Monthly Reads; October 2017

Monthly Reads; October 2017

What is this?

I read a few books a month, and am thinking of making this a monthly post. This October I read four different books. I suspect this is an average month but writing about my reading habits will help me keep track. Of the four books, one was a reread. It included horror, crime thriller, graphic novels, and young adult fiction. I read zero nonfiction books this month.


Watchmen cover

Watchmen was the reread on the list. I first read it when I was out of college and probably 23 or 24. Watchmen is one of those books that you take something different away from it each time you read it. I have thought about re-reading Alan Moore’s other famous work, V for Vendetta, to see if its the same. Already knowing the ending there was foreshadowing I finally understood.

First I noticed that my feelings towards some of the characters changed. One of the easiest ways to analyze the superheroes in Watchmen is that they are different philosophical beliefs. So does this mean my philosophical beliefs have shifted? Maybe, but I prefer to think that I am better at understanding other philosophical viewpoints.

Either way, I noticed I still liked Rorschach but I liked Ozymandias, Nite Owl, and the Comedian more this time. When I was younger I just thought Nite Owl was a weak and indecisive character. I think that I failed to realize that his inaction itself is a moral decision.

Second, I still can’t decide what I think about the morality of the ending. I probably use to agree more with Ozymandias decision but I think I read more into Dr. Manhattans ending comment now. I highly recommend Watchmen



Hatchet coverHatchet is a young adult novel I read in two days. It’s the story of a 13-year-old boy who gets stranded in the Canadian wilderness. The boy is left with the clothes on his back and a hatchet. The story details how he survived and his eventual rescue.

I like how it is written and how he is shown discovering different ways find food and build equipment. The author Gary Paulsen had lots of experience with living in the woods and he tried eating turtle eggs as research for the books.

Previously most previous books I read on survival were nonfiction. I think that this book would be a better way to teach survival skills and mindset to younger people that do not have an active interest in the outdoors. Besides that, it just makes a great story and would be a fun one to teach my students.


Suburbs of the Underworld

Suburbs of the Underworld coverFull disclosure, the author is a freind of mine.

Suburbs of the Underworld is a collection of short stories.  Each of the short stories involves some type of horror but stray into the realms of comedy and science fiction on occasion. The stories draw from different cultures and traditions, with the one from Chinese culture being one of my favorites. I also had the advantage of knowing what some of the symbols meant. As the book is newer than any of the others I read I do not want to give away many details.

In some ways, horror is very personal. What is scary changes a lot by person, culture and time. Dracula may have scared me as a kid, but now a book about a pack of rabid dogs would scare me more. Is it the unknown that scares us, or the things we have seen and have experience with?

Suburbs of the Underworld leans heavily on the unknown being scary. Probably the most visually striking was Kasa-Obake the story that inspired the cover art. Many of the stories are worth a read and have some interesting or creepy twists. I think Untitled 1was the scariest, but that is probably the most subjective thing to say about horror.

The Girl Who Kicked The Hornets Nest


Girl who kicked the hornets nest cover

The Girl Who Kicked The Hornet’s Nest is the last book in the Millennium Series written by the original author. It has such a good ending I do not plan to read the books by the new author. I find that that usually ruins it.

Like some of the characters, I feel happy to be done with Lisbeth Salander. It is not that any of the books are bad. The series has a weird place in my life. The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo was the first book I read for fun after graduating college. I was spending close to an hour on the train commuting to work, so I had a large block of downtime.

My boss asked us to read two sales books at the start of our job; Pitch Anything and Go for No. After reading them I looked at the free books on the Kindle App and downloaded The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. I devoured the book and reading became my primary hobby as I waited on the train or waited for a bus.

I was not very happy during that time and I think reading about Lisbeth Salander and Mikael Blomkvist was a bright spot. Reading, in general, had become a bright spot and one of my few hobbies at that time.  I read the first two books back to back but avoided reading the third one for years. Maybe someday I will read the new ones but for now, its time to put Millennium to rest.

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