My October Reading Wrap-up

I’m a little late with my wrap-up, but it’s been a busy week, with work trips to both Minneapolis (brrr!) and Tampa (80 degrees and on the beach), and a friend’s retirement party in-between.

I read so many great books in October:

  • Daughter of the Siren Queen by Tricia Levenseller (audio)
  • Burnt Shadows by Kamila Shamsie
  • Save Me the Plums: My Gourmet Memoir by Ruth Reichl (audio)
  • Olive, Again by Elizabeth Strout
  • The Return by Victoria Hislop
  • Dear America: Notes of an Undocumented Citizen by Jose Antonio Vargas (audio)
  • The Ten Thousand Doors of January by Alix E. Harrow
  • The Dutch House by Ann Patchett (audio)
  • The Testaments by Margaret Atwood

My favorite readOctober was a very good reading month, and I’m hard-pressed to choose a favorite.  This month I returned to several authors I love: Elizabeth Strout, Margaret Atwood, Kamila Shamsie, and Ann Patchett, and none of them disappointed.  Dear America is a fantastic memoir; it’s the story of an immigrant-rights advocate who comes to the U.S. from the Phillipines as a child and must make a life for himself in the U.S. without documentation. I also loved Ruth Reichl’s memoir.  And finally, Ten Thousand Doors of January and Daughter of the Siren Queen were fun and original fantasy reads.

Most disappointing read: Only The Return was disappointing; the writing was clunky and the characters were never developed.  Still, the detailed history of Spain under the Franco regime made this worth a read.

AudiobooksI continue to be surprised by how much I’m enjoying audiobooks!  I thought I’d only get through one or two a month, and I’m finding myself listening in every spare moment.  This month I listened to Daughter of the Siren Queen, Save Me the Plums, Dear America, and The Dutch HouseSave Me the Plums and Dear America were both very well narrated by the authors.  I absolutely loved the narrator of Siren Queen, and The Dutch House was narrated by TOM HANKS. The downside to Hanks’ narration is you  never forget that he’s Tom Hanks.  Still, he gave this book a really sensitive, nuanced read, as you’d expect from someone with his acting chops.  

Books I read for challenges:

  • TBR Pile: Burnt Shadows
  • Around the World: The Return (Spain)
  • Read Harder/Reading Women: Burnt Shadows (a South Asian author)
  • Nonfiction: Dear America, Save Me the Plums

For book clubsI read The Return for my “Women of the World” book club.

What I’m reading now: Winter of the Witch by Katherine Arden and The Things She’s Seen by Ambelin Kwaymullina.

What’s coming up: Sword and Laser will be reading classic fantasy novel The Snow Queen by Joan D. Vinge. Also, it’s Nonfiction November and I’ll be starting with an ARC about Jane Austen’s most beloved character, There’s Something About Darcy by Gabrielle Malcolm. I’ll also be reading Maybe You Should Talk to Someone by Lori Gottlieb.

Things that made me happy this month: You probably know already how much I hate cold weather.  I may be dreading winter, but at least I can be happy about a few things that come with winter, like comfy pajamas, hot chocolate, and reading by the fire.  Mr. CurlyGeek and I are also finally jumping into a bathroom renovation project, so our winter may be taken up with things like interviewing contractors and picking out floor tile and shower fixtures.  We’ve been thinking about this for many years (while also dreading the stress and inconvenience) but now I’m excited to take the leap.

Happy November and enjoy the upcoming holiday season!  Stay warm and happy reading.

  5 comments for “My October Reading Wrap-up

  1. November 4, 2019 at 8:32 am

    Congrats on the great reading month! I’m also surprised by how much I’ve enjoyed audiobooks lately. They’ve been helping me get through life’s boring moments. Good luck with the bathroom renovation. Happy November!

  2. November 5, 2019 at 3:23 am

    This was a great reading month for you! How was Olive, Again?

    • November 5, 2019 at 7:07 pm

      Olive, Again was wonderful, an excellent sequel to Olive Kitteridge. Strout is such a good writer.

  3. November 10, 2019 at 9:42 pm

    I also listened to Tom Hanks read The Dutch House, and while his voice is uniquely him, he sounded like Danny—I thought he was the perfect voice for Danny, and enhanced the book for me. It was a total surprise when I started the audio version to discover that he was reading it, but it was perfect in my opinion.

    You really read a lot of heavy hitters in October—kudos on a good reading month.

    • November 11, 2019 at 6:53 pm

      I also thought I would be too conscious that he’s Tom Hanks, but I felt he really became Danny, and he did a great job with the other voices as well.

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