I’ve not had as much time for reading in October as I’d hoped, and definitely not as much time to actually sit down and write about what I have read either- hence my lack of reviews during this month. I’ve just been really, really busy. Nevertheless, I thought I’d do a mini roundup of some of the books that I have encountered:
Rosemary’s Baby- Ira Levin; a brilliant horror classic set in a New York apartment building during the 1960’s, this was one of the first stories within the horror genre that demonstrated that evil could actually happen to the everyday, ordinary person and in a place that was seemingly safe- at the heart of the home. It is a tale of demonic possession and sacrifice and genuinely held me riveted with its atmospheric setting and creepy cast of characters. I’m really glad I picked this book up and maybe one day will be feeling brave enough to watch the movie! 4 stars out of 5.
Lisey’s Story- Stephen King; I had a few mixed feelings towards this book. It was beautifully written but just really, really odd! Following the death of her author husband Scott, Lisey is left to clear out his belongings. It soon becomes apparent however that someone is dead-set on getting their hands on his unfinished manuscripts and unpublished works- and will not let Lisey stand in their way…
This book held my attention for the most part, but what had started out as a psychological thriller/suspense type read, soon became a story of alternate dimensions and lapsed into a horror/fantasy story. A lot of reviews have cited this as one of King’s best work- unfortunately I just didn’t see it that way. 3.5 stars out of 5.
The Penguin Book of Witches- Katherine Howe; I was interested in reading this in the run-up to Halloween. The book contains some real-life accounts of witches from medieval Europe through to colonial America. Whilst interesting however, I found some of the language in the transcripts a bit difficult to get my head around and some of the accounts themselves were a bit dry in places. Far from being the engaging, entertaining book I had anticipated, this book was a bit duller than I had expected and is more something to read for research purposes than for fun. 3.5 stars out of 5.
Want You Dead- Peter James; it’s hard to believe that this is the tenth book in the Detective Roy Grace series. Tenth. Wow! It was good to catch up with Roy Grace and the gang in this pacey crime drama. This is the ultimate story of obsession and revenge, with a few surprises thrown in along the way, in a series that is definitely best off reading in order. Will Roy ever realise that his missing wife Sandy is still around? You’ll have to read it and find out. 4 stars out of 5.
Bye Mam, I Love You- Sonia Oatley; this was a powerful and moving account of the real-life murder of Rebecca Aylward, as told through the eyes of her grieving mother, determined to seek justice. The murder made major headlines in the UK a few years back, due to the shocking nature of not only the crime itself, but the fact that Rebecca’s killer was a young boy and someone that the family trusted and had welcomed into their home. Written with strong emotional depth, this book offered insight into aspects of the murder case that the media weren’t aware of, yet never once does it escape the reader’s attention that Rebecca was a young girl with her whole life ahead of her. The book does a remarkable job in remembering Rebecca and was a very worthwhile read. 4 stars out of 5.
Something Wicked This Way Comes- Ray Bradbury; a fantasy-horror classic written in the vein of Stephen King. I found this book to have some really tense, pacey moments but at other times it just grew a bit weird. The cast of characters was also pretty large and got a bit confusing in some places. Its premise follows that of a carnival that arrives in a Midwestern town one autumn evening and slowly begins to corrupt the townspeople. It is up to two young boys to save the lives of their friends and neighbours. Essentially another story of good versus evil, this story was full of nostalgia and innocence, but I just didn’t especially connect with any of the characters enough to love it, unfortunately. 3.5 stars out of 5.
As you can see here and from my list of books I’ve read, I’ve picked up quite a few horror/scary themed books recently in anticipation of Halloween and I do have one other one by James Herbert that I would like to get to by this Friday evening, but we’ll see.
At the moment I’m still reading The Count of Monte Cristo in the evenings and listening to Whiskey Beach by Nora Roberts on audiobook. My current daytime read is the classic Howards End by E.M. Forster, which I just started today and also happens to be one of the Guardian definitive reads, so I’m looking forward to getting stuck into it. I’ll be back later in the week with my monthly reading analysis as usual- I’ll see you then! 🙂