Friday, October 29, 2021

October Reads

 October was all about books for me…though oddly, I didn't read that many. 

I decided to take on a little project in October. I do this a lot. There's something about the combination of cooler weather and the advent of "spooky season" that bubbles up in my creativity. 

In other years, I've indulged in spooky movie marathons, participated in blog hops like Wording Wednesdays and October Frights,  or flash fiction challenges like Nightmare Fuel. One year, I wrote 31 blog posts, about 31 things I love about Halloween and all things creepy. 

This year I did 31 days of spooky reads videos over on my YouTube channel, highlighting 31 spooky/scary/creepy/eerie books that I have read and loved. 

I talked about a range of books and stories, from the terrifying to the merely odd, published as recently as last year, and as long ago as 1764.  I'd love it if you checked them out! 

Preparing those videos meant re-reading parts of 31 books, but I didn't re-read any of them in their entirety, so I don't count them as part of my reading challenge. (Now at 62 books, out of a goal of 52). 

So, outside of those, I only read three books this month: 

The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie by Muriel Spark was a choice by my neighborhood book club for September. I didn't get it read it in time for our meeting (because The Count of Monte Cristo was kicking my butt), but I was intrigued enough to go ahead and read it afterward. It's a quiet book in some senses, but very intriguing and full of interesting insights about teaching, learning, growing up, relationships, and betrayal. 

Sing, Unburied, Sing by Jesmyn Ward, I really liked. Like Beloved by Toni Morrison (one of my spooky reads picks!), it follows a family dealing with intergenerational fallout from past trauma--the death of a son at the hands of a white neighbor, time in incarceration, and cancer. It intermixes this very realistic family drama with ghosts and witchcraft to great effect. Heartrending and beautiful. 

Brave New World by Aldous Huxley was a re-read for me. I was revisiting it because it's the next book for my First Monday Classics Book Club. The ideas of the book are still fascinating, and a little scary in their seeming accuracy, but the book lacks a lot on other fronts: two-dimensional characters, weak plot, jerky pacing. There's a better book in there somewhere, but Huxley didn't write it. Still, I'd recommend it if you've never read it, if only for the ideas. 

What did you read this month? I'd love to hear about it in the comments!

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