I am a mood reader, and my book choices are undoubtedly influenced by the weather and seasons. Autumn is my favourite season—it’s the perfect time to reach for those dark, twisted, and moody reads. I tend to gravitate towards classics, gothic horror, and historical witchy reads at this time of year.
Here are some books I’ve enjoyed that I think are perfect for the autumn season. I’ve broken them up by genre, but some were hard to place and definitely fit in more than one category:
You hide in the herd. You wait. And you never forget.
I’ll preface my thoughts with the fact that I don’t typically read horror. I consider myself a “chicken” with an overactive imagination, so I’ve steered clear of horror movies AND books—until I saw the cover and description for The Only Good Indians by Stephen Graham Jones.
“Seamlessly blending classic horror and a dramatic narrative with sharp social commentary, The Only Good Indians follows four American Indian men after a disturbing event from their youth puts them in a desperate struggle for their lives. Tracked by an entity bent on revenge, these childhood friends are helpless as the culture and traditions they left behind catch up to them in a violent, vengeful way.”
Something about it intrigued me, and I’m glad I gave it a shot. The story starts off a bit slow, but I loved getting to know Lewis and his sense of humour. Slow-building suspense and social commentary lead up to a shocking, brutal, and bloody twist at the end of the first half. To be honest I almost abandoned it at that point. I was taken aback because blood and gore are out of my comfort zone. I frantically tried to explain to my husband the entire plot up to that point—I needed someone to share in my shock. I put the book aside for a few days, but it lingered in my mind. I just. couldn’t. stop. thinking about it. So I dove back in.
I was surprised when the perspective shifted halfway through the book, but I found that it kept me engaged. Throughout the novel all of the characters felt so real to me: flawed and memorable. I still get chills thinking about this story, and it is one that will continue to stand out in my mind. It is certainly unlike anything I’ve read before.
To sum up, I’d describe it as a unique, terrifying, and memorable novel from a master storyteller. It’s probably not for everyone, but if you’re intrigued, I definitely encourage you to check it out!
Thank you to NetGalley for the advanced copy—all opinions are my own.
Have you read any good horror novels lately? Or do you typically shy away from anything “scary”?
So begins seventeen-year-old Alisson’s metamorphosis from student to lover and then victim. A lonely and vulnerable high school senior, Alisson finds solace only in her writing—and in a young, charismatic English teacher, Mr. North. He praises her as a special and gifted writer, and she blossoms under his support and his vision for her future.
Mr. North gives Alisson a copy of Lolita to read, telling her it is a beautiful story about love. The book soon becomes the backdrop to a relationship that blooms from a simple crush into a forbidden romance, with Mr. North convincing her that theirs is a love affair rivaled only by Nabokov’s masterpiece. But as time progresses and his hold on her tightens, Alisson is forced to evaluate how much of that narrative is actually a disturbing fiction.
In the wake of what becomes a deeply abusive relationship, Alisson is faced again and again with the story of her past, from rereading Lolita in college, to working with teenage girls, to becoming a professor of creative writing. It is only with that distance and perspective that she understands the ultimate power language has had on her—and how to harness that power to tell her own true story.”
I am in awe of the courage and vulnerability it took for Alisson to share her story. She delves into the dark and disturbing in a poetic and beautifully written memoir. It reads like a literary novel—which kept me enthralled despite the uncomfortable subject matter.
I found the incorporation and examination of Nabokov’s Lolita fascinating. It was expertly interwoven alongside Alisson’s own experiences. I also love her discussion surrounding language and its impact. Her choice to refer to Nick as “the teacher” is the perfect example of the power of words—a constant reminder to the reader of the power dynamics within their relationship.
I ended up feeling utterly connected to this novel in so many ways: as I recall my own experiences as a teenage girl; as a woman who has experienced dysfunctional relationships; as a high school teacher; and now, as a mother with a daughter. So many aspects of Alisson’s story resonated with me. I was going to say that this is a must-read for young women, but it should really be read by everyone who can handle the content. It speaks to current societal discussions of gender, power, consent and language.
A huge thank you to Alisson for reaching out and sending me an advanced copy of Being Lolita. She writes: “To create something beautiful from something so terrible is my deepest desire.” And that she has: a raw, enthralling, and impactful memoir. She is a true inspiration.
