October rewind

This is a look back at what I read in October. It was a bit of a crazy month, so strap in. I had sort of a low point near the end, not a slump, I just hated everything I read. Not because they’re bad, because I’m a whiny brat. So there are two books I didn’t finish, and they will appear again in November.

The Giver by Lois Lowry
This is a sort of staple of American children’s books. It’s about a young kid named Jonas, who lives in a dystopian world where all choices are made for them, including their jobs, spouses and children. Everything is controlled and measured. Weather is controlled, they don’t understand love, or devotion or anger, any emotions really. Jonas’ job is Receiver of memory, so he gets to know everything that happened before. He learns about love and family. And it’s really cool. It’s very clear it’s a children’s book, I’m clearly not the demographic Lois Lowry aimed for, but I did really like it. It’s an interesting world Lowry created. It was fascinating to see how they’d taken all personality out of the world. People don’t see colour, which is fascinating. So I really liked it. It was, as I said, for a child, but it was good. I wrote a review here

Professor Moriarty: The Hound of the D’Urbervilles by Kim Newman
This is a novel about professor James Moriarty from the Sherlock Holmes novels. It’s told in the same style as the Sherlock Holmes stories in that there is this is genius, man of science (Moriarty/Holmes) who lives with an army man (Moran/ Watson), who keeps a journal of their exploits. The difference is, Sherlock Holmes is a consulting detective, Moriarty is a consulting criminal, and Moran is a fucking psychopath. It’s so good. Moran is the one writing the story which means the reader gets Moran’s thoughts and views. And he is insane. He is racist, homophobic, sexist, a huge misogynist, and the people he hates more than anyone else: white men. Yeah, he hates everyone. I love him so much. I wrote a review here.

The Thorn and the Blossom by Theodora Goss
The Thorn and the Blossom was given to me for free by Quirk books. It’s a story told two times from two different perspectives. I’m not good at explaining this. When you get to the end you just turn it over and read it again. It’s about a young woman going to Cornwall while she’s in England for a semester. She meets a Cornwall-man named Brendan and they talk about books and history. And it’s hard to explain. It was really sweet and nice, and I wrote a review here.

Norwegian Wood by Haruki Murakami
So I’m not sure I get this book. It feels like a lot of people love it so much. I didn’t love it. It was fine, but it wasn’t as good as I thought it would be. It’s about a young man in Tokyo in the late 60s, and him sort of dealing with the loss of his best friend when he was 17. He starts a relationship with his dead friend’s girlfriend. There’s a lot of things happening, and it’s a bit slow, but it’s lyrical and beautiful so I liked that aspect of it, there were just things I didn’t like so much. I wrote a review here.

A Lion Among Men by Gregory Maguire
This is the third book in the Wicked Years quartet. It’s about the land of Oz, from the book series Wizard of Oz. Anyway. This is about the Cowardly Lion, named Brrr. He has come to the Convent of Saint Glinda, where Liir spent a lot of time in the previous novel. Brrr has come to interview Yackle, one of the maunts (nuns), about Elphaba, because the theory is that Elphaba had this magic book, the Grimmerie, and Yackle knows where it is. The book sort of spans two days of them talking, but it’s interspersed with look backs on Brrr’s life, from when he was a little cub until now. I quite liked it. I really like Maguire’s writing, he’s sort of honest and unflinching, which I like. Brrr is a thoroughly unlikeable main character. He has made quite a lot of bad decisions, and choices, and things have gone bad, but he doesn’t really view this as his fault, he thinks the world is sort of conspiring against him. It’s not, he’s a whiny asshole. I love that, I like unlikeable characters, if you can do them well, and I think Maguire does them well. Liir isn’t particularly likeable either, and liked reading Son of a Witch as well. It felt like it dragged a bit, I don’t know why, it’s not bad, or boring, it was more me than anything about the book.

Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas
I read this at the beginning of the month, so I’m not sure how much I remember. It was fine. I seem to remember feeling like too much was happening. There’s just a lot of stuff going on all at once. It was okay, it was fine. It was a fair enough fantasy, it didn’t blow my mind. I might still finish the series, but it wasn’t the most amazing thing I’ve ever read. I didn’t really love the main character, which is something of a drawback. It was fine though. Fine. I wrote a review here.

Night Film by Marisha Pessl
This is another book that I feel like dragged. Again, not because it’s bad, I just, I put it down and then sort of forgot about it and then just remembered and went, oh, right, I’m supposed to read that. Right. I did like it though. I don’t read a lot of crime/thrillers, but I thought this sounded interesting. It’s about an investigative journalist named Scott McGrath who is investigating the suicide of Ashley Cordova. Why? Because Scott is obsessed with her dad, Stanislas Cordova, who is a movie director. And Scott’s obsession with this man almost ruined him. It’s very interesting, it’s about this man’s obsession, being sure that Cordova has done something unspeakable, but he can’t prove it. It’s a bit unbelievable, everyone suddenly wants to tell McGrath exactly what he needs to hear, when he needs to hear it. He gets these perfect-for-him perky sidekicks, but it’s good fun. It’s also sprinkled with newspaper articles, blog posts, web page pictures. And it’s a cool way of telling a story. So it’s fun.

Rat Queens: Sass and Sorcery by Kurtis J. Wiebe and John Upchurch
This is a comic book series about a gang of beer swilling, swearing, badass killer ladies. They are in a sort of adventure world with orcs and elves, sorcerers and dwarves, and it was awesome. They’re snarky, and rude, and they kill people for money. They’re badly behaved and along with the other crews of sort of mercenaries, in their hometown they’re sort of hated. So someone hires trolls and stuff to kill them. The sassy rat queens survive and they go back to defend their town. I really liked it. I liked the art. I liked the snarky, rude, unpleasant ladies in the comic. I like unpleasant characters. I also loved Betty, who is just the sweetest.

Sex Criminals, volume 1 by Matt Fraction and Chip Zdarsky

This is about Suzie, a librarian trying to save her library, who is a young lady with a gift. When Suzie has an orgasm time stops, literally. And she is in this place where no one else is and everyone else has just frozen. Then she meets Jon, and Jon has the same ability, so obviously they rob banks. Who wouldn’t? They basically rob banks to make money for Suzie’s library, but clearly, you can’t just have sex and rob banks in the quiet, so people show up to tell them they have to stop. I really loved it. I liked how honest it was. There was no sex shaming, Suzie and Jon are adults, they’re responsible and they’re grown up. It was very cool in that sense. I feel like it jumped a bit, and there was a lot going on, but that might have been because I read it during the read-a-thon and I was reading a lot in a short amount of time so I was a bit unfocused.

Is Everyone Hanging out without me? by Mindy Kaling
I finished this book this month. It was a lot of fun. I really love her on the Office. I haven't seen a lot of the Mindy Project, but I definitely should. It was adorable, I love how weird and funny she is. I think I was expecting a bit more, but I really did like it. And it was good for breaking up my grumpiness and my dislike of all books.