October was a goooood reading month for me. I’m not sure where the uptick in reading time came from, but I love it! I read so many books this month, most of which I already had on my shelves, which I love. I’m constantly on the journey of trying to read all the books that I own, because there are many on my shelves! I’m hoping I can keep up the pace in November! Without further ado, here’s what I read in October!
PACHINKO BY MIN JIN LEE – 3 STARS
Wow – Pachinko was an epic story told over three generations. I had seen so many shining reviews, and I already had the book on my shelf, so I finally decided it was time. I listened to this book on audio, and I’m so glad that I did because there were many Korean and Japanese names and words that I wouldn’t have pronounced correctly in my head. I was constantly wondering how the story would end, but I will say it was a tad long for me to stay interested.
HIDDEN VALLEY ROAD BY ROBERT KOLKER – 4 STARS
If you’re interested in mental health, and especially the treatment and development of mental health in the 1950-70’s (things were just wild back then), this book is for you. It’s a new release about a seemingly normal family in Colorado that goes through extreme hardship when six out of their twelve children are diagnosed with schizophrenia over the course of a decade. It’s a true story that reads like fiction.
THE VOYAGE OF THE DAWN TREADER BY C.S. LEWIS – 2 STARS
I’m not going to lie – I want to read the entire Chronicles of Narnia because I want to say that I’ve done it, but I’m not enjoying it… I hate to say that, but after Prince Caspian, I am really struggling through these books. I know they are classics, and I want to finish the series, so I am pushing through. But it is tough.
TWILIGHT BY STEPHANIE MEYER – 3 STARS
What a wild reread. I read the Twilight series when I was in middle school / junior high. I was obsessed, I went to the movie premiers in glittery Twilight branded t-shirts, I wore Team Edward bracelets, and then I never picked up the books again. Rereading this as an adult was quite interesting, especially when remembering that the book is told from the perspective of a sixteen year old. I enjoyed it for nostalgia purposes, and I’m going to finish the series in the next few months, but I wouldn’t say this is a must read today.
THE HATE U GIVE BY ANGIE THOMAS – 5 STARS
I have heard people rave about this book ever since it came out, and I finally got a real copy for myself. I could not stop reading until I figured out how it ended. I remember listening to part of this book on a walk one day and literally crying while walking through the neighborhood! I never saw the movie because I wanted to read it first, so now it’s time. Couldn’t recommend enough.
THE FOUNTAINS OF SILENCE BY RUTA SEPETYS – 4 STARS
I won this book in a free giveaway from Goodreads last year and it went straight onto a shelf where I forgot about it. I saw that it was available through my Libby app, so I reserved it and started listening, knowing virtually nothing about it at all. The story is set in Spain in the 1950’s, and while it took me a while to get into and to understand what was happening, I found myself thinking about the characters for weeks afterwards. It was a slightly haunting read that gave a look into historical events that I’d never even heard of. So much I want to read about after reading this.
THE SILVER CHAIR BY C.S. LEWIS – 3 STARS
Once again, I am struggling through this series. This is the first in the series that I hadn’t actually read yet. Anytime I try to read it, I always make it through the Dawn Treader and then quit, so it was nice to hear a totally new story!
VOX BY CHRISTINA DALCHER – 4 STARS
Wow. Vox is about a United States (no year or extreme futuristic impression is given, so it seemed pretty recent to me) where women have been given a limit of 100 words per day that they are allowed to speak. They wear bracelets on their wrists that count their words and shock them if they exceed their daily limit. So much about this book was chilling to me because it wasn’t set in a society so removed from ours that I couldn’t imagine it slowly happening to us. It’s not a thriller, but it almost reads like one.
BURNOUT BY EMILY NAGOSKI – 5 STARS
If you’re a woman in your 20s or 30s and you’re in the workforce today, this book is for you. I’m already planning when I will reread it because there were just so many practical things that I feel like I need to absorb a second time. If you ever feel anxious or stressed or overwhelmed, read this book!
STILL LIFE BY LOUISE PENNY – 4 STARS
I started the Inspector Gamache series by Louise Penny (a very cozy mystery series set in a little Canadian village called Three Pines) a couple of years ago because I saw it all over Bookstagram, and at first, I didn’t love it. It took me a long time to get into, and I only read the first two books before I gave it up. This year, I decided to pick it back up around the holidays because I am just in the coziest mood since I’m home all day, and I want to make this season as special as possible. I think the key to these books for me is listening instead of reading. Let’s see how many I can finish before the end of the year!
ON THE COME UP BY ANGIE THOMAS – 5 STARS
On the Come Up takes place in the same community as The Hate U Give, just a year or so after the first book takes place, but focuses on a different set of characters in a different neighborhood. This book is about a young aspiring rapper trying to make a name for herself and her struggles to do so within her community. I probably never would’ve thought to pick it up had I not read THUG first, but I really loved this book. Thomas has such a way of describing her characters, giving them quirky interests like a love for Star Wars or Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, and making them feel real.
A FATAL GRACE BY LOUISE PENNY – 3 STARS
The second book in the Inspector Gamache series, I read this last year, and enjoyed it much more the second time around. I can’t wait to dive into the rest of the series – I think there may be 15 or 16 books in it by now? It’s just such a cozy, holiday-type vibe that I am really looking for this year.
MEXICAN GOTHIC BY SILVIA MORENO-GARCIA – 2 STARS
I wanted to read this book in honor of Halloween and the fact that I hadn’t done anything “spooky-season” related yet. (LOL) I don’t know what I was expecting, but the book was so bizarre and hard to follow in my opinion. Perhaps it would’ve been more interesting to me in movie-form, but I just found it so hard to follow because it alternated between real life, dreams, nightmares, and hallucinations so quickly I never really knew what was happening at any given moment. I didn’t love it.
You can follow along with all of my 2020 reading here:
What I Read in January
What I Read in February
What I Read in March
What I Read in April
What I Read in May
What I Read in June
What I Read in July
What I Read in August
What I Read in September