What is this new WordPress editor about?!
I must admit I’ve been away from all things blogging for a while and during that time the ‘behind the scenes’ construction has changed and as I’m not a massive (or even a wee bit) of a tech head this has baked my noodle somewhat. I’m sure I’ll get there eventually and I must remember my new mantra:-
The undo button is my friend.
It’s been a busy October so far which is why I’m coming in mid-month to do my September wrap up. Better late than never, perhaps?
September was actually a bloody fantastic reading month!
I’ve been behind all year but I decided to take part in the Foxes and Fairy Tales readathon entitled #mythothon. The #mythothon wasn’t really advertised on the host’s blog or even mentioned that heavily #but I needed something to participate in to motivate myself to get reading.
Ultimately I’m glad I did because while I didn’t get through the 11 prompts I managed 8 books in one month and for me that’s excellent going!
The first prompt was to feature an animal in the book title or on the cover so I chose The Deathless Girls by Kiran Millwood Hargrave due to the white bear (who does feature in the book).
Whilst this book was well-written and started off strong, for me it quite quickly lost its way. This is a YA retelling of the origin of the Brides of Dracula but a) I wouldn’t have known that had the summary not told me and b) a retelling of those particular er… ‘ladies’ would have been better served in the Adult category and not the YA one.
Unlived potential, wrong category and while I loved the sister relationships both their romantic subplots were half baked.
The second prompt was a book that featured the fae or other supernatural creature and so I chose An Enchantment of Ravens by Margaret Rogerson.
This is a pleasant, YA story with a predictable plot and outcome and even more predictable love story but despite it not being being a ground-breaker of a book it’s a good, fun read and actually Margaret Rogerson has some of the incredibly prettiest writing that I’ve ever read.
I chose The Hating Game by Sally Thorne for prompt three which was a book to feature a rivalry.
This is a minor ‘cheat’ because it was a re-read (and I say I never re-read – lies!) and so I could read it a bit quicker than the rest. I read it in 2018? 2019? so it’s relatively fresh in the memory. If you want the literary equivalent of a vanilla cupcake with light buttercream frosting this is it.
Prompt four was a book featuring friendship or squad goals and so I finally got round to reading Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo.
This fantasy heist is incredibly well-done. It’s tightly plotted with great writing and a crew of unique and interesting characters. Inej is by far my favourite, I like Nina and Matthias’ chemistry and Kaz is a complex asshole but then I really enjoy morally grey characters.
I must confess it is worth the hype but because it so hyped I knew what was coming and even know what happens in the second book. This may have held me back from getting as emotionally invested as I could have been. Just fab though.
If I had a book of the month this would be it.
The Girl in the Tower by Katherine Arden is the middle book of the Winternight Trilogy and fulfils prompt five’s requirements of ‘a book in a trilogy.’ If there was a prompt called ‘a girl and her horse’ it would also smash that.
While I missed the setting and some of the characters and their dynamics from the first book, The Girl in the Tower takes our witch Vasya, into the belly of Moscow where she has to deal with corruption and prejudice anew along with some more characters from Russian folklore.
More plot driven than the first book and we see less of the Russian chyerti than I would have liked I still adore Vasya and her relationship with frost demon Morozko is thawing nicely.
Honestly, this might be one of my favourite trilogies of all time.
Gingerbread is the second book I’ve attempted by Helen Oyeyemi and just like the first, this just didn’t work for me.
Although the prompt (number six) was about food in the title or on the cover this could also serve for another prompt about a beautiful cover because it’s truly gorgeous. The book I have has lovely shiny gold embossing and is a bit of an eye catcher.
Unfortunately Helen Oyeyemi’s writing style in this one wasn’t for me – it reads as a lengthy ‘stream of consciousness’ and that, combined with some time-shifting magical realism going’s on, left me really confused. I will give one more of her books a go before I may have to give up forever.
This is a re-read for me but as I first read it around 15 years ago does that really count?
I didn’t remember the details but I did remember really enjoying reading The Big Over Easy by Jasper Fforde so, during the summer, when I was looking for some humour to add to my TBR I bought this.
This then served prompt seven ‘a book you already own’ even though any of the books on my shelf would have counted!
This is a comedic (yet genuinely well written) police/ crime detective story about DI Jack Spratt, head of the Nursery Crimes Division trying to solve the murder of Humpty Dumpty. Good dry British humour which constantly apologises about the existence of Reading, Berkshire.
The Woman in Black by Susan Hill was for prompt eight; ‘book by a female author.’
I’d seen the play many years ago and it was one of the best plays I’ve ever watched – and one of the most terrifying. I will say this – the play is a faithful adaption and manages to maintain the foreboding sense of dread that creeps along the story.
Believe me there is dread in this story – this is an intense tale that slowly cranks up the atmosphere and malevolence while mixing a deeply melancholic feel. You could feel sorry for the titular woman in black, you could until you realise that she’s not a mere harmless, tragic figure.
Genuinely one of the best ghost stories written.
- Six of Crows, The Girl in the Tower, The Big Over Easy & The Woman in Black – 4 stars
- An Enchantment of Raves & The Hating Game – 3 stars
- The Deathless Girls – 2 stars
- Gingerbread – 1 star
Despite all the 4 star reviews, the 2 star and 1 star reviews pulled the average down to a disappointing 3 but overall this was a really good reading month with me liking 6 out of 8 books!
Because I’m writing this half way through the month I don’t know if I feel a ‘what will I read’ will be appropriate.
I’ve managed to read one book so far and will try and squeeze another two in but we’ll see!
Reading! Obviously. I can’t actually be bothered to expand on this section because I need to spend some time prepping for NaNoWriMo!!
TBC – still.
How was your September? How is your October going?
It’s really feeling like autumn now and I’m loving it!