Welcome one, welcome all, to my October Wrap Up! October proved to be a strange sort of month. I’d hit something of a slump, life-wise, reading-wise, blogging-wise, and I’m still not entirely sure I’ve climbed out of that slump and got back on track. (The fact that I’m only just posting a wrap up and it’s already nine days into the next month speaks to that idea.)
October was also my birthday and I celebrated in a relatively low-key, but typical, way by going to eat food (yum yum Mowgli Street Food was a hit) before watching Les Misérables as the musical is touring the UK and stopped by Liverpool. Having already seen Killian Donnelly’s Jean Valjean in the West End, me and Liz jumped at the chance to see him reprise the role on the tour, and we’re SO glad we did as the musical was fantastic. They’re trying out new orchestrations and staging on the tour and I’m pretty sure those are the changes they will be making to the musical when it reopens in the West End in the newly refurbished and renamed Sondheim Theatre. (Let’s be real, no one is going to refer to it as that who has known it as the Queen’s.)
So, for all October felt a bit slump-y there were definitely things of note in the month. I also managed (somehow) to get a few books read.
In October, I read a total of 4 books – 4 fiction and 0 non-fiction – and 1 was a re-read (marked by *). This amounted to 1289 pages in total.
In terms of format: 2 were paperback and 2 were hardbacks. As for genre, 1 was a graphic novel, 1 was dystopian, 1 was literary fiction and 1 was fantasy.
Onto the books themselves…
Pumpkinheads by Rainbow Rowell and Faith Erin Hicks
Genre: graphic novel; YA contemporary
Read: 3rd – 4th October
Review: This was an unbearably cute and fun graphic novel, all set over the course of one night as two pumpkin patch workers adventure around the patch in the pursuit of love. The art style of Faith Erin Hicks is so much fun and so colourful and absolutely fit with the cutesy story underpinning it. Definitely well suited to read in October… and it will make you want to go visit a pumpkin patch yourself too.
The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood *
Read: 26th September – 6th October
Review: This was a re-read in preparation for The Testaments and I still very much enjoy the concept of this story. It is expertly told by Atwood who weaves ‘present day’ with flashbacks from a time when Gilead wasn’t the dystopian society it ‘now’ is. I think I must be the only person in the world who actually loves the way the frame narrative finishes off the novel, but I enjoy the placing of Gilead within a larger history, and it’s that element of how did we get to this point that is the truly fascinating bit of this novel for me.
The Gap of Time by Jeanette Winterson
Genre: retelling; literary fiction
Read: 6th – 9th October
Review: One of the Hogarth Shakespeare retellings (or, as they call them, cover versions), this is a retelling of The Winter’s Tale, a play I have read but am not overly familiar with. It didn’t exactly leave me with an impression and I feel like this book is the same, it was very much enjoyable whilst I was reading it but now, a few weeks later writing this mini review, I can’t really remember what it was about the book that I enjoyed so much? For me, I have now read a couple of Winterson’s novels and I’m just not quite sure I gel well with her writing style either. Enjoyable enough in the moment but won’t be making its way onto any top books of the year lists for me.
Ninth House by Leigh Bardugo
Genre: fantasy; adult; mystery
Read: 10th – 19th October
Review: One of my most highly anticipated books of the year, Ninth House was not a disappointment. Definitely adult, definitely dark, and definitely right up my street, this story tells the tale of Alex Stern, a girl with a dark past who is given the chance to attend Yale University and become entangled with the shady goings on of their secret societies. Filled with the rich and privileged, the privilege in the societies Bardugo writes about is magic, it is woven so easily into the story, along with ghosts and demons, that it speaks to how capably Bardugo is able to conceive of a seedy underbelly, filled with magic, that you might be able to see lurking out of the corner of your eye.
How did your October reading go?
What was your favourite book you read this month?
Please do share in the comments below and let’s chat books!