October felt kind of long. Remember when January this year was about a thousand years long, mainly because January always is but also because it started on a Monday? I think that was part of the problem with October. At the same time, though, October feels as though it's flown by, and this combination is always the weirrrrdest. I mean, I've applied, been interviewed for, and gotten the permanent version of the job that I was already doing, but it also feels like I've only just returned to work after my week off at the end of September. WEIRD.
October has been a bit of a poorly month in my household - we've had to cancel two attempts to visit Kew Gardens because firstly I had a gross cold, and then because my boyfriend had a (different, we think!) gross cold. This is ok, we'll make it there one day, and we've been doing a lot of relaxing and laying down and also drinking lots of fluids cause, you know, health. I've also been trying to not feel too Christmassy yet and mostly failing - I've started buying Christmas presents already because of spreading those costs out, and this coming weekend we're going to start a movie countdown to Christmas by starting the Harry Potter movies (one a week takes us right up to the weekend before Christmas!) So, yeah. Trying to keep cool about Christmas but mostly failing, but also trying.
What have I been reading though? I think I heard a whisper in the back asking that, so let's have a look:
The Left Hand of Darkness by Ursula K Le Guin
I... Did not love this book. I've written a miniature review (forthcoming!) explaining why, but mostly I found it confusing and just didn't love either the way it was written or the story itself. Pretty conclusive there, I guess, but yeah, not for me.
The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams
THIS book, however, is a pretty fab little nugget of humour and excellence! I have also written a review of this (you're going to see that a lot in this post, and HOW WEIRD IS THAT?! This is a book that I've been meaning to read for, honestly, about half my life, so I'm so glad it's one finally ticked off the list, not least because I enjoyed it quite a lot. Don't delay reading books so much, kids!
Strange Weather by Joe Hill
JOE HILL IS AWESOME. Once again, I have reviewed this already, but the short version is that this is a collection of 4 novellas and they are all fabulous and terrifying and I am very into Joe Hill at this length of story.
Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury
I have reviewed this too, try not to be scared! I was moderately underwhelmed by this one, because (and I discuss this further in my review) I felt like the language and the story didn't meld very well, so that I felt as though I should be very scared, but I was not, in fact, very scared. Maybe it's just me, but it's how I felt.
When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi
I am going to review this one so I don't want to say too much but this book was incredible and moving and even, for me, very slightly life changing (on a really small scale) and I have no idea how to approach a review of it so yes. We'll see how that goes but please read the heck out of this book.
The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood
I'm ALSO going to (re) review this book (please don't have a heart attack) but come on. It's The Handmaid's Tale. Read it, watch it, be scared, don't let it become non-fiction.
The Magic Toyshop by Angela Carter
I don't have an actual plan to review this book (I know, what a relief) but considering I'm in the process of reading another Angela Carter at the moment, I might do a little joint review post for both of them. This book was so good and weird and kind of upsetting - a 15 year old girl has to go and live above a toyshop with a tyrannical uncle and mute aunt and you know what, there's no way I can describe this book and how unsettling it is in words. You're going to have to read it, I'm afraid, and let me know how unsettled you are.
Lethal White by Robert Galbraith
OMG you guys. This book is 649 pages long, and I read it feverishly over two evenings after work, plus the bus ride to work in between. I barely moved, during all of the time I spent reading it, and I somehow spent the day at work in between actually getting work completed as opposed to just going home to finish reading this book. This is of course a detective novel so I can't tell you anything about the plot at all, but you know what? JK can spin a yarn. I'm not even sure how I feel about the plot or the ending or anything, but I know that this was fucking readable and just so exciting and well paced and GOOD SO GOOD. I love a good Galbraith.
Books books books are so good. I feel like I'm in an extremely good reading place at the moment, not least because I've been dedicating more time to it with my lack of social media usage, and I feel like I'm more able to focus and whatnot. Also, you know, it's cold and dark outside a lot and I don't even have to feel a tiny bit bad about staying inside and reading (not, you know, that I would anyway). November is going to bring NaNoWriMo back into my life, so who knows how much reading I'll get done, but you know I'll give it my best shot.