October 2020 Reads

I’ve already flew past my previous most books read and I’m focused on getting my page reads up. So much Shakespeare has resulted in high book reads, but lower page reads.

Fiction

Thunder Rolls: A Dark Nation Story (Dark Nation, #3.1) (Rashid Darden)
A short story from the Dark Nation series, this occurs after the events of Children of Fury and focuses on the coronavirus epidemic. I wasn’t sure about reading something about it (I’ve been avoiding), but I really like what Darden did here. It’s the kind of thing you want to read about if you’ve been avoiding any ‘rona art and literature as of late.

Plays

Henry IV Part I (William Shakespeare)
Here we are, back to the War of the Roses. I kind of wish Shakespeare 2020 had done them all in order (as hard reading as it would’ve been) because I have forgotten about what came first and what came after by now. I did really enjoy this one. From Falstaff to Harry’s redemption in his father’s eyes (and the reader’s), I think it was one of the good ones. I am going to skip Merry Wives of Windsor until after I read Part 2, only because I want everything fresh for Part 2.

Henry IV Part 2 (William Shakespeare)
I didn’t enjoy this as much as Part I unfortunately. I feel like I’m in the minority, but I don’t enjoy Falstaff that much. I prefer Hal and his journey and found the Falstaff sections tedious. Doesn’t bode well for Merry Wives next.

The Merry Wives of Windsor (William Shakespeare)
I really wasn’t sure about this one at first, but as the play went on, I found myself really enjoying it. I can see how this would be fantastic on stage – so much of the action is what would bring the laughter. Overall, some of the plot was thin (Anne Page), but the women and their plan against Falstaff made up for it.

Henry V (William Shakespeare)
I didn’t enjoy this as much as the others, but I did appreciate being able to follow Prince Hal becoming King. I’m very burnt out with English kings right now though!

Henry VIII (William Shakespeare)
I am probably one of the few people unfamiliar with much of the life of Henry the Eighth. This play covers his marriage to Catherine or Aragon and then to Anne Boleyn, but focuses more on the advisors to the king, especially the Catholic advisors. It was okay.

Edward III (William Shakespeare)
As might be obvious, I’m reading ahead. This isn’t scheduled until November, but I really want to get done sooner. I didn’t mind this play, but I am really, REALLY burnt out reading about English monarchy. I was surprised to find this was not considered canon until recently, which surprised me because I felt there was a lot more “traditional” Shakespeare here, especially with rhyming couplets and the actual construction of the play.

Timon of Athens (William Shakespeare)
I had high hopes for this, but man, was it depressing. Timon is a generous man who overspends treating his friends. His creditors bleed him dry and then his “friends” refuse to cover his debts. He finally sees they’re all users and leaves the city to live in a cave, angry and hating all mankind. I was hoping for some revenge, but nope. He dies. Depressing.

The Winter’s Tale (William Shakespeare)
I think this has been one of my favourites in the last half of the Shakespeare 2020 project. I enjoyed the storyline, the characters. It was just a fun read – although I honestly don’t get the title in relation to the story. All these years I thought it had something to do with winter and Christmas lol.

The Tempest (William Shakespeare)
I didn’t mind this one, but I feel like it would’ve had a lot more impact on stage. I like the fact this is much more of a supernatural play compared to others. I get annoyed that Shakespeare has wronged characters ultimately forgive and the person in question quickly repents (although Antonio has potential blackmail over his head lol). I sometimes wish for more realistic endings.

Two Noble Kinsmen (William Shakespeare)
This was a tough one to get through. The version on Project Gutenberg is written in more archaic English than everything else I read, so it was hard reading. I also wasn’t engaged with the plot. It was the last Shakespeare work I had to read, and completed my Shakespeare 2020 Project.

Non Fiction

Rampage: Canadian Mass Murder and Spree Killing (Lee Mellor)
Overall a good look at Canadian mass murderers and spree killers. It bothered me that there were cases showing the reader what the killer saw/felt when there was no record of this. There was a lot of purple prose in regards to the blood and murders that pushed it into tabloid territory rather than journalism.

Goodreads Reading Challenge – 87/52

So far the most books I’ve ever read, I finished all of Shakespeare and I still have two full months to go.

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