My October Reading Wrap-Up

fall booksHappy November readers!  In October, I began my final graduate class, on early literacy, one of my favorite subjects. November will be a busy, busy month, as I’m visiting family in Arizona and submitting my thesis proposal to our review board. Then in December I have a final presentation to write and our annual holiday latke party to plan. But it’s all good! I like this time of year, as much as I hate the cold, because the holidays are pretty quiet and there’s plenty of time to catch up on things while everyone else is away.

Also good: our cats are back to their usual food-crazed selves. We have maybe the two hungriest cats on the planet, but in the last few months both of them stopped eating, which was really scary. After a lot of vet visits and some expensive tests, they are back to “normal” which makes me super happy.  But I can’t celebrate too much; a good friend lost her dog this month, and I know how much she loved him.  Devastating.

One of my nieces is graduating high school this year and has been touring colleges, and her sister just started high school. As an aunt I take no credit – but I’m just so proud of them!

On the not-so-good side, my migraines have gone through the roof lately. I’m trying different prescriptions but one knocks me out too much, one makes me nauseous and the other just doesn’t work. I’ve decided to try a radical approach, a diet proposed in Heal Your Headache by David Buchholz. You have to give up a lot, like chocolate, wine, nuts, avocado, and anything with MSG (which is almost anything processed it seems).

But on to reading! I read a lot in October, from scary Halloween reads to new nonfiction to catching up on my review request pile. Here’s what I read this month:

  • The Iron Jackal by Chris Wooding
  • Furiously Happy by Jenny Lawson
  • The Secret River by Kate Grenville
  • We Have Always Lived in the Castle by Shirley Jackson
  • The Japanese Lover by Isabel Allende
  • Why Not Me? by Mindy Kaling
  • Weighing Shadows by Lisa Goldstein
  • Thanksgiving by Mary Arno
  • Cold Comfort Farm by Stella Gibbons
  • Undermajordomo Minor by Patrick deWitt

My favorite book this month? Furiously Happy! But there were so many good books this month. I loved We Have Always Lived in the Castle and Undermajordomo Minor, and I found The Secret River haunting.

Most disappointing book? I’m a big fan of Isabel Allende, but really didn’t care for The Japanese Lover. Though I’ve seen good reviews of it.

Challenges: Now that we’re in November, I’m thinking about what I need to read to finish up challenges. I only have three books left, and I’ll actually have completed the challenges I set for myself this year. And then it’s on to 2016!

This month I published two posts about blogging, one on reviewing habits I’d like to improve, and one on what we DON’T write about on our blogs. I got so much good feedback on both posts!  I was inspired to make two very helpful changes: I added recurring calendar reminders every month to 1) respond to all review requests and 2) post Goodreads and Amazon reviews. Now I’m mostly caught up and hope to stay that way!

What I’m reading now: Jim Butcher’s new series, The Cinder Spires. I love it so far but haven’t given it much time yet – what’s not to like about a world built around airships, crystals, and super-intelligent cats?

Thanks to The Estella Society for a really fun RIP X Challenge.  And if you’re a science fiction reader, check out Sci Fi month at Rinn Reads.  Happy November everyone!  Stay warm.

  8 comments for “My October Reading Wrap-Up

  1. November 1, 2015 at 7:50 pm

    Avocado causes headaches? I hadn’t heard that one. I’ve given up coffee, oranges, cashews, and chocolate, but then decided life wasn’t worth living without the latter (in moderation).

    I’m intrigued by Undermajordomo Minor — I hope to wedge it in somewhere on the reading list before too long. Good to know you enjoyed it.

    • November 2, 2015 at 10:56 am

      I forgot to mention citrus, that’s another tough one to avoid! Yes, avocados are triggers for a lot of people (sadly). And bananas, which I gave up a while ago. I hope you like Undermajordomo Minor, it’s a strange book but I love the way it’s written.

      • November 8, 2015 at 4:50 pm

        Bananas too?!? I don’t observe ill effects from those at least. I forgot to mention cheese — that is absolutely the hardest for me, since I love cheese and am married to a Swiss person. No more fondue.

  2. November 2, 2015 at 5:36 am

    I love the sound of Furiously Happy, I read her previous book and found it very funny. I must add this one to my wishlist.

    Here’s my October wrap-up post:

  3. November 5, 2015 at 11:20 am

    I just finished the Jim Butcher book yesterday. I loved it.

    • November 9, 2015 at 12:18 am

      I didn’t like it at first but I’m almost done and I love it. Especially the cat humor.

  4. November 8, 2015 at 6:22 pm

    I just wanted to comment about your migraines. I have been getting horrible debilitating migraines since I was three years old. I used to have to take medication every single day to prevent them. But then I did the Heal your Headache Diet about six years ago and it helped SO MUCH!!! Seriously, it is tough at first to give up so much, but I discovered there were things that gave me migraines and I had NO IDEA. I discovered I cannot eat aged cheese like Parmesan, raisins and fresh bread (day old bread is okay). Red wine, caffeine and dark chocolate all give me a horrible migraine as well. And you don’t realize just how many foods have MSG in them until you start looking at labels. MSG is the worst trigger, so that was a biggie. Anyway, GOOD LUCK. I hope you find some relief. I know I did.

    • November 9, 2015 at 12:17 am

      Thanks for your comment, I’m so happy to hear it worked for you! That will help me a lot with motivation. I already feel better one week in, but it is hard, especially the MSG (and chocolate and wine).

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