Monday, November 5, 2018

What I Read: October

When October rolled around I thought it would be fun to read some spooky books before Halloween. After recently discovering I love true crime books, I was most excited to read In Cold Blood. I also added some other classic scaryish books I've never read. I'm a huge lightweight when it comes to scary books. As I'm sure you've realized if you follow these posts since The Hazel Wood gave me nightmares! Since then I've found if I'm reading a spooky book I do best if I have a non-scary ebook going at the same time. Then at bedtime I stop my scary book sooner than I normally would and read a little bit of my ebook before going to sleep so the scary stuff isn't fresh in my mind. Maybe at some point I'll be able to tackle some Stephen King using this strategy, we'll see what happens next October!
I've loved having this little piece of Harper with me as I've read books this month, thanks to the thoughtfulness of my mother-in-law, Leina. Opening a book and seeing her sweet face always makes me happy.
  • Shoe Dog: A Memoir By the Creator of Nike by Phil Knight- This was our book club book. It didn't come in at the library until after our meeting so I was tempted to skip it but decided to go ahead and read it. I really enjoyed it in the beginning but felt like it dragged on a bit and I got bored toward the end. Obviously it was an interesting story though. I just felt like he got a little bit of a big head toward the end and there were some details that I found boring. I was glad I read it when something in the book helped me come up with a solution to a problem I had. Reading is wonderful for so many reasons.
  • Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan- This book was suggested as our next choice for book club. I went ahead and put it on hold so I'd get it in time. But then we never voted on a book and it seems like book club is going to fizzle out. I decided to go ahead and read the book because it was described on the back as Pride and Prejudice-esque. I can see where they got that but it definitely got me more excited about the book than I should have been. It was a little bit long at 520ish pages and it didn't get really interesting to me until about the last 100 pages. I was more interested in one of the 3 main characters followed in the book so I got a little bored with the other side stories. I do think it would make a great movie because they could condense it down to the interesting parts so I will probably watch the movie. My main thing would be that the book could have been pared down to more relevant stories to be shorter. Books that are just fun filler books like this I prefer at 400 pages max. It needs to be a really good book to be worth over 500 pages of reading! This one tested my limits.
  • Beverley Green: Sasquatch Hunter by Andrea C. Neil- I kept seeing this book advertised in our area because it takes places nearby and the author lives in our town. We saw it when we were in a bookstore and I pointed it out to mom as a book I wanted to read. She got excited because she had it mixed up with a different book she really wanted to read. She bought it and it turned out to be the wrong book, but she liked it more than the other book. I really enjoyed it. It was fun and silly. There were some things about her writing style that distracted me but the storyline was fun. This was the first book in a series and I may read more of the books.
  • The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson- I made a list of some books I wanted to read during October because I thought they would be fun Halloween-ish books. Last year I read Frankenstein during October and really enjoyed it. Although this book was really well written I was a little disappointed in it. It wasn't what I expected from what I knew of the story. I think I was mostly disappointed by how short it was. There were other stories added in at the end of the book so I didn't realize the story was almost over and then I finished it. I wanted more! But that tends to be the case for me with short stories or novellas.
  • In Cold Blood by Truman Capote- I went into this not knowing the particulars about the story but thinking it would be a semi-creepy book for October. I didn't realize the murders in the book happened in Kansas! The book was so well written and I loved how Capote gave you such a sense of the community, the family, and the murderers. He wrote in a way that it wasn't too scary though at times it would get my imagination going and I'd get creeped out when I was alone. I just made sure when I read it before bed if there was a more disturbing section to read a little bit of my ebook I was reading at the time before going to bed. I didn't want to have any nightmares based on the book and I never did.
  • The War of the Worlds by H. G. Wells- This was another classic book I hadn't read that I thought would be a fun one to read during October. It was creepy and I could see how people would have been terrified back when it was read on the radio. I enjoyed it quite a bit. It was weird how there was a middle section where the narrator moved from his perspective to his brother's perspective. That drew me away from the story and I thought it detracted from the overall movement of the story. The sections from the narrator's perspective were much more interesting, in my opinion.
  • You Learn by Living by Eleanor Roosevelt- I added this one to my reading list a while ago and was looking for a shorter ebook to read during naptime at school. Since the lights are off at naptime I can't read a regular book and I get interrupted quite a bit checking on kids and helping students in the bathroom so I wanted something that was easy to stop and then come back to. This was perfect for that and there were some really good little nuggets in the book. One of my favorite things she said was, "If you step on other people's necks to get rich, or barter your personal honor, then it is others who pay for your success and you can hardly call it your own." It really bothers me that such a huge emphasis has been placed on wealth in our country. No one seems to care whether a person's money comes from mistreating other people, all they care about is that the person has a lot of money and if they have a lot of money they are looked up to. It is really sad.
  • My Squirrel Days by Ellie Kemper- When I came across this book I was really excited to read it because I love Kemper. She was probably my favorite character on The Office and I adore The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt. It was also a perfect book to read as an ebook because it was short and all the essays were short. It was easy to stop reading and then pick up again. The only problem was trying not to laugh when I read it during naptime. It was really funny and I loved that she talked about getting hangry because that is so how I am! This was one of my favorite books written by a comedian, right up there with Amy Poehler, Tina Fey, and Jim Gaffigan! Every essay was funny and there were some that had me silently laughing during naptime!

  • Surprise Me by Sophie Kinsella- I thought this would be a fun one to listen to. I enjoy Kinsella's books. They are always fun, easy reads. The last one I read was probably my favorite so I was excited about this one. It was okay but definitely my least favorite of her books that I've read. I always hate when they have characters run around trying to figure things out by going through outside sources rather than talking to the person they need to in order to solve their problems. I know they do it to make everything more exciting and suspenseful but it just frustrates me! I find myself wanting to scream, "Just talk to your husband!!!!
  • The Simple Faith of Mister Rogers: Spiritual Insights From the World's Most Beloved Neighbor by Amy Hollingsworth- I loved Mister Rogers' Neighborhood as a child so when I saw this book while browsing Hoopla, I was immediately interested. I was a little disappointed that the book focused more on Hollingsworth's own life and how Mister Rogers impacted her life than on actual events and quotes from Rogers. She kept quoting C.S. Lewis from his The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe books which seemed an odd thing to do rather than quote Rogers. I still learned some things from the book and enjoyed it, but I was left wanting to know much more about Rogers so I moved on to a more comprehensive book on Rogers. 


  1. I'll have to try In Cold Blood again, and then War of the Worlds. I never even thought to try reading that.