After my slow book month in September, I didn’t think it could get any worse. I was wrong. I don’t know if it was the books, or my schedule or just my mood, but I hardly read at all in October and it’s starting to get me down. (Followers will also notice that I didn’t do much writing or posting either…I just felt as if I didn’t have much to say.) But, if only to look back on later, I still provide my measly little wrap-up.
By the numbers: 4 books, 2 reviews on Goodreads, 0 reviews on alenaslife, 0 oldie from my shelf – #dustingoffmybookshelf, 1 from my 2014 personal challenge (poetry, non-fiction, foreign locale), 2 audio, 1 set-aside
Elizabeth is Missing, Emma Healey
Even though I guessed most of the plot early on, this tale held my interest and my heart. Maud is 82 and clearly has dementia, so when she insists that “Elizabeth is missing,” no one pays attention. As her memory and her independence continue to slip away, her past becomes more pronounced. Maud is the definition of an unreliable narrator but the way Healey handles her voice is brilliant. My heart broke for her in so many ways.
“The sun’s in my eyes and it’s difficult to see. The shape of her is distorted by the light, circles of her silhouette removed as if by a pastry cutter.”
The Drop, Dennis Lehane
My favorite part of reading Dennis Lehane is the way the atmosphere creeps off the page from the opening lines. His novels are dirty and violent, obsessed with society’s underbelly — the thugs and the losers. And yet…there is still beauty.
“His brain was not evil. He knew it wasn’t; he spent a lot of time wandering its pink folds. It was just confused and hurt and filled with misshapen parts like an auto junkyard.”
The Painted Girls, Cathy Marie Buchanan (audio book)
Despite some weaknesses in the writing, I love the atmosphere and I love the two main characters, Marie & Antoinette. Buchanan’s novel is based in historical facts set in late 19th century Paris. Degas and one of his most famous models are included, as are some famous criminals and authors. Those “real” moments, passages and people set an incredible background for Buchanan’s imagination.
“Willfulness, such as yours, is exactly what a girl needs to raise herself up to do something useful with her life.”
When the Killing’s Done, T.C. Boyle (audio book)
Complex and interesting subject, but unlikable characters.
“She was at sea. She knew the rocking of the boat as intimately now as if she’d never known anything else, felt the muted drone of the engines deep inside her, in the thump of her heart and the pulse of her blood. At sea. She was at sea.”
My October Photo Collage is comprised of book covers uploaded from Goodreads.
16 thoughts on “October Reading Wrap Up”
Glad to hear you liked Elizabeth is Missing- I really liked that one! I have LeHane’s The Given Day, but I haven’t read it. Have you read that one as well?
Sometimes we just need a break- maybe things will start picking up again soon!
Naomi, The Given Day is my favorite Lehane. Its tge book that really tirned me on to his talent. Great historic fiction.
Elizabeth is Missing sounds really good!
Really enjoyable Leah. Not the thriller that i thought it would be, but really touched my heart.
Hated The Painted Girls! Boring! Repetitive!
I didnt hate it Didi, but tgere was definitely too much repetition. I loved the characters and it was well-narrated, which may have elevated the book for me.
What did you find repetitive?
She actually repeats scenes as her character’s replay them in their minds — as if she doesn’t trust readers to remember the content or significance of something that happened 200 pages ago.
That always bothers me in books. It’s not just a reference — it’s a full replay.
Ok yeah that’s what I was thinking as well. But she ruined her book with all of that. I just wanted her to get on with it. I felt it was also too long by 70 pages. I was really disappointed. Oh well.
I’m with didibooksenglish on this one. I wanted to love The Painted Girls. It had so much potential and I could not get through it fast enough so that I could MOVE ON. Ugh. Disappointing.
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I don’t know why but The Painted Girls is calling on me….almost everyone I know including myself had a bad reading month 😀 It seems we’re all in this together! ha ha ha
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I absolutely loved Elizabeth is Missing so I’m glad you enjoyed it too! Hope next month is a better month for you 🙂
I hope so too. Not sure what’s up with me.
I do love Denis Lehane. Maybe you’ll get your reading mojo bank this month?
I hope you can come back to blogging soon! Having a reading slow-down can feel like the end of the world, but you’ve just got to grab the hardcover by the dust jacket and get back into it!
ALSO, I’ve nominated you for the Sisterhood of the World Bloggers Award! Please check it out and thanks for being a blogging sister.
Sam, I am so honored. As you can see I’m still in a slump, although I’m inspired as I put together my Best of List for 2014. I hope to return to blogging as well. Baby Steps.
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