October was a weird month for me. The Halloween decorations came out, and many of the spooky books I’d saved up were read. We went on a little trip to the beach for my dad’s 65th… though only days before that the country went into semi-lockdown again so we couldn’t really do anything. The semi-lockdown meant (among other things) that restaurants had to close again, only take-away available. So far for me workwise that didn’t make too much of a difference, seeing as the restaurant I usually work isn’t big enough to let people sit inside at the required distance anyway. If anything, it made my job of sending people back outside a lot easier. However, almost all other zoos have had to close their restaurants completely already… so we are just waiting to here when we don’t have to come in anymore. Tomorrow we will hear if the country is going into proper lockdown, and to be honest the Husband and I wouldn’t really mind.
Anyway, books. Again, not the best month for me reading wise. I DNF’ed a lot, and there were very few reads I loved. I guess my head just wasn’t quite in it.
The first three DNFs were from the list of books that had been on my Want-to-Read list the longest, and I guess I just left them on there too long. London Falling I didn’t get far into at all, but I really didn’t know what I was listening to and I couldn’t bring myself to care for any of it. I should have loved The Bookman, and I did almost finish it. I listened to this during a walk, and after the walk I never felt like putting it back on again. Which is a shame because it should have been right up my alley. Retribution Falls just wasn’t for me, but I think The Husband would really like it.
I already DNF’ed the previous book in the Anno Dracula series last year, but in this one we went back in time and to Japan, so I thought maybe with this new ish start I could enjoy it again. But no, I am done with this series.
There were quite a few books I saved for October, but didn’t get to all of them. The once I did read I liked, though very few actually gave me what I was looking for. I do like Christina Henry’s books, and though the Alice ones aren’t my favourite, they were solid 4 star reads for me. Looking Glass gave me very much the same feel. It was messed up and made me feel uncomfortable at times, and I raced through it. A nice addition to the series, not my favourite of hers. Malorie is the continuation of Bird Box, set 10 years later when the kids are 16 and try to find their own way in the new ‘normal’. Did it blow my mind? No. Did it have any faults? No. I did very much enjoy reading it though, and like Bird Box felt like a very accessible and easy read most people will like. A Witch Before Dying is not a book I would have every picked up myself, but did seem like something cozy I could enjoy. And I did, though it was all a bit too dramatic for me at times. Everyone in the village seems to be everyone’s ex, and I kinda lost track of who everyone had dated when. The mystery was interesting though.
The Midnight Circus was a short story collection I received through Netgalley and wrote a full review for (which you can find over here). It had a good mix of stories, none of which felt repetitive or too short. There stories I loved, but also ones I hated. Written in the Blood was a decent book, but not what I wanted it to be at all. The first book followed a ‘man’ who was immortal and could change his face and so infiltrate women’s lives by pretending to be loved ones. It was haunting and creepy and that is what I wanted from its sequel as well. But instead we get three plot lines thrown at us, none of which gets enough time to really be satisfying and none of which were what I wanted anyway. We mainly follow the politics of a breeding program, and I found it kinda boring and too full of plot holes. There is a new scary creature introduced, and though this gave some proper hunting chapters, it was all happening in the background and not connected to the main story enough. And then there is the plotline that does actually connect to the first book, and it was actually kind of an insult to it. I kinda wish I had just read the first book and left it at that. Well, that became a longer ramble than I’d hoped, so for my thoughts on The Once and Future Witches I’ll just refer you to my review.
Buddy Reads! The Husband and I actually listened to two books together last month. The first was Dracula, a reread for me. And I was really disappointed by it. Even though I ‘only’ gave it a 3* rating the first time round, I remember it being a lot better than I found it this time. Don’t get me wrong, there were some great moments in here. But there are also a lot of boring, repetitive moments, the characters (and especially the way they treated each other) made me want to puke in my mouth at times, and then there was the ending… At least The Legend of Sleepy Hollow wasn’t 16 hours long. And there isn’t anything wrong with it. I just went into it with completely wrong expectations. It was well written, had great atmosphere, and the food… but in the end it just left me feeling meh.
A nice surprise to me: the Lady Mechanika series. I wasn’t sure I wanted to continue this series after the first volume, but then the sixth one was available on Netgalley and I decided to fck it and just go for it all. And I had a great time! You can find my review for it over here.
And then there were these other ‘random’ books I read last month. I am decently on schedule of my Discworld reread to pick up Hogfather at Christmas. This was the fourth time I read Soul Music, and though not a favourite I still had a great time with it. And I feel I pick up on more references with every read. Niksen was a book I requested from Netgalley because I’m Dutch, and it was fine… I wrote a review for it so feel free to check that out. Death Comes but Twice was a great sequel in a series that is become a favourite very fast. The mystery itself was a bit disappointing, but the characters were superb once more. And the third book is arriving on my kindle in less than two weeks, jeey. You can find my review over here. I received the 11th book in the Alex Verus series through netgalley, so guessed I should get a move on that by picking up the 4th book Chosen. And damn that took a turn (for the good). Where the previous three books were just quick, light fun, this one turned dark. We see more of Verus’ past, he is given a problem to which there is no right solution, and he is shown to be a morally gray character. A great setup to a very interesting plot line, and I am starting the fifth book as soon as I finish typing this post.
So that was October, what about November? Well, I’m joining in with 3(!!!) readathons, though for all I’m sticking to the books I would be reading already anyway, and just using the social elements as motivation. The Clear ur Shit Readathon focuses on reading owned books (with prompts like what book has been on your shelf the longest, read the shortest book you own, etc). The 1000 Doors Readathon leads you through a series of prompts in a choose your own adventures style, and you only find your next prompt after finishing a book. For now I am working with the prompt five, which works great for the book that has been on my shelf the longest: the fifth Alex Verus book (the one i just said i would start right after this). And then there is Believathon, the readathon that focuses on middle grade books. I had to join in with this, though I won’t really be following the prompts and just read as many middle grade books from my shelves as I can.
We will have to see what November brings us. Stay safe…
Hoping you are having a wonderful day,