September Wrap-Up & October TBR

I’m actually quite ashamed of how I have been neglecting my blog. Thousands of excuses fly up to my mind: from I haven’t been in the mood of reading / writing to it takes five minutes for my old lap top to fire up and I just couldn’t face that.

In the meantime, I’ve been watching a lot of YouTube videos, university is starting tomorrow (at least for me and other first-year students), I’m putting finishing touches to my second cross-stiched tablecloth project, and I’ve gotten hooked by Agatha Christie books. Oh, and I’m dreading all the meeting-new-people and getting-aquainted-with-new-buildings-and-systems. And I haven’t even started on my 10-minute presentation my scholarship is depending on. Oh November, how I wish you wouldn’t come.

Wait, this was supposed to be a bookish post, wasn’t it?

* = e-book

WHAT I READ IN SEPTEMBER:

  • The Midnight Twins by Jacquelyn Mitchard (re-read): I really really enjoyed this novel the second time around. I love the twin bond between Mally and Merry (both paranormal and normal) and their family – parents, lil bro, grandma. It’s slow-going so people could find this boring, I suppose, but I love the prose and the characters. 4 STARS
  • I’d Tell You I Love You But Then I’d Have to Kill You by Ally Carter (re-read): OMG, has Gallagher Girls series always been this fun?? I somehow completely missed it when I read the books the first time! Cammie, Bex, Liz and Macey – not to mention a school for spies and other awesome, fun, spy-ish stuff – with them and the rest of the CoveOp girls I get to pretend to be a spy for a while. ;) 4 1/2 STARS
  • Cross My Heart and Hope to Spy by Ally Carter (re-read): Book #2, and possibly my favorite so far. We are introduced to Project Blackthorne, and also to the smirky, smart-ass-y and yet gentlemanly Zachary Goode. And there are more awesome CoveOp lessons. 5 STARS
  • Don’t Judge a Girl By Her Cover by Ally Carter (re-read): Book #3, and while there are a bit too much of hush-hush among the known, I got to know Macey better. 4 STARS
  • Only the Good Spy Young by Ally Carter: Book #4. So much tension! And the final revelation! (Not all – just one of the mysteries we’ve been dying to know the answer to.) HEARTACHE, oh my goodness. 4 STARS
  • Double Crossed* by Ally Carter: Hale and Macey are in this novella! And also Aunt Abby and later Kat! It was hilarious to watch how Hale and Macey struggled to keep each other’s hidden identity (Hale – thief; Macey – spy) secret. 4 STARS
  • Look Both Ways by Jacquelyn Mitchard: OMG definitely the best book of the month. I best not tell you anything because it’s better that way, but OMG I love this book. Book #2 in The Midnight Twins trilogy and the focus is a bit more on Mallory. Love. This. Book. 5 STARS, or as many as I can give
  • Naked in Death by J. D. Robb (re-read): Book #1 in In Death series. One rainy day I was in the mood for bloody murders and futuristic gadgets. I need to re-read the first seventeen books in this series anyway, so I started. I still think Roarke is a bully. 4 1/2 STARS
  • Heist Society by Ally Carter (re-read): Book #1 in Heist Society series. Double Crossed got me started and I thought the heist was brilliant. I also loved the side characters – Simon, Gabrielle, the Bagshaw brothers (for some reason I thought they were really young but I guess it’s because they display child-like playful behavior) and of course Hale.  5 STARS
  • Uncommon Criminals by Ally Carter: Book #2. This one wasn’t as good as the first book, mostly because Kat was heist-drunk, like Gabrielle puts it. Really liked Nick in this one, though. Overall, it was good, but a bit… less. 3 1/2 STARS
  • Tall Cool One by Zoey Dean: Book #4 in A-List series. This one was absolutely perfect: the plot, the characters, the outcome, my mood, everything fell into the right place, and I had a great time reading this book. 5 STARS
  • Doomed Queen Anne by Carolyn Meyer: Book #3 in Young Royals series, although it’s mostly about Anne Boleyn’s adult years. Because a lot of actual story had been covered in Book #1 (Mary Tudor’s story), I found the plot itself a bit repetitive. Anne’s POV was in a way insightful, but I did not grow warm to her character as I did to Mary’s (surprising myself). 3 1/2 STARS
