Reading plans

October 2022 Reading Wrap Up

I think my brain has turned to mush this last few weeks. Somehow I got ahead of myself and wrote this post as a November reading update. I blame the sudden onslaught of Black Friday adverts on TV and Christmas-themed songs in the shops for my confusion about where in the year we actually are.

Now that I’ve got myself sorted, it’s time to talk about the reading month that was October.

It was a much better month than September. Only one book abandoned part way through: Queenie by Candice Carty-Williams. I had my suspicions this tale of the troubles of Queenie Jenkins, a vibrant 25-year-old British-Jamaican woman , wouldn’t be to my taste. And so it proved. I can see the appeal, particularly to younger readers unfamiliar with Bridget Jones’ Diary, but it did little for me.

I read five books, two of them genres I don’t typically read: short stories and science fiction.

Books read in October

Small Pleasures by Clare Chambers : I loved the atmosphere of 1950s London but otherwise this didn’t wow me. My review can be found here

Summerwater by Sarah Moss: I read this in preparation for Novellas in November. Moss perfectly encapsulates the minutiae that comprises “normal” life but ultimately I found this a disappointing read.

Maybe This Time by Alois Hotsching: these strange tales about identity and displacement from one of Austrial’s leading writers were artfully constructed but they did nothing to persuade me to become a fan of the short story format.

The Promise by Damon Galgut. i failed in my first attempt to read this book shortly after it was announced as last year’s Booker Prize winner. It just didn’t fit my mood at the time. I’m glad I gave it another go; it’s a thought-provoking novel about the disintegration of a white family in apartheid South Africa.

Project Hail Mary by Andy Weir — having given up science at the age of 16, a large part of this novel went right over my head. But it didn’t really matter. Weir’s novel can be read purely as an adventure story. A quite bonkers one but highly enjoyable.

Project Update

No progress on my Classics Club list or my World Of Literature project this month sadly— I’ve already “visited” Austria so. I can’t count the Alois Hotsching.

I did however do a little better with my #22in22 project, an attempt to clear some of my backlog of books by reading 22 books from my TBR that were bought before 2022. The Damon Galgut novel counts as book number 21 so just one more to go by end of the year. By the end of September I’d read two more, to take me to 18.

Next year this will get a little more challenging since I’ll have to read 23 books….

I also managed to complete two more squares on my Wanderlust Bingo card. Andy Weir’s novel fits with the “Space” square and I’m using the Alois Hotsching short stories for “Europe” . The “small town” category is going to be a tricky one since it can’t be in North America, Australia, New Zealand, France, India, Far East, Scotland, England or Ireland. I’ll need suggestions for this — somewhere in Europe is probably the most likely candidate.

Bookshelves Ins and Outs

A very small improvement on the TBR front. By the end of October I was down five from the previous month to 275.

Amazingly I went the whole month without buying any books – not even one! I didn’t plan it that way, it just happened. The new books that did come through the door were either library holds or voucher copies.

I don’t expect to report a further drop by the end of November however since I’ve already bought two books and there is another I will need to get for book club.

How was your October reading? Were there any stand out novels that you would recommend? I would love to know what you’ve been reading, and what you’re reading this month. I know a lot of you are joining in with Novellas in November and it’s also Australia Reading Month and German Reading Month.

BookerTalk

What do you need to know about me? 1. I'm from Wales which is one of the countries in the UK and must never be confused with England. 2. My life has always revolved around the written and spoken word. I worked as a journalist for nine years then in international corporate communications 3. My tastes in books are eclectic. I love realism and hate science fiction and science fantasy. 4. I am trying to broaden my reading horizons geographically by reading more books in translation

14 thoughts on “October 2022 Reading Wrap Up

  • Correction: I read the work of author Shirley Jackson in November as it is posted for this month. I am easily confused and depressed; I am sorry to say.

    Reply
    • I’m relieved in a way to find I am not alone in getting confused about what month I’m in….

      Reply
      • I read but don’t necessarily keep track as others who purchased log-journals for books they’ve read. And, I am easily confused. Thank you for kindness, much needed.

        Reply
  • I am sorry to have not replied /responded the day prior; anyhow, I spent most of October posting on my other blog, things to do with Halloween as I was so carried away with it this year and I did try to read some Halloween/Witchy theme books but I did not do as much as I could have, had I not been so busy with the imagery or such. I did read one of Ms. Shirley Jackson’s short stories titled: Come Along with Me and it was good and weird; I had purchased this book from a library book sale that we attended the month prior and so it was a good thing. I know that I do a lot of reading but I can’t recall much else for October or previous months; it seems what I do does not matter. I do for staying busy and at times I feel abused by the Internet and this is my fault since I persist in being here. I read and blog on different things and on what is going on with me that is bothersome but none can help.
    I am currently reading one of Edith Maxwell aka Maddie Day’s books based on a death that takes place on Cape Cod…there’s death right after this man was asking for his pay because he worked on this woman’s roof but she told him that he did not do a good job and she would not pay him until he finished and clean up his work; but he says that he will not be needing money or such; much longer…and as Mac, this woman was walking on this bike trail to her home; she stumbled on something on the ground…it was foggy and she was not looking down; anyhow, she found the body of the guy who was asking her to be paid and upon examination…he is dead. and she dials 911…and that is that and she must wait there for the police sirens to arrive. Sorry for rambling and thank you for sharing!

    Reply
    • I don’t tend to read Halloween themed kind of books – I’m too much of a sceptic!

      Reply
  • Paul Cheney

    How about Thin Paths by Julia Blackburn for your small town square?

    Reply
    • I didn’t recognise the book title but just looked it up and it does sound a treat. I’m a sucker for Italy! Thanks Paul

      Reply
  • Not sure if Guđmundur Andri Thorsson’s And the Wind Sees All would count for your small town. Depends on how small you’re prepared to go!

    Reply
    • Just looked it up – some descriptions call it a village (sigh). Otherwise it does sound good (anything by Peirene Press is worth reading)

      Reply
  • Happy to hear you enjoyed PHM! Fun brain break!

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    • It was fun – sometimes it reminded me of the adventure comics I used to read as a child. I kept expecting Ryland to go “kapow!” and “gotcha”

      Reply
      • He’s a wonderful story teller!

        Reply

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