[Book Club] October Reading!

As this is the first month of the Long Readers Book Club after our short hiatus, I’m giving something new a try.

I figured halfway through my time off that perhaps setting one book is perhaps too constricting, so this month, we’re trialling a new format.

I’ve gathered a list of three books, from which you can decide which book you would like to read for the month of October for the book club.

Since October is the month that houses Halloween, I’ve gathered some books that seem scary for us to read!

You can find the list below!

  1. House of Leaves by Mark Z. Danielewski
  2. People Who Eat Darkness by Richard Lloyd Parry
  3. Frankenstein by Mary Shelley

I hope these books cover a taste for everyone, and I hope everyone enjoys reading them!

Why Would You Ban a Book?

As Banned Books Week continues, it’s given me a chance to think about why you would ban a book.

Reading has multiple purposes and it’s purposes vary between the reader.

For me, reading is about learning and relaxing. Reading gives me pleasure and entertainment. For some it is a chore.

But what makes someone think that a book is outrages?

What makes The Perks of Being a Wallflower bad? What makes Harry Potter bad?

I’ve thought about it a lot over the last week, and I can’t figure it out. A lot of the books that appears on the lists of the most challenged books in the US are ones that I clung to growing up. The topics in The Perks of Being A Wallflower are admittedly heavy, but for some they are necessary. Yes, there is drug use and memories of child molestation, but it is also a book about acceptance, and learning that you don’t need to fit into society.

It’s boggles me how anyone would want to stifle literature in such a way that someone would not be able to access them?

If you have any thoughts on this let me know! I think weeks like this inspire discussion on censorship and the way we handle the content of literature, and something that definitely needs to be discussed.

[Book Review] And The Ocean Was Our Sky by Patrick Ness

And The Ocean Was Our Sky is a novel by Patrick Ness with illustrations by Rovina Cai and tells the tale of Bathsheba as her and her hunting pod hunt down the devil himself, Toby Wick.

The novel itself is an interesting insight into the mind of a whale as they travel throughout the ocean, and how they view the humans. On a deeper level, this novel discusses the ideas of life, humans and purpose.

Giving oneself purpose is a theme that runs throughout the novel, and how our actions define us. From believing in prophecies, to how we conduct ourselves. Bathsheba and Demitrius consistently question each other on their moral standpoint, one from a whale, and one from a human. It’s deeper meaning of understanding the people and things that you do not understand shines through, and how getting to know someone will help you to understand the other person. It is a necessary topic in the current world that we live in.

Our main character is Bathsheba, and Bathsheba is a complicated one. One destined for the life of a hunter, but is one that questions the idea of being a hunter, and what makes someone a devil, or evil.

Patrick Ness has always had a way with words, and whilst I did enjoy this novel, I personally didn’t enjoy it as much as his others. It is still a great read regardless.

Banned Books Week!

The 23rd to the 29th of October is Banned Books Week!

This is an important week of the year for literature, as it’s a week that celebrates books that have been challenged, either for their authors or their content.

Banned Books Week is an initiative started by the American Library Association and Amnesty International, and highlights the books challenged or removed from libraries and school libraries. Some of them are pretty absurd. Books challenged for LGBT characters, books banned for their drug use, magic, etc.

Is there a book on the list below that you’ve read and loved, but is challenged?

Take a look here and let me know!

[Book Review] The Travelling Cat Chronicles by Hiro Arikawa

The Travelling Cat Chronicles written originally in Japanese, and translated by Philip Gabriel follows the adventure of Nana the cat, who was a stray, but was rescued by Satoru. It’s a story of loyalty and friendship as the two travel Japan as Satoru looked for a new owner for Nana.

The novel, despite its short length, accomplishes a lot. Philip Gabriel’s translation is detailed and filled with beautiful descriptions, and highlights Nana’s personality really well.

I hadn’t realised when I bought the book that it would be told from the perspective of Nana the cat, but I loved Nana’s narration. Sweet and sarcastic, Nana is a credible cat. I often thought of whether this would be like what my cat thinks.

Satoru is a charming and caring owner, perhaps a little too perfect, but this is what the story needed. Satoru was loving, was happy despite everything that was thrown at him.

Personally, I loved the book. I was a novel I felt really emotionally attached to, and shed quite a few (read: a lot) of tears at the end.

I would definitely recommend this book to anyone, but be warned! Bring the tissues, because you will cry!

[Book Club] October Suggestions!

What would you like to read this October?

As October is the month of Halloween, I thought maybe we could pick some horror fiction for this month!

Is there that one scary story you’ve been dying to read? That one non-fiction novel you really want to give a go?

Suggest it here, and we’ll read it together!

[Notice]

Hello,

So, yesterday, I handed in my dissertation! I’m officially back in action.

Thank you for everyone who has been patient with me. I hope to become more active over the next few weeks.

The book club will come back live shortly, and I’ll be taking suggestions for our October reading!

I have a few things I’d like to try out on this blog over the next few weeks, so please bear with me as I figure them out. I’m trying my best!

I look forward to reading with all of you!