SEPTEMBER-OCTOBER READING REVIEW 📚
- •It Ends With Revelations by Dodie SmithDodie Smith's I Capture the Castle is one of my favorite books of all time, so when I saw this in a charity shop is Scotland I had to snap it up. I was SORELY disappointed. This book lacks the sparkling prose I expected, contains flat, unrealistic characters (including some of the creepiest children in literature), and a storyline that is at best convoluted-yet-drab, and at worst bizarrely homophobic. Everyone should read I Capture the Castle, but don't waste your time with this.
- •The Girl on the Train by Paula HawkinsThis was kind of the antidote to the last one. It's certainly not the best book ever written, but it does what it sets out to do and kept me engrossed to the end. It's also really cool to see a mega bestseller that's not only written by a women, but told from the perspective of three female narrators. The characters are rich, if not likable, and I thought the story examined female relationships in a really interesting way.
- •The Magic Toyshop by Angela CarterI'd never heard of this this book or this writer, but I am so glad I read it! The Magic Toyshop has the feel of a fairytale (the dark, Brothers Grimm variety), despite being set in the real world and being completely devoid of magic. It has a bombshell ending and every page serves up a delicious passage or two.
- •Northanger Abbey by Jane AustenIt'd been a few years since I spent time with Jane Austen, but she'd been on my mind ever since the Edinburgh Fringe, where I saw an Austen-inspired musical. Northanger Abbey is sort of a parody of the Gothic novels that were wildly popular throughout the 19th century. The love story here isn't as heart-squeezy as in her other books, but this is HILARIOUS. If you've never read Austen before but want to try it out, I'd recommend this as a good place to start.
- •The Glorious Heresies by Lisa McInerneySet in Cork, Ireland, The Glorious Heresies follows the insanity of an unsavory layer of society, kind of a Trainspotting for the 2010s. It is Dickensian in its character count, and covers enough time to be called epic. The ties between the characters are revealed thread by thread, and it is insanely satisfying to see them knot together. This is absolutely one of my favorite books of the year.
- •Wuthering Heights by Emily BrontëNorthanger Abbey put me in a Gothic mood, and what better place to turn than the flagship Gothic novel? I actually started and abandoned this book a few years ago, pissed off that what is called "the best love story of all time" is actually a story of abusive people abusing each other and everyone around them. But this time I persevered and ended up liking it! I see now what Emily was trying to do. It's a classic for a reason.