October Reading Recap

This month was a pretty good month compared to my last two months where I really started to fall behind with my reading challenge. I read 4 books this month, which puts my total books read this year at 40! I have 12 more books to read by the end of the year to reach my goal of 52 books. I am 2 books behind schedule, but I’m pretty confident I can make that up!

Here are my three favorites for this month:

The Princess Bride by William Goldman – 4/5 stars

The Princess BrideThe Princess Bride is one of my favorite movies. It is one of those classic, timeless movies you can watch over and over again without getting tired of. So I was really excited to read this book and I had pretty high expectations going in. And I wasn’t disappointed!

The Princess Bride is one of the funniest, most satirical and witty books I’ve read in a long time. The plot itself just keeps getting better and better –  I mean we are talking about a story that has the most beautiful woman ever, the best swordsman in the world, a giant, the Dread Pirate Roberts, true love, an Albino zoo keeper, a prince plotting the murder of his wife and abetting the start of a war – it just never ends! Full of adventure and romance and everything in between, this book has it all.

The only reason I didn’t mark this a full five stars is because of the narration. Goldman includes a fictitious abridgment in the novel where he pretends that he is not the original author and is abridging the book based upon a fictitious author. It gets a bit confusing when he then makes up a fictitious father who read this story to him as a son and then a fictitious story about the process of writing the story – it’s all a bit much. This weird narration didn’t add anything to the story for me – in fact it detracted from it because he would interrupt the plot to flesh out his (fictitious) reactions to what was going on when he was a kid and his (fictitious) father’s response. Or he would summarize what the (fictitious) original author wrote. I just ended up skipping most of these abridgments and kept reading the actual story.

 

 Go Set a Watchman by Harper Lee – 3/5 stars

Go Set a Watchman (To Kill A Mockingbird #2)I hadn’t heard a lot of positive remarks about Go Set a Watchman, but I wanted to read it all the same because I loved To Kill a Mockingbird.

The plot itself was pretty much nonexistent, and rather hard to believe – not in the way that you watch a movie and the actions are so ridiculous they are unbelievable, but because you know the characters and the decisions and actions that they make don’t make sense. The characters that did return from To Kill a Mockingbird were surprisingly few, surprisingly shallow, and lacked real depth.

The parts that I enjoyed most of Go Set a Watchman were flashbacks that Scout had of her childhood. These little anecdotes were more reminiscent of To Kill a Mockingbird, but while they were fun and sometimes humorous to read about, they did nothing to build the plot. They were simply wandering thoughts that were completely unrelated to anything that was going on.

The actual climax of the book was so disappointing and read like a bad Fan Fiction; Scout and Atticus have a fight and then they make up and The End. Period. End of Story.

My advice is to read Go Set a Watchman as if it were a standalone novel and not as a sequel to one of the best books written in this century, because if you go in with that notion in your head, you will be vastly disappointed. So I’m being generous with three stars and pretending that no, this is indeed not a sequel, and is just a weird take on the times of the disgruntled South.

 

Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman – 4/5 stars

NeverwhereYou may remember my reviews of Gaiman’s other books which I’ve really enjoyed, so I was excited for this book. I’m not sure what I was expecting – maybe something lighter and more along the lines of Stardust, but this book had a much darker tone to it. These more sinister novels normally don’t interest me, but Gaiman has such a way of writing that pulls me right in.

Neverwhere tells the story of an average man living in London, who stumbles across an injured girl named Door. The decision to help her sucks him into her world, called the Underground, where those from Above don’t acknowledge or even notice those from Below. Baffled and confused, Richard quickly realizes that his life has been irrevocably changed and seeks out Door to help him return to his old life.

This book was a long read for me, but I still really enjoyed it. This was one of those books that you slowly savor and let the story sink in, piece by little piece. Neverwhere, despite being a darker story, still had its dry humor and a beautiful array of characters. I love a good adventure story and this took an interesting twist to my normal read that I thoroughly enjoyed.

Have you read any good books lateley? Happy reading, friends!

13 thoughts on “October Reading Recap”

  1. I have so much love for Neverwhere! I’ve read it a couple of times and it’s in my to-read pile for another read at some point!

