Wednesday, September 30, 2015

September Wrap-Up (18 Books!)

October is almost here and it's time for another monthly wrap-up! I'm really excited for October. Between lots of exciting upcoming book releases and the festivities of Halloween, it's going to be a great month. And speaking of Halloween, I'll be soon posting about my reading plans and Halloween ideas for the month of October, so keep an eye out for that :)

And now, without further delay, let's get started!

The Comics/Graphic Novels

Fables: 1001 Nights of Snowfall by Bill Willingham - 5 stars 
This volume was my favorite since March of the Wooden Soldiers. It was published between volumes 7 and 8 of the series and is set centuries before the current storyline. In the beginning of this volume, we follow Snow's story as she's dispatched as an ambassador to negotiate with the sultan who rules over the Arabian fables. The sultan, outraged that Fabletown would send a woman for this mission, refuses to let Snow leave and decides to have her beheaded. To keep this dreaded fate at bay, Snow tricks the sultan by telling him a new story every night. This is a volume that could be enjoyed even by someone who's never read Fables before and I highly recommend it.

Ms Marvel Vol.1 by Brian Reed - 3 stars
Carol Danvers became the superheroine known as Ms Marvel when she was caught in a flash of alien light. So long she was working with other superhero teams, she seemed to be doing fine but since she's decided to go solo, she's come to realize that this superhero gig was a lot harder than she'd realized. This is her story as she struggles to be not a good, not a better, but the best of the best of superheroes. Sometimes she's clueless. Sometimes she screws up. But for the most part, she gets the job done. This first volume does little more than set the stage for her later adventures but I'll be definitely reading more of Ms Marvel's stories. Also note that this is the original Ms Marvel series, published before the reboot staring Kamala Khan.

The X-Men Vol. 1 (Issues 1-10) by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby - 4 stars
I've decided to undertake an ambitious and somewhat crazy project: To read ALL of the X-Men comics, starting with the oldest. I'll probably not be able to cover every single comic ever written but for now, I'm really having fun reading the earliest adventures of the X-Men. The first issues are so cheesy they're hilarious. And the art! Well, let's just say there's A LOT of bright colors. Not to mention all the angst of the budding love between Jean and Scott. These stories are still a blast to read though and I'll definitely be reading more of these comics. 

Morning Glories Vol. 1 and Vol. 2 by Nick Spencer - 4 stars each
This is one of the weirdest graphic novels I've ever read and I absolutely love it. Six brilliant young people, each with their fair share of dark secrets, arrive at a prestigious prep school, Morning Glories Academy, seemingly to get an exclusive education. As soon as the new students arrive though, they realize they're trapped in the academy, unable to either contact their family or leave. And then, the madness begins. I really can't say much, simply because I'm still way too mystified myself to really explain what's actually going on. Just read it, you'll love it! 

The Children Books

The Bad Beginning by Lemony Snicket - 4 stars
This is the first book in the Series of Unfortunate Events. The day their house burnt to the ground, Violet, Klaus and Sunny Baudelaire not only lost their parents but also found themselves homeless. Sent away to live with a distant relative, the horrible Count Olaf, the children find themselves in the midst of a dark plan to rob them of their inheritance. This book was a joy to read and I'm very eager to read the next books in the series. 

Dream On Amber by Emma Shevah - 3 stars
Amber is half-Japanese and half-Italian. Along with having to deal with the first days of middle school and a father who's been absent from her life since forever, Amber is trying to fit in. She wants to meet people she can feel at home with. People who will understand her. The story follows her as she makes her way through middle school and start coming in terms with the problems in her life. I thought this book was just okay. A nice but somewhat underwhelming story. 

Famous Five 1-3 by Enid Blyton - 4 stars each
This series follow the adventures of siblings Anne, Dick and Julian and their cousin George, as they uncover secrets and find hidden passages and treasures, accompanied by their loyal dog Timmy. A fun series full of mystery and delightful descriptions of food that could give George R.R. Martin a run for his money.  

The Witches by Roald Dahl - 4 stars
The book follows the adventures of a young boy and his grandma as they encounter evil, child-hating witches. As with all the Dahl books I've read so far, this was a fun and nicely crafted story that you'd enjoy just as well at 10 as you would at 20. 

