A Great Start To My Fall Reading List

September was a fantastic month for knocking books off my reading list. Typically, I would have done my book review blog post sooner but I needed more time to work on it because I read so many books! Between extra shifts at work (i.e. extra time on the bus) and spending my Dad’s birthday weekend at his cottage, I had lots of extra time to read. On top of that, most of what I read last month was so interesting I tore through those books at top speed. So, without further ado, here are the books I read in September!

Storm of the Century by Stephen King: Between my familiarity with reading scripts for my minor in university, and my familiarity with King’s style, I was confident I would get through this pretty quickly. Add to that the fact that I really enjoyed the story, and I powered through this book in no time at all. Early in the book, I made sure to look up the cast on IMDB to help me picture the characters and I was beyond thrilled to see that Colm Feore had been cast as Linogue. I haven’t seen the TV mini series yet, but he really feels like the perfect choice for the role. Between the small, tight-knit community, creepy goings on, sacrificial children, and dark man-like outsider, this story is classic Stephen King and a must read/watch.

The Man in the High Castle by Philip K. Dick: Based on what I’ve heard of this story, and my previous experience with Dick’s work, I expected to get more out of reading this. Part of the problem is that I had such high expectations for a story I had heard so much about, that those expectations were probably too high. Don’t get me wrong, I like the concept and speculative nature of this piece of sci-fi, but it’s not what I think of when I think of Philip K. Dick’s work. I prefer his more mind-bending stories that make you question and think. The kinds of stories that you know were inspired by his mental illness and paranoia. Although I was let down by the novel, I still plan on watching the tv series.

Comic Wars by Dan Raviv: This was barely a book about comics. I enjoy learning about comic book history, but not like this. This was a business book. This was all about stocks, and financial strategies, and business men, and not at all the kinds of things I wanted to read about. And to make matters worse, this was a thrifted book, and I only discovered as I was reading it that a previous owner had ripped out some pages. Raviv clearly tried to make this dry subject matter sound exciting, but some of the book’s passages just came across as awkward as a result. Honestly, I kind of regret reading this one. I’m sure there is a type of person out there who would enjoy this book, but I am most definitely not that type.

Sandcastle by Frederik Peeters and Pierre Oscar Lévy: After watching Old (2021) with my mom, I was curious to read the graphic novel because I was really drawn to the concept. However, I felt Shyamalan put too much of a positive spin. According to a friend who read Sandcastle, the graphic novel did not have a happy ending. After binge reading it in one sitting, I can confirm this story is dark and depressing – just the way I like it. Although I agree with some changes that were made for the movie, I feel the ending should have been more somber and hopeless like the original story. I will likely end up rereading this one.

Amazing Fantastic Incredible by Stan Lee, Peter David, and Colleen Doran: This biographical love letter from Stan Lee to himself was fun and interesting, but exceptionally narcissistic. I enjoyed learning the personal history of this iconic comic creator, and I’m glad I read this gorgeous looking graphic novel, but the tone of the piece didn’t entirely sit well with me. Sometimes, Lee came across as being far too full of himself.

Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell: Shortly before the film came to theatres in 2012, a professor had mentioned that this book was a great read with a unique and interesting story. Once I got a chance to watch the film, I really enjoyed it and went out and bought the book right away. True to form, it has been sitting unread on my shelf all this time. When I saw the movie was on Netflix, I decided that the time had come. I rewatched the movie immediately. And yes, it was just as problematic as the controversy at the time suggested it was – in fact, it was more problematic than I remembered. But I still enjoyed watching it. To say the book was better is an understatement. So much was cut from the film, and everyone was given a happy ending. This should have been a tv mini series instead. But apart from the plot elements, I loved how this story was not only an exploration of time and relationships, but the evolution of language and storytelling. This is such a sophisticated novel.

Revery: A Year of Bees by Jenna Butler: This year in the life of a Canadian beekeeper was a faster and simpler read than I was expecting. I got the run-down of day-to-day life I was expecting, but I honestly thought there would be more information on how climate change is affecting bees and what we can do to better protect them. Although it’s not the most detailed non-fiction book on bees I’ve read, it is still enjoyable. It’s bee fanatic lite, if you will. I would have love if each chapter was twice as long.

Murder on the Orient Express by Agatha Christie: After losing count of the number of film adaptations I’ve watched (and possibly re-watched), I finally read the book. And yes, I owned it for too long before I actually read it. I remember my dad bought it for me and my sister at a used book store when we were kids. And when I opened the cover, I saw that my sister and I had written our names in the book, along with the phone number of the house we lived in when I was between the ages of 7 and 14. But I am so glad I read it half a lifetime later after I had seen the movies. There are so many characters and so many movie parts, it helped to be able to picture it all clearly in my mind while I read. What rcan I say? This book is a classic for a reason.

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