Trigger warnings: sexual & verbal abuse, pedophilia, depression
What are some memoirs that you would recommend reading?
Wow! Is it just me, or did February fly by? It usually drags on for me, but this year I can’t believe it’s already over. I didn’t post a January wrap-up, so I’ll combine both months.
I had a surprisingly great reading month in February, because I’ve found the secret to keeping my reading motivation: curating a book subscription box! We’ve been a bit slow to find the perfect pick for our April box. We were struggling to find recent releases that intrigued us. At the end of January we came up with a list of a few to read and decide between. I ended up reading three contenders this month, and I loved all of them! I’ll include the runners-up, but will leave the featured novel out—just in case any of our subscribers are reading and want to keep it a surprise.
Total Number of Books: 8 Total Number of Pages: 2,747 Average Pages per Book: 343 Average Rating: 4.4
I’ve linked the titles to Goodreads so you can read the synopsis, and I’ll just provide a few of my thoughts:
I’ll start by saying that I think this is one of those “adore or despise” novels. I happen to love it. It has become a favourite that I’ll definitely read again. I don’t typically make notes while I read, but I found myself frequently scrambling for a paper or my phone to jot down a line… or an entire paragraph. I just adore Tartt’s elegant prose and the dark academia vibes of this novel. Dark, twisted, and almost satirical— it’s a story that begs to be savoured and read slowly by candlelight on a dark, stormy evening.
I knew a little bit about the Montessori philosophy before reading this. I skimmed through some parts of it, but found it interesting overall. I like the practical suggestions for creating a toddler-friendly home as well as engaging activities using everyday items.
“Using the extraordinary power of less to raise calmer, happier, and more secure kids.” I think I’ll eventually write a full review on this one, because I just have too much to say. I definitely connected with this book. It offered solid advice and suggestions for living a more simple and slow life, and the author discussed how that can benefit a child’s development.
Perfectly creepy and un-put-downable! This was one of the contenders for our April book box. I breezed through this mystery/thriller, which had the perfect amount of suspense for me. I was drawn in from the first chapter and anxiously kept turning the pages—theorizing, desperate to “solve” the mystery. I thought I had it figured out, and I was right about one part. The gradual unraveling and final “reveal” was mostly satisfying, but there were a few aspects of the story that I didn’t feel were explained well enough in the ending, which bumped it down to 4 stars for me.
This is a middle-grade series by one of my favourite authors. I’m typically drawn to anything “dark” with history, hauntings, and suspense. Having said that, I am also such a chicken when it comes to anything “scary.” I definitely could not have handled these without nightmares as a child or teenager—I was creeped out enough as an adult! I love that this story is set in Edinburgh, which is one of my FAVOURITE cities in the world. It was neat to revisit many of the places I’ve been in the city, and I love Schwab’s concept of “the Veil.” As a middle-grade novel, the characters and plot lack the complexity of her YA/adult novels, but I still loved it and didn’t feel like the language was overly simplistic. It was a quick, perfectly creepy read for me!
I found this one significantly scarier than City of Ghosts. There’s something about a “child” ghost that just CREEPS ME OUT! I legitimately could not read this past dusk or if I was home alone. While I didn’t love the setting of Paris as much as Edinburgh, I did find the plot more engaging, suspenseful and intense compared to City of Ghosts. I cannot wait for the next book in this series—set in New Orleans—coming in September 2020.
This was another contender for our April book box. I adore historical fiction, so I was bound to enjoy this novel set before and during WWII. It definitely covers a lesser-known part of this time period, and I love how it centers around two sisters who are essentially “split” between the two sides of war. It is rife with historic details and packed with emotion. The story and perspectives do shift frequently—often when you really don’t want them to—which was annoying at times, but also kept me reading because I needed to find out what happened! I feel a bit torn about this one because at some points it jumped around too much and it felt overly detailed… but then the history nerd in me loved the inclusion of those details, and the end did tie everything together nicely.
How many books did you read in February? If you had to recommend ONE book you’ve read so far this year, which would it be!?
I intentionally lowered my 2019 reading goal. My 2018 goal was 60, and I ended up reading 72. I knew that with a new baby coming in August there was no way I could set a similar goal, so I decided to go with 50. I’m honestly surprised – but very proud – that I accomplished it! I ended up reading 51 books in 2019.
