So this is a little bit late, but better late than never, right? October was a pretty good reading month for me, but it kind of fell off after Spookathon, between a little burn out and midterms. But it’s a new month and new reads await! This is what I read in October.
Total Books: 6 + 1 short story
Total Pages: 1.271
Male vs Female Authors: 5 to 1
Library Books vs Owned Books: 5 to 1
Audiobooks vs Physical: 2 to 4
Star Ratings: 3 stars- 4, 3.5 stars- 2
1. Sleeping Giants by Sylvain Neuvel: 3.5 stars
This was the first book I read this month and it was also the first audiobook that I’ve used. I’ve never been a fan of audiobooks just because I tend to get distracted and lose track of what’s happening in the plot, but I have a good 40 minutes of commute time every day to get class, so I thought I’d give it a try. I’m glad I started with this book because the audio version is a full cast. The plot is a little slow in some parts of the middle, but it makes sense because the characters are learning about their discovery. The last section of the book packs a big enough punch that I’ll definitely be checking out the next book in the series. I feel like Sleeping Giants is a set up for what’s to come in Waking Gods and I can’t wait to find out what’s going to happen and if their will be new characters. I’m hoping that Waking Gods will also deal more with the implications of discovering alien life on humanity.
2. The Ocean At the End of The Lane by Neil Gaiman: 3 stars
This was the second audiobook that I listened to in October and I absolutely loved that it was narrated by Gaiman himself. This was the first book by Gaiman that I’ve ever picked up, and while I wasn’t completely in love, I’ll definitely be checking out more of his books in the future. I love that this story has the whimsical feel of a children’s story, but I wish that it had more of a children’s story revamped for adults feeling (if that any sense). Despite this I thought the story was interesting and sweet and I’m hoping that his writing style in this book carries over to adult novels because it really is something special that I’d like to explore more of.
3. The Sun and Her Flowers by Rupi Kaur: 3 stars
I went into this collection with no expectations, simply because I know that poetry is extremely subjective both in its execution and enjoyment. I also read Milk and Honey a few years ago, and while I did enjoy a few of the poems, I felt like the collection was too small for me to really dig into it. While I don’t completely identify with Kaur’s style, and I feel like I personally enjoy poetry that is more complex and that can be analyzed, I found that in this collection there was so much more to relate to. I thought that the first section of the collection was a lot of the same from her, but the next three parts were much more impressive. I particularly love the poems she wrote about her mother. They read like love letters and they are just so, so beautiful. Apart from those, one of my favorite poems in the whole collection was ‘Home’.
4. Annihilation by Jeff Vandermeer: 3.5 stars
This book was a very strange but intriguing read for me. The writing style is very calculated, and the plot should seem formulaic, but it doesn’t. During most of the book there isn’t a whole lot of action or movement going on, but the tension keeps building and building and this is driven by both the characters and the setting. There is something very eerie about this story that has yet to be explained and I’m really interested in finding out what that is. I also was not expecting the ending, although I think in hindsight it made sense that the character stayed.
5. The Bone Mother by David Demchuck: 3 stars
I finished this book a little over two weeks again, and I honestly still don’t know how I feel about it. I think my original expectations of this book were so different than what it actually was that it’s still leaving me conflicted. In general, I did like it, but I thought that it was going to be one continuous, cohesive story, but it is actually a collection of short stories. My problem with this set up is that most of the stories are extremely short and very clipped. While the stories are interesting, they weren’t very descriptive and read like a series of events happening with no impact. This is not true of all the stories, but some of them. There are also a handful longer stories, most of which were my favorites in the collection. Despite my feelings surrounding the plot lines of the stories, Demchuck did an amazing job at creating an eerie atmosphere and writing some truly creepy and disturbing scenes.
6. A House At the Bottom of A Lake by Josh Malerman: 3 stars
This was the last book that I read for Spookathon and it was a great way to end it. This is definitely not a book for anyone who doesn’t like books where everything is explained and wrapped up because you don’t get that here, and I’ll admit I wish that some of the elements of this book were more fully explained. However, this book really delivers in intensity of description. The feeling of dread and claustrophobia are palpable in several scenes. The characters individually felt like real people, but their romantic relationship felt a bit rushed, which I was more forgiving of here because the book is only just over a hundred pages.
These were the books that I read in October, and while most of them were relatively short books, I’m happy with the amount that I read. Six books is the most I’ve read in a month in a long time and I’m hoping I can keep up the pace. I already know I’ll probably read less books this month because of an upcoming readathon I’m going to participate in, but the amount of reading pages-wise will probably still be around the same. I’ll also be posting full book reviews for all of the books in this wrap up soon.
What was you favorite read from October? Do you have any books you want to finish before the end of the year? Let me know and happy November!