In October I read a wide array of books including thrillers, mysteries, a crime novel and the first book I’ve been sent directly by the author. This month featured three five-star reviews, three four-star reviews and one three-star review. It was a great month of reading filled with a wide range of genres and quality of books. I also hit my 50-book reading goal towards the end of the month which I didn’t think I’d hit, let alone with a couple of months of the year left!
Please note that this article contains affiliate links. This means that if you choose to purchase any products via the links below to support the blog, I will receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. These affiliate links do not affect my opinion of the products themselves.
So what are the seven books I read? Let me know if you’ve read any of them or whether you decide to pick them up as a result of reading any of my reviews below. If you’d like to purchase the books, there is a link to each book on Amazon below each of the summaries.
Then She Was Gone by Lisa Jewell
My summary of Then She Was Gone: “Then She Was Gone surprised me – not in that I wasn’t expecting to like it but in WHEN in the book I started liking it. As I mentioned earlier, there was a moment where I felt like I could have stopped listening but then it really picked up and I was absolutely hooked to the very last page and become fully invested in finding out as much as possible about these characters and finding out the truth behind everything.
I’d highly recommend Then She Was Gone to anybody who loves a mystery, there are certainly some aspects you may not expect. I’d also suggest this to those who like a Thriller as there are some tense and quite disturbing moments in this novel.”
The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue by V.E. Schwab
My summary of The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue: “The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue is a book I desperately wanted to like more than I did. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a good book, however, I feel like by trying to intertwine some weak love story elements into it, it lost sight of its potential. This could have been a book about all the incredible things Addie has seen – the life lessons she’s learned through the centuries, the incredible historic moments she’s witnessed. But instead, it’s a story about love – and not very interestingly (not as well done as the Age of Adaline – ironically Addie’s original, full name.)”
- Read my full review of The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue here.
- Get your copy of The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue here.
Animal Farm by George Orwell
My summary of Animal Farm: “Animal Farm is a wonderful book. It’s the first time I’ve read it and I can see why so many people hail it as such a fantastic piece of British literature. I can also see why it’s been studied in British academia – it’s a book about the power of propaganda and social control. It’s a book that puts into simple terms how your personality, intelligence, ethics and even physical build can affect where you end up in life and your importance to society. We’re very lucky in Britain to live in a society that isn’t centred around those mentioned above to allow you to progress in whatever profession or lifestyle you wish to progress in. However, it’s worth noting that Orwell noted that this book reflects events leading up to the Russian Revolution of 1917 and then on into the Stalinist era of the Soviet Union so its messages are very real.”
I’d recommend Animal Farm to anybody who is in political propaganda, anybody may well be into a bit of fantasy (it’s a book about animals forming a society) or people that simply want to read an absolute classic of literature.”
Piranesi by Susanna Clarke
My summary of Piranesi: “I absolutely loved Piranesi. I loved Susanna Clarke’s intelligent way of telling the story in feeding us small hints of more to come but never giving too much away to a point where you can guess where it is going. It’s a book that leaves you wanting to keep picking it up again and a book that I’d definitely recommend to those who love a mystery.”
Though this features fantastical elements and is classified as a fantasy book, it may not be the sort of fantasy that a lot of lovers of that genre would expect – there are no fantastical creatures or odd cultures – simply the environment Piranesi and The Other find themselves in is made up.”
The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood
My summary of The Handmaid’s Tale: “After the hype around the tv show, I was quite disappointed by The Handmaid’s Tale. The plot itself is very slow and the characters barely have any interaction with one another and so don’t have any depth. This book reminds me a lot of The Man In The High Castle – there’s a great TV show out there based on some fantastic original material but the book from which they come aren’t as fleshed out and don’t hit the potential that the television shows reach.”
I’d recommend reading The Handmaid’s Tale to those who have seen the TV Show or those who love to read dystopian fiction. Just don’t expect a lot of plot and don’t expect a lot of interaction between the characters.”
Atonium: A Thread of Existence by JG Maughan
My summary of Atonium: A Thread of Existence: “I was hesitant when I received Atonium. With it being a new author, there’s no guarantee the book will be any good as you’re aren’t getting a book that has been celebrated or is a best seller – it’s new territory for me as I usually only read books that I’ve seen many others recommend. However, I’m so very glad I did. Reading Atonium, I can see Maughan clearly has a talent for writing and an incredibly imaginative mind – in fact, I think it’s worth noting that despite his imagination, he never lets it run away with him. Sometimes when discussing elements as large as are discussed in this book, you can essentially just make up what you want – however, Maughan sets his own rules and own fictional boundaries to allow believable fiction to be written.
It’s well written and wonderfully imaginative. There are some slight pacing issues and the characters could have been better slightly more enjoyable, but these don’t bring the overall novel down too much at all. If you’re a science-fiction fan, pick up Atonium, if you’re someone that loves reading about the potential of humanity, read Atonium, if you’re somebody who likes to read about God-theories, read Atonium.”
- Read my full review of Atonium: A Thread of Existence here.
- Get your copy of Atonium: A Thread of Existence here.
Along Came a Spider by James Patterson
My summary of Along Came a Spider: “I picked up Along Came a Spider from the charity shop last weekend and knew I had the kindle copy and the audiobook so thought I’d give it a read. I am so glad I did. I wasn’t expecting Along Came a Spider to be one of the best mystery/crime books I’ve read. I thoroughly enjoyed the character of Alex Cross – I have a lot of love for the fact he’s also the first man of colour as the main character I’ve read in a book like this and I have more love for how this isn’t skirted around – the book is set in the early 90s and there’s clear evidence of racism and the transitioning out of an old way of thinking which is interesting to read.”
There’s also a brilliant villain here to support the main character. And this is all tied up with a juicy plot and some genuinely human interactions between the characters.”
October brought with it an incredible classic and one of my new favourite books in Animal Farm by George Orwell. It was possibly my favourite book of the month despite also loving how much Along Came a Spider surprised me and how utterly engrossing Piranesi was too.
October also brought with it the first book review request I’ve received in Atonium – a book that luckily turned out to be a genuinely great book – well written and very imaginative. It was also a month that saw me pick up The Handmaid’s Tale after quite enjoying the TV series but finding myself very disappointed with how lacking the book is. It is well written and offers a look into sexism – especially in the 80s but just didn’t offer enough character personality or plot for me.