I’ve been a fairly negligent blogger – at least when it comes to reviewing – for the last few months. I can’t put my finger on exactly why this, but I will definitely try to be more diligent about posting my reviews in a timely fashion in the future!
At first glance my monthly total of three looks low, since I usually average 6 or 7 books a month. The reason for this? I’ve been taking on Tolstoy’s 1,300 page epic War & Peace! In September I read about 675 pages of the book, and I’m going to continue through October. At the moment, I’m hoping to have it finished by the end of the month. The good news is that two of my three reads this month were five-star books that I absolutely adored!
Book of the Month: The Heart’s Invisible Furies by John Boyne. I really can’t say enough about how much I enjoyed this book, or accurately express how (darkly) funny it is! I laughed out loud and I actually cried, that’s how moving I found this compelling work of Irish lit.
Runner-Up: In any other month, The Stone Sky by N.K. Jemisin would likely have be the best thing I read, but then John Boyle came along! It’s never easy to wrap up a series and satisfy everyone, but I thought The Stone Sky was the perfect conclusion for this fantasy trilogy, with a truly epic climax, memorable characters who are strong yet vulnerable, and a focus on platonic and familial relationships that I really appreciated.
Least Favourite: I didn’t have a lot of choice this month, but All the Birds, Singing would probably still have ended up here. It wasn’t a bad book, it just really wasn’t my type of book.
Operation War & Peace: As I mentioned, I’ve been reading War & Peace in a goodreads group that includes fellow bloggers Hadeer and Rachel. We’re all working along at our own paces (Hadeer’s already finished!) and I finished volume 2 (including the 70 pages that make up the musical Natasha, Pierre, and the Great Comet of 1812!) by the end of the month. I suspect it’s one of those books that I’ll be glad to have read, and that I’ll like, but that I’ll have no desire to ever read it again.
Seen on Stage: I was really hoping to wrap up my stage reviews for things I saw this month, but I didn’t quite manage to get the Onegin at the National Arts Centre in Ottawa review finished tonight, so I’ll finish that off early next week instead. September was a month of returns, as I saw revised productions of two shows I had seen before and enjoyed. A four hour road trip to Ottawa was involved to see Musical Stage Company’s Onegin (which I saw three times in Toronto earlier this year), but it was well worth it as the show has only gotten better with time and 99% of the subtle but significant changes that have been made to the material have improved it. I was sadly less impressed with the return of my Fringe favourite The Seat Next to the King. It’s still a great play, but I thought the larger theatre space didn’t do it any favours and I’m not sure the ten minutes of additional material added anything to the play except for some interesting historical context. Both of the new (to me) plays I saw were interesting and well performed, but didn’t standout.
Omnium Gatherum (play) by Theatre by Committee – Reviewed for My Entertainment World
Onegin (musical) by the Musical Stage Company at the NAC in Ottawa – Review to come
Picture This (play) by Soulpepper – Review
The Seat Next To The King (play) by Minmar Gaslight
Coming up in October: Today I’m off to New England for a whirlwind weekend to (finally) meet Rachel of pace, amore, libri, as well as Steph of Lost Purple Quill, and take in a few shows (including a trip to see Les Miserables of course)! Rachel and I have been friends online for several years and we’ve met mutual friends, but have never managed to be in the right place at the right time to meet up, so I’m really looking forward to this long awaited adventure, and I can’t wait to meet new friend Steph either!
My reading list is fairly loose for the month of October, but I’m currently starting Hannah Kent’s The Good People, something I’m really looking forward to since I loved her first novel, Burial Rites, as well as Kendare Blake’s One Dark Throne. I have Leigh Bardugo’s The Language of Thorns in transit between branches at the local library too, so I can’t wait to dive into it!
What was your favourite read in September? What books are you planning to read in October?