Reading Wrap-up – July & August 2019

It is officially September, officially my birthday month, and it is time for my July & August reading wrap-up!

It’s been two months since I did one of these just because throughout July I hadn’t actually been reading a whole lot. In August I got back into it though, and so over the last 2 months I’ve ended up reading 4 books (one of which I left at my dad’s so he could read it, so I don’t have it here to show you). I now only need to read 3 more books to reach my Goodreads reading challenge and I am seriously hoping to read those 3 in September. But before I get ahead of myself, let’s see what I read over the summer

The October Man – Ben Aaronovitch

If you thought magic was confined to one country… think again.
Trier is famous for wine, Romans and for being Germany’s oldest city. So when a man is found dead with his body covered in a fungal rot, the local authorities know they are out of their depth.
Fortunately, this is Germany, where there are procedures for everything. 
Enter Investigator Tobias Winter, whose aim is to get in, deal with the problem and get out with the minimum of fuss, personal danger and paperwork.
With the help of frighteningly enthusiastic local cop, Vanessa Sommer, he’s quick to link the first victim to a group of middle-aged men – and to realize they may have accidentally reawakened a bloody conflict from a previous century. But the rot is still spreading, literally, and with the suspect list extending to people born before Frederick the Great, solving the case may mean unearthing the city’s secret magical history.
…. so long as that history doesn’t kill them first.

I have never really been disappointed by Aaronovitch’s books. His writing style is right up my street: hilarious and slightly sarcastic. And this book was no exception. I absolutely loved The October Man. It had the fun writing I loved in the Rivers Of London series, with great new characters and with Trier, Germany as a wonderful and interesting new setting. It is set in the same world as Rivers Of London, and actually mentioned Peter Grant and Nightingale, which I thought was really fun. One thing that I loved about this book is that it is very much a standalone story, but as a reader you also get some more information that links to the Rivers Of London books. I loved exploring how the magic in handles in the other European countries, and I am definitely hoping for more Tobias Winter books in the future! A 5 star read for me!

The Lovecraft Compendium – H.P. Lovecraft

Regarded by many as a masterpiece, The Call Of Cthulhu is among H. P. Lovecraft’s most famous works. Recounting the mystery of the cult of Cthulhu, it conjures up a dark and fascinating world.
The Cthulhu Mythos has sine become a study of its own for those who have delighted in Lovecraft’s writing, captivated by the weird horror and dark fantasy of which he was a master. In addition to The Call Of Cthulhu, this collection of stories also includes other that made either direct or indirect reference to Cthulhu: Dagon, The Dunwich Horror, The Whisperer In Darkness and The Haunter Of The Dark.

The book that is not shown in the photo, but I did honestly read, is The Lovecraft Compendium. It’s a collection of short stories by H.P. Lovecraft that are linked to the Cthulhu, which a basically strange, horrific, otherworldly creatures from his stories. I definitely found this an easier read than At The Mountains Of Madness, which was nice. The stories were creepy but not so scary that they kept me up at night. They were more eerie I guess, and a little gross sometimes. None of the stories disappointed me, I found them all quite intriguing, although some stuck with me better than others. One thing that made the reading experience even more enjoyable (if that’s the right word for these stories) was the fact that my dad and I played the Arkham Horror: The Card Game right before I finished the book. I gave this book 3,5 stars, because although I liked the stories, I still struggles with the writing style sometimes.

The Visitors Book – Sophie Hannah

In this small but perfectly formed collection of supernatural stories, Sophie Hannah takes the comforting scenes of everyday life and imbues them with a frisson of fear.
Why is a young woman so unnerved by the presence of a visitors book in her boyfriend’s inner-city home? And whose spidery handwriting is it that fills the page? Who is the strangely courteous boy lingering at a child’s birthday party when all the others have left? And why does the presence of a perfectly ordinary woman in a post office queue leave another customer pallid and quaking with fear?

The Visitors Book, another short story collection, is a weird one for me. The last story definitely creeped me out, and the rest of the stories did keep me wanting to read the next one, but then also.. I also wasn’t blown away by them. They are kind of strange stories, I felt like things were left kind of unexplained and I felt like you needed to read between the lines a bit with these. I feel kind of conflicted with this book, so I ended up giving it 3 starts. It was a quick and easy read, but I don’t know if I will pick up another one of Hannah’s short story collections.

Murder in Midsummer – curated by Cecily Gayford

A rock pool with a deadly secret. A bank holiday heatwave dominated by the murder of an unknown man. A sun-drenched picnic that ends in a sinister locked-room mystery. And an Adriatic holiday interrupted by a beautiful couple … who aren’t quite who they seem to be.
All these, and many more, can be found in these classic stories of summertime murder and mayhem, featuring masters of the genre from Dorothy L. Sayers to Arthur Conan Doyle. From St Mark’s Square in Venice to the English seaside, their tales will puzzle, entertain and prove that – no matter how far you travel – there’s no rest for the wicked.

Oh look, yet another short story collection I’ve read over the summer. What a surprise! Murder In Midsummer was still a creepy one, but not a supernatural one. As the name suggests, it is a collection of short stories about murder and mystery in the summer. Sounds perfect, right? I loved this collection, there wasn’t a story I did enjoy, although I definitely have some favourites (the Arthur Conan Doyle one and the Dead Mountain Lion, for example. Oh, and the first one as well!). This book gave me all the summer feels and kept me wanting more and more. I will definitely check out all these authors and see if they have some books I like. With some of these stories the ending came very unexpected, but I also figured some out quite soon. 4 stars from me!

Apparently it has been the summer of short stories for me, and now I am moving into the autumn of reading what I own. I am excited!

Thanks for stopping by ❤