Happy Halloween! October in Review

Happy Halloween everyone! This month has flown by, but I managed to do a fair amount of reading in between camping trips and pumpkin carving.

11 books completed
3,794 pages read
9 books reviewed

I have thoroughly enjoyed the reading challenges I’ve been involved in: Dewey’s 24-hour Readathon, Fall into Reading 2010, and the YABR Halloween Readathon.

But in the flurry of weather changes and completed challenges, we can’t forget about the books. Here are the books I reviewed this month:

I finally got around to reading The Hobbit, and I thoroughly enjoyed myself. Bilbo is an incredibly likeable character and a realistic hero, and I absolutely agree with his policy of second breakfasts. I’m looking forward to reading the Lord of the Rings trilogy… yes, I haven’t read that yet either!
Rating: 5 out of 5

To Have and Have Not is my least favorite Hemingway book so far. Though Hemingway attempts to dissect grand social issues, such as troubled economic times and the relationship that exists between husband and wife, the entangled sub-plots and the erratic activities of the characters serve to distract from whatever statement Hemingway is trying to make.
Rating: 3 out of 5

While I was interested to read a collection of flash fiction, a new favorite genre of mine, I found the weaknesses of some of the stories in Fingerprints to be off-putting. However, it was great to see D.C. in so many settings.
Rating: 2.5 out of 5

I came to The Purity Myth hoping for a clear-eyed, well-argued account of the effects of the movements toward abstinence and virginity. Instead, many of Valenti’s snarky comments only reinforce the dichotomy between supporters and detractors of abstinence. However, there were many parts that I enjoyed (being a snarky blogger myself).
Rating: 3.5 out of 5

I found Wuthering Heights to be an enjoyable read; even more than Jane Eyre. Such a powerful story of love and loss ages well, and the unconventional use of an unreliable narrator had an interesting effect upon my view of the characters and story.
Rating: 4 out of 5

Though I enjoyed the intense psychological aspects of Crime and Punishment, I thought the story dragged on for too long. However, I admired Dostoevsky’s handling of the intricate relations between characters rich and poor, male and female, powerful and powerless, sane and mentally ill.
Rating: 3.5 out of 5

While it was fun to read and act out a play together–and Halloween was the perfect time of year to do it!–perhaps Jack and I chose the wrong work; neither of us particularly liked Macbeth. The entire play seemed very disjointed, like there was a scene or even an act missing.
Rating: 2.5 out of 5

After our joint review of Macbeth, Jack was inspired to write about another recent book he’d recently finished (after several months!). While Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell had excellent prose and a strong historical feel, the generally glacial pace of the story has him recommending against this one.
Rating: 2.5 out of 5

The Graveyard Book was truly a delight to read, and I appreciated Gaiman’s intelligent handling of complex issues without losing sight of his inventive narrative. I would recommend this book to almost anyone for its fully formed characters, excellent prose, and engaging plot.
Rating: 4.5 out of 5

I’m excited about the reviews I have planned for November, and I can’t wait to host a giveaway of a book I enjoyed recently. But more on that tomorrow! Thanks to everyone for supporting me with your kind comments and steady viewership.

And now I’m off to enjoy candy and pumpkin beer!

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