I know everyone says this but I swear I blinked and October was over. It’s simultaneously been a month that seemed a year long and also like it only began a week ago. I guess that’s because a hell of a lot happened this month.
First, I got two jobs. For the first week, I worked thirty hours on top of college (the equivalent of the last year of high school) and honestly I was exhausted. My hours have calmed down now and I feel like it’s a lot more manageable.
However, there has been some not so great news with my health. My red blood cell and iron count are very low again so I’m back on stronger medication, which has some unpleasant side effects. And with JHS, I have to wait 19 weeks for an appointment with a rheumatologist. The sling and braces are helping, but it’s still going to be a long, long time to wait while I’m in pain.
But enough of all that, let’s get into the books!
Books read: 10
Pages read: 2958
5 star: 2
4 star: 6
3 star: 2
2 star: 0
1 star: 0
❀ Ballad for a Mad Girl by Vikki Wakefield
This was definitely a very creepy book with a premise that was genuinely interesting and engaging. It’s perfect as a Halloween read! Review here.
❀ The Underground Railroad by Coulson Whitehead
This is one of my favourite books of the year. Following the life of an escaped slave trying to stay one step ahead of a brutal slave catcher and simply survive in a world where being black was a death sentence. The Underground Railroad is a very powerful, emotional read that will stay with me. Review here.
❀ A Country Road, A Tree by Jo Baker
This book follows Samuel Beckett and his involvement with the Resistance during WW1 in Paris. I think the desperate tone of the times was captured in this book, which is obviously a good thing, but it did make the book a little bit of a slog to get through for me. It was one of those books in which, unusually, the middle was the most captivating. I would say stick with it if you feel like DNF-ing in the beginning, if you like historical fiction/war settings, but if you’re looking for excitement, this isn’t really the book for that.
❀ Beartown by Fredrik Backman
I LOVED this book. It honestly blew me away with how beautifully it was written, and the topics handled. From racism, sexism, sexual assault, poverty, and the society of a small town, this book covered so much. The world-building (which is strange to speak of with a contemporary but Beartown is like a world of its own) was brilliant. I would 100% recommend. Review to come.
❀ Sleeping Beauties by Stephen King
While this book definitely had its issues, I won’t deny that I enjoyed it. I talk more about it in my review but I was very entertained and managed to finish it in just under two days even though this is over 700 pages. I feel like this could have been a disaster as the plot is a disease that only affects women, leaving a men-only world, and it is written by two men. Whether the book was successful in the gender commentary it wanted, I’m not quite sure. Review here.
❀ Alex and Eliza by Melissa de la Cruz
I won’t lie, I read this book as a complete guilty pleasure because I adore the musical and wanted to consume the story in a different format. It felt very much like romance fanfiction, which to be honest, was really what I wanted. It was predictable and fluffy, and a nice easy read. I read it in one sitting after finishing Sleeping Beauties and it was lovely palate-cleansing book, if you know what I mean.
❀ Coraline by Neil Gaiman
If you’re going to read this book, I highly recommend the audiobook. It is narrated by Neil Gaiman himself, who has an amazing reading voice. It’s very calming. The story itself is equal parts creepy and cute, and reminded me of the children’s books I used to read when I was younger. That nostalgia really made it for me. I felt like a nine year-old again reading my way through my primary school library.
❀ Quiet Girl in a Noisy World by Debbie Tung
This graphic novel follows the typical antics of an introvert, and holy hell I related to it. The art and the writing is very simplistic and straight-forward but I really think how relatable it is is what made my rating so high. I found myself agreeing with almost every page and while I think the target audience was slightly older than me (as it explores university/marriage/etc) I thoroughly enjoyed it.
❀ We Should All Be Feminists by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
I also listened to this book on audio, which is narrator by the author herself. It’s a quick but impactful listen, and a reminder that feminism must be intersectional if it is to mean or achieve anything. From this, I will be moving onto Adichie’s fiction!
❀ A Doll’s House by Henrik Ibsen
I really don’t want to rate this one because it was a book I had to read for college, and I feel like that hindered my enjoyment enormously. A Doll’s House is a play written in 1879, which follows the life of a woman oppressed by her husband, who slowly begins to realise her worth. The author himself claimed to not be a feminist or for the play to be ‘feminist propaganda’, so that does somewhat taint the reading experience.
And that’s all! What was your favourite book of October?