October was a busy but overall good month. It included my birthday, lots of apples, a long weekend in the mountains, some stupidly hot days, and then a rapid switch to really cold days. Now it’s chilly and rainy, all the leaves have FINALLY switched over, the time changes this weekend, and all in all things feel like they are trending towards winter.
Reading-wise, while I didn’t read a LOT of books, it felt like the overall quality was much better. I’ve struggled to choose a favorite read the last couple of months, but for October I actually had trouble choosing between a couple because they were so good! I also finally read Spinning Silver by Naomi Novik, a highly anticipated read for me that, while it didn’t exactly live up to my expectations, still gave me a LOT of feels.
In September’s Rearview, I mentioned that I was way, way behind on reading other people’s blog posts. I really made it a priority to get through those this month, and am happy to say that I am basically caught up! However, I’m anticipating a reflective impact on the TBR numbers!!
Birthday Book Haul!
My birthday was super fun, except for the part where we had to go to the BMV to get tags for our new car, but hey, a day can’t be COMPLETELY perfect. :-D We had breakfast at IHOP, went to the local gunshow for some A+ people-watching, and then headed up to Columbus for a few hours in an absolutely fabulous independent bookstore, The Book Loft. As in 2016, I was given a generous allotment of money and turned loose! My inherent thriftiness always wins, but I did find some good books to add to the ever-growing collection, including a new Wodehouse, two nonfictions, and The Woman in Cabin 10 on the bargain rack which I mostly bought because the cover has embossed water droplets on it and feels amazing haha
Ironically, the book I REALLY wanted to get was Maggie Stiefvater’s All the Crooked Saints, which I still haven’t read, even after going to her AMAZING book tour last year. So when I got home, I ordered it from Fountain Books, which sells autographed copies. I’m still eagerly awaiting its arrival.
I also had a smidge of budget left, so I got on ebay intending to purchase a Georgette Heyer book or two… and instead ended up buying an entire box of random Regency romance paperbacks for less than a dollar each! Most of them look absolutely terrible, but it doesn’t really damper my enthusiasm all that much. :-D
My last bookish win for my birthday was from my sister. In April 2017 I read The Scent of Water by Elizabeth Goudge. That book genuinely changed who I am as a person. When I was reading it, I KNEW that it would really mean something to my sister, too, so I gave it to her as soon as I could. She loved it so much that I actually gave her my copy for keeps! For this birthday, she returned the favor by finding an actual first edition of it that came from England. It’s absolutely gorgeous, and I can’t wait to reread it!!!
North Carolina Adventures –
My husband had a Monday and a Tuesday off in October, so we took a long weekend to North Carolina. We stayed in a cabin outside of a small town called Spruce Pine along the Blue Ridge Parkway. It was absolutely beautiful, even when it was foggy. We had a great time hiking and also driving our new car (it’s the first brand new car either of us have owned, and we’ve been talking about/saving for it for a couple of years now, so we are VERY enamored!) and just hanging out in the cabin reading books and eating popcorn. I highly recommend finding some mountains if you’re feeling discouraged by life.
Favorite October Read:
Persuasion by Jane Austen has to go into this slot, although Young Pioneers was a close second. But I’ll give you a two-word reason why Persuasion wins out: Frederick Wentworth. :-D
Most Disappointing October Read:
I guess Terms of Service by Scott Allan Morrison. While this book had its moments, it overall was just very so-so, with a convoluted plot and a muddy point.
Other October Reads:
- False Colours by Georgette Heyer – 4.5* – this was an utterly delightful read that made me snort with laughter a lot.
- Garden Mysteries by Mary Freeman – 4* – super fun setting and likable characters; rather predictable mysteries.
- Judy Bolton – Books 11-15 – 3.5* – these are fun and have their interesting moments, but read better in small doses.
- Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore by Robin Sloan – 4* – a reread worth rereading!
- Spinning Silver by Naomi Novik – 4* – serious and somewhat dark, but still solid storytelling.
- Utah Lion by James Ralph Johnson – 4* – a childhood favorite revisited.
- Young Pioneers by Rose Wilder Lane – 4.5* – a slim volume with a strong story.
Other October Posts:
I continued the Shelfie series by moving onto Shelf 2A!
We also went south for a long weekend – our first out-of-state adventure in the Zeppelin to the mountains of Virginia! I did a decent amount of reading, but not a lot of reviewing. I particularly enjoyed a nonfiction read that looked at the different poisons Agatha Christie used throughout her writing – A is for Arsenic.
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: 872 (up… *whispers*… 16…)
- Nonfiction: 81 (up three)
- Personal (which includes all books I own (fiction and nonfiction), but lists any series I own as only one entry…): 675 (down three!)
- Series (each series counted separately, not each book within a series): 238 (holding steady)
- Mystery Series (each series counted separately, not each book within a series): 107 (down one!)
I’ve mostly been staying caught up. However, I have read the first book in two different series. The first one I don’t think is actually going to be a “series” – I think it’s just several books by the same author that I bought in a bundle – so it should get reviewed soon: Accidentally Married by Victoria Lieske. The other book is the first in one of the crazy Love Inspired series. It was pretty lame, so I’m going to give the second book a bit of a go, but if it’s just as lame, I’m going to DNF the set. The one I’ve read already is Blind-Date Bride by Jillian Hart.
For a while, I was back to reading basically just one book at a time. I went back to my four-book pattern last week, but honestly I still just don’t have enough reading time to maintain that, so I’ll probably cut back as I finish a couple of these books. Right now I have four books, plus my bedtime read…
- Embers of War by Fredrik Logevall – a nonfiction read about the background of the Vietnam War. It’s super, super interesting to me, especially since I remember literally nothing about the Vietnam War. I’m hoping to find a good book about the war itself when I finish this one, so let me know if you have one to suggest!
- Montana Homecoming by Jillian Hart – the second book in the crazy Love Inspired series.
- Collie to the Rescue by Albert Payson Terhune – his books are so ridiculous that they’re great fun.
- Saving Mars by Cidney Swanson – a free Kindle book I’ve had for a while
- Reluctantly Married by Victoria Lieske – my relaxing bedtime book.
Approaching the Top of the Pile…
Honestly not sure why I even do this section, as it never seems to be true! :-D Although in fairness, I have read/am reading all of the books from last month’s list in this section… they just didn’t happen ::next::
Anyway, here are the “probable” next five reads…
- Maybe the next book in the Saving Mars series, if this one is any good
- Early Candlelight by Maud Hart Lovelace – this is the author of the Betsy-Tacy books, which I read a few years ago and LOVED. I’m interested to read this book geared towards older readers than the Betsy-Tacy books were originally.
- Farmer Giles of Ham by J.R.R. Tolkien – I picked this up on the library discard rack for a quarter several months ago, but still haven’t gotten around to reading it!!
- Simply Irresistible by Rachel Gibson – the start of another fuzzy romance series that I read about somewhere sometime a while ago. No clue if it will be any good, as I now don’t even really remember the premise. I actually think it may have something to do with a hockey team?! It’s more interesting if I don’t bother to look it up for this post.
- The Runaway Dragon by Kate Coombs – this is a children’s book that my mom read a while back and thought was “super adorable” and loaned to me. We’ll see what it’s all about.
That’s the update for now – Happy November!!