Bookish Post – Spell the Month in Book Titles: October

books, reading

October is over which means another reading challenge has come to an end. I feel like October was a much easier month than September. I listened to a lot of audiobooks and that definitely helped. I even managed to finish ahead of time. Feeling quite proud of myself. Though it won’t last. The closer we get to Christmas, the harder it will be t find the time. I must stock up on picture books for December!

O

Octopussy and the Living Daylights by Ian Fleming

Book 2 of the month.

Synopsis:

There’s no better time to rediscover James Bond.

The British Secret Service has many enemies.

Whether it’s a sniper in East Berlin, a Russian agent secretly bidding for a Fabergé egg, or a retired major in Jamaica with a treacherous secret, it is down to James Bond to neutralize the threat.

In these stories the dirty world of international espionage tests Bond’s skills to the extreme.

Read my review.

C

Case Study by Graeme Macrae Burnet

Book 9 of the month.

Synopsis:

“I have decided to write down everything that happens, because I feel, I suppose, I may be putting myself in danger.”

London, 1965. An unworldly young woman believes that a charismatic psychotherapist, Collins Braithwaite, has driven her sister to suicide. Intent on confirming her suspicions, she assumes a false identity and presents herself to him as a client, recording her experiences in a series of notebooks. But she soon finds herself drawn into a world in which she can no longer be certain of anything. Even her own character.

In Case Study, Graeme Macrae Burnet presents these notebooks interspersed with his own biographical research into Collins Braithwaite. The result is a dazzling – and often wickedly humorous – meditation on the nature of sanity, identity and truth itself, by one of the most inventive novelists writing today.

Read my review.

T

Toward Zero by Agatha Christie

Book 1 of the month.

Synopsis:

An elderly widow is murdered at a clifftop seaside house…

What is the connection between a failed suicide attempt, a wrongful accusation of theft against a schoolgirl, and the romantic life of a famous tennis player?

To the casual observer, apparently nothing. But when a house party gathers at Gull’s Point, the seaside home of an elderly widow, earlier events come to a dramatic head.

It’s all part of a carefully paid plan – for murder…

Read my review.

O

The Outsider by Albert Camus

Book 3 of the month.

Synopsis:

‘My mother died today. Or maybe yesterday, I don’t know.’

In The Outsider (1942), his classic existentialist novel, Camus explores the alienation of an individual who refuses to conform to social norms. Meursault, his anti-hero, will not lie. When his mother dies, he refuses to show his emotions simply to satisfy the expectations of others. And when he commits a random act of violence on a sun-drenched beach near Algiers, his lack of remorse compounds his guilt in the eyes of society and the law. Yet he is as much a victim as a criminal.

Albert Camus’ portrayal of a man confronting the absurd, and revolting against the injustice of society, depicts the paradox of man’s joy in life when faced with the ‘tender indifference’ of the world.

Read my review.

B

Burn by Patrick Ness

Book 5 of the month.

Synopsis:

“On a cold Sunday evening in early 1957, Sarah Dewhurst waited with her father in the parking lot of the Chevron Gas Station for the dragon he’d hired to help on the farm.”

This dragon, Kazimir, has more to him than meets the eye. Sarah can’t help but be curious about him, an animal who supposedly doesn’t have a soul but is seemingly intent on keeping her safe from the brutal attentions of Deputy Sheriff Emmett Kelby.

Kazimir knows something she doesn’t. He has arrived at the farm because of a prophecy. A prophecy that involves a deadly assassin, a cult of dragon worshippers, two FBI agents – and somehow, Sarah Dewhurst herself.

Read my review.

E

Empress & Aniya by Candice Carty-Williams

Book 4 of the month.

Synopsis:

When Empress starts at Aniya’s school, they’re not exactly best friends. But, when the two teenage girls accidentally cast a spell on their 16th birthday and end up switching bodies, they quickly learn that friendship is the most important magic of all. 

South London’s answer to Freaky FridayEmpress & Aniya is a moving portrayal of the importance of real friendship and the ups and downs of being a teenager.

Read my review.

R

Reprieve by James Han Mattson

Book 10 of the month.

Synopsis:

Most people didn’t make it to Cell Six, he said. Most called out the safe word – reprieve – after the first Cell. It was that intense.

When Bryan, Jaidee, Victor and Jane team up to compete at a full-contact escape room, it seems simple. Hold your nerve through six terrifying challenges; collect all the red envelopes; win a huge cash prize.

But the real horror is unfolding outside of the game, in a series of deceits and misunderstandings fuelled by obsession and prejudice. And by the end of the night, one of the contestants will be dead.

A startlingly soulful exploration of complicity and masquerade, Reprieve combines the psychological tension of classic horror with searing social criticism, and seamlessly threads together trial transcripts, evidence descriptions, and deeply layered individual narratives to present a chilling portrait of American life.

Review coming soon.

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