistrup – ★★★★☆. I wanted to read a thriller this month, and this one sounded interesting – I’m always on board for a good serial killer story. It was definitely a difficult read (there’s a lot of violence, but also a lot of abuse, including that of children) but it was also pretty good. I enjoyed it.
Vanity Fair’s Women on Women – ★★★☆☆. This is a collection of some of the profiles on women, written by women, that have been published in Vanity Fair over he past few decades. I enjoyed it, and was happy to learn more about some influential women.
The Last Man by Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley – ★★★★☆. I really enjoyed Frankenstein when I read it in college, and I love Mary Shelley, so I’ve been meaning to read more of her work. And I finally got around to it. This was a slow build, but I think it was a great postapocalyptic book that is maybe a little more realistic than a lot of the contemporary ones.
My Sister, the Serial Killer by Andy Oyinkan Braithwaite – ★★★☆☆. I had high hopes for this one, and, for the most part, I liked it. But the main characters annoyed me (I mean, I get protecting your sister, but there is such a thing as too far), and it just fell a little flat. I like my thrillers to be… thrilling. And this one was way too slow.
Tunnel of Bones by Victoria Schwab – ★★★★☆. I rarely read middle grade nowadays, but I am a huge fan of Victoria Schwab’s Cassidy Blake series. This one was just as good as the first, and I definitely plan on picking up book three.
Embrace Your Weird by Felicia Day– ★★★★☆. I am a huge fan of Felicia Day. Ever since I saw her in The Guild and Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog (if you haven’t watched that, please go find it somewhere on the internet, because it’s amazing). This is sort of a self-help book about finding and embracing your creativity, and it was honestly really effective. I felt more motivated and less self conscious. So it’s a win!
The Girl in Red by Christina Henry – ★★★★★. I love all of Christina Henry’s books, and was excited for a postapocalyptic retelling of Little Red Riding Hood. And it did not disappoint. If fairy tale retellings with a horror twist sound intriguing, check out her books (Alice and Lost Boy are also really great).
for colored girls who have considered suicide/when the rainbow is enuf by Andy Ntozake Shange – ★★★☆☆. I finished my read through of Shakespeare earlier this year, and was curious to read a non-Shakespearean play. So I went to the list of plays on Goodreads, scrolled down until I found the first play by a woman I hadn’t already read (which was way too far down) and read it. I didn’t love it, but I think it would be pretty powerful performed live. I wouldn’t pass up the opportunity to see it.
Smoke Gets In Your Eyes: And Other Lessons from the Crematory by Caitlin Doughty – ★★★★★. This has been on my TBR for ages, and I finally got around to reading it. (A memoir about working at a funeral home seemed like a Halloween-appropriate nonfiction read.) I loved this one. It’s insightful and poignant and funny. Would definitely recommend.
Will My Cat Eat My Eyeballs?:: Big Questions from Tiny Mortals About Death by Caitlin Doughty – ★★★★☆. I loved Smoke Gets in Your Eyes so much that I immediately jumped into another of Doughty’s books. In this one, she answers questions from kids about death. Like “What happens to an astronaut’s body if they die in space?” and, of course. “Will my cat ead my eyeballs?” (probably not, but your dog will). It was interesting and I actually learned a lot. Would definitely recommend. Maybe just not for children.
The Whisper Man by Alex North – ★★☆☆☆. I was looking forward to this one because it sounded so creepy. And the story itself was intriguing. But this book just did not capture my attention at all. It had a few creepy moments, but, overall, I just didn’t really care about anything that happened.
Little Weirds by Jenny Slate – ★★★★☆. This is a new memoir from Jenny Slate, and it’s completely magical. Honestly, I want her to write a dozen more books for me to read, because her writing is so unique and amazing.
What I’m Currently Reading:
It by Stephen King. Continuing my Stephen King Halloween read into November because this book is HUGE. But I’m really enjoying it so far.
Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind by Yuval Noah Harari. I got an early start on Nonfiction November, and I’m so glad I finally picked this up. It’s incredibly interesting. And, it’s kind of cool to see how the evolution of humans compares to the dinosaurs, which I read about earlier this year – yes, I know I’m a massive nerd.
What I Watched:
Yesterday. I really liked this movie! I don’t watch a ton of movies, but this was on my list for a while.
90 Day Fiance. I could have read a lot more this month, but I got addicted to this. I’m almost done with all the seasons on Hulu and then I can
move on with my life start watching Castle Rock.
What I Did:
Took a whole week off from work. And did nothing! It was amazing, and definitely a much-needed break.
That’s it for October! I hope you all had a good month. What was your favorite October read?
In case you missed it, go check out my September Wrap Up!