What I Read In October ๐Ÿ“š

What I Read In October ๐Ÿ“š


Hi everyone, I’m here today to talk to
you about all of the books that I read in October and I’ve just realised that
the badge I’m wearing beautifully matches my jumper which was a complete
accident but I’m rather happy about it I picked this up in Brighton last week
when I was doing a book event and I love it, if I can find it online I’ll link it
in the description box down below but now let’s talk about these books. Let’s
begin with three books that I don’t have to hand because I listened to them on
audio, those are Waiting for Wednesday, Thursday’s Children and Friday on my
Mind, which are the third, fourth and fifth books in the Freida Klien series
by Nicci French. Nicci French is a husband and wife writing
duo. Nicci French is their pen name and I mentioned them in my last monthly
wrap-up because I listened to the first two books in this series which are Blue
Monday and Tuesday Gone, I think that’s the second one. As I mentioned last time
I don’t have loads to say about them, I’m not analyzing them deeply as I go, they
are not the best books that I’ve ever read but I am massively enjoying them, I
feel very connected to the characters and invested in them and the narrator
Beth Chalmers is a fantastic narrator so if you’re after crime/thriller books
on audio I really recommend checking them out on
audio. I will say that the fifth one, the one I’m reading right now, which is
Friday on my Mind it’s a little bit more outrageous than the previous four and
that I am struggling to believe some of the things that Freida is doing… but I’ll
excuse it because I’m sure that they’re going to tie it all together at the end
it’s just probably not as good as the previous four. If you do want to read
them I recommend starting with the first one which is Blue Monday because even
though each is their own individual mystery they are all linked, there is
character progression and there is an overarching plot as well, which I’m
assuming will come to a head by the end of the series, I think there are seven
books in the series so a week-long, we finish with the book that has Sunday in
the title. The plot of the books takes place
over much more than a week, several years in fact, but each of them is named after
a day of the week, so yeah I’m really enjoying it and I would recommend them.
Next up I read these two books which are both, as I like to call them, daughters of
Frankenstein, they’re inspired by Frankenstein and I thought it would be a
good time to read them in October because of Halloween and so I chose to
review these ones for TOAST magazine. I review books for them every month and
these were the two books that I reviewed in October so I will link my review down
below if you’d like to go read it but briefly I read Frankissstein by Jeanette
Winterson and really enjoyed it this is a dual narrative, part of it set
in 1816 and is about Percy Shelley, Mary Shelley, Lord Byron and Claire Clairmont
and them staying together and Mary starting to come up with the idea of
Frankenstein. It’s about souls and hauntings and then
the other half of the book is set in our present day and it’s a reincarnation of
these characters so we have Ry Shelley who is a doctor who has fallen in love
with Viktor Stein, who is a combination of Percy Shelley and Frankenstein,
Victor Frankenstein, the professor in Mary Shelley’s story, and Ron Lord who is
a bit of a buffoon and he is supposed to be Lord Byron. It is concerned with all
of the questions that Frankenstein is concerned with: what makes us human, why
do we keep telling the same stories, making the same mistakes, why are we so
obsessed with immortalizing ourselves, becoming godlike etc? I really enjoyed it. I
did think some of the modern sections which were set mostly in a sexbot
convention were a bit silly in places …I got the point that she was making that
we’re ridiculous and we get obsessed with using robots in various different
ways but I felt as though that those sections could have been edited down
because they detracted from the serious points that she was trying to make. I
spoke about this in more detail in that review along with this one here which is
My Name is Monster by Katie Hale. This is a post apocalyptic book, kind of a
mixture of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein The Last Man. Monster is the
last person, or she feels as though she is the last person, left alive, she used
to work at the Svalbard Seed Nank as I was called… Seed Vault, yes, Seed Vault where
we have seeds of all the plants in the world, so a back up in case of nuclear
disaster or other kinds of disaster and she has left there and washed up on the
coast of Scotland and she’s trying to get back home. This is about language and
truth and about creating your own world and I think that’s really fun actually
to read it alongside Frankissstein, so if you’re interested in reading these go
and check out my review on TOAST magazine and leave a comment underneath
that review talking to us about Frankenstein or Frankenstein retellings
or Jeanette Winterson books if you’ve read some of her work before and they
will be picking a winner to win copies of books, so go over and leave a comment
but don’t just leave a comment saying “pick me”, leave a comment where you’re
talking about books and the giveaway is open internationally, so I’ll link that
down below. Next up I did some reading of hyped books and I did a whole reading
vlog where I talk to you through my in-depth thoughts on these books and
spoke to you about them as I was reading them, so I will link that in the
description box down below. I had so much fun filming that and I think I will do
more themed reading vlogs in the future because many of you seem to like it and
I had a great time, so the first one I reread was The Handmaid’s Tale. I loved
it. it’s fantastic, it’s so intricate and wonderful and well-paced and all of that
stuff, and of course the reason that I read The Handmaid’s Tale was so that I
could read this which is the Testaments, the sequel to The Handmaid’s Tale. At the
end of my reading vlog I said that I was still about 80 pages from the end but
I was stopping because I wanted to upload that video but I was really
enjoying this book and hopefully that wouldn’t change. I’ve now finished this
book and I do think my enjoyment went down slightly; I
think the end of this book isn’t as strong as the beginning, it’s a little
bit rushed, a lot rushed actually, and also a little bit of an anti-climax and
the reason I think that it has for me an anticlimactic ending is because this
book is not really a sequel to The Handmaid’s Tale the book it’s a sequel
to The Handmaid’s Tale the TV show and I haven’t seen in the TV show, I’ve seen
the first couple of episodes and it was a bit too intense for me, I much prefer
