Monthly Wrap-Up: October

It’s been another slow month for me when it comes to books and blogging. Just three books read as I continue to struggle through the behemoth that is Tolstoy’s War & Peace! The good news is I’ve got only another 150 pages to go, so I’ll be onto more interesting reads soon!

The few books I did read were an uneven lot. I LOVED Leigh Bardugo’s beautifully illustrated short story collection The Language of Thorns, found The Good People underwhelming but atmospheric, and was disappointed by the emphasis on romance and lack of answers in One Dark Throne.

29923707   The Good People   34076952

One Dark Throne by Kendare Blake small 2 half stars  + Review
The Good People by Hannah Kent small-3-stars  + Review
The Language of Thorns by Leigh Bardugo small 4 half stars  + Review
War & Peace by Leo Tolstoy (in progress – 1208 pages completed)

Book of the Month: The Language of Thorns by Leigh Bardugo is an exquisitely illustrated collection of six stories set in the Grisha universe. I loved all of these stories, but especially the unique twists Bardugo makes to classics such as “The Nutcracker” and “The Little Mermaid”.

Least Favourite: One Dark Throne by Kendare Blake is an entertaining enough read, but I wanted more from the second book in this series and it all felt like filler. The novel offered few answers, an emphasis on romance instead of on the more interesting female relationships, and just wasn’t very well written period.

***

Operation War & Peace: I continued to read War & Peace this month as part of a goodreads group that includes Hadeer and Rachel, both of whom finished War & Peace already. Unfortunately this is one classic that I’m finding hard to make it through. I have another 150 pages to go but it’s like pulling teeth to sit down and read this book it’s so dense and filled with war and Tolstoy’s theories about Napoleon.

***

Seen on Stage: You wouldn’t know it from looking at my blog, but I had a pretty busy month when it comes to seeing shows! I reviewed The Off-Mirvish production of Salt-Water-Moon, a stripped down and modernized production of a classic Newfoundland play for My Entertainment World, as well as an independent musical cabaret which had a lot of enthusiasm, but felt muddled and at times pitchy.

I also went on a whirlwind weekend trip to New England over Canadian Thanksgiving where I FINALLY met Rachel and her friend, as well as Steph! Being the crazy wonderful people we are, we hit two musicals in two different cities, and although we weren’t very impressed with the current US Tour cast of Les Miserables, Merrily We Roll Along was fabulous and the kind of show you find yourself thinking about days later. Rachel’s written a review that perfectly sums up Merrily here.

I also saw a wonderful new Canadian musical, Life After (review coming Monday!), which was heartfelt and authentic with a score that may not have instantly hummable songs, but strains of the music stuck in my mind weeks later.

Les Miserables US Tour (musical) in Hartford, CT
Merrily We Roll Along (musical) at the Huntington Theatre Company in Boston
Life After (musical) by CanStage and The Musical Stage Company + Review
Salt-Water Moon (play) Off-Mirvish – Reviewed for My Entertainment World
Villains (musical cabaret) by Small but Mighty Productions – Reviewed for My Entertainment World
The Canadian All-Star Ballet Gala – Review to come

***

Coming up in November: The big plan is to finally, FINALLY finish War & Peace (can you tell that this is one classic I’m not enjoying)! Besides that I’m planning to break-away from War & Peace with some newer releases that are near the top of my TBR. I’m really looking forward to That Inevitable Victorian Thing by Canadian author E.K. Johnson, Celeste Ng’s Little Fires Everywhere, and Ann Leckie’s latest novel Provenance.

This November is really exciting for me because it’s the start of ballet season! This month The National Ballet of Canada is performing my two favourite ballets of all-time, The Winter’s Tale, an adaptation of Shakespeare’s classic play, and Nijinsky, a fascinating contemporary ballet that depicts the career and personal life of Vaslav Nijinsky, one of the greatest dancers of the twentieth century. I’ll be reviewing/discussing different casts of these productions for My Entertainment World, but these ballets are special to me so I’ll likely be boosting the posts here too, instead of just sticking them in my usual monthly wrap-up.

What was your favourite October read? What are you most looking forward to reading in November?

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2 thoughts on “Monthly Wrap-Up: October

    1. It was totally accidental too, but it does make for a great autumnal aesthetic! Thank you, I am SO READY to be done with this book. I have so many potentially great or at least fun reads lined up too! Two more days I think, and then I get ballet and a new book all in one glorious Thursday!

      Liked by 1 person

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