Monday, November 2, 2009

October Reading Wrap-up and November Reads

October was a fairly productive reading month. I didn't reach my seven book goal, but 5 books is a pretty good amount. I enjoyed the super creepy short story collection Count Magnus and Other Ghost Stories by M.R. James to finish up my R.I.P. challenge. I read several other books about the R.I.P goal including The Dracula Dossier by James Reese and The Man in the Picture by Susan Hill. Dracula Dossier was excellent and worked well as a companion piece to Drood and The Man in the Picture was fairly good, but I wanted more meat in the story. In addition I read an engrossing non-fiction book, Death at the Priory: Love, Sex, and Murder in Victorian England by James Ruddick; this book details an unsolved murder of a Victorian barrister. Finally, I inhaled The Coffee Trader by David Liss; I cannot recommended this book enough. The Coffee Trader concerns the introduction of coffee trading to Amsterdam and is filled with details about the Dutch Exchange and the life of Jews in Amsterdam. It was certainly a page-turner!

So what's in store for November? An ambitious seven books with a goal to read at least five of the titles:

  • Harriet Dark: Branwell Bronte's Lost Novel by Barbara Rees: I don't know how much of this is Branwell Bronte's, but Rees asserts that the inspiration for this novel comes from recorded incidents of Branwell discussing his novel. It is pretty okay so far, but not stellar. However it is less than 200 pages long so I will finish it.

  • The Moonstone by Wilkie Collins: This is a re-read for me, but I've found myself yearning to curl up with this book.

  • The Trial of Elizabeth Cree by Peter Ackroyd: a fictionalized account of a Victorian murder (I'm really into Victorian murders this year for some odd reason!)

  • Ripley Under Ground by Patricia Highsmith: The sequel to The Talented Mr. Ripley.

  • Middlemarch by George Eliot: This one is also a reread. Lately I've talked to several people who are reading or have recently read this book and loathed every second. I remember loving it, so I thought poor Middlemarch deserved some company.

  • The Girl in the Blue Dress by Gaynor Arnold: Long-listed for the Booker, this novel is based on Charles Dicken's marriage. It should be good!

  • A Monster's Notes by Laurie Sheck: The stunning cover -- pictured above -- is what drew me to this book. It is about Frankenstein and looks interesting.

Looks like I'll have busy month of reading!

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