October Reading Summary

I’ve been wondering whether or not to continue with these posts in 2012 – I do find it useful to look back on my reading at the end of every month but I don’t know if my summaries are of much interest to anyone else. What do you think? And if you have your own blog do you post your own monthly (or weekly) reading summary or round-up?

My favourite books read in October:

The Greatest Knight by Elizabeth Chadwick was the first book I finished in October and The Secrets Between Us by Louise Douglas was the last one – and both are in my top three books read this month. I also loved The Children’s Book by A.S. Byatt (which I’m pleased about as I wasn’t sure I would like it!) and I’ll be posting my thoughts on that one in the next few days.

Other October reading:

Last Tuesday I took part in the Classics Circuit Gothic Literature Tour with a post on Ann Radcliffe’s 18th century novel A Sicilian Romance. I read a couple of other classics in October too: The Phantom of the Opera by Gaston Leroux, which was a very entertaining read, and Under the Greenwood Tree by Thomas Hardy, a good book but my least favourite Hardy novel so far.

Also in October, I read my second Bryant and May mystery, The Water Room by Christopher Fowler, and I learned about Kat Ashley in The Queen’s Governess by Karen Harper. I participated in Discovering Daphne month by reading The Loving Spirit by Daphne du Maurier and I explained why The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern left me with mixed feelings.

There were also a few more books I read in October that I haven’t had time to write about yet. These were We Have Always Lived in the Castle by Shirley Jackson, Shanghai Girls by Lisa See, The Land of Green Ginger by Winifred Holtby and Jamaica Inn by Daphne du Maurier (this one was actually a re-read, although the first time I read it was so long ago I had completely forgotten most of the plot).

Have you read any of these books? Was October a good month for you?

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17 thoughts on “October Reading Summary

  1. Lisa says:

    I just read We Have Always Lived in the Castle! in part because of a review I read somewhere – I thought it might have been here, actually. I’ve been wondering about a monthly round-up myself – or at least a recap of the TBR pile gains & losses. I enjoy reading yours.

  2. Sue says:

    I do enjoy your monthly reviews! The only one I have read is Jamaica Inn. In fact my friend ‘s parents owned the old toll house just down the road from there (in 1962) – have been to JI since but think the toll house has gone. We used to drive from Surrey to JI in a Triumph Herald. Anyway trip down memory lane