This has definitely been my worst month blogging in quite a while. I did a LOT of reading, but basically no reviewing except for a couple of minireview posts at the end of the month. And even those didn’t come close to catching up on my reviews AND never actually covered the books I read this month that I loved!
Things have been quite crazy at the orchard, and also really busy in my Etsy shop, so those things have been taking a lot of my time. Tom and I also went to Virginia for a long weekend over my birthday – our first ‘real’ trip in the Zeppelin, and it was a resounding success!
Favorite October Read:
Well, my favorite October reads haven’t been reviewed yet: The Night Circus, Only Dead on the Inside, and Dawn Study. But out of the small, pathetic handful of books I actually managed to review, I would actually go with A is for Arsenic. I was surprised at how thoroughly interesting I found this book that details the various poisons Agatha Christie used in her novels. It was science-y and informative, but really readable and engaging as well.
Most Disappointing October Read:
I had a lot of really meh reads this month as well. Out of the ones reviewed, I think I have to go with Thirty Days to Thirty, which could have been a super fun little chick lit read, except it just got stupid.
Other October Reads:
- Dot Journaling by Rachel Wilkerson Miller – 4/5 – the first book on the subject that actually felt legitimately practical for someone like me, who isn’t remotely artsy.
- The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins – 3.5/5 – there were a lot of things I liked about this book, and it was definitely worth the read, but it wasn’t one I would consider a classic.
- Indian Paint by Glenn Balch – 3.5/5 – a fun Famous Horse Story about a young American Indian boy and the horse he loves!
- Lion of Liberty by Harlow Giles Unger – 3/5 – a decent biography of Patrick Henry, but really more of a review of the American Revolution and constitution.
- Storm Glass, Sea Glass, and Spy Glass by Maria V. Snyder – 3.5/5 for the trilogy – interesting books and nice to have some other stories set in Ixia/Sitia, but I just didn’t really like Opal all that well, and the love triangles got ridiculously out of hand.
- The Turtle of Oman by Naomi Shihab Nye – 3/5 – a children’s book that would have been a lot better if it had actually been about a turtle.
In Octobers Past…
Now that I’ve been doing my Rearview Mirrors for two years, I thought it would be fun to see what my favorite and least-favorite reads were from those years.
In 2015, I read and loved The Crane Wife by Patrick Ness. While a lot of times it really annoys me if I can’t figure out what a book is ‘about’, Ness managed to write a book that I felt like would be somehow different every time I read it. It was a strangely magical book.
I was disappointed by Houses of Stone by Barbara Michaels. I was hoping to get a book that was funny and engaging with a decent mystery, like I did in the Amelia Peabody books, but instead I just got a story about a whiny feminist.
Last year, I thoroughly enjoyed Attachments by Rainbow Rowell – it’s now my favorite book by her. On the other hand, I was left confused by Magic Below the Stairs by Caroline Stevermer, which added nothing to otherwise beloved Cecelia and Kate books.
For those of you who don’t know, I’m weirdly obsessive with organizing the TBR, and have it on a spreadsheet divided into five different tabs:
- Standalones: 821 (up ONLY eight!)
- Nonfiction: 81 (DOWN one!!!)
- Personal (which includes all books I own (fiction and nonfiction), but lists any series I own as only one entry…): 616 (up only three!)
- Series (each series counted separately, not each book within a series): 228 (up one)
- Mystery Series (each series counted separately, not each book within a series): 106 (up one)
Quite the pile, actually.
- Only Dead on the Inside by James Breakwell – quite entertaining even if you don’t have children or believe the zombie apocalypse is imminent.
- Shadow Study, Night Study, and Dawn Study by Maria V. Snyder – so good! Dawn Study was even more satisfactory than I anticipated.
- Miss Billy and Miss Billy’s Decision by Eleanor H. Porter – by the author of Pollyanna; Billy isn’t quite as engaging of a heroine, but pleasant books nonetheless.
- The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern – what. This book was so magical. All the feelings. Oh my gosh.
- Still Life by Dani Pettrey – reread of book #2 to gear me up for reading book #3 which I received as an ARC.
As a side note, I have been trying to do better at keeping up on Goodreads, so feel free to follow me there.
- Miss Billy Married by Eleanor H. Porter – the final book in the Miss Billy trilogy, and my favorite so far.
- Blind Spot by Dani Pettrey – alright so far.
- Jackaby by William Ritter – reading yet again, this time so I can get the full build-up to launch in the fourth and final book, that will hopefully bring this series to a very satisfying conclusion.
- The Pastor Takes a Wife by Anna Schmidt – time to read another lil batch of those crazy Love Inspired books so I can eventually get the pile of 5000 of them out of my house!
Approaching the Top of the Pile:
- Four more Love Inspired books, determined by a random sticking-my-hand-in-the-basket.
- The rest of the Jackaby books.
- Heavier Than Heaven by Charles R. Cross – part of my goal to read my own books; Tom has had this biography of Kurt Cobain laying around forever.
- The River Line by Charles Line – not sure what this one is even about.
- Alan Mendelsohn, the Boy from Mars by Daniel Pinkwater – this one keeps getting pushed down the list by other reads, but I am going to get to it this time!