Despite NaNoWriMo taking the vast majority of my spare time, I did manage to get some reading done this month.
If You Find Me by Emily Murdoch
This has been a standout book for me out of what I’ve read this year. And I’ve read some great books this year. I guess I wasn’t expecting anything from this, as I knew nothing about it, so when it turned out to be a perfectly pitched, haunting but heartwarming read, I was really, really pleasantly surprised. I loved it so much, I leant it to my mother, who read it in an afternoon and also loved it – so much so that she wouldn’t let me charity shop it so my sisters could also read. Highly recommended indeed!
The Falcon’s Malteaser by Anthony Horowitz
I read this because I was going to see some friends perform their theatre adaption of it. It’s a fast paced, entertaining read. Not exactly the sort of thing that’s going to keep you up at night, but hugely entertaining for the hour it takes to read it.
I Married A Billionaire by Melanie Marchande
I read this because I really needed to read something shit. And by that I mean good shit of course. There was nothing here that I hadn’t read a hundred times already, but I’m a great advocate for the joy there can be found in that. This was free, good fun, and just a little bit sexy. Just what I needed for a cold winter night when I couldn’t sleep.
The Time Machine by H.G. Wells
A classic, and surprisingly short. And not at all like the movie. I don’t know why I expected it would be. I remember almost nothing about the movie except they blew up the moon. Say what you will about the overall quality of that film – that was a great image. This book is full of great ideas, but lacks modern storytelling sensibilities. There were a few archaic phrases that were repeated over and over, which started to make me laugh by the end (EVERYONE was going ‘hither and thither’). But what stood out more than anything was how well this stood up. The musings about the eventual evolution of the Human race didn’t feel ridiculous or dated at all. In fact, they were scarily realistic. Credit to the imagination of Wells – it’s no wonder his books have inspired so many modern writers.
The Retribution of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin
Review to follow.
The Curious Case of Doctor Jekyll and Mr Hyde by Robert Louis Stephenson
Another one that hasn’t been done justice in the variety of movies I’ve seen (except that excellent miniseries staring James Nesbitt, that was awesome) this is a study in slow burn tension. Very little actually happens, and the effect is somewhat spoiled by knowing the punchline, but this was still a really enjoyable listen. I just can’t believe Hyde is smaller than Jekyll. In almost every adaption I’ve seen he’s shown to be huge and monstrous. Small Hyde is actually way more scary.
The Broken Eye by Brent Weeks
I really enjoyed the first two in this series but this one felt a bit… I don’t know. It just seemed to take ages to get anywhere. It didn’t help that the most charismatic and interesting character, Gavin, was out of commission for a lot of the story. There were some great set pieces, but there was also a lot of talking. Andross is a great villain, but the effect is diluted somewhat over so many pages and other characters. I kind of just want it all to wrap up already now. But then that reveal at the end was a bit of a killer – I just wish there had been a few more of those peppered throughout.
October Mourning: A Song for Matthew Shepard by Leslea Newman
I didn’t know anything about the murder of Matthew Shepard before listening to this. I’d have been ten when it happened, and therefore it probably just bypassed me completely. Still, it’s shocking to know things like this happened in my lifetime. You think of lynch mobs, and you think of the 1800s, not 1998. The book wasn’t really to my taste. Some of the poems were quite affecting, but the effect was somewhat dulled by repetitive constructions and overused devices. The first use of an object and the phrases commonly used to describe said object as a metaphor for something else was really clever. But after it had been done for five different objects, I was ready for something new. However, I’m not the greatest admirer of poetry, so perhaps not the best judge. An important story to keep alive, I just don’t think this book tells it very well.
December Reading List
I have decided that December is all about the books I’m really excited to read – regardless of how long I’ve had them or if I can clear my shelves by reading them. With the Boyfriend about to head off for training for his new job for two weeks, I’m going to have plenty of time to myself (sad face) which I can spend reading some of these. And given how much I actually managed to read in November, I think I’ve got a good chance of getting through this lot with Christmas coming up as well!
Days of Blood and Starlight by Laini Taylor
The Girl With All The Gifts by M.R. Carey
Reckoning by Lili St. Crow
Half Bad by Sally Green
Books I’ve started:
Firespell by Chloe Neill
The Hiding Place by Corrie Ten Boom
Review books (if I get round to them):
The Ice Twins by S.K. Tremayne
Deadlines by Chris Brosnahan