October Summary and Plans for November

October has been a busy month for me. The building work is almost complete so I’ve been gathering boxes from storage and unpacking them. It is a slow process, but almost over now. I’m continuing to read at a slower pace, but I’m enjoying it and have no plans to increase my reading volume in the near future.

Books of the Month:

Two very different books, but both give a fantastic insight into the human pysche.

Alive: There Was Only One Way to SurviveThe Moth: This Is a True Story

Alive isn’t for the squeamish, but it shows the strength of the human spirit and the importance of keeping hope alive.

The Moth is a wonderful collection of stories that show people at important junctions in their lives – it’s inspirational!

Books Reviewed in October:

The Moth: 50 Extraordinary True Stories 

Alive by Piers Paul Read 

Black Rainbow by Rachel Kelly 

Mice by Gordon Reece 

The Book of Illusions by Paul Auster 

The Rosie Effect by Graeme Simsion 

Plans for November

I’m planning to participate in German literature month. I’m going to start with Alone in Berlin by Hans Fallada, but I love reading German books so may squeeze in a few more.

I also plan to try some of the following:

The Guest Cat by Takashi Hiraide

Someone Else’s Skin by Sarah Hilary

The Circus in Winter by Cathy Day

The Day of the Owl by Leonardo Sciascia

The Lake District Murder by John Bude

Pandora In The Congo by Albert Sánchez Piñol

I’m Not Scared by Niccolo Ammaniti

The Blood Of Flowers by Anita Amirrezvani

The rest of the month will be reserved for random choices. I hope you have a wonderful November!

12 replies on “October Summary and Plans for November”

I quite liked I’m Not Scared. The movie version was good, too. Now should I go back and read your review of The Bookof Illusions even though you only gave it four stars and I loved, loved, loved it?

Yes, I should.

James, It’s good to hear you enjoyed ‘I’m Not Scared’ – I haven’t heard a bad word about that book yet. Fingers crossed I like it as much as everyone else seems to.

Four stars is still a good mark – it means I enjoyed it a lot 🙂 *heads off to read your comment over there*

I picked up a copy of ‘The Guest Cat’ last week – nice and short so I’ll probably try and fit it in this month too. A friend gave me a copy of ‘I’m Not Scared’ a few years ago and I still haven’t got around to it!

October for me:
Hilary Mantel’s new story collection had a couple of stand-outs but nowhere near in the same league as her recent novels; everyone seems to be in awe of Anthony Doerr’s ‘All the Light We Cannot See’ but I found it all a bit contrived with very clichéd characters; Jane Smiley’s ‘Some Luck’ was a lovely engrossing read but obviously the start of a trilogy – I just hope I can remember the characters and their stories until the next volume; David Guterson’s ‘Probelms with People’ was an okay collection but nothing special; having loved Samantha Harvey’s ‘All is Song’ I was a bit underwhelmed by ‘Dear Thief’ – undeniably beautiful writing but I didn’t really see the point of it; Michael Pitre’s ‘Fives and Twenty-Fives’ is another fantastic novel about Iraq by a former US Marine and though I had some issues with it I’d highly recommend it; David Nicholls’s ‘Us’ was a really pleasant surprise – I’ll admit to being a bit sneery and dismissive of it when it turned up on the Booker longlist, but while not earth-shattering it is really well written, perfectly structured and very funny; John Dufresne, who I raved about last month, is fast becoming a favourite – his debut story collection ‘The Way that Water Enters Stone’ was equally fantastic and I can’t wait to try some of his novels; and finally my book of the month was Laurie Colwin’s 1981 story collection ‘The Lone Pilgrim’ – delicious Austen-esque love stories set in New York in the 70s that are each perfectly crafted gems.

Hope you have a great (and building work-free) November 🙂

David, Sorry to hear you were underwhelmed by ‘Dear Thief’. I’m looking forward to trying that soon. I wasn’t a big fan of ‘All is Song’ but I loved ‘The Wilderness’.

It is good to hear that ‘Us’ was good. I enjoyed ‘Starter for 10’ but wasn’t a fan of ‘One Day’. I plan to try ‘Us’ at some point and hope I enjoy it.

Glad to see you’ve read so many wonderful short story collections. Hopefully I’ll fall in love with them one day soon. Have a wonderful November!

I’m also planning to participate in German Lit Month, with quite a long list of books (I hope I’m not overextending myself). Fallada is excellent, although it’s been far too long since I last read him.

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