It’s so much fun to look back on my year of reading! I read so many excellent books this year, but some definitely stood out more than others; here’s a look at my favourite reads from 2019:
Greenwood by Michael Christie
The Beekeeper of Aleppo by Christy Lefteri
The Whisper Man by Alex North
The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt
The Ten Thousand Doors of January by Alix E. Harrow
Caraval by Stephanie Garber
A Storm of Swords by George R. R. Martin
City of Girls by Elizabeth Gilbert
Daisy Jones & The Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid
Homes: A Refugee Story by Abu Bakr al Rabeeah & Winnie Yeung
By Chance Alone by Max Eisen
Milk and Honey by Rupi Kaur
The Sun and Her Flowers by Rupi Kaur
The Enchanted Hour: The Miraculous Power of Reading Aloud in the Age of Distraction by Meghan Cox Gurdon
Homo Deus: A History of Tomorrow by Yuval Noah Harari
I’d definitely recommend all of these books if you haven’t read them yet!
Did any of your faves make the list? What were some of your top reads of 2019?
“Where there are bees there are flowers, and wherever there are flowers there is a new life and hope.”
Christy Lefteri, The Beekeeper of Aleppo
I finished The Beekeeper of Aleppo feeling speechless. My heart ached. It still aches. I feel the need to thrust this book into the hands of everyone I see. Maybe if more people read it, we’ll see more empathy and compassion. Maybe it would propel us closer to a remedy for the issues plaguing our era. It’s not very often that a story touches my heart as this one did. I’m still crying for Nuri and Afra. Images of burnt hives and lifeless bodies are still etched in my mind. I can still taste the sweetness of fresh honey, smell the smoke, feel the icy water, and hear the marble rolling across the floor. Books like this one remind me of the power that words truly have.
Nuri is a beekeeper, and his wife Afra is an artist. They live in Aleppo with their young son, Sami. Their idyllic life, filled with laughter, family and friends, starts crumbling as they witness the unimaginable horrors of the civil war. War hits their home with an unthinkable tragedy, leaving Afra without her sight. As their lives in Aleppo become increasingly unrecognizable, Nuri convinces Afra to leave their home behind. They embark on a journey to escape Syria, with hopes of claiming asylum in England.
The story flows seamlessly between the present and past. In the present, Nuri and Afra are living in limbo, as so many refugees are. They’ve left their home in Aleppo and survived the perilous journey to England. They’re living at a Bed & Breakfast, awaiting the results of their asylum claim. We’re transported back to their life in Syria and journey to the UK through Nuri’s memories, flashbacks, and dreams. While the novel follows their physical journey from Syria to England, it also follows the journey of their relationship, as they navigate seemingly insurmountable challenges while plagued by trauma and grief.
I found my heart aching for the memorable and complex characters in this novel. It is full of raw emotion, and had me in tears several times within the first 100 pages. Past and present are woven together skillfully, which is far more engaging than if it were presented chronologically. Despite already having the knowledge that Nuri and Afra make it to the UK safely, I still desperately needed to find out how their journey unfolded. My curiosity propelled me through the book at a speed that I didn’t think was possible with a 3-month-old baby.
Lefteri has drawn inspiration from her own experiences volunteering at a centre for refugee women and children in Athens. She is also the daughter of Cypriot refugees. Her experiences and research are evident in the vivid details and descriptions throughout the novel. I tend to gravitate towards books that tackle important social and political issues. While this book does that, it is so much more than that. It is a heart-wrenching, achingly beautiful story that touches your soul and reminds you of our shared humanity.
To sum up my feelings: READ THIS BOOK.
What is a book that you feel the need to thrust into the hands of everyone you meet? Tell me in the comments below!
July has been a great reading month for me! Who knew that being 9 months pregnant could be so enjoyable 😉 I had THREE five-star reads this month, which is pretty good… although one is about childbirth and I can’t reveal one of the others.
Total Number of Books: 8 Total Number of Pages: 3,310 Average Pages per Book: 414 Average Rating: 4.06
Okay… so the best book I read this month, I actually can’t include or talk about! It’s slowly killing me to keep my mouth shut about it, because it’s a contender for my top reads of 2019. BUT we are likely including it in our debut book subscription box this October, so I don’t want to spoil the surprise for those of you who follow my bookstagram/blog and who will also be ordering the box. So you’ll have to be patient and wait a few months for me to gush about how much I loved it!
