Reading List :: September & October

September and October were good reading months, especially after picking up a few books that have long been on my ‘to read’ list. I dedicated October to all things spooky, and managed to give myself a fair few frights in the process. Unfortunately, I didn’t fit in all of the books I had planned to read over the month, but I’m still happy with all the ones I did get around to reading. Here’s what my reading list looked like over the last couple of months:

Norse Mythology, Neil Gaiman

 I’ve always loved myth stories, and studying classics at university only cemented that further. Consequently, I couldn’t not read Neil Gaiman’s retelling of Norse Mythology. I really enjoyed it; it was a really easy read and the stories were all told in a really accessible way, so even my niece would be able to follow along and enjoy.

Home Fire, Kamila Shamsi

I read Shamsi’s first book, Burnt Shadows, years ago and really enjoyed it, even though it was utterly heart breaking; so I was looking forward to giving Home Fire a read, especially as it’s her take on the story of Antigone. The chapters jumped around a couple of times telling different character perspectives, which was a little confusing at the start, but I ended up really enjoying this, but again it’s not the most uplifting of tales.

Americanah, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

I really loved reading Half of a Yellow Sun and had had Americanah on my list for quite a while, so I was really looking forward to reading this. I really enjoy Adichie’s writing style and storytelling, so of course ended up racing through this book. I think it’s one of my favourite books I’ve read this year, so if you haven’t got around to checking it out yet, I highly recommend it.

The Good Immigrant, Nikesh Shukla

This is another book that I’ve had on my list for a few years now and I’m so glad I finally got around to reading it. It’s an insight into people’s lives covering many things I take for granted because of my racial privilege. If you read one thing from this list, make it this one.

The Curse of the Gloamglozer, Paul Stewart and Chris Riddle

 I enjoyed this more than I thought I would. It’s the first in the Quint trilogy from the Edge Chronicles series, and is another one I read when I was younger. It was a quick read, but some of the characters were a little frustrating, and I still have an issue with the female representation in this series.

The Winter Knights, Paul Stewart and Chris Riddle

 This was not so good. I know I read it alongside with the others the first time around, but this one clearly didn’t make much of an impression as I didn’t remember any of it. It was pretty slow, and the one female character that had been introduced in the previous book was immediately sidelined for most of the story too which was pretty rubbish.

The Silent Companions, Laura Purcell

This was my first book as part of my spooky stories in October reading list. It started out really creepy and freaked me out, but nearer the end it became a bit over the top and slow; I ended up transported out of the world completely because it got a bit ridiculous. It was an interesting take on women in Victorian Britain, but not my favourite of the month. Apparently, it’s being turned into a movie so I will be interested in seeing how that works out.

The Woman in Black, Susan Hill

I read this many years ago and remember being totally freaked out from it, despite having seen the play twice beforehand, so knew exactly what to expect. On a second visit to the book I still found it spooky, but definitely not as creepy as the first reading.

Dracula, Bram Stoker

I enjoyed this classic, and although it definitely had creepy factors to it, I could at least still read it before bed and not freak myself out. (Did I mention how much of a wimp I am when it comes to scary stories?) I did get a little frustrated with the characters about two thirds of the way in because they were being so dense.

The Haunting of Hill House, Shirley Jackson

After having heard that this I saw one of the best haunted house stories ever written, I was fully prepared to be utterly freaked out by this, so much so I kept it at work and only read it during my lunch breaks. I also watched the trailer for the series on Netflix before starting it, so I was really ready for all the scaryness. When it came to it though I didn’t find it scary at all. Sure, there were a few creepy and atmospheric bits to it, but as much of the action happens in the characters heads or what they see isn’t described, I was more disconnected from the creepiness. I still really enjoyed it, and it was a really interesting character exploration.

Rebecca, Daphne du Maurier

Daphne du Maurier is one of my favourite authors and revisiting Rebecca was such a good idea for October as it ended up being much creepier than I remember it from my first read. It is absolutely one of my all time favourite books and one everyone should have read.

The Fall of the House of Usher, Edgar Allan Poe

Is it even October if you don’t read a bit of Poe? This is a super quick read as it’s a short story, but still delivers on some creep factor.