October Reads

A new month calls for a new reading list! At the beginning of the year I made it one of my goals to read at least 30 books. It’s currently October and the year is 3/4 of the way through, yet I have read just 16 books (17 if you count a book I re-read). I didn’t write out a list with specific titles that I planned on reading throughout the year, that way I could choose whatever book I felt like reading when the time came. My mood is always changing – if I had planned to read a work of classic literature, then I would more than likely end up reading something like Gossip Girl. Funny how things don’t always go as planned.

Thus far I have read:

  • Carrie by Stephen King
  • Holiday Princess by Meg Cabot
  • Coraline by Neil Gaiman
  • (Re-read) Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J.K. Rowling
  • Sarah, Plain and Tall by Patricia MacLachlan
  • Gossip Girl by Cecily von Ziegesar
  • You Know You Love Me: A Gossip Girl Novel by Cecily von Ziegesar
  • All I Want is Everything: A Gossip Girl Novel by Cecily von Ziegesar
  • Because I’m Worth it: A Gossip Girl Novel by Cecily von Ziegesar
  • The Power of a Praying Wife by Stormie Omartian
  • Saving Your Marriage Before it Starts by Drs. Les & Leslie Parrott
  • Harry Potter and the Cursed Child by J.K. Rowling, John Tiffany & Jack Thorne
  • Pride and Prejudice and Zombies by Seth Grahame-Smith
  • Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Rigg
  • Matilda by Roald Dahl
  • The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger

Currently reading:

  • Cooked by Michael Pollan
  • (Re-reading) Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by J.K. Rowling
  • The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman

If you can’t tell by my list, I have been reading a lot of children’s literature and teen fiction this year. I didn’t necessarily intend to read so many children/teen books, but they’ve all been so good! I recently picked up my first Roald Dahl book (Matilda) and instantly fell in love with his style of writing and the way he captures the imagination. I picked up a used copy of both The Witches and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl the other day and I am very much looking forward to reading both of them.

For the month of October, I want to read some novels that are both thrilling and, dare I say, creepy. I’ve tried to balance out my October reading list with a mixture of thrilling tales, classic literature, and spiritually edifying books–we’ll see how far I make it through this list though.

October Reads:

  • The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman
  • Misery by Stephen King
  • Hollow City by Ransom Rigg
  • The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger
  • Captivating by John & Stasi Eldredge

Considering I finished reading The Catcher in the Rye in less than a week and that I just started reading The Graveyard Book last night, I’d say I’m doing pretty well with my reading list so far. I’m trying to plug through one at a time instead of reading all of them at once (like I usually do). This way, I can devote my full attention to one story and really engage in it.

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I wanted to give a quick review on The Catcher in the Rye. This book has been on my “To-Read” list for years now and I just so happened to pick up a copy of it at Goodwill a couple of months ago. I wanted to read at least one classic this month, so I decided that it was time to give this book a try.

My first impression of the book upon reading the first few pages was that the dialogue was chaotic. The writing style was different than anything I had read before and I was wondering if I was going to have to read on without really enjoying the story. I had heard mixed reviews about this book, but I was determined to read it and like it. By the time I was a few chapters in though, I realized I wouldn’t have to force myself to like this book.

Reading The Catcher in the Rye is like reading an angsty teenager’s journal. I can identify with Holden Caulfield and the teenage angst and depression he feels (not quite on his level though). In fact, reading this book reminded me of my journals from when I was 15-16 years old. That feeling of being trapped in between childhood and adulthood, and being misunderstood by just about everyone in your life. I know that some people think that Holden is a whiny little brat, and he is. However, I fond myself feeling so sorry for him. He’s obviously been through a lot in his young life – losing a brother to cancer, continually being kicked out of school only to be forced into another. No wonder he acts and feels the way he does. Holden is such a complex character and through his dialogue and his thoughts that he shares, it’s easy to see that he’s struggling with depression and just really needs his family to come along side him and help him through this difficult time in his life.

Overall, I thought the book was brilliant. It was complex, had deep meaning and hidden messages throughout. I guess I can see why some people don’t like this book, but I think they need to look deeper and then maybe they would appreciate it a bit more. I was lucky and had a wonderful English professor in college who taught me how to look closely at a story and analyze the characters. I already loved literature, but she gave me a deeper appreciation for it and changed the way I read stories. And I am forever grateful for that.

On a side note, this was my first attempt at writing a book review, so please be kind. I hope that as I continue on my reading journey I can write more reviews and hopefully get better with practice.

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