October is officially over! 🎃 🍂 (Hello November!) The weather’s increasingly getting colder over here in England, the clocks went back last weekend (yay to extra sleep!) and Halloween was a pretty good night! – I hope you enjoyed this past month as much as I did too!
But now, on to my first monthly wrap-up!
I buy most of my books from charity shops or online, both new and second-hand, I don’t discriminate… unless the spine is falling off or there are questionable stains in or on the book.
Life of Pi by Yann Martel
I’ve wanted to read this book since I saw it in cinemas a few years ago. I usually read/want to read books before I watch a film or television adaptations, but this story seemed like one that I would enjoy even more in its written form.
The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry by Rachel Joyce
This book is a good example of why the back-cover of books with only ☆☆☆☆ reviews should be banned. I wouldn’t have bought it if I hadn’t been intrigued by its blurb!
Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen
Like I’ve mentioned in previous posts, i’m not the biggest Austen fan. I’ve only read two of her novels, one which I didn’t initially enjoy and the other which I (to my surprise) ended up liking. I hope I like this one!
The Turn of the Screw by Henry James
I wanted to read a scary story and considering that it’s the month of Halloween, I thought this book would be perfect to read. The idea of Ghosts also scare me, so there’s that too.
MINI BOOK REVIEWS:
This month I read a grand total of 2 books:
1. Psycho by Robert Bloch
Psycho follows the story of Norman Bates who runs a motel on a deserted highway with his mother, however there is something strange about their relationship. Norman’s world begins to unravel when a woman escaping more than just the dreary storm outside, checks in for the night. We soon begin to learn about what really goes on at Bates Motel.
I really enjoyed this book! I watched the film adaptation years ago, so I pretty much knew how the story went. However even though I liked the film, the book provides more of a psychological look at the characters – particularly in the ways past events can or continue to affect your future/adult self. You really get a sense of why the characters are the way they are. Bloch set’s the tone perfectly from the start, its short length means the story is never dull or full of unnecessary exposition. Moreover, the set up to the big reveal is so well written that it makes me wish that I hadn’t already seen the film! As for the horror? It wasn’t as gruesome in detail but I think that’s what Bloch intended in the sense that he is able to expertly convey and contrast both the thought process of the antagonist as well as his outwardly behaviour which in effect makes this story all the more horrifying. This is definitely my favourite book of the year so far!
“Despite my ghoulish reputation, I really have the heart of a small boy. I keep it in a jar on my desk”.
4.8 / 5
2. The Turn of The Screw by Henry James
The new governess is in charge of two remarkably well-behaved orphans, however she becomes increasingly uneasy after she learns that the man she sees wandering through the grounds is in fact dead like her predecessor. The governess, determined to keep her pupils safe from their evil forces, begins to tether the line between what is real and what she may be imagining.
This book is wild. It’s hard for me to put into words exactly how I feel about it. I was drawn in almost immediately by the opening chapters. The setting, the characters and the tone were all perfect in creating the typical gothic story. However, for some reason, despite the book being only 120 pages long, I found it quite a challenge to get through. James’ writing style is convoluted, a lot of it I think has to do with how he wants to present the psyche of the governess which makes sense especially regarding the ambiguous ending. Unfortunately, this really hindered my enjoyment of the book; I still found the story to be intriguing and creepy but the ending felt a little lack-lustre.
· I think this book really inspired the whole angelic seeming child who ends up being truly sinister movie trope.
“It has been easy to live with them, because they’re simply leading a life of their own. They’re not mine—they’re not ours. They’re his and they’re hers!”
3 / 5
I never plan what I read, I just go with the flow and pick something on my TBR list. As of yesterday I started reading Between The Acts by Virginia Woolf – so far so good!
WHAT DID I WATCH?
Crimson Peak – This film was more gothic than horror (which I liked because I love the gothic genre). Overall, I enjoyed the performances, the cinematography was beautiful and the score was really good but the story unfortunately wasn’t as interesting as I thought it would be. The ghosts were creepy AsF though!
Stranger Things – I have well and truly been on this hype train since I accidentally started watching it on Netflix last summer (thanks automatic countdown). Season 2 was just as good, if not better! The character development, the acting, the special effects and most of the new additions to the show were just great! The actor who plays Will Byers was phenomenal, as was Bob the Brain and also Team Steve anyone? !:) Bring on Season 3!
I of course also watched Hocus Pocus – it’s my own personal Halloween tradition and I loved it as always!
Nothing interesting or significant has been going on in my life lately. I went to a wedding two weekends ago which was nice and I got some good countryside fresh air. On a more serious note, I’ve been thinking about changing career paths, since graduating work-life has pretty much been almost the opposite of what I expected it to be and recently I think maybe I need a change. Also, my birthday is coming up soon and i’m turning a quarter of a century – the big 25! I don’t usually celebrate my birthday but as it’s a ‘significant number’ I thought i’d make an effort this year.
Until next time : ) 🕸