the reading experience of it so I stopped watching,
but then season 2 goes off in a completely different direction, there’s
more plot, we learn more about Offfred and her life after Gilead, well after her
time within Gilead that we experience within the Handmaid’s Tale and that’s not
recapped in here, and I do think that there are key things that you need to
know going into this book for it to live and breathe, for you to have the
emotional reaction that it wants you to have, otherwise it’s just a bit confusing
and held at a distance, so I went and did some research and read some spoilers
and looked up the TV show then returned to this book having more
context and I don’t feel that as a reader you should have to do that, I feel
like the book should stand on its own two feet and I don’t feel like it really
does that. When you tie it with the TV show and with the first book I think
it’s a great accompaniment but I don’t think that the readers should have to
have seen the TV show in order to appreciate this because it’s a
completely different thing. That’s frustrating and I think you should know
that before going into it; if you want to read it and you haven’t seen the TV show,
I would probably Google “what do you need to know before reading the Testaments?”
because I’m sure that someone has made that list somewhere online and I don’t
want to spoil it for you here in case you haven’t watched a TV show yet and
you would like to, so go Google. I read these two books, well I DNF’d this one
which is The Imaginary Friend by Stephen Chbosky, it just wasn’t for me
unfortunately and I spoke about why in my reading vlog and then I read The
Secret Commonwealth which is the second in the Book of Dust trilogy and
unfortunately I didn’t enjoy this one, either, though I
read the whole thing. As you probably know His Dark Materials are my favorite
books of all time and I wanted to love this book so very much and I just didn’t. Again, I spoke about all of my reasons for not enjoying it in that
video so if you would like to know more then go to that video and give it a watch. On a much more pleasant
note though I did watch last night the first episode of the new BBC HBO
adaptation of His Dark Materials and it filled my heart with so much warmth and
delight. It is the adaptation, so far, touch wood, I have always dreamed of. I
thought it was just amazing. We don’t speak of the film, the film was not great,
this is fantastic and if you like me were apprehensive about a new adaptation
please don’t be please go and watch it it was amazing, and I’ll stop
talking about it because otherwise I may cry. The final two books that I wanted to
speak about are this one here which is the Forward book of Poetry 2020, this is my
favourite anthology that comes out every year. The Forward Prizes for Poetry are
wonderful prizes that are awarded every year there are three of them: for best
single poem published in a literary journal, for best debut collection and
best collection that is not a debut. The judges then pick not just the
shortlisted poets but also commended poems from each category and they
publish them in this book here. I was one of the Forward Prize
judges last year, so I helped edit and compile last year’s book which is
still something that I adore so I’ll link that down below but this is the one
that just came out this year, it’s all of the commended and shortlisted poets from
this year’s prize and I loved it. I do know most of the poets in here, I
mean not personally, I mean that I know their work, so there weren’t any huge
surprises to me in here but I did pick pick out a few voices from here that I
wanted to mention who were new to me, the first one is Holly Pester and hers
was a single poem that was submitted called Comic Timing
and it’s a long poem about an abortion and I thought it was amazing. The
other two poems that I marked were actually by poets I already know but
this was new work by them one called The Break by Lavinia Greenlaw which is about
living with pain and not knowing how to express it, and also Crow-baby by Luke
Kennard, which is very much inspired by Ted Hughes and also remind me of Grief is a
Thing with Feathers. If you would like to read some excellent new poetry that has
been published this year you cannot go wrong with this book. The final one I
wanted to mention is this one here called Beast Feast by Emma Yarlett, it’s
a picture book, it’s the follow-up to her book Dragon Post which I read and adored
last year. I think out of the two I still prefer Dragon Post but this one is also
great, it is a series of letters well it’s a story with letters in it, which
makes me think of the Jolly Postman and I used to love opening letters in
picture books when I was young… in fact I still do, so it says “One very hungry day,
Beast caught Dinner. Beast was ever so pleased. Dinner looked very tasty.” This is
Dinner. So Dinner has to persuade the Beast not
to feed him to the other beasts at the beasts feast and instead comes up with
other ways to serve food and there are lots of letters that come in from other
beasts, from other monsters, telling Beast what their favorite food is and
how they like things to be cooked so here is a recipe for Cockroach Cola etc. I think my favourite thing about the book is the attention to detail, even the endpapers have extra
reading material on them and I think that my nephew and niece are going to love
this, so I’m going to pass this on to them and I should say that wasn’t gifted
I just bought it myself because I enjoy purchasing picture books. All of the
books that I mentioned will be linked in the description box down below, have you
read any of these? Would you like to? Go and leave a comment over on the TOAST
article if you would like to win some books, if you would like to know my
in-depth thoughts on the hyped books then go over to over to my reading vlog
if you haven’t watched that. I hope you all having a great start
to the week and I’ll speak to you soon lots of bookish love, bye x

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  1. For me personally, I also found the tv show too intense and stepped back but still completely loved the Testaments! It always fascinates me how we all have such different interactions with books ๐Ÿ˜Š makes booktube such an interesting place!

  2. But you bought these books or someone bought them for you in order to make a review for your channel? I ask you this question because i spend all my money buying tons of books. Thanks! Great books! I want to read chobsky and jeannette winterson.

  3. As I'm always on the lookout for things to listen to when in the studio (reading and painting at the same time doesn't really work) I got the audio book of Blue Monday on your previous recommendation. And I really love it. So thanks for bringing that to my attention.

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