October always goes by so quickly. On the whole, it was a lovely month with plenty of great weather– pleasant temperatures, lots of sun, and a little rain. The fall colors have been amazing, too. They’re brighter than they normally are, thanks to a lot of dry weather and cold nights. I’ll miss the vivid oranges and yellows and reds once the last leaves have fallen and everything is brown, but I’m hoping for a reasonable amount of snow this year, which is beautiful by itself.
What I Read in October:
I read 14 things in October due in part to reading a few Shakespearean plays and then listening to a couple of pieces of Neil Gaiman’s short fiction on Halloween evening. They were mostly spooky or nearly-spooky books for Spooky Season
- A Prayer for the Crown-Shy (Monk and Robot #2) by Becky Chambers
- Annihilation (Southern Reach #1) by Jeff VanderMeer, audiobook narrated by Carolyn McCormick
- The King in Yellow and Other Horror Stories by Robert W. Chambers
- Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen, audiobook narrated by Nadia May
- Certain Dark Things by Silvia Moreno-Garcia
- A Wizard of Earthsea (The Books of Earthsea #1) by Ursula K LeGuin, audiobook narrated by Rob Inglis
- Thirteen Storeys by Jonathan Sims
- The Tempest by William Shakespeare
- Macbeth by William Shakespeare
- There Are Places in the World Where Rules Are Less Important Than Kindness: And Other Thoughts on Physics, Philosophy, and the World by Carlo Rovelli, audiobook narrated by Landon Woodson
- The Taming of the Shrew by William Shakespeare
- A Study in Emerald by Neil Gaiman, audiobook narrated by Neil Gaiman
- The Truth Is a Cave in the Black Mountains by Neil Gaiman, audiobook narrated by Neil Gaiman
- 64.3% of what I read was written by men, while 35.7% was written by women. This marks a change, as I usually read more things written by women than by men
- Half of what I read was written by English authors, 35.7% was by American authors, while 7.1% was written by Italian or Mexican/Canadian authors
- 57.1% were audiobooks, while 21.4% each were either physical books or audiobooks
- 35.7% of what I read were fantasy novels, 21.4% were plays, 14.3% were fiction or science fiction, and 7.1% each was nonfiction or horror
- 71.4% of what I read came from my own shelves, while 28.6% came from the library
- Publication dates ranged from 1593 to 2022
My favorite new-to-me books of the month were probably A Prayer for the Crown-shy or Annihilation, but on the whole, I’d say my choices were pretty average books. I didn’t love or despise anything I read this month that I hadn’t already read.
Owned and Unread Books, October 1: 83
StoryGraph TBR, October 1: 132
Owned and Unread Books, November 1: 82
StoryGraph TBR, November 1: 128
Someday I’ll actually decrease the number of owned and unread books. At least my StoryGraph TBR has decreased a little?
What’s on Tap for November:
- 84, Charing Cross Road by Helen Hanff
- The Selected Poetry of Rainer Maria Rilke: Bilingual Edition by Rainer Maria Rilke, translated from the German by Stephen Mitchell
- Living Nations, Living Words: An Anthology of First Peoples Poetry edited by Joy Harjo
- The Lady Queen: The Notorious Reign of Joanna I, Queen of Naples, Jerusalem, and Sicily by Nancy Goldstone
- O Caledonia: A Novel by Elspeth Barker
- Children of Time (Children of Time #1) by Adrian Tchaikovsky
- Georgiana: Duchess of Devonshire by Amanda Foreman
Not pictured is Elder Race by Adrian Tchaikovsky, which I have a hold on through my local library.
I was wandering around Barnes and Noble the other day, and I found O Caledonia, which is recommended by Maggie O’Farrell, whose work I’ve loved. I seem to recall an article where she raved about it and even became friends with someone who said that O Caledonia was her favorite novel. According to the summary, it’s a dark and gothic story, so it sounds like it will be right up my street. I’ve read 84, Charing Cross Road before and I loved it, and it happened to be on the ‘buy one, get one 50% off’ table with O Caledonia, so I figured I might as well get myself a copy and reread it.
I adore Rilke’s poetry, even though it’s sometimes a bit opaque. But it’s so wonderfully melodramatic, and when well-translated it’s incredibly beautiful. I think I’ve collected all his poetry at this point, but I’ll still be on the lookout, just in case. I bought Living Nations, Living Words last summer with the intention of reading it right away, but then didn’t. I really should get to it sooner rather than later.
Children of Time and Elder Race are two books by Adrian Tchaikovsky that come highly recommended by pretty much everyone who has read them, so I’m looking forward to them.
I pulled The Lady Queen and Georgiana: Duchess of Devonshire off my shelf because I’ve been meaning to read them for a while, and it’s Nonfiction November, so I may as well give them a shot.
6 thoughts on “October Summary, November Preview”
Wow. Earthsea. Yay. Can’t wait to hear what you think of it. I also read and loved 84 Charing Cross Road. I think there was a film or a play – I can’t remember which – with Elaine Stritch. And three Shakespeares? ‘We are such things as dreams are made on’.
So far, so good with Earthsea. I’ve read the first two books before, and I think I’ve read the third one (The Farthest Shore), but I can’t remember for sure. I started it today, but I’m only a few pages in so far.
Yes! Three Shakespeares! The Tempest and Macbeth were easy to get through because I’m already so familiar with them. The Taming of the Shrew was… an experience.
Decreasing the number of owned and unread books, I think that’s a worthy goal, and one I share with you. But it’s also one I’ve not been very good at achieving. 🙂
One of these days I hope to try Children of Time. I’m a big fan of his novellas but have yet to try a full length novel. And I was commenting on another blog today that was about the power of names and the idea of a hidden name that only the person (or in this case creature or flower) knows. And of course this immediately brought to mind Earthsea, so I feel like I’d like to try a reread soon and do as you did, listen to the audiobook this time around. But first I have a list of books I need to get through. I enter lots of giveaways but normally don’t win all that many. Then out of the blue I win 3 in a week, and one is over 900 pages. 🙂
I hope you have a great November!
I haven’t been very good at decreasing my number of owned and unread books, either. That number has been hovering around 80 for a few years now. I’m hoping to get it down to, perhaps, 75 by the time Christmas rolls around. At that point, it will likely be back to 80.
Congrats on winning three giveaways in such a short span of time! I don’t enter many of them, either, as you’re supposed to end up reviewing the books if you win a giveaway (at least, you do on Goodreads), and I don’t always have time for that. The same reason I’ve pulled back on requesting things from NetGalley.
I hope you have a great November, too! Mine’s started off pretty good so far.
I’m not looking forward to the fall colors going away, but here in the northeast, it seems to be going quickly, unfortunately. My apartment faces the woods and the colors are gorgeous to look at throughout the day. I’ll miss it when it’s all brown.
The color is going quickly around here, too. We have a few warmish days ahead, but by the end of the week the highs are supposed to be in the 30s. I’ll miss all those golden leaves outside my window!