Reading Wrap-up: October, 2019

So, this month was a bit…hectic. I had midterms and a lot of things going on in my personal life, so I wasn’t focused on reading at all. I still read 12 books, but not my usual short stories and exclusively read on audiobooks. Since it was October, I wanted to read some horror books, and I was really happy with most of the ones I chose. But, before we get to those, here’s a quick update of my yearly goals.

Reading Resolutions

(my original post of my resolutions)

  1. Read 1 Indie book a month: I didn’t do this
  2. Read 2 short stories: I didn’t do this.
  3. Read more challenging books: I didn’t do this
  4. Reread some books: I didn’t do this…do you notice a theme here.

Reading Challenges

(my original post on my challenges)

  1. Pages Read 2019: I read 3,253 pages this month, bringing my grand total to 48,925 pages this year, out of the 48,000 I need. Which means I completed this challenge! I’ll see how many more pages I read for the last couple months, but it feels great to have completed this.

Now, let’s get to the reviews. I only had one two star and everything else I gave higher, meaning I really enjoyed the books I read this month.

2 Stars

Bird Box (Bird Box, #1)
  • Bird Box (Bird Box #1) by Josh Malerman (released 2014)

3 Stars

  • The Motion of Puppets by Keith Donohue (released 2016)
  • Bambi (Bambi #1) by Felix Salten (released 1923)
    • This is such an adorable story, whose movie adaptation I loved as a child. However, I found the book to be a bit lacking. It is rare for me to say this, but I preferred the movie.

4 Stars

  • And Every Morning the Way Home Gets Longer and Longer by Fredrick Backman (released 2015)
    • This is such a moving and short novella, packed full of feeling as memories between a grandfather, father, and son remember the past and look towards a heartbreaking but optimistic future. Backman just has an amazing way to twist a reader’s heart and make them both happy and miserable.
  • Brave New World by Aldous Huxley (released 1932)
  • Pet Sematary by Stephen King (released 1983)
  • The Institute by Stephen King (released Sep. 2019)
  • The Song of Roland by Unknown (c. 1100)
    • This epic poem is absolutely beautiful, even if you can’t take it as historical and instead judge it as fantasy and a product of the middle ages. Battles are epic and chivalry is everywhere. Revenge and Christianity are common themes. I can highly recommend the Dorothy L. Sayers translation. Not only is she is a great mystery writer, is also gives an amazing introduction to this book, explaining things which help you understand why and how things happen. Also, while the translation is more difficult to read than, say, modern writing, she really makes it accessible to someone who has already read some Shakespeare or Beowulf. This is one of those classics that, if you like history, you have to read.

5 Stars

  • Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury (released 1953)
    • I know now why this book is such a classic. It is so beautiful! Not only is the imagery vivid and sensual, but the philosophical examinations and societal warnings are particularly poignant. I kept comparing this book to 1984 by George Orwell, as both examine a totalitarian society which controls knowledge and discourages individual thought. But for my part, I enjoyed this book better. Montag is a fascinating protagonist, and it is through his eyes which we see this strange world. Also, there is a strange measure of hope in this book which is absent from 1984. It is a quick read as well, and out of the three books I’ve read by Bradbury (this, The Martian Chronicles, and Something Wicked This Way Comes), this is definitely my favorite!
  • Notes from Underground by Fydor Dostoyevsky (released 1864)
    • Unlike Dostoevsky’s longer books, this one is more meandering, thoughtful, and disorganized. In it, the reader gets into the mind of a retired man in St. Petersburg thinking back upon his life, regretting his choices and seeing how horrible of a person he was. I loved it, but I understand that some readers may find it a bit boring. But, like all of Dostoevsky’s books, there is such a deep understanding of human nature, I cannot help but love it!
  • 12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos by Jordan B. Peterson (released 2018)
    • I am rather adverse to self-help books in general. I find them to be shallow and filled with self-evident advice or advice I cannot possibly see working. But this book was different. I read Maps of Meaning, Peterson’s earlier book, a few months ago. It was a bit slow and different to follow, but I didn’t hate it. However, with this book my feelings were not mixed, as it incorporates some of the myths and ideas from the previous book while also breaking things down simpler for the average reader. If there is one self-help book you ever read, let it be this one. The rules seems so relatively simple, but to apply them in your life could make all the difference. It is also the type of book I feel is difficult to read just once. As you might be able to guess, I highly recommend it!
  • Man’s Search for Meaning by Viktor E. Frankl (released 1946)
    • I have read several autobiographies from people who survived Nazi concentration camps, but this books stands apart from the rest. It examines why certain people survived horrible things, while others didn’t. It gives an understanding of how people can find meaning to continue in life or give up. In a sense, it is the psychology behind man’s search for meaning, taking Nazi concentration camps as a case study. It is an exceptional, and also quick, book to read and I highly recommend it.

So, there you have it. Not the best, but for how busy I’ve been it is also not the worst. Hopefully, things should slow down a bit now that midterms are over, and I can focus a little more on getting caught up on my blog.

Have you read any of these books? Do any look good or did you disagree with my opinion? Let me know your thoughts down in the comments, follow my blog for more musings and, as always,

Best wishes in your life full of adventure,

Madame Writer

4 thoughts on “Reading Wrap-up: October, 2019

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