I've been so slow in getting around to my reading wrap up this month, but October was such a busy month for books for me that I'm really excited to share what I read with you! With Autumn really coming in and Halloween, I started getting into spookier books towards the end of the month, but I'm really glad to have gotten a whole range of genres in.
Austerlitz by W G Sebald is my one 'classic' book this month, and my least favourite read. The unnamed narrator befriends a man named Austerlitz, who came to England on kindertransport in 1939 and is travelling to try and find out where he came from and who his family is. I loved the sound of this, but in reality the book felt like it dragged on forever, in part due to the fact that the whole thing was one long chapter (my least favourite format for a book). The action was very minimal, and I felt like everything was stretched out into being about ten times as long as it could have been, without much payoff in terms of good scene setting.
An American Marriage by Tayari Jones was my favourite book last month, and the only other kindle read I got through other than Austerlitz. Winner of this year's Women's Prize for Fiction, this book tells the story of Roy - a black man wrongly convicted for a rape he didn't commit - and his wife Celestial who's not quite sure what to do with her life as a newlywed with a husband behind bars. Told partly as a narrative and partly through letters, this book managed to be both raw and so well written at the same time.
Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan is my one YA read for this month and something I really enjoyed. Rachel Chu doesn't know what she's let herself in for when she visits her boyfriend Nicholas Young's family in Singapore over summer. They're one of the richest families in Singapore, and as soon as she arrives, Rachel's forced to recognise that there's a whole other part to Nicholas that she never knew about. The book made me chuckle and after a bit of a slow start I was really wrapped up in the text and need to get my hands on the second in the series asap.
Love and Other Gods by Michael Nangla (gifted). I'm going to write a full review of this on here soon, so I'm going to keep this brief. This is a non-fiction personal account of one man's struggle with psychosis. Nangla talks about his breakdowns in a very raw and vulnerable way, really exposing himself to the reader. Intertwined with this is deep philosophical discussions, which I found quite jarring. The two are clearly very important to the writer, but I found it very hard to keep switching between them.
The Girl in the Ice by Robert Bryndza is my only thriller for the month. Detective Erika Foster is trying to find out who killed a young socialite in London. With a troubling past that's threatening to consume her, Erika is battling to stay on the case and keep uncovering the secrets that the victim's rich powerful family want to keep under wraps. I really enjoyed the depth of the plot in this, but I guessed the killer quite early on (though I became convinced it wasn't them, only to be un-convinced at the end).
Trigger Warning: Short Fictions and Disturbances by Neil Gaiman. I'm not a big short story fan, but I've wanted to try something written by Gaiman for a while now. All of the stories were very different - some only a few pages, some around 30/40 and there were poems included as well as different formats of short story. The one theme running through is that they were all creepy or spooky in some way, and it reminded me of reading the Goosebumps books when I was a kid.
What did you read last month that you'd recommend?