Storm: It’s a Curse to Remember by Gurpreet Kaur Sidhu ★★★
Thank you to the author for sending me a copy of her novel in exchange for an honest review! I loved the premise of this book and the plot was captivating. I got hung up on some of the wording, and sometimes the shifts in time and perspective had me a bit confused and having to flip back and re-read through sections. Having said that, there were many suspenseful parts where I could not put this book down. Overall I enjoyed it, and I’m interested in seeing where the author takes things with the second book in this series.
Home Front Girls by Suzanne Hayes and Loretta Nyhan ★★★★
Written as a series of letters between two women during WWII, this book sheds light on the everyday experiences of women on the American home front.It was a delightful read, reminiscent of The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society (although not quite as magical).I’ll disclose that I’m a history nerd, and I love most novels set during this era, so I am slightly biased.I adored witnessing the developing friendship between Rita and Glory. I love how the letters capture their inner and outer lives in such a personal and relatable way.I wouldn’t say it was an amazing novel, but it was definitely a quick, light, and enjoyable read. I would definitely recommend this book to readers who love historical fiction. Publication date September 3rd 2019. Thanks to HarperCollins Canada for this ARC.
City of Girls by Elizabeth Gilbert ★★★★
I listened to the audiobook narrated by Blair Brown, and I really enjoyed it! I loved the colourful array of characters at the Lily Playhouse, and was drawn in by the witty dialogue. I was fully captivated by the era and atmosphere, and I had fun exploring 1940s New York through the experiences of Vivian. My attention waned a bit towards the end of the novel, but I think that was just because I missed the entertainment and debauchery…
Gilbert has said that, “My goal was to write a book that would go down like a champagne cocktail- light and bright, crisp and fun.” In my opinion, she succeeded in meeting her goal!
The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt ★★★★★
I am going to have to keep this short, because I have so many thoughts and feelings about this book! Eventually I’ll sit down and write a proper review of it. There are such mixed reviews for this book, and I completely understand why. Personally, I absolutely adored it! Tartt’s prose is beautiful and evocative. It is a deep, moody, and immersive book that needs to be read slowly and savored. It is not a carefree or easy read, but if you love literature, detailed, rich prose, and gravitate towards art and philosophy, then I would recommend it.
Good Girls Lie by J.T. Ellison ★★★.5
First of all, I loved the setting of this novel! An old, prestigious girls boarding school in a small town created the perfect atmosphere for intrigue and murder. I loved the gothic feels, secret societies, and overall creepiness. It was full of secrets and had a good twist that I didn’t expect. I did find some of the characters annoying, and feel like the story would have been more convincing set further in the past rather than the present. The story kept my interest and was enjoyable, but wasn’t amazing. Expected publication December 31, 2019. Thanks to HarperCollins Canada for this ARC.
Belly Laughs: The Naked Truth About Pregnancy and Childbirth by Jenny McCarthy ★★★
A funny and entertaining look at all of the changes that you may experience during and after pregnancy. It was good for a laugh!
Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth By Ina May Gaskin ★★★★★
Very informative and interesting. I was terrified of childbirth, but this book along with the Positive Birth Company’s hypnobirthing course and of course our amazing doula have completely changed my mindset and made me realize that it is a completely natural process that our bodies are made for! I’d definitely recommend this book to all pregnant women!
What was the best book you read this month!? Any recommendations? Thoughts about any of the books included here?
Hi everyone! Well, it’s been awhile since I’ve made an appearance here… so much for my monthly reading wrap-ups and frequent book reviews…
I think I’ve got a pretty good excuse though? Coincidentally, my last blog post was around the time we found out that I’m growing a tiny human inside of me! (Well, to be honest, the human is not feeling so tiny these days…)
We are SO excited to welcome a little bookworm into the world this August! I won’t say I haven’t had time for blogging, but I certainly haven’t made time for blogging. Between teaching full time, being ridiculously sick during the first trimester, buying and moving into our first house, and preparing for baby, I’ve been pretty exhausted. I have still managed to stay on track with my reading goal for this year – miraculously!
So here’s a little update on reading and life.
My Goodreads reading challenge for this year is 50 books! I know my life is about to change a LOT, so I lowered it from last year’s goal.
