These are the books I read in October, plus some thoughts about them. That’s it. That’s the post.
This portrait photo of me is by my incredibly talented friend, Sólveig, and you should follow her Instagram right now, and then read about these books below.
Everything Under, Daisy Johnson
I’ve been devouring everything under the sun that relates to Greek mythology recently, after loving Song of Achilles and Circe by Madeline Miller. But when I first picked up Daisy Johnson’s Everything Under, it was just because I was browsing through my Overdrive library for something contemporary and literary. Little did I know, it was a Greek myth retelling! This book was intense, and I loved it. A haunting modern retelling of Oedipus, it has twisted dark characters and uses second-person voice in a surprisingly satisfying way. I loved so many individual lines within this book, and it spoke to me as a whole. What a beautiful writer Johnson is.
Ninth House, Leigh Bardugo
I’m sure you must have heard me wax poetic about this novel before, but I’m going to do it again. This book is dark, haunting, fast-paced and exciting, creative and brilliant and everything I wanted from a new Leigh Bardugo novel. I already cannot wait for the new books in this series. Alex Stern is now one of my favourite Bardugo characters, and with good reason. She’s tough as nails, smart and biting and angry, with good reason.
Silence of the Girls, Pat Barker
As I’ve said, I’m reading everything Greek-inspired right now, and Pat Barker’s Silence of the Girls is particularly timely in the age of Me Too, especially after Madeline Miller’s hugely popular Song of Achilles. After falling in love with Achilles and Patroclus in Miller’s story, it was nice to see them and their relationship again in Barker’s story, albeit from a very different angle. Achilles is rightfully portrayed as brutish, a monster, a murderer. But he’s still allowed to be human. From the title, you’d be forgiven for thinking this book would give voice to the women of Troy. But the novel still takes us back to Achilles. As much as I love Achilles and Patroclus as written by Miller, I didn’t think it was necessary for Barker to write from the men’s perspective. It lost the impact of writing only about the women.
Cat’s Cradle, Kurt Vonnegut
Vonnegut is always fun and funny, and although I didn’t enjoy this book nearly as much as Slaughterhouse 5, it was still a quirky and thought-provoking read.
So, what books have you been reading this month?