The books I read in October 2017

It’s that time of month again where I link up with Jana and Steph to tell you all about what I read in the previous month, in this case October 2017. I completed Erin’s book challenge 7.0 and also read three other books. As in previous months, challenge books are listed first.

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American Gods by Neil Gaiman (592 pages, read for the category “A book with a non-human main character”). I found this book hard to get into at first, and lots of times I actually managed to put it down after finishing a chapter, just like I had promised myself, but by the end I was invested. The storytelling is amazing! I was rooting for Shadow all the way and it was really interesting finding out where he came from along with him. Wednesday was a difficult character to like, but I think maybe that was the point? Honestly, I preferred Neverwhere, but I couldn’t bring myself to give this one less than 5 Goodreads stars. Probably I would give it 5 and a half, but they won’t let me!

Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West by Gregory Maguire (495 pages, read for the category “A book with a cardinal/compass direction in the title”). Lots of Goodreads reviewers seem to have hated this book. Maybe I’m too easily pleased, but I really enjoyed it. I liked Elphaba and thought it was interesting to read about her childhood and get an explanation for why she was green. It was nice to see her treated as a human being and not just some caricature of evil. I also liked that, in this book at least, she wasn’t really wicked. Towards the end she started to go crazy, but most of the time she was trying to do the right thing, in her own way. It’s not a perfect book and there are things that I would have liked more explanation of, but for the most part I enjoyed reading it and in my world that counts for a lot. 4 stars.

And, with that, I completed the bonus round of Erin’s challenge. Woo!
I probably would never have actually read the Wicked book if it hadn’t been for needing a new previously chosen book for my final category (I changed it from East of Eden because there was just no way I was going to be reading that in the final weeks of the challenge!),  so that was nice. Of all the books I read for the challenge this time, I think my favourite was Alfie Bloom and the Talisman Thief. And now I’m looking forward to the next challenge… categories to be announced in December. I’m so excited!

Now for the other books I read in October.

Midnight for Charlie Bone by Jenny Nimmo. This book had been sitting on my bookcase for over a year and I have no idea why I hadn’t read it before! I absolutely loved the Snow Spider trilogy by this author when I was a child (I must have read it at least 20 times), which is part of the reason I bought this one, but somehow I never got round to reading it? I finally picked it up when I needed something nice and quick that wouldn’t task my brain too much. And I LOVED it! The one thing that slightly annoyed me is that, despite being the main character, Charlie didn’t seem to do anything much. His name is in the title, yet it seemed like other people were constantly making all the decisions, doing all the dangerous things and generally saving his backside. And two of those people didn’t even have any special powers/gifts! His friends are awesome though, so I can’t really complain too much about them having a large role. I just hope Charlie gets more proactive in book 2! Oh, and lots of the reviews called these books a rip-off of Harry Potter… just because it’s set in England, involves children with special powers and involves a school doesn’t automatically make it a Harry Potter rip-off! The school isn’t even for magic as such – it’s a school for the gifted (musicians, artists, etc.) that also takes people with “magical” gifts. Anyway, I gave it 4 stars.

The Wrong Train by Jeremy de Quidt. I really liked this, probably because the stories reminded me of the type of ghost stories we used to tell each other as children (the babysitter and the heavy-breathing phone calls anyone?). I liked that it’s short stories, but with an overarching storyline tying them all together (basically a boy gets on the wrong train and while he’s waiting for the right one, on a dark, creepy platform, an old man starts telling him scary stories). Most of the stories were the perfect blend of “is this all in the protagonist’s head or could it, just maybe, be real?”, but the final one was a bit weird and silly and, in my opinion, let the whole collection down. This would be a great book for teens who like to creep themselves out… way better than the Point Horror books I adored at that age! 4 stars (without the final story it would have been 5).

The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson. This is a weird little book. It’s well written and very clever, but I didn’t find it particularly spooky – more confusing. Was any of it really happening or was the narrator just mad? Maybe that was the whole point? Maybe I’m just too stupid to understand? 3 stars.

And those were all the books I finished in October. I then started reading Magician, which has eleventy billion pages (okay, 841). Maybe I’ll finish it it time to include it in my reviews for November… or maybe it will have to appear in the January’s “Show Us Your Books”. We’ll see. I’m enjoying it so far anyway, but I can only read it at bedtime because it’s too big to take on the train!

That’s it from me. Read anything good recently? Check out the link up if you want to fill your to-read list with even more lovely, lovely books.

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24 thoughts on “The books I read in October 2017

  1. I didn’t technically finish Erin’s Challenge, because I DNF’d my Disney book (Alice in Wonderland series…just couldn’t), but I finished the rest! Wicked sounds really cool, the Oz books/movies are some of my favorites!

  2. I have had Wicked in my shelf for YeARS, and can’t bring myself to read it. Maybe i’ll do it like you in a challenge, to see if I can finally get to it.

    I liked American Gods! it was a strange at first, but once I got the rhythm of the story, it kept me hooked. Very weird story, but very well written.

  3. i haven’t read Neverwhere but it’s on my list. KC read and loved American Gods but he said ‘you wouldn’t like it’ haha so maybe I will skip it. Or add it. I DON’T KNOW. life is hard.
    I haven’t read Wicked, but yeah I’ve heard some crazy bad reviews because people hated it. Maybe I’ll add it and see for myself lol.

  4. I’m currently reading Lair of Dreams by Libba Bray and that sucker is like 600 and something pages. It’s good though! But long books can be difficult for me to get through.

    Yay for finishing Erin’s challenge and reading good books.

    -Lauren

  5. I LOVED Wicked! It’s one of the few books I’ve purchased and would likely re-read. Loved the musical too. I’ve only read The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Gaiman and found it really disturbing so I’ve steered clear of him since, but this one sounds interesting. Congratulations on finishing the challenge and bonus round!

  6. I keep debating American Gods but — and I realize how awful this sounds — if I start a book that size I feel like I’m not going to be able to read any more books this year. Especially if it goes slowly, because I’m not good at reading more than one book at one time.

  7. October was a slow reading month for me… November too, though I am hopeful to read a lot over the US Thanksgiving holiday this week/end. 🙂 Glad you loved American Gods. I haven’t read a ton of Gaiman yet, but I have a few more further ahead than American Gods just yet. Way to go on finishing the challenge. I lost time and interest… but oh well! Still makes me read more, and I always enjoy it! 🙂 Xo – Alexandra

    Simply Alexandra: My Favorite Things

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