Well, instead of a monthly wrap-up, let’s go for a 6-month wrap-up! Here’s a summary of my reading from January-June.
Total Number of Books: 30 Total Number of Pages: 9,702 (that was way too much math for a Saturday morning) Average Pages per Book: 323 Average Rating: 4.06
Here’s the list with my ratings (and a summary of my rating system below):
The Clockmaker’s Daughterby Kate Morton ★★★★
Milk and Honeyby Rupi Kaur ★★★★★
The Sun and Her Flowersby Rupi Kaur ★★★★★
Do Chocolate Lovers Have Sweeter Babies?by Jena Pincott ★★★★
The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupery ★★★★
The Boy in the Striped Pajamasby John Boyne ★★★★
Then She Was Gone by Lisa Jewell ★★★★
Keeper’n Meby Richard Wagamese ★★★★
By Chance Aloneby Max Eisen ★★★★★
Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me?by Mindy Kaling ★★★
Hunting Annabelle by Wendy Heard ★★★★
How to Stop Timeby Matt Haig ★★★★
Wishtree by Katherine Applegate ★★★★
Homes: A Refugee Storyby Abu Bakr al Rabeeah & Winnie Yeung ★★★★★
Lying in Wait by Liz Nugent ★★★★
Brotherby David Chariandy ★★★
Fablehavenby Brandon Mull ★★★
Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universeby Benjamin Alire Saenz ★★★★
The Two Lila Bennetts by Liz Fenton ★★★★
Karamo: My Story of Embracing Purpose, Healing, and Hopeby Karamo Brown ★★★★
Circeby Madeline Miller ★★★
The Wisdom of Psychopathsby Kevin Dutton ★★★★
The Enchanted Hour: The Miraculous Power of Reading Aloud in the Age of Distractionby Meghan Cox Gurdon ★★★★
When We Found Homeby Susan Mallery ★★★
Jane Eyreby Charlotte Bronte ★★★★
A Storm of Swordsby George R.R. Martin ★★★★★
Daisy Jones & The Sixby Taylor Jenkins Reid ★★★★★
Ina May’s Guide to Breastfeedingby Ina May Gaskin ★★★★★
Rick Mercer Final Reportby Rick Mercer ★★★★
On the Come Upby Angie Thomas ★★★★
Here are a few of my top reads so far this year:
By Chance Aloneby Max Eisen ★★★★★
Max Eisen just turned 90 years old. His memoir details his tragic, brutal, and heartbreaking experiences as a survivor of the Holocaust. His story is incomprehensible, but so important. I had to set the book down several times because it made me so emotional. But that is what it is meant to do. Some of the most important books are the hardest to read. I am so happy that this book won Canada Reads 2019, because it truly is a story that needs to be told and shared – especially amidst the rise of divisions based on race, ethnicity, and nationality.
“I am inspired by the need to document my story so others may learn from the past. On a personal level, I have a highly developed sense of observation of the world around me, which constantly inspires and motivates me to take action.”
Homes: A Refugee Storyby Abu Bakr al Rabeeah & Winnie Yeung ★★★★★
Homes was another Canada Reads finalist, and I love this story and also how it ended up being written. Abu Bakr’s family fled their home in Iraq and moved to Homs Syria, just before the civil war broke out. The book details Abu Bakr’s experience growing up in a war zone and eventually finding safety in Canada. Winnie Yeung, his high school English teacher here in Canada, has listened to his story and written it, as told by him and his family. It’s eye-opening, and sheds light on the experiences of immigrants and refugees. Another important and timely read.
A Storm of Swordsby George R.R. Martin ★★★★★
The last season of Game of Thrones on TV got me back into reading the book series (because it is just so much better!). I just love the description, detail, and all the different plot lines. If you haven’t read the books, I definitely recommend them!
Daisy Jones & The Sixby Taylor Jenkins Reid ★★★★★
I listened to this on audiobook and it was SO GOOD! An entire cast reads it, and it honestly felt like I was listening to interviews with real people who had experienced these things. In fact, it was so convincing that I googled the band and was looking for some photos and their songs… when I realized that they don’t actually exist. THAT is good fiction! I can’t say whether it would be as engaging to read, but I would definitely recommend the audiobook.
