I know it’s a cliché to comment on how quickly the months go by, but seriously, where did October go? And how is it November already? More to the point, how are we already over halfway through November? Not that I’m complaining. The shops have put up their Christmas displays, the Christmas market is set up, and pretty soon it will be socially acceptable for me to be excited about Christmas. My true self is never more powerful than when the Christmas season arrives.
Right, let’s get on to the books that I read in October.
I started out with a re-read of Fingersmith by Sarah Waters. I’ve wanted to re-read this book for quite a while now and October was the perfect time for it. I needed a comforting read where I knew how things were going to turn out. Fingersmith is not comforting because of its plot; indeed, it is a dramatic, suspenseful tale full of unexpected twists and turns. It is comforting to me because I adore it. It is comforting because it is a book where I know the ending will satisfy me. It is comforting because it has two women in love with each other. It was a joy to read again and I was delighted that I could underline favourite passages this time – the first time I read this I was reading a library book. I have one Sarah Waters novel yet to read (Tipping the Velvet) and Fingersmith reminded me why I love her as an author and want to complete all her books.
I then moved on to Twilight by Elie Wiesel, which was kindly sent to me by Penguin Random House as part of their new Penguin Essentials range. It follows a Holocaust survivor named Raphael Lipkin, who is spending a summer at a psychiatric unit as a visiting professional. We follow his memories of his youth and the holocaust, his discussions with the patients, and his search for Pedro – the man who saved him as a teenager. I had mixed feelings about this book. The writing is undoubtedly beautiful, but the story jumped around too much for me. Every time we got to a section where I could start to sink into the characters, we jumped to another timeline and another character’s story. Never settling in one place for long enough. It ended up feeling like several disjointed vignettes all joined together in one book. There were small parts of it that I adored, but overall it just didn’t work for me.
Next, I decided to re-read Giovanni’s Room by James Baldwin. This book holds a truly special place in my heart and it means the world to me. It’s a tough read and it brought up a lot of emotions, but every heart-wrenching line that Baldwin writes is worth it.
Re-reading a couple of my favourite books in October was delightful. I spoke recently on my channel about how much I love re-reading. If there’s a book you’ve been tempted to get back into, I would highly recommend that you get around to some re-reading. I find it such a rewarding experience.
What have you been reading recently? Do you enjoy re-reading?
Love Lydia xx