Books read in October and November 2013

A quick write-up of the books read in October and November!

 

October 2013

Fiction (12)
This Earth of Mankind – Pramoedya Ananta Toer
Toer is one incredible writer. His determination to write (he wasn’t allowed pen or paper when imprisoned by the Dutch but managed to compose his books orally and write them down after he was released) never fails to impress me.

Haunted (Women of the Otherworld #5) – Kelley Armstrong
The Women of the Otherworld series is always such fun, even if it’s one which has the rather bitchy Eve (who’s haunting the afterworld) as the main character.

A monster calls – Patrick Ness
Absolutely heart-wrenching. But so very good. I had to buy myself a copy.

Save yourself – Kelly Braffet
For some reason I thought this was a supernatural tale but it turned out to be a story about some very messed up families.

The Accursed – Joyce Carol Oates
Set in Princeton, involves vampires, Woodrow Wilson and Upton Sinclair. Bizzare and intriguing but ultimately too ramble-y.

The thin man – Dashiell Hammett
I finally meet Nick and Nora. And I don’t like them. There’s a lot of drinking involved, and a bizarre scene in which Nick knocks out his wife as there’a man pointing a gun at them.

The Interestings – Meg Wolitzer
It’s made many ‘best of’ lists and it’s easy to see why. Wonderful relationships and characters. I could see this being dissected in creative writing classes.

The Willoughbys- Lois Lowry
A quirky fun little read.

The Death of Bees Lisa O’Donnell
My review

Hikikomori and the rental sister – Jeff Bauhaus
Promising – a shut-in in the US, a Japanese girl helps him out – hate the way it turned out (does the author have an Asian fetish?)

NOS4A2 – Joe Hill
My review

Touch not the cat – Mary Stewart
Kind of awesome.

Graphic novels (3)
Boxers and Saints – Gene Luen Yang; Lark Pien
If I were writing a best of 2013 list (maybe I am, if I can actually get organised enough), this, or rather these two graphic novels would be on my list.

Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind, Vol. 1 – Hayao Miyazaki
Nausicaa was the first Miyazaki film I saw and it will always have a special meaning for me.

Non-fiction (1)
How Eskimos Keep Their Babies Warm: And Other Adventures in Parenting (from Argentina to Tanzania and Everywhere in Between) -Mei-Ling Hopgood
A fun parenting read but I didn’t exactly take anything away from it.

 

Total : 16

In November I read:
Some contemporary fiction, two set in the US and two set in the UK

The House Girl – Tara Conklin
The Middlesteins – Jami Attenburg
Longbourn – Jo Baker
Letters from Skye – Jessica Brockmole

Some crime/mystery books, one by a writer I already love (Touchstone is the prequel of Bones of Paris), and the other a new-to-me writer whose series I’m keen to follow
Touchstone – Laurie R King
The last policeman – Ben H Winters

Some fantasy/sci-fi. The first book of which I quite enjoyed, the imagining of countless parallel Earths, on which no humans ever existed, and those who ‘Step’ to discover them. The second book continued the story, and was still quite a good read, especially seeing from the non-western point-of-view, of sorts
The long earth – Terry Pratchett and Stephen Baxter
The long war (The Long Earth #2) – Stephen Baxter and Terry Pratchett

A little bit of YA and children’s books. Kate DiCamillo has got to be one of my favorite children’s authors. Too bad I only started reading her as an adult! Shannon Hale is always a fun read too, with wonderful female characters. I wasn’t all that fond of Every Day.
Princess Academy – Shannon Hale
Every day – David Levithan
Flora and Ulysses: the illustrated adventures – Kate diCamillo and KG Campbell
The tale of Despereaux – Kate DiCamillo

The sole non-fiction read was a little startling. Piper Kerman’s story is quite different from what the TV series makes it out to be (PLEASE NOTE THERE WILL BE SPOILERS FOR BOTH BOOK AND SHOW IF YOU READ ON). She is far more likable in her book, as is her fiancé, and her ex only makes an appearance at the end of the book. She doesn’t get sent to SHU and there is a lot less backstory to the many fellow inmates than in the TV series. 
Orange is the new black: my year in a woman’s prison – Piper Kerman

Total for November 2013: 13

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