I’m back with a book post – a classic what I read in October! I’ve finally settled into life in Yorkshire and I’m slowly but surely getting the house organised. One of the things I’m in the process of doing is moving my hundreds and hundreds of books over from my parents’ house – a work in progress, but hopefully one that will be finished within the next couple of weeks. I have brand new bookshelves to put up and a Goodreads goal that I am absolutely no way near finishing. The last few weeks have been tricky – reading hasn’t been at the forefront of my mind but I do have a lovely 35 minute each way commute to work during the week which is definitely helping with bringing back my reading motivation. That said, I’ve read quite a few fantastic books over the last few weeks and wanted to share with you what I read in October (and the end of September).
What I Read in October 2019
And the Ocean Was Our sky by Patrick Ness
Patrick Ness is an absolutely incredible author, penning arguably one of the best children’s books of the last decade, and And the Ocean was our Sky was absolutely no exception to this. Based loosely on the story of Moby Dick, And the Ocean was Our Sky is told from the perspective of the whales themselves- they’re the ones firing harpoons, they’re the ones capturing men and so on. Bathsheba and the rest of the pod hear news of a legendary creature and go on an adventure to track him down. Slightly whimsical but an absolute delight. The illustrations by Rovina Cai only added to the experience.
Sweet Sorrow by David Nicholls
Another author I’m a massive fan of is David Nicholls – I’ve read quite a few of his books in the past and frankly, he hasn’t put a foot wrong as far as I’m concerned. Sweet Sorrow follows Charlie Lewis, the summer after his GCSE year at school. He knows he hasn’t done particularly well in his exams. His mother has left him and his father to fend for themselves after the family fell victim to the economy and he doesn’t really know what he’s going to do with his life. When he meets Fran, everything changes. He joins the local theatre to get close to to her and suddenly, the path doesn’t seem quite as bleak.
I absolutely loved this story. It was funny yet tragic and was one of the better books I’ve read this year. I love the style of writing that David Nicholls uses and I can’t wait for another book by him to be released.
Summer at the Kindness Café by Victoria Walters
I absolutely love Victoria and her stories – they really do brighten a dark and gloomy day. I’ve read all of her other books (The Second Love of My Life and The Summer I Met You are both reviewed on my blog) and honestly, if you’re after a pick-me-up then you’ve come to the right place. Contemporary fiction is perfect easy reading and that was definitely the case with Summer at the Kindness Café. Abbie and Louise, sisters, befriend Eszter in the quiet village of Littlewood after meeting at Brew, the kindness café. Each of the woman has their own difficulties as far as love is concerned, with Eszter a recent Widow, Louise who has been unlucky in love for most of her life and is a major workaholic and Abbie, who has fled London after being made redundant… by her boyfriend. The story envelopes their emerging friendships, the relationships they form with those around them and how kindness comes from the best of places. A heartwarming story with lovely characters.
The Woman I Was Before by Kerry Fisher
The Woman I was Before by Kerry Fisher was my commute book a few weeks ago. I actually listened to the audiobook of this as I had an Audible credit leftover and it was the perfect book to listen to as it was very easygoing and didn’t require all that much thought – perfect for those 8am trains to work where my brain has barely woken up. The Woman I was Before focuses on the lives of three women – different in every way but similar in the sense that you never know what is going on behind closed doors. Gisela is a happily married and has two beautiful children – she looks to have the perfect life but unbeknownst to her, her life is falling apart right before her eyes. Sally is equally as successful and has the perfect husband – yet, the one thing she wants most in the world is the one thing that she can’t – and probably will never – have. Kate is the polar opposite of her friends – a single mother, she keeps herself to herself. She has the biggest secret of them all.
I enjoyed the story but there wasn’t the same ‘spark’ that I experienced when reading a few of my other choices this month. A few of the twists and turns were quite predictable which meant that my haste to finish was more out of necessity than excitement for the ending. A good plot that could have been pushed that little bit further.
Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng
I absolutely ADORE Celeste Ng – she’s quickly become a firm favourite author of mine and Little Fires Everywhere is probably one of the best, most addictive books I’ve read in a long time. Set in the 1990s in Shaker Heights, the story focuses on the lives of two incredible different families. They come together when Mia Warren and her teenage daughter Pearl move into the area and rent a house from Elena Richardson. Elena’s son Moody takes an interest in Pearl and they quickly become friends. It isn’t long before Moody introduces Pearl to his entire family and their relationships become intertwined. When a legal case involving the Richardson’s friends and Mia’s colleague unfolds, tensions heighten and secrets unravel themselves in the most intricate of ways.
This was a book that I absolutely couldn’t put down – I love the tone that Celeste uses when she writes and every detail she reveals has a purpose; nothing is written just for the sake of it. The characters were all incredibly interesting and contributed beautifully towards an intricate and thought-provoking tale of how following the rules doesn’t always prevent disaster from occurring.
So, there’s what I read in October! What’ve you been reading lately? I can’t wait to put together my reading list for the next couple of weeks – I’ve got some amazing books in mind.