As I mentioned above, it’s been a big year for us! We are expecting our first baby in August, which we are so excited about! We’ve decided to keep the sex a surprise, and are looking forward to meeting our little munchkin this summer. I’m lucky that my pregnancy has gone well so far. I had a lot of “morning” (hah – it’s actually 24/7) sickness in the first trimester, but since then I have just been tired, hungry, and sore. I’ve always wanted children, but I always dreaded being pregnant. Surprisingly, I’m enjoying it for the most part! Sure, some days are frustrating and increasingly uncomfortable, but it is also amazing what my body is going through. I love feeling baby move around and watching my belly wiggle and ripple, trying to figure out which body part is jutting out here or there. Yup, now I’m being one of those cheesy people who declares that pregnancy is just “such a miracle!” Haha… who’d have thought.
We also bought and moved into our first house this spring! We absolutely love it, and I’ve enjoyed collecting plant babies…
Plus we have the perfect reading window ledge in our bedroom (pictured here).
I’ve now finished teaching for the year, and it’s going to feel so strange not going back in September! I’m definitely going to miss all of my students and coworkers, but I’m also looking forward to new adventures in motherhood.
My little bookish shop, Bibliophile Belle’s Boutique, is still going strong, and I’m currently working on my last restock of book sleeves before baby arrives!
AND just because there aren’t already enough new and exciting things happening in life this year, my friend Kristen (@my.book.is.calling) and I have started a Canadian book subscription box – The Uniquely Bookish Box – which will debut in October. Visit our Instagram or Facebookpages for more information. Our website will be launching soon, with pre-orders happening in July!
Well, that’s about it for now! Hopefully I’ll be around more often now that I am off work and have a bit more time on my hands. Let me know what is new in your life – reading or otherwise!
Happy December! Sorry for the delay in my November wrap-up, I’ve just been too busy relaxing in my cozy, Christmasey home 😉
Total Number of Books: 7 Total Number of Pages: 2,469 Average Pages per Book: 353 Average Rating: 4.4
Here are the books I read in November:
The Girl They Left Behindby Roxanne Veletzos ★★★★★
First of all, a huge thank you to JKS Communications and the author for sending me a copy of this book. I always gravitate towards books set in the time period of the Second World War. I love learning about the lesser-known pieces of history. The Girl They Left Behind is a fascinating and deeply moving novel based on the lives of the author’s mother and grandparents. The story gives us insight into life in Romania – first ravaged by war, then faced with political upheaval, economic uncertainty, and loss of freedom under Stalin’s rule. This novel captured my heart immediately, and had me crying within the first 50 pages. It was an emotional ride, exploring war and family relationships. The characters are deep and multi-faceted, providing an endearing and riveting read.
Sea Prayerby Khaled Hosseini ★★★★★
“I have heard that we are the uninvited. We are the unwelcome. We should take our misfortune elsewhere.”
Hosseini wrote this as a response to the Syrian refugee crisis, and it is a beautiful, heartbreaking, and timely work. Written as a prayer/letter from father to son, this book is a truly masterful piece of art. It features stunning illustrations by Dan Williams, and both the images and words are breathtakingly beautiful. It’s short, yet impactful. It requires slow contemplation and leaves you heartbroken. Yet another one that brought me to tears this month…
The Return of History: Conflict, Migration, and Geopolitics in the Twenty-First Century by Jennifer Welsh ★★★.5
This was my only non-fiction read of November. It is the book version of Welsh’s CBC Radio Massey Lecture, in which she refutes Fukuyama’s idea of “progress,” and argues that many of our past struggles – the ones we presumed would disappear or be solved – have returned. She discusses the mass movement of refugees and displaced populations, the invasion and annexation of territories, and the continued attempts to annihilate ethnic and religious minorities. This is clearly intended as more of a surface overview than a deep dive into the problems and potential solutions. It is interesting, and provides a good entry point for those interested in the current state of our world.
