Wednesday, November 2, 2022

October Reading Wrap Up+

Last month I said September was busy. And it was busy. But it wasn't October busy. We sold our old place (yay but also SAD FEELINGS), we moved into a new place and even started unpacking, though since the plan is to be here less than a year we're probably going to be leaving a fair amount in boxes. I'm trying to balance making life easier for future me while also making this place feel like a home, even a temporary one. Also it was Halloween so we spent time driving around looking at the decorations and I want to thank everyone who just...goes nuts this time of year. My own little goblin loves it (even if he refuses to go to those houses cos too spooky).

Now, time for some book stats!

Total books read
We Sold Our Souls by Grady Hendrix
The Secret History of Food: Strange but True Stories About Everything We Eat by Matt Siegel
Last Night at the Telegraph Club by Malinda Lo
In a Dark, Dark Wood By Ruth Ware
Lessons in Chemistry by Bonnie Garmus

We Sold Our Souls by Grady Hendrix
Hendrix is probably one of my favorite horror writers. He has a knack for female protagonists and he approaches ridiculous premises with a seriousness that works. Sometimes that's a haunted Ikea, sometimes that's a high school exorcism. And sometimes that's the world of heavy metal where some dabbling with the darkness is to be expected. Kris used to be the lead guitarist for a 90s heavy metal band but for the last 10 years it seems like she's been living in a hell on earth. Meanwhile lead singer Terry is bigger than ever. But something seems off and things have gone badly for most of the band ever since Terry brought in an exec to get them a big record deal if they'd just sign this mystery contract. The book is creepy and had me on edge for a few scenes. Not my fav Hendrix but still a good one and one I would def read again.
Rating: 4 stars

The Secret History of Food: Strange but True Stories About Everything We Eat by Matt Siegel
A pop-sci book about the history of food. Honestly I don't remember a huge amount about this one. I picked it up because it was available from the library and that was a big plus. I had it on my TBR list but don't entirely remember where I heard about it. Basically a lot of things I don't remember with this book. It was fine. Some funny stories, nothing groundbreaking, nothing offensive. It was fine, probably.
Rating: 3 stars

Last Night at the Telegraph Club by Malinda Lo
A lesbian coming of age story set in 1950s San Francisco. Chinese-American Lily Hu knows there's something different about her that goes beyond her love for math and a desire to one day work for JPL like her aunt. Classmate Kath introduces Lily to the Telegraph Club, a lesbian club featuring a male impersonator. Here their love story begins against a backdrop of racism and homophobia. When the story is focused on Lily, it's good (though it can be slow at times). When the story follows flashbacks of various Hu family members, the book moves away from the pieces that worked the best. 
Also fun fact, the author's newsletter is called "Lo and Behold". 
Rating: 4 stars

In a Dark, Dark Wood by Ruth Ware
Ruth Ware is a bit hit or miss for me but in general I like a thriller and she does deliver. Here we have the  story of a hen party in, well, a dark secluded wood (classic bachelorette location). Nora is invited to a hen party for a childhood friend she hasn't spoken to in a decade. It seems odd given she isn't invited to a wedding but, she decides to make the trip. But things With the house, with the host and pieces of Nora's past are coming up. There's enough there to keep you guessing so it was a fun thriller even if it didn't really stick with me.
Rating: 3.5 stars

Lessons in Chemistry by Bonnie Garmus
Elizabeth Zott is a scientist. But she's also a woman and this is the early 1960s when women were expected to stay at home, something Elizabeth has no inclination to do. The story follows Elizabeth as a chemist at Hastings research, her relationship with fellow chemist Calvin Evans and then later her life as a single mother to a precocious little girl Mad hosting a cooking show. Elizabeth is uncompromising, and the world is trying to get her to make a lot of compromises so there is plenty of opportunity for tension. I flew through the book and while I had a few issues (it gets preachy at times) overall I really liked this one. 
Rating: 4.75 stars

Total pages read
1,742 - highest of the year so far


Female authors

BIPOC authors

US authors

Book format
audiobook: 100%

Where'd I get the book
library: 100%


Decade published
2010s: 80%
2020s: 20%

Resolution reads
Last Night at the Telegraph Club is by an Asian-American author
In a Dark, Dark Wood is by a UK author