October’s Book and Bike Break Down

Catch up on what Mandi’s reading and how many miles she’s riding!

Booking and biking my way through 2020.


Books

39. Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince by J.K. Rowling (Young Adult, Fantasy)
The 6th of 7 books, I’m staying pretty steady with my ratings on this series and might end at about a 3.5/4 star average. I liked this particular book much better than the last one, and was pretty shocked by the ending. I’m definitely invested in the characters, which helps the whole series feel better to me than each individual book. However, I just can’t get to a 5 star rating on these books. I think it’s generally because they are so big and they just don’t need to be. Lots of extra stuff in there… 4 STARS

40. Stargirl by Jerry Spinelli (Young Adult, Contemporary)
I remember so very little of this story from my childhood, but I wanted to re-read it before watching the movie on Disney+. I was incredibly rewarded for having done so. Reading this as an adult and, particularly, during this season of the world is a game changer for this heart-warming story. Why are we all so obsessed with being liked and being like each other? Why can’t we be obsessed with liking each other instead, regardless of who or what we are? Maybe we all need to be a lot more like Stargirl. 5 STARS

41. Dark Matter by Blake Crouch (Science Fiction, Thriller)
Though this isn’t my typical genre of choice, I realized I truly enjoy it by reading Blake Crouch’s newer book, Recursion. When book club chose this book, I was excited to visit his work again. This book was great – well thought out, engaging, deep, and intense. Like Recursion, it would also make a great movie (though I think I would also not generally choose this type of genre in the movie format…). If I had to pick between both of his books, I think Recursion was better. They share a lot of common themes, but it felt like he just learned a lot the first time and did it even better the second. 4 STARS

42. Uncommon Type: Some Stories by Tom Hanks (Short Stories)
I think Tom Hanks might be the greatest actor of our time. He never does anything that’s just okay… except for writing. He might be one of the most okayest writers of our time. I wanted to love it, but it just felt shallow and so it dragged for me. I started reading this in September and it took me over a month to finish it. But did I read every short story with the voice of Tom Hanks in my head? Maybe… 2 STARS

43. Clap When You Land by Elizabeth Acevedo (Young Adult, Contemporary, Poetry)
I love the idea of novel-in-verse books. In general, I feel like they’re better because the author had to take much more time to so carefully craft each sentence with eloquence and intention. However, this one was just ok to me. I enjoyed the story, but I just thought there might be more to it. I wanted to cry, and I never even came close. The idea of a plane crash that brings people together who have so little yet so much in common could be really fascinating. It felt like a bit of a missed opportunity to me. 3 STARS


Biking

While I met my goal to ride 2020 miles in 2020 on October 17, I figured I’d continue on with the tally for your enjoyment:

My current total: 2054

635 of those miles having been outside (339 of them pulling a kid).

Hope you had a great October!