Sky in the Deepby Adrienne Young. ★★★.5
I am still a bit torn about this one. I was so excited to read this book – a stunning Viking-esque cover, a badass female protagonist, and an interesting premise. The novel starts out strong by thrusting us straight into battle with Eelyn. Right from the beginning I felt immersed in the story, and subsequently drawn in by Eelyn’s emotional turmoil as she discovers that her brother – who she thought she saw die previously in battle – is still alive and now fighting alongside the enemy tribe. I was eager for the mystery to unravel, and as a history and mythology nerd, I delighted in the Viking-inspired setting. Ultimately, I was not fully captivated throughout the whole novel. There were a few points where I really had to push myself to keep reading. I suppose it just wasn’t as impactful as I had anticipated. I had trouble connecting with most of the characters, and I wasn’t thrilled about the romance that seemed to develop abruptly. I did enjoy the book, but it didn’t “wow” me as I expected it would.
The Book Thief by Markus Zusak ★★★★★★★★★★★★★ (just all of the stars in existence…)
First of all, I can’t believe it took me this many years to read The Book Thief. It graces many book nerds’ all-time favourites list, so I suppose my hesitation was due to the fact that I had high hopes and did not want to be let down. Well, I can tell you that I was certainly NOT disappointed in any way. The Book Thief is everything I want and need in a story. It gave me the most horrendous book hangover I’ve ever experienced, and I know that I will re-read it over and over again, just to spend more time with the characters. Zusak’s writing is so poetic, and the fact that this novel is narrated by Death makes it so unique and fascinating! I could go on and on and on about this book, but I need to finish this post, so I’ll exercise restraint.
Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli ★★★★☆
This was such a fun and endearing read! I absolutely adore the characters, and was drawn into the story right away. It was a quick and light-hearted read. Now I NEED to see the movie…
The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue by Mackenzi Lee ★★★★☆
This is another one that I had so much fun reading! From the outset, I loved and hated Monty. He is one of the most entertaining protagonists I’ve had the pleasure of meeting, and his wit and sarcasm had me giggling constantly. I just adored his relationship with Percy. This book is full of humour, adventure, and romance! Plus it’s set in history, with English gentlemen being not-so-gentlemanly. Just read it!
Looking back at my TBR for November, I read ONE of the five books I had planned to read. In my defence, I did disclose that I am horrible at following a set TBR…
I’m currently reading:
Witch Born by Nicholas Bowling
The Lies of Locke Lamora by Scott Lynch (FINALLY!!!)
Two books that I am DETERMINED to read in December (because I need all the magical reads this month) are:
The Toy Makers by Robert Dinsdale
Muse of Nightmares by Laini Taylor
Let’s see if I can accomplish that at least! 😉
How was your reading month? Any amazing recommendations?
“October extinguished itself in a rush of howling winds and driving rain and November arrived, cold as frozen iron, with hard frosts every morning and icy drafts that bit at exposed hands and faces.”
― J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
I can’t believe it is already November! The last stubborn leaves have given up and fallen to the ground, where they’ve been covered in heavy frosts and falling raindrops. We’ve been gravitating towards our comfort foods, and our home, yard and vehicle are now ready for the blanket of snow that will soon cover us…
October was a decent reading month for me. I didn’t finish as many books as I’d have liked to, but I have completed my 2018 reading challenge: I’ve read 60/60 books! I also didn’t have any 5-star reads this month, which is unusual! I didn’t write any reviews in October, and I am struggling to read any of my NetGalley picks, because I really just despise reading on my e-reader. If I have the option of choosing a physical book, I will read that every time – regardless of how interesting the book on my e-reader is. The good news is that I own approximately 60 unread books…. which should last me another year without buying any (HAH, as if that will happen… )
This House is Haunted by John Boyne
Where the CrawdadsSing by Delia Owens
No Is Not Enough: Resisting Trump’s Shock Politics and Winning the World We Need by Naomi Klein
The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson
The Word is Murder by Anthony Horowitz
I also read an amazing graphic novel of Poe’s Stories & Poems! I didn’t count it towards my challenge, but for all of you Poe fans out there: it is BEAUTIFUL!
I am still currently reading:
A Storm of Swords by George R. R. Martin
Frankenstein by Mary Shelley
The Wisdom of Psychopaths by Kevin Dutton
November (maybe) TBR:
I’m horrible at actually following a set TBR, because I am a mood reader. These are some I’m really hoping to get to though.
The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
Muse of Nightmares by Laini Taylor
The Toy Makers by Robert Dinsdale
The Lies of Locke Lamora by Scott Lynch
The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne
See any books that you’ve read or want to read!? Let me know in the comments below.