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October Reads

A super eclectic mix of reads this month.

Olive Kitteridge by Elizabeth Strout

Olive Kitteridge by Elizabeth Strout

This book was recommended to me the local librarian, to whom I'm grateful for. This book has the cover of a book I'd usually pass and not pay any attention too, even if it has a "Winner of the Pulitzer Prize" sticker on it.

This book seriously surprised me. I had doubts at first, because it took a while for me to get into it, and honestly I didn't know what the book was about. But before I knew it, I was empathizing with these characters and their stories in a way I couldn't be sure of how it happened.

The writing in this book is absolutely incredible! I think it's the book with the best writing I've read this year. It's easy to tell this author is an artist. Her words read as effortless, yet they are all purposeful and exact. There's one funny scene described so visually precise that I had to laugh out loud, because the imagery was just so clear to me. She has a gift of conveying exactly what she wants on paper.

This book is not really about the titular character, but more so of the small town characters, the town, and her. The chapters alternate between Olive's character and other points of view. Olive is the center we go back to after each character's story. The stories are told with such precision that made me feel like I've actually seen some of these characters around. It's an immersive book that made me care for the characters and their stories, as well as feel emotionally connected.

Excellent read!


The Fortune Men by Nadifa Mohamed

The Fortune Men by Nadifa Mohamed

I follow this author on twitter, and as soon as she announced the release of this book, naturally, I had to look for it.

This book tells the story of a Somali sailor falsely accused of a crime in 1950''s Wales. The story is gripping, and re-imagines what our victim's life and world would have looked like. Though the stories around the event are fiction, it feels accurate as to what would have taken place with this real person and his real family and this unfortunately true crime committed against him.

Throughout the book, I knew how the ending would turn out, but I was hooked up until it actually happened. Good narration and language used. I liked how the author captured the dialogue and voice of the people that would have been around at the time.

This book captures a lot on immigration, race, poverty, classism, and immigrants trying to make ends meet in a foreign land. It's really deep, and left me questioning a lot on the injustices of a system that's supposed to be correct. At the time of the crime, Britain was adamant of having the world's most fair justice system (we all know how crap that statement is). It's interesting and sad in how much was against this character, and the intensity of how much was going against him.


Seven Deadly Shadows by Courtney Alameda and Valynne E. Maetani

Seven Deadly Shadows by Courtney Alameda and Valynne E. Maetani

Inspired by Akira Kurosawa's Seven Samurai as well as other Japanese TV, film, and literature, this story is perfect for any person interested in a modern day light Japanese fantasy.

Our main protagonist, Kira, belongs to a family that own a shrine, that becomes a battle ground location for a demon war. Kira, with the help of her companions must stop an all out demon war from happening as she gains more information about her gifting and the history of the spiritual realm.

This book had major Inuyasha vibes, which is a fantasy anime set in feudal Japan that is actually one of the inspirations for this book. It's a fun ready, action heavy, coming of age story as well. I didn't love it, as I felt some parts were too cliche. But it has a solid story arc, with lots of information on Japanese folklore.


Emergency Contact by Mary H.K. Choi

Emergency Contact by Mary H.K. Choi

After what felt like some strong reads, I really needed to try something light in which my brain didn't really need to strain too much when reading.

Cue Emergency Contact: cute romantic comedy, super easy to read. This is a book about a girl and a boy, one just about to start college, the other working at a coffee shop with not much going on. They exchange numbers after an incident, and start opening up to each other in a slow progression, that leads them from strangers to friends to more than that.

There's a lot of funny things that happen, and a lot of baggage that gets laid out in the open that they can't say face to face, but manage to say through text. I wasn't very convinced as the two as romantic interests. I also loved the college vibes, though wish there was more.


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