The Historical Fiction Books

Confessions of an ugly step-sister by Gregory Maguire - 5 stars
As you can guess from the title, this is a retelling of Cinderella. There is no actual magic though and it is instead written as a historical novel set in 17th century Holland. The story is told from the point of view of one of Cinderella's 'ugly step-sisters'. I enjoyed this book so damn much. I had no idea what to expect before reading it but it blew me away. I'll definitely be reading more of this author's books, my next one most probably being Wicked. 

Go Set A Watchman by Harper Lee - 3 stars
This is the recently published first draft of To Kill A Mockingbird. I didn't hate it but I didn't enjoy it either. I just wish it had never been published. Read my full review here.

The Book Thief by Markus Zusak - 4 stars
Narrated by Death, this book follows the story of Liesel Meminger, a young girl living in Germany during WWII. The writing was very different from what I usually read. Very poetic and descriptive. I'd totally recommend it. I'd also suggest you watch the movie since I really enjoyed that as well.

The Classic(s)

Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson - 4 stars
I finally got around to reading this children's classic and loved it. True, sometimes the marine jargon was a little tricky, especially since I don't really read lots of books about pirates and sea adventures, but overall it was a really fun read. 

Fiction Books

A Tale for the Time Being by Ruth Ozeki - 4 stars
This is the dual story of a woman who one day finds the diary of a young Japanese girl washed up ashore on the beach, and the girl who's narrating the diary. It was a unique and beautiful story and I'd definitely recommend it. Check out my review of this book for a more detailed description of the story. Read my full review here.

Love by Angela Carter - 3 stars
Annabel, a mentally imbalanced girl, lives with her husband and her brother-in-law in a little flat. Together, these three people lead a very hermetic life, needful of each other in different ways that make their relationships to each other both complex and stifling. I love Angela Carter's writing and while I do acknowledge that in its own way this is a beautiful story, I just couldn't bring myself to give it a higher rating. I guess it just wasn't for me. I'll definitely be reading more of Angela Carter's books though.

This Month's Favorite

The Bloody Chamber by Angela Carter - 5 stars
Those of you who've been following my blog for a while now probably remember that a few months ago, I had another Angela Carter book, The Magic Toyshop, as my favorite book of the month. I guess it's safe to say that I have a new name to add to my favorite authors list. The Bloody Chamber is a collection of fairy tale retellings, all with a dark spin. This collection definitely has a Gothic atmosphere to it, and it's not only because of the subject, but also due to Carter's melodious narrative voice. Some stories I liked more than others but overall, I loved the whole collection. After finishing it, I had to wait a little while before gathering my thoughts about it. I might have given it 4 stars had I rated it there and then. After a while though, as I thought about the book, I realized that I had utterly fallen in love with it without even noticing and couldn't give it anything less than 5 stars. I can't wait to reread this collection.

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Cover Art by Of Stacks and Cups via Pagemodo


  1. Isn't it a great feeling when you fall in love with a book? You just don't want the story to end. You had a great month in reading, Soudha! Way to go. I'm curious about Confessions of an Ugly Step-sister. I think I will add it to my list.
    Wishing you all the best in October.

    1. Falling in love with a new book is THE BEST :D I hope you'll enjoy Confessions. It was very unique but definitely very beautiful too. Have a great October too :)

  2. I need to finally read the book theif!! xx Lita

    1. Thanks for dropping by Lita. The book thief was really good :)

  3. 18 Books! How do you manage to read 18 books in a month? Wow!
    Wishing you a happy October!

    1. I think it's because I'm on a break from uni right now XD I have more spare time for reading. Have a great October :)

  4. Oh you got some really awesome quality reading done in September!! I'm envious hehe, I wish I had more time. Also, I can't believe that it's almost already October :O The year has really flown by!! Anyway, I hope you get just as much good books in in October :D Happy reading^^ xx

    1. It's crazy how fast the year is flying by, right? Happy reading in October to you as well Micheline :)

  5. Gosh you've read a lot! I love those historical fiction books, I'd love to read the Confessions of an Ugly Step-Sister and anything by Angela Carter - I've never read anything by her. Shocking really. :)

    1. If you want to read Angela Carter, I'd recommend starting with the Magic Toyshop. So far it's my favorite, along with Bloody Chamber :)

  6. I'm so happy that you liked The Bad Beginning!! My all-time favorite series! You had such an awesome month of reading that it makes me so jealous ;)

    1. I can't wait to read the other books in the series ^^

  7. I am very impressed with your choices, Soudha! 1001 Nights of Snowfall looks so gorgeous! :) And you are quite the prolific reader - well done! And have a lovely October :)

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