    I’ve not been reading so much at all lately and I’m annoyed with myself for it. According to goodreads, I’ve read 45 out of my goal of 60 and I’m 5 books behind schedule. I just don’t seem to be able to get a routine going that includes reading in it :(

  2. Hey Becca!
    Princess Bride sounds like a great book! I’ll give it a try. I don’t know why but i couldn’t finish To Kill A Mockingbird and then never sat down to read it again. :(

    I read just two books in October and and still have to read about 18 books before the years ends to complete by GoodReads challenge. I read the Empire of Storms by Sarah J Maas and Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins. have you read these?

    1. I really enjoyed Anna and the French Kiss, and I’ve read Stephanie Perkins’ other two novels as well and really liked them too! I haven’t read Empire of Storms yet, but it is on my to-read list and my Christmas list, haha.

  3. I have never read anything by Neil Gaiman, and I don’t know why. His books always sound like they’d be right up my street! What did you give it out of five? It doesn’t say on your post. If it’s over 3.5 I’ll read it!
    I started reading The Princess Bride a long time ago and never finished, I’d love to pick it up again, but based on the list of things I have to read, and how slowly I’d reading at the moment, I don’t think it will be until some time next year!

    1. Whoops! I didn’t realize I left that out. I gave it 4/5 stars. It wasn’t my most favorite of his books that I have read, but I still really enjoyed it!

  4. i agree with what you said on neverwhere. i read it some years ago, where i was just starting neil gaiman’s fiction. it took me some time to finish it because the pace was slow and i wasn’t “in the groove” to get going. until the part richard started meeting all those interesting characters. i want to re-read it to refresh my memory!

    also, if you’re interested, there’s a BBC radio drama version of neverwhere.;) james mcavoy gives life to richard mayhew!

  5. You’re doing great on your goal! I also loved the Princess Bride movie, but I never thought to look for the book. I should read it some time! The abridgment part does sound weird though, and I’d probably skip it too.

    I haven’t heard good things about Go Set a Watchman either, but I feel like I should read it. I think I’d need to re-read To Kill a Mockingbird first, since I last read it so long ago. That’s unfortunate that it’s disappointing as a sequel :(

    Neverwhere sounds really interesting! I’m a fan of darker stories :) Good luck on your goal! You’re getting close!

  6. I swear I’ve only got like your book recommendations on my Amazon list haha! <3 Thanks for sharing, I haven't heard of any of the books but I'm sure they are good – we do have similar tastes haha!

    Thank you for sharing <3

  7. You’re so close to finishing your reading goal for the year! Just 12 more books to go :).

    The Princess Bride sounds like an interesting book with all of the action going on. Reading about how the author wrote the book in a way that another author wrote it sounds confusing already! I wouldn’t like that kind of narration either… That is one good way to confuse readers.

    I’m sorry to hear that Go Set a Watchman wasn’t all that great. If it was a movie, it’d be the type where it takes forever to get to the main plot and you’re left confused afterward @__@.

    A girl named Door sounds interesting. I would think of why the author would give her that name. Though, it sounds like Door helped that man open the door to his old life XD.

    I still need to find time to read X’D. Some day!

  8. The narration in The Princess Bride sounds so confusing, just reading that had me confused! It sort of reminds me of all the postmodern novels I had to read for uni, which were mostly horrible. I don’t need something that tries too hard to be clever, just a good plot and characters!

    I’m avoiding Go Set a Watchman because To Kill a Mockingbird is my favourite book, and I’ll cry if they ruin that for me. I got genuinely upset when Harry’s son fell out with him in The Cursed Child, and there’s no way I’m going through that again! I love it too much.

    I think I have Neverwhere on my book shelf but I haven’t actually read it yet. I loved Stardust, but that sounds very different. Gaiman’s always amazing though!

    I’ve read ‘…And a Happy New Year?’ by Holly Bourne and ‘Remix’ by Non Pratt this weekend, both of which were really good!

  9. It makes sense that Go Set a Watchman wasn’t as good as To Kill a Mockingbird since it wasn’t meant to be published for such a long time!!

    You should read Something in Between by Melissa De La Cruz. It’s a quick read but it’s really really good!! It’s about a Filipino girl named Jasmine and she’s a senior in high school and applying to colleges. And her life gets complicated when she realizes she’s not a citizen of the United States!! But it’s a really cute book. I want you to read it so you can tell me what you think!

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