Reading Wrap Up: October 2020

At the beginning of the month I predicted that I’d be reading less now that the new semester has started, and I was absolutely right. I found a new favourite at the beginning of the month but after I hit a streak of things that were…. not great. Things did pick up a little near the end of the month, but by that point there wasn’t much time left for things to properly turn around. I read a total of seven books in October (technically four with one novella, one short story, and one graphic novel), with an average rating of 3.26 out of five. If I take things that I read for uni out of the mix, I read a total of five books (three, and novella, and a graphic novel) with an average rating of 3.4. Both of these average ratings are pretty low, I really wasn’t having a good time.

I’m going to talk about the things I read for uni first, and then I’ll list everything else that I read in the order I read them. I’ll link to my full review of anything that I’ve reviewed.

Utopia by Thomas More

Rating: 3 out of 5.

One of my politics modules this semester is all about utopias and dystopias, so I read the entirety of this book. There’s a moment in this book where the fourth wall gets a little thin, which was absolutely my favourite line (and I transcribed it on Goodreads here if you’re interested), but aside from that it was just…. okay. I wasn’t reading this for entertainment purposes, but getting some entertainment from it wouldn’t have hurt. Oh well. At least I didn’t dislike it, and I can appreciate its importance.

Harrison Bergeron by Kurt Vonnegut Jr

Rating: 3 out of 5.

The only thought in my head after I finished this short story was ‘What the fuck???’. That’s all I really have to say. It didn’t take me long to read at all, the copy I read (an e-book through my university library) was only nine pages long, but that was way more than enough.

Everything else I read for uni this month I didn’t read enough to be able to justify counting it as read on Goodreads, so from here on out it’s all the non-academic stuff.

Pet by Akwaeke Emezi

Rating: 5 out of 5.

This is a new favourite book of mine! I loved all the characters, the world made me feel safe and hopeful, and the revelation that the world isn’t as perfect as all the characters like to pretend it is made complete sense. The revelation at the end about what Pet truly is solidified this as a new favourite in my mind, and the discussion it opens up about how possible utopias truly are meant that I got to talk about it during a presentation I had to do in class, which was a definite bonus.

A Deadly Education by Naomi Novik

Rating: 2 out of 5.

There were aspects of this book that were well executed, and there’s some potential here, but the majority of it is a mess that’s more dedicated to explaining aspects of its poorly thought out world than developing the characters or plot. I was looking forward to this one, so it’s disappointing that it ended up the way it did. You can find my full review here.

Domino: Strays by Tristan Palmgren

Rating: 2 out of 5.

This is another one that I’d been looking forward to that ended up not being very good, but this time it wasn’t because of anything serious or problematic. I just didn’t think that the plot or characters were developed or explored as well as they could’ve been, and I’m not a fan of footnotes in prose fiction in general. I was talking about dnf’ing this book from fairly early on, and I should’ve just done it. I’m sure that plenty of people who aren’t me will enjoy this though! You can find my full review here.

Through the Woods by Emily Carroll

Rating: 4 out of 5.

I received this as part of my October Queer Book Box! I really enjoyed this spooky story collection. The art was pretty, and creepy when it needed to be, and the stories were all interesting and exactly what I needed to get in the mood for Halloween! I’m still thinking about the one about the hole in the ground in the woods and the girls who fell down there, if you know then you know. If you’re interested in getting a Queer Book Box subscription for yourself, follow this link to get £5 off your first month (and I’ll get £5 off as well).

The Winter Duke by Claire Eliza Bartlett

Rating: 4 out of 5.

I enjoyed this one! I really appreciated the way that queer characters were allowed to exist without there being any need for their existence to be justified or explained. The politics was interesting, if complex, and it was a pretty neat worldbuilding method. The romance was also sweet, although if you go into it expecting it to be a romance then you will be disappointed. You can find my full review here.

England is going back into lockdown from Thursday, so soon I’m going to be stuck at home again. However, that doesn’t mean that I’ll have nothing to do but read. Now is around the time in the semester when uni work starts to ramp up even more, plus November is NaNoWriMo and I’m trying my best to participate in that. I have no idea how much time I’m going to be able to dedicate to reading or blogging on top of all this. I’m going to try my best though! Wish me luck!

About The Blogger

El is a 21 year old university student from the UK who loves to read and loves talking about what they read. They particularly like to focus on books featuring lgbtq+ main characters.

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