Howdy folks! It’s awfully chilly these days, isn’t it. Must be all the spookiness around, eh? I have been reading and listening to an eclectic mix of stories, once again. I’ve actually read some of my favourite books of the year so far this month, in fact, they’re some of my favourite books EVER! Without further ado….
Born a Crime: Stories from a South African Childhood Trevor Noah | 28 Sep 17 – 04 Oct 17 | Audiobook | 5 Stars
I am not sure that I can quite string together the correct words to describe how incredibly brilliant this book it. At the time of reviewing, I’ve read over 100 books this year, and can say that this is by far my favourite read.
To start with, the stories and tales that Trevor Noah is telling somehow feel so much more real as I have fairly recently visited Johannesburg, where the majority of the book is set. Secondly, Trevor Noah has a brilliant way of telling a story. I’d expect this, considering he is a comedian, but the book is so well done that it doesn’t actually feel like a book at all.7
For me though, the magic was in the audiobook. There is something special about hearing the writer narrate their own work, especially when it’s autobiographical. At no point did it feel like he was reading a book, he was just telling me about stories from his life. He is a comedian, so of course he is funny and has great comedic timing, but there was something harrowing about the hilarity of the some of the events he was talking about.
A very impressive, funny, and eye-opening must-read!
Stardust Neil Gaiman | 04 Oct 17 – 12 Oct 17 | Audiobook | 5 Stars
I can’t really believe that I have gone so much of my life without reading any Neil Gaiman or without reading any adult fairytales. A travesty on both counts! I’ve seen the film and neither loved nor hated it, so was pleasantly surprised by just how much I loved it.
The characters involved were so rich and detailed that it was hard to find a flaw. I loved how broad a range of personalities and levels of society were represented, and I love how there is such an obvious change in behaviours and characteristics as soon as you cross the wall as a reader.
The story is so intricate and woven perfectly that it works on many levels: fantasy, fairy tale, romance, magic. It really enjoyed it!!
French Kiss James Patterson with Richard DiLallo | 15 Oct 17 | Paperback | 3 Stars
I was after a short, entertaining read that fulfilled a slightly empty evening. I was looking for a fast paced thriller that would be an easy read. And to be fair, it sort of fit the bill. I like James Patterson and always find that his books progress quickly and easily, yes they’re often formulaic, but the formula works for me.
That said, this was passable. I liked the protagonist (well, I didn’t hate him) and thought that the premise was reasonable, but it took random quantum leaps, and jumped around all over the place to make sure that they could fit all of the twist and turns that were needed into the book.
$10,000,000 Marriage Proposal James Patterson with Hilary Liftin | 15 Oct 17 | Paperback | 3 Stars
I am really not quite sure what I was expecting from this, but the title captured me so I went along with it. I got it on offer with the book shot above, and I am not going to lie, I expected it to be a lot different to how it was. James Patterson books normally involve crime and death, whereas this was nothing more than an unusual contemporary with a twist.
I like the idea that there is a random board with an offer on it for $10,000,000 to marry someone. I like the element of competition and I like the fact that the female ‘competitors’ don’t hate each other and don’t shit on each other, and if anything, actually like and help each other. I also like the fact that there wasn’t actually really a catch and that it was legitimate.
It wasn’t brilliantly executed though, and it could either have done with being shorter, or with being a lot longer and more detailed.
Chew Vol. #4: Flambé John Layman and Rob Guillory | 18 Oct 17 – 19 Oct 17 | Graphic Novel | 4 Stars
I have been waiting for as long as I could cope without a Chew fix, because I only own volumes 1-8 currently and I find them addictive. That said, as much as I love it, this volume wasn’t actually my favourite. It was still a solid 4 out of 5 stars, but I didn’t quite love it as much as the others.
OK, so the premise of the story is ridiculous, but for me there was something weird and not quite right about having odd writing across the sky throughout the novel.
I am also slightly losing track of all the -paths in the story. There are a multitude of characters that have abilities, and I keep getting confused as too who can do what and which name we attach to that ability.
Chew Vol. #5: Major League Chew John Layman and Rob Guillory | 19 Oct 17 | Graphic Novel | 4 Stars
So I couldn’t wait and inhaled this volume as well as vol 4. I just struggle to stop once I start. Where I didn’t love volume 4 a lot, volume 5 really picked back up again, and I think that was largely due to the change of pace and the change of scenery. Tony has moved from the FDA to the traffic unit, and although there are numerous ridiculous scenes, I kinda like how mundane the day to day activities and people are. It’s all worth it to see the artwork of Tony, in a kilt, on a segway.
Tony is also kidnapped in this volume, after his daughter was kidnapped for a completely different reason by completely different people. I like that she is trying to inherit abilities through food, and that this plot point comes full circle with Tony later in the novel. I love the premise of auctioning the person because of the talent, and like that fact that they were bought by someone who wants them the eat the flesh of dead famous people to get all of their sordid secrets even more!
Back on form, back on track, with strong character development of those who were less integral or discussed earlier on.
Peter Pan J M Barrie | 16 Oct 17 – 25 Oct 17 | Audiobook/Hardback | 3 Stars
This is a book that, literally, came in two parts for me. I have the Word Cloud Classic edition of this book (side note: which is really pretty and awesome like all of the other books in this edition series) which was split in to Peter and Wendy and Peter in Kensington Gardens. I listed to the first part on audiobook vs reading the second part in hard copy. I don’t know if it was the character changes, the tonal change, or the method of consuming the story, but I would have been happy if I only read Part 1, and never finished part 2.
Peter and Wendy was absolutely nothing like the pretty and happy Disney story that I am accustomed to, and I kind of liked that. Peter is not honourable or nice, and the very concept of children being lured to a land where there is a never-ending stream of danger is fairly abhorrent, but the story is good. There are pirates and tribes and secret hideouts and stalking crocodiles, and all in all I liked it (even the rude and frankly horrendous Tinkerbell was bearable).
And then it went all about weird fairy islands and bizarre behaviours in the grounds of Kensington palace, and the whole thing became farcical and I didn’t like it. If it hadn’t been for part 2, this would have been a decent 4 star read.
Books Read: 7 | Ave. Rating: 3.9
Well that’s a little better than last month, but not by much!
What have you read so far this fall? What are you going to read in November?