It has been a while since I’ve posted a wrap up online, on either blog, but I actually feel as if I’ve read books this month. It’s great and I’m hoping it is a sign of good things to come because I want to end 2020 having read at least sixty books.
I can but dream.
I have quite an array of books to talk about so let’s dive in.
The Devil and the Dark Water by Stuart Turton
A mystery set on the high seas in the 1600s, The Devil and the Dark Water follows an interesting cast of characters who are travelling to Amsterdam on a ship – the Saardam – marked for danger. Not long after they’ve set sail, murders and devilry start to blight the ship, with everyone believing that it is the work of “Old Tom” a demon that marks the inflicted with a sigil before destroying everything in sight. The only traveller free to solve this mystery is Arent Hayes, bodyguard to the famous detective Samuel Pipps who is imprisoned on the Sardaam, waiting to be executed for a crime he may or may not have committed. Full of twists, turns, and the elements of the supernatural, The Devil and the Dark Water plays out like a novel written by Agatha Christie, Arthur Conan Doyle, and Oscar de Muriel and I absolutely loved it.
I was a little worried going into it at first as I didn’t find Stuart Turton’s debut, The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle, the easiest book to read and understand but The Devil and the Dark Water was different, and actually the kind of mystery I love reading even though it took me a long time to read. I was completely surprised by the ending and now I know how it played out, I’d love to reread it, looking more closely at all the little hints and clues. It is such a good book and I highly recommend everyone to read it!
The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue by VE Schwab.
A marmite of a book that wove its magic on me and certainly cemented VE Schwab as one of my all-time favourite authors. The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue was incredibly atmospheric, poetic, and really touched on that desire of wanting to live a meaningful and full life. It was another slow read for me, but that slowness worked, helping me savour and experience life alongside Addie, waiting for the day she suddenly meets the person who doesn’t forget her – Henry, a bookseller and lonely soul who’s heart always feels empty. Watching their stories play out together was magical and touched me in ways I’d never felt before. It is certainly one of my favourite books this year and of all time.
The Fellowship of the Ring by J.R.R. Tolkien
The first instalment in the classic Lord of the Rings, a world I never thought I’d personally experience as I did not get on with Tolkein’s writing style in The Hobbit when I read that a few years ago. For whatever reason, I just felt like reading it and I listened to the BBC Dramatisation available via Audible. As much as I enjoyed listening to it for its mixed cast and the quest nature of the story, I’m still not entirely sure how I feel about it. That being said, I want to read and listen to the other two books as well as I feel that is when the story will start to pick up for me and highlight what makes The Lord of the Rings such a classic and well-loved world.
Quackery: A Brief History of the Worst Ways to Cure Everything by Lydia Kang and Nate Pedersen
I’ve read non-fiction about the history of medicine and the weird and wonderful ways we treated disease before, and I’ve always loved them because the subject has such a huge impact on society past and present. You can’t look at the development of society over time without looking at medicine because they are so intrinsically linked. I’ve always been fascinated by it and this is the only one on my kindle I hadn’t yet read. In fact I’d forgotten about it, and it was only when I came to order it after seeing it recommended on a Top 5 Wednesday post a few weeks ago, that I realised I already had it.
What I liked about Quackery in particular was the writing style. It wasn’t your traditional boring History textbook. It was witty, engaging and even if you get a little horrified by certain treatments, which I was, you want to continue reading despite that. It fed my curiosity and interest so much that I want a physical copy. Also I want to see the photos and images in their colourful glory as an ebook doesn’t do them justice.
What did you read in November?
Thanks for reading and have a brazzle dazzle day!