My October Reading Wrap-Up

fallHappy Halloween, readers!

Hope you’re doing something fun tonight, whether it’s trick-or-treating with the kids or engaging in more adult festivities.  No such fun for me- I’ll be working late and recovering from the nasty cold I picked up from the husband last weekend. Wah wah….

In October we thought a lot about the devastating wildfires that hit Sonoma county, one of our favorite places, and we’re still thinking about ways we can help, whether it’s donating, buying wine from the local vineyards, or visiting the area (which we usually do in January for Winter WineLand, one of our favorite events). The number of places needing serious help seems to be increasing at an alarming rate!  Here’s hoping November will be a more positive month.

Here’s what I read in October:

  • When Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya Menon
  • Manhattan Beach by Jennifer Egan
  • The Strange Case of the Alchemist’s Daughter by Theodora Goss
  • The Secret History of Wonder Woman by Jill Lepore
  • Artefacts and Other Stories by Rebecca Burns
  • Birdcage Walk by Helen Dunmore

My favorite read: I loved The Secret History of Wonder Woman.  My husband and I saw the movie, Professor Marston and the Wonder Women.  I was expecting it to be cheesy but found it really moving and that made me even more curious about Wonder Woman’s fascinating history.  I recommend both the book and the movie.  Lepore does occasionally provide too much detail, but her book really explores the history of feminism in the U.S., so it’s much more than just the history of a comic book character.

Most disappointing read: I didn’t finish The Floating World by C. Morgan Babst, a novel about the effects of Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans.  I just couldn’t get into the writing, despite the very interesting – and timely – subject matter.

Halloween-themed read: I didn’t take part in any bookish Halloween events, but I did read The Strange Case of the Alchemist’s Daughter, a mash-up of Sherlock Holmes and classic horror novels Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, Frankenstein, and The Island of Dr. Moreau.  I can’t say I loved it, but it was a fun read.


What I’m reading now: Al Franken’s Giant of the Senate, for Nonfiction November.  And actress Krysten Ritter’s Bonfire.

What’s coming up: I have Three Parts Dead by Max Gladstone from the library, and up next is Born Survivors by Wendy Holden for Nonfiction November.  Plus I’ve got three great nonfiction books I need to review.

Added to the TBR Pile: We Were Eight Years in Power by Ta-Nehisi Coates, Arabella and the Battle of Venus by David Levine, and Parable of the Sower by Octavia Butler.

Three things that made me happy this month:

  • I was accepted into a leadership development program at work and spent a week in beautiful Williamsburg, a place I have fond memories of.  The training was good and the setting even better.
  • Also, I’m learning to use my Instant Pot and I love the yogurt feature.  I eat unsweetened yogurt these days, but plain Greek in the store has too much bite for me. Though it takes time, it was super-easy and gave me yogurt that was creamier and fresher than store-bought.   I got the recipes from How to Instant Pot by Daniel Shumski, which I got on NetGalley.  It’s taking me a while to review because I haven’t had much time to cook this month.
  • And, how good is this season’s Outlander?  I’m behind by the way, taking each episode slowly.  I loved the first half of the book (Voyager) and hated the second half, so I’ll let you know what I think as I get farther in.  What do you think?

Book deals you might like (courtesy of BookRiot and Bookbub):

That’s all for October! What did you read for Halloween this month?

  8 comments for “My October Reading Wrap-Up

  1. October 31, 2017 at 6:46 am

    Nice to read your bookish updates and happy to add a couple of yours to my list. Happy Halloween (and happy reading) to you too – I’m off to buy some candy to hand out – nothing like waiting until the last minute!

  2. October 31, 2017 at 7:52 am

    Homemade yogurt is the best! I’ve tried several methods and found a yogurt maker that works well for me (making large quantities is key with my household).

    I just started The Haunting of Hill House and it’s the perfect Halloween read. The Strange Case of the Alchemist’s Daughter sounds fun too.

  3. November 5, 2017 at 4:18 am

    Looks like you had a good reading month. Sorry to hear about the wildfires. That is upsetting. Hopefully November will be a better month for all.

  4. November 5, 2017 at 5:51 am

    Sounds like a good month 🙂 I actually managed to read a decent amount in October, so I’m glad too. Maybe I can still salvage that yearly goal 🙂

  5. November 11, 2017 at 10:38 am

    I hope you’re feeling better and having a good November!

  6. November 11, 2017 at 4:19 pm

    Congrats on getting accepted into the leadership development program! Hope you get a lot out of it (and get to spend some quality time in Williamsburg)!

  7. November 18, 2017 at 9:41 am

    I’ve never met anyone who makes her own yogurt. I am very picky about what yogurt I eat and have settled on Fage, plain Greek as the best so far. I think I might look into making it myself if it’s not too hard. I read When Dimple Met Rishi and am looking forward to more books by Sandhya Menon.

    • November 20, 2017 at 8:04 am

      Yogurt is very easy in the instant pot — it’s not as thick as greek yogurt but you can add more yogurt starter to make it “tangier” and strain it to make it thicker.

      I liked Dimple Met Rishi but didn’t love it. I wanted to.

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