  • Back in Black by Zoey Dean: Book #5 in A-List series. This one was a bit more tough and touching than Tall Cool One, although not as entertaining perhaps. I did love Cyn and Anna’s friendship, and the way Sam, Cammie and Dee’s friendship is not completely broken. 4 STARS
  • The Hobbit by J. R. R. Tolkien: I listened to this book as my sister read aloud chapter by chapter. Details are hazy but I remember fondly of this book. 4 STARS
  • Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell: Contrary to the popular opinion, I didn’t loooooooove this book. I still really liked it because the writing style was beautiful and Eleanor’s home situation really got to me, but small details bugged me. First off, why Park? Who names his / her kid Park, and that’s not even short for Parker? Especially if you consider his mom is Korean and Park is a Korean surname. Speaking of names, his mom’s first name is, shall we say, unusual for a female Korean name. I’ve never heard of the name Min-Dae and it doesn’t “sound” female (weird Korean name stuff). I had personally looked forward to see more Korean stuff in the book, but other than some minor details, Park being half-Korean was not as much of a big issue as I had imagined it. And it’s not true that he’s a misfit. Park has a sort of respected status. He may not be popular, but he’s not to be messed with. (Sort of like I was in high school, I realize.) Oh, and his mom’s English is not perfect, which is understandable, but her pronunciation is the wrong “wrong kind”. Her English in the book is not the real Konglish. Koreans who are not fluent in English often confuse l/r, p/f and does not pay attention to softening some syllable. Park’s mom seemed to have another kind of difficulties, though.
    But these details were obviously glaring to me because I’m a Korean. I reckon many others wouldn’t notice much. And as I said: beautiful prose, wonderful characters. 4 STARS
  • Hunting Ground by Patricia Briggs: Book #2 in Alpha & Omega series. Action! Character development! So much tension! Sigh. I love this book, even more than Cry Wolf. And the killer? Not anticipated. Oh, my gosh. Charles and Anna… one of my favorite couples ever. 5 STARS
  • Silver Borne by Patricia Briggs: Book #5 in Mercy Thompson series. Story-wise not as good as Bone Crossed or Iron Kissed, but Mercy kicks butt. Lots of werewolf pack protocol stuff, much to my surprise. 4 1/2 STARS
  • Mirror Crack’d by Agatha Christie: My first Agatha Christie book, and it was so… cozy. The writing style, the characters, the setting. Yet a murder has happened. I confess: I have cheated and informed myself as to who was the killer. Not entirely unexpected but the motives were hard to read. Also read aloud by my sister. 4 STARS
  • A Midsummer Night’s Dream by William Shakespeare: One word: Fun. It was so funny sometimes. I had to work my way through this one because of the language and the long monologues. I haven’t even bothered about the meter (something the editor of my copy seemed to be obsessed with) but I’m not studying English Literature (much to my chagrin), so deal with it. 3 1/2 STARS
  • Das Geheimnis der Goldmine by Agatha Christie: The English title is A Pocketful of Rye. My sister lent me her German edition, so I read it and wow. Mind. Blown. The translation was really good – real smooth. It’s another Miss Marple story although her role is more periphery. I did not expect the killer. At all. I was crushed, really. Anyway, 5 STARS

WHAT I’D LIKE TO READ IN OCTOBER:

  • Because it’s Halloween month (or Samhain), I’d like to read Hallowe’en Party by Agatha Christie. This time it’s a Poirot novel. I have to get it first, though.
  • I’d like to finish River Marked by Patricia Briggs that I have already started.
  • I’ll try to finish 16 Uhr 50 ab Paddington by Agatha Christie as well – because it’s not my book and I have to give it back.
  • I hope to read one historical fiction, possibly Castile for Isabella by Jean Plaidy.
  • Going along with the Halloween theme, maybe I will re-read The Hollow by Jessica Verday, or scrap it and re-read Lock and Key by Sarah Dessen. A contemporary, yay!
  • I wish to get started with East of Eden by John Steinbeck but 1) I don’t have the book yet and 2) it probably won’t be an easy read.

That’s it! What are you reading for October / what have you read in September?

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