September was not a great month for reading, but I’m fine with that. Going to Iceland was worth it. I still finished nine books, and that’s not nothing. And now that we’re going into the cooler months of Fall, I just want to read more and more. I love the cooler weather Fall brings with it, and so far it’s brought just that– rain and mornings verging on chilly. It’s been a lovely start to the season.
What I Read in September:
- The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield, audiobook narrated by Bianca Amato and Jill Tanner
- The Poet and the Princess: Memories of Rainer Maria Rilke by Princess Maria von Thurn und Taxis
- The Gilded Wolves (The Gilded Wolves #1) by Roshani Chokshi
- The Adventure of the Peculiar Protocols: Adapted from the Journals of John H. Watson, M.D. by Nicholas Meyer, ARC provided by NetGalley and St. Martin’s Press
- Lethal Pursuit (Barker and Llewellyn #11) by Will Thomas, ARC provided by NetGalley and St. Martin’s Press
- The Twenty-Ninth Day: Surviving a Grizzly Bear Attack in the Canadian Tundra by Alex Messenger, ARC provided by NetGalley and Blackstone Publishing
- Burial Rites by Hannah Kent
- Ancestral Night by Elizabeth Bear, audiobook narrated by Nneka Okoye
- Norse Mythology by Neil Gaiman, audiobook narrated by Neil Gaiman
Statistically speaking, I managed to achieve a perfectly even 50/50 ratio of female to male authors without intending to. Neat! Four of the authors were American, two were English, and there was one each from Australia and Germany. Only one book, The Princess and the Poet was translated, and that was from German. I read three audiobooks, four eBooks, and one physical book. Genre-wise, I read two memoirs, one science-fiction, two mysteries, two fantasies, one historical fiction, and one general fiction. Four books came from the library, three were from NetGalley, and two were from my own shelves. The years of publication ran from 2006-2019.
What I’m Currently Reading:
- Jade City (The Green Bone Saga #1) by Fonda Lee
- Ancillary Justice (Imperial Radch #1) by Ann Leckie
- Bellman & Black: A Ghost Story by Diane Setterfield, audiobook narrated by Jack Davenport
- The Goblin Emperor by Katherine Addison, audiobook narrated by Kyle McCarley
I hope to finish most of these books this week so I can get to my October TBR. There are a lot of books on it. Some are fairly short and some are a little longer. But it’s doable, especially because the library branch I always stop at on the way home from work is closing for a month. I won’t be able to stop there from October 7 until around November 12 because they’re completing extensive repairs to the HVAC system. It’s going to be weird not stopping at the library two or three times a week. There are other branches I can go to, but they’re only open until 8:00PM, and because I get done with work around 7:30 most nights, getting to them in time is a challenge. So I will be bereft of the library for a month and will have to rely on my own shelves.
What’s On My October TBR:
- The Dark is Rising (The Dark is Rising #2) by Susan Cooper
- The Rules of Magic by Alice Hoffman
- The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller
- Seven Gothic Tales by Isak Dinesen
- Villette by Charlotte Brontë
- The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde
- Frankenstein by Mary Shelley
- Dracula by Bram Stoker
- The Hazel Wood by Melissa Albert
I have already read The Dark is Rising, The Picture of Dorian Gray, Frankenstein, and Dracula, but seeing as how it’s October, and October calls for eerie books, and it’s also Victober for many readers (who seek out Victorian-era novels during October), these particular books seem perfectly appropriate. I might exchange The Song of Achilles for Circe since Circe is about a witch from Greek mythology. I’ll make that decision when Song of Achilles comes up. I’m unsure about The Hazel Wood, but I found a hardback in perfect condition on the library’s sale shelves for $1, so who can resist? I might add Ray Bradbury’s Something Wicked This Way Comes, which is one of my favorites and is perfect for October, but we’ll see how the rest of the reading goes.
Part of the reason I’m reading Dracula, Frankenstein, and The Picture of Dorian Gray is that I’m planning to re-watch and write about the Showtime series, Penny Dreadful, which is one of my favorite shows of all time. It combines characters from several Victorian novels and Penny Dreadfuls, plus period-appropriate poetry, an incredible script, incredible costumes, and gorgeous visuals. There is next to nothing that I don’t like about Penny Dreadful, and I’m looking forward to the follow-up series, Penny Dreadful: City of Angels, which will be set in Los Angeles in 1938 and involves all sorts of Mexican folklore.
I’m also planning to do some movie reviews of my favorite horror films, like Sleepy Hollow, Bram Stoker’s Dracula, and Sweeney Todd. When I think of horror, I don’t think of things like Stephen King or movies like Paranormal Activity. When I’m looking for horror, I look for atmosphere more than jump scares. I’m with Pop Culture Happy Hour host Glen Weldon’s deadpan response when it comes to horror movies that rely on jump scares: “Congratulations. You’ve triggered an autonomic response”. I don’t find them compelling, and they’re not something I’m going to watch more than once, while I can watch Sleepy Hollow or Penny Dreadful over and over again. I suppose that means I prefer Gothic stories over horror, but in my opinion, those genres share a lot of traits and tropes. So I am a horror fan of sorts, and I want to write about my favorite Gothic/horror things in October.
Other things I want to get to include The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance on Netflix, Vikings, season 5, as well as a re-watch of the short-lived but fantastic BBC series, The Living and the Dead. I’m also going to see a couple of Shakespearean plays- one live and one not. The local Shakespeare company is producing Macbeth for their Fall season. A friend and I are going to see it this coming Friday. I’m also going to an indie theater to see a broadcast of the British National Theatre’s production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream starring Gwendoline Christie.
I also plan to do a lot of writing. After brushing the dust off an old story project at the beginning of September and writing about 10,000 words for it, I did a lot of thinking about while driving around Iceland (I did a lot of driving, and thus, a lot of thinking) and I realized that what I had already written just was not going to work. So I’m putting those 10,000 words aside and starting over. I’m already much happier when the first two scenes I’ve planned, so hooray for that!
Otherwise, I’m looking forward to the cooler weather, crisp mornings, shorter days, pumpkins, apples, baking, and all the other things that go along with Fall.