October was a great reading month! I feel like in September, I really managed to get a nice balance of genres that I was reading and although I didn’t quite read as much as May or July, I’m much happier looking at this pile of books! Admittedly, writing about them was a little bit harder because while I read widely, I didn’t always enjoy what I read…
Sleep like a Baby by Charlaine Harris*
I can’t believe I have to go through the pain of saying goodbye to this series again. It was so hard last time and now I’ve had two extra books just to extend the joy and pain. I think next year I’m going to do a full read-through of all ten.
Unsurprisingly, I liked this book. I love the world and the characters and I love stories with babies so it was everything I wanted. It wasn’t quite as gripping as I’ve found past books in this series, I did put it down and pick it up quite a few times whereas I normally read them right through. But I still enjoyed it and it was a good second final to the series. As a final book, it still held its own with a good mystery and one that called back to past books without being predictable.
There was one slip-up about the colour of Aurora’s glasses, which I only noticed because she makes a big deal about matching the colour and shape to her mood. Is there a job for being particular about these things?
When a coroner says you look bad, that’s pretty dire.
Magisterium: The Silver Mask by Holly Black and Cassandra Clare
Full review to come! But seriously, wonderful as always.
Othello by William Shakespeare
Othello was one of the books I had to read for my new university module and I hated it. I’m not a fan of storylines that rely on people not communicating in relationships, and that is really all this is. I love some Shakespeare but this one was a real disappointment. It’s okay to study though, the storyline might not be great but I mean- it’s Shakespeare, the language is always complex.
The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson
I’m starting to feel a little downtrodden when it comes to Gothic horror type books, I didn’t much rate Frankenstein and I didn’t really like Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde either. Seriously- one murder? Boring! Told from the point of view of an outsider? Not really that mysterious, just missing all the terrifying details. An analogy for this, that and the other? Too painfully obvious for words.
I wanted a good spook in October and this disappointed all around. I did like that Mr Stevenson knew when to stop though, this was short and… well, it was short.
“-if ever I read Satan’s signature upon a face, it is on that of your new friend.”
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by JK Rowling
I was never a person who said their favourite Harry Potter book was the third one. I was strictly a number one is number one person, but this re-listen was a game-changer for me.
This is so densely plotted without the need for an extra 300+ pages… Seriously, I know the popularity of the Harry Potter books exploded and the plot was growing with the audience but I can’t help but think the next books could’ve done with a ruthless editor to get them to the tightly packed goodness of this book. Hermione taking extra subjects, the whole time-turner section, Black on the loose, Buckbeak on trial, “serious” being said 10x more than past books- so much going on and still managing the magic that is descriptions of Hogwarts and the weather.
And I’m so glad people seemed to feel me on my tweets about how Harry is the least self-aware person ever.
“I’m not going to be murdered,” Harry said out loud.
“That’s the spirit, dear,” said his mirror sleepily.
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by JK Rowling
Again, I have a Twitter thread on my thoughts which I think sums up my descent into ‘oh no, this isn’t as good as I remember’. Like- seriously, 2/3rds of the tournament for the onlookers is staring at the top of a lake or the wall of a hedge for hours. Wizarding World, why would you bother?
It’s not even the length that turned me off this book, its that I could tell that so much of my enjoyment relied on the fabulous work of Stephen Fry as narrator. When I sat down to actually look at the quotes I liked, without his particular reading, it fell flat for me. The magic was dulled.
I find myself blown away by how much things have changed in YA in the past 17 years since this book has been published. The ableism in this book would’ve been called out in a second; “Loony Lovegood” and “Mad-eye Moody” being quite jarring to hear as a grown-up, Fred and George being slightly less charming when they’re accusing Harry of being “mental”, and many more…
“- If you want to know what a man’s like, take a good look at how he treats his inferiors, not his equals.”
Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë
Finally, I’ve officially read a book by all three Brontë’s this year! And I finally got around to reading the one I actually had to read for university. Now I can officially give my order of the Brontës; Anne, Emily then Charlotte.
Wuthering Heights wasn’t what I expected at all, despite all its notoriety, I didn’t know the storyline at all and spent a good portion waiting for more ghosts to show up. Despite its disappointing lack of ghostly visitors, I did enjoy it by the end. We had some ups and downs together but when all was said and done, I do like a good unlikable character. Although Heathcliff is still a hundred times better than the monstrous Mr Rochester from Jane Eyre. Plus, the writing was truly beautiful.
I’m really looking forward to studying it!
“-Whatever our souls are made of, his and mine are the same-“