Last ‘Read recap’ I was already excited for Fall and so far it has not disappointed. There is rain, there is cold, there is darkness, also known as the perfect time to curl up on the couch with a book. Which is exactly what I have been doing, racing through books faster than you can say ‘October’. I might have to adjust my reading goal again since 60 books is now a mere 6 books away. As I mentioned last month I tried to read only Dutch (and almost succeeded).

So what did I read last month? Read on and find out! As always they have been given a rating X out of 5 and a short review. If you click the title it will take you to the books’ Goodreads page.

October

Hersenschimmen’ by J. Bernlef *****

This book is the harrowing tale of someone slowly losing his mind due to Alzheimer. As sad as you would expect, but it also gives some insight in what it must be like to slowly lose who you are.

Gefeliciteerd’ by Toon Tellegen ****

A very short book filled with even shorter stories about birthdays. I got this for my own birthday and it is filled with strange, melancholic and sometimes happy stories about the birthdays of the animals in the forest.

Turtles all the Way Down’ by John Green *****

The first English book I read this month that slipped through the ‘only Dutch books in October’ rule. It arrived on my doorstep in a wonderful package the 10th of October and the 11th of October I had the evening free and finished it in one go. It made me cry randomly, not because of some sad event, but because of the sad circumstances of having to deal with anxiety and OCD (which the main character deals with). I might do a separate review of this book.

Lieve Céline’ by Hanna Bervoets ***

After seeing an interview with Hanna Bervoets and seeing her perform at the ‘Geen Daden Maar Woorden Festival’, I wanted to read some of her books. This was the only one available in the library and I finished it in an afternoon. It was nice, but it mostly made me curious for more of her books.

Ma’ by Hugo Borst ****

Short, column-like stories about the mother of Hugo Borst who is slowly losing her mind to Alzheimer. Very nice to read after ‘Hersenschimmen’, since it adds the narrative of the close family to the story of someone experiencing Alzheimer himself.

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix’ by J.K. Rowling ****

My least favorite HP book. However, I am starting to grow attached to this one as well. The rebellion of the Weasley twins, the voice of Umbridge done exceptionally by Stephen Fry and the final battle scene are my favorite parts. They are starting to outweigh the annoyance I feel at Harry for being a teenager with anger issues.

De glazen kamer’ by Simon Mawer ***

Actually a translation of an English book, this was recommended to me in Dutch so I read it in Dutch. It was a nice novel, I enjoyed the role the architecture was described. The book is about a family who built a house, designed by ‘Rainer von Abt’ (based on Mies van der Rohe). The house also actually exists, but the characters are fictional according to the foreword. However, I was more interested in the house than the characters.

Turks fruit ’ by Jan Wolkers ****

I felt like most of the sex was a bit much and felt more like shock value than really adding to the story. However, the ending really got me and made me love the book after all.

Only Dull People Are Brilliant at Breakfast’ by Oscar Wilde ***

A little black classic by Penguin, it consists of quotes by Oscar Wilde. So not really a book, but I decided to finish it quickly to empty my ‘currently reading’ shelve a little. Some quotes were really inspiring and others fell a little flat.

Review October

So reading 9 books is quite the feat I would say. So let’s look at what I was planning to read and how it compares to what I read. Last month the plan was as follows:

  • ‘Ma’ by Hugo Borst
  • ‘De Glazen Kamer’ by Simone Mawer
  • ‘Lieveling’ by Kim van Kooten
  • ‘Hersenschimmen’ by Bernlef

I have finished 3 out of 4 and I read 6 Dutch books, so I would say it was a success! ‘Lieveling’ has now disappeared from my phone (it was a borrowed ebook from the library), so I will focus on the books in my physical bookshelf and ones still on my e-reader for this month.

November

I want to continue reading some Dutch books, but I also really want to read ‘His Dark Materials’ by Philip Pullman since he will be releasing a new series set in that universe. I never managed to finish the third book, so a reread seems necessary.

  • ‘His Dark Materials’ by Philip Pullman (actually three books)
  • ‘Het smelt’ by Lize Spit (I WILL FINISH THIS BOOK)
  • ‘De werkelijkheid houdt het lang vol’ by Y. Né

What are you planning to read this month? Let me know in the comments below, I would love to know!