October was a big month for me as far as reading went, and I’m super grateful for the ability to obtain so many books (and read/process as fast as I am able to). Here’s what went down in October, with links to my reviews:
1. Girl Desecrated by Cheryl R. Cowtan (2.5 stars) – this book had potential, but didn’t quite live up to it. The way mental illness was portrayed in such a negative and stigmatizing way absolutely killed it for me.
2. Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens (5 stars) – I absolutely loved everything about this book. I was so emotionally invested in the characters and the story that I used a ton of tissues, which I have never done before.
3. The Tattooist of Auschwitz by Heather Morris (4 stars) – I initially liked the story, although the ending did seem very rushed. However, I didn’t find out until afterwards how much of the story was fictionalized. I would have appreciated a more honest and accurate approach, especially since it is misleadingly marketed as a true story.
4. Sugar, Smoke, Song by Reema Rajbanshi (4 stars) – this ARC was incredible, and told in such an innovative style of short stories. It always kept me on my toes and left me with a new appreciation for a culture I had never even heard of.
5. Unseen (Will Trent #7) by Karin Slaughter (5 stars) – this is one of my all-time favorite series. The books can get alarmingly gory, but they are page-turning masterpieces. Psychological thrillers at their finest, where I absolutely cannot stop reading until I finish the book.
6. The Lost Sisters (Folk of the Air #1.5) by Holly Black (5 stars) – this is a quick novella between The Cruel Prince and The Wicked King, told from the perspective of Taryn, Jude’s twin sister. There is a tiny bit of information that we are not privy to between the books, and it is a good way to prepare for the release of Queen of Nothing this month!
7. Janis: Her Life and Music by Holly George-Warren (4 stars) – this was an ARC that I received. I’ve always loved Janis Joplin’s music, and this book was basically a tell-all (and I do mean ALL) about her entire life, from childhood to her death. There was so much information packed into this book that it almost felt intrusive, and as though everyone who had ever come into contact with Janis was interviewed. She had an immense talent, and was a tragic figure.
8. The Wall Outside by James William Peercy (4 stars) – this was a quick fantasy read that I really wasn’t expecting to enjoy nearly as much as I did. I liked the imagination behind this. The story revolves around an unsuspecting hero, who was focused on saving his wife, rather than becoming a hero. It was definitely creative and a great story.
9. The Deep by Rivers Solomon (5 stars) – this ARC was an amazingly well-done sci-fi/fantasy story about the possibility of pregnant slaves who were thrown overboard during labor on their way from Africa to the New World giving birth to water-dwelling babies. It was a complex story written in deceptively simple language, and left me thinking about it long after I had finished the book.
10. Father Sweet by J.J. Martin (4 stars) – this was another book that I thought about long after I had finished the book. Although the subject of sexual abuse within the Catholic Church is beginning to be more openly discussed, this book also addressed institutional racism, the long-term effects on survivors of both sexual abuse and institutional racism, and the healing process.
11. Wolf of Wessex by Matthew Harffy (5 stars) – this was one of my favorite books all month. It was fast-paced and full of action, and while I’m not a history scholar, it made me feel like I had been brought back in time. I loved the story and the characters, and everything about the book.
12. Melia in Foreverland by Thomas Milhorat (2 stars) – this was a book that reminded me in some ways of the Wizard of Oz and Gulliver’s Travels, but didn’t quite meet the high standards of those classics. The characters all had the exact same voice, whether it was a 16 year-old girl, an elderly man from a period in history, or the narrator. I often felt like I was going through lectures in school, and comparing suicide to genocide in terms of “sin” didn’t sit well with me, so I guess you could say it was a bit too Christian for my taste.
13. Daughter of Odysseus: Ithaka Calling by Vasiliki (2 stars) – initially I enjoyed this book, but as the book went on, I found it harder to like the main character, Christine. She continued to act like a child while expecting people to treat her like an adult, even into her 30s, as she didn’t hold a job or contribute, but demanded that others support her. I kept waiting for something to happen, but nothing did.
14. A Court of Thorns and Roses (A Court of Thorns and Roses #1) by Sarah J. Maas (5 stars) – this was a long book, but it was AMAZING. It’s kind of like what would happen if Beauty and the Beast took place in a Faerie Realm. I especially loved that Feyre isn’t portrayed as a beautiful damsel-in-distress who needs to be rescued. She’s a bad-ass hunter who has an eye for detail, incredible insight, great instincts, some serious bravery, and a talent for painting.
15. Reverend Dumb by Mike Scantlebury (3 stars) – this was a fast-paced and action-packed story about the Brexit referendum and Christian fundamentalist terrorism groups. The story wrapped up rather quickly, and I was left hanging and confused at many points in the book, especially at the ending, which was sudden.
16. The Last Widow (Will Trent #9) by Karin Slaughter (5 stars) – wow. This book is the most recent release, and touches on so many relevant topics that we face in society today, all of which are done in sensitive ways. It’s told a little differently that previous books, but it’s still a page-turner.
17. Gravemaidens (Gravemaidens #1) by Kelly Coon (5 stars) – I got an ARC of this book just before it was released, and I couldn’t put it down. I clearly love books with strong female characters, and this book fits that to a T! Even though it just got released, I’m already looking forward to the next one.
18. Money (Lust, Money, and Murder #2) by Mike Wells (3 stars) – I loved the first book in this series (Lust), about Elaine Brogan and her adventures as a Secret Service Agent. This book was super short, and as the title suggests, focused mostly on money. Elaine is less naïve in this book however, and has grown a set of balls, although she still gets herself into some trouble. I’m interested to see what happens in the next book, since Murder is likely to feature some serious action.
19. Perfect Crime (DI Callanach #5) by Helen S. Fields (4 stars) – last but not least, the psychological thriller series that brings me to the chilly, rainy land of Scotland. DI Luc Callanach is back at it with DCI Ava Turner, and they’re tracking down a psychotic killer who is staging murders to look like suicides. Of course there’s more going on, with men throwing themselves at Ava, and Luc’s personal life wreaking havoc on his work.
Total pages read: 5,708
I'm a fast reader, and I've gotten some concerns from family members about my "excessive" reading habits, but ...
While October has been a busy, busy month book-wise, November is shaping up to be a big month for books as well. I try to keep a good balance of books that I have committed to read, and books that I’d like to read. However, this list is somewhat flexible, and is subject to changes. Here’s my tentative list of TBR books for November:
· The Guinevere Deception (Camelot Rising #1) by Kiersten White (ARC)
· Hook (Neverland #2) by Gina L. Maxwell
· A Court of Mist and Fury (A Court of Thorns and Roses #2) by Sarah J. Maas
· Awa and the Dreamrealm by Isa Pearl Ritchie
· Perfect Kill (DI Callanach #6) by Helen S. Fields
· Murder (Lust, Money, & Murder Book #3) by Mike Wells
· The Lost Years of Billy Battles (Finding Billy Battles Trilogy #3) by Ronald E. Yates
· Honey and the Hitman by Hannah Murray
· Office Notes and Blues Chords by Regina Modesta
· The Queen of Nothing (Folk of the Air #3) by Holly Black
· The First of Shadows (The Riven Realm #1) by Deck Matthews
· Remembrance by Rita Woods
What's on your November TBR list?
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