What I’m Reading November 2013

What I'm Reading November 2013


To be brutally honest, this month sees a collection of various disappointments. Not too disappointing, I hasten to add, for I’ve actually finished three out of the four (currently reading the last) and I have a policy not to finish a book if I’m not enjoying it or think it’s bad (or both).

First up is The Man in the Brown Suit. While this version – obviously – isn’t the ‘novel’ it sits far apart from the other Agatha Christie’s I’ve read in the past. So much so I might have doubted she was the original author if I didn’t already know. I don’t read a lot of comics, and I should read more. The artwork alone demands a respect I’m more than happy to provide. But in this case, the story didn’t really capture me.

I chose The Island of Dr. Moreau for a couple of reasons. It was slim and counterbalanced the anvil-sized The Accursed, plus it is on my 1001 Books Challenge list. It’s hard for me to write what I think about it because I’m still not sure. The plot moves along speedily, and I liked the building of mystery in the opening chapters, but once the ‘experiments’ were shown I felt it showed its age and I lost interest. Then I felt silly because I know I’m reading it from a technologically advanced and educated position 100 years after its publication, and that wasn’t being fair. So instead I appreciate it for Well’s pioneering and brave investigation into what radical science says about our humanity.

Petit Mal is DBC Pierre’s latest book and is a collection of gathered prose he’s previously published, illustrations and photographs. It has attracted some criticism for any lack of unifying themes or purpose; ‘random’ has been one description. I enjoyed this randomness, actually, up to a point because I was enjoying each ‘sample’ (most are hardly more than that) for its own merits. Which is fine, until even some of them weren’t great. Here’s what the Guardian had to say: “In offering this for sale his publishers put two fingers up to his public and, I think, two fingers up to poor old Pierre’s reputation, too.”


Okay, confession: I’ve never finished a Joyce Carol Oates novel (see above policy)(I’ve read her short stories, though). Hopefully I can get through The Accursed, although it’s an intimidating 667 pages. I’ve just passed the 100 page mark – so far, so good!


What are you reading at the moment?

Pin It

Karen Andrews is the creator of Karen Andrews. This is one of the most established and well-respected parenting blogs in the country and is a two-time finalist in the Best Australian Blogs competition. She is also an author, award-winning writer, poet, editor and publisher at Miscellaneous Press. Is an exercise junkie (when she finds the time).


  1. Amanda says

    I have to say, I have troubles reading Wells. I have just finished The Invisible Man, and read The Time Machine last year, and can’t say I really enjoyed either. Mind you, the science stuff wasn’t quite as boring as in Journey to the Centre of the Earth, which was so hard to keep going with.
    Am now reading Women in Love by Lawrence, and not liking that very much either. Am making headway with the 1001 ( something more like 1370 or something! ) list though, slowly. Almost at 100 read, and at least 400 books either on the Kindle or book shelf, so very happy with that!

  2. Anthony says

    Hi Karen!
    Read Dr. Moreau years ago and loved it at the time. Of DC Pierre I’ve only read the Booker Prize Winner (Vernon God Little?) and really enjoyed that too. Oates is a marvelous technician but like you, I’ve only read her shorter work so I’d be interested in your thoughts on this longer work when you finish..

    I’ve just read Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman, which was a delightful YA novel (not normally my thing). It was reflective, nostalgic and sincere. I’m currently reading Vampires in the Lemon Grove by Karen Russell. I am a huge fan of her short stories and so far these have all been delightful. She’s such a fresh talent.

    • says

      I’ve read Vernon God Little too, and liked it. I’ve read other smaller pieces too. And I’ve got Vampires in the Lemon Grove on my bedside table! I liked her short story in the Best of the Lifted Brow I wanted to read more!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

CommentLuv badge