books read in October 2017

  • The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway. My first Hemingway novel (though I’ve read a few of his short stories). This was part of one of the lecture courses we’re using for Gray’s English class this year, and to be perfectly honest, I was dreading reading this book. And thus, I was pleasantly surprised when I didn’t hate it. I can’t claim to have loved it either, and it’s unlikely that I’ll ever read any more of Hemingway’s novels. But I am glad to have read this one.
  • The Forest Unseen: A Year’s Watch in Nature by David George Haskell. Read this one for our ecology course, and thoroughly enjoyed it. Haskell observed one particular square meter of forest in Tennessee over the course of a year. This book is more than his observations, however. Each entry (there are a handful for each month) is more like an essay on some aspect of the natural world. His writing doesn’t have that magical quality that the best natural history essayists have, but it is certainly adequate. (Though omg, is the man fond of metaphor and analogy.) What made the book so enjoyable for me was the amount of interesting information he conveyed through these essays.
  • The Sybil by Par Lagerkvist. Another for homeschool. Ugh…I truly did not like this book at all. There were times when the author said the same thing over and over again in different ways for several pages. It reminded me of the way that Max used to write assignments for school when he was trying to get so some specified page count. But aside from that, I really just didn’t like the narrative, which of course doesn’t mean that others wouldn’t.
  • Stay With Me by Ayobami Adebayo. Oh how I loved this book. And I honestly don’t know how to explain the whys. It was simply, yet exquisitely written. It broke my heart a hundred times. Yeah, I really loved it. And it will certainly make my list of favorite reads of the year.
  • See No Evil by Eleanor Taylor Bland. Eleanor Taylor Bland has become my favorite comfort author. I will be so sad when I’ve finished all the Marti MacAlister books…though at the same time, I know they will be wonderful rereads. They sort of hit that sweet spot between a cozy mystery and an all-out gritty suspenseful thriller. I can enjoy the entire spectrum of mysteries, but when I need something to take me away and let me immerse in the comfort of reading, it is that middle lane that does it best for me.
  • The Bad Beginning by Lemony Snicket. A reread of the first in the series. I read the first six of the books about a dozen years ago, and then quit because they were just feeling too formulaic and repetitive. Dewey convinced me that I ought to give them another chance sometime…and that sometime has come. I reread this first one on the 10th anniversary of Dewey’s 24-hour readathon. And yes, I quite enjoyed this quick little reread.
  • One of Us Is Lying by Karen M. McManus. Listened to this one as an audiobook. I guess you could call it a YA mystery thriller type book. It wasn’t a knock-your-socks off spectacular book, but I found it enjoyable.

Another poor month for reading diverse authors. The two books I did read by authors of color were my two favorite books of the month; this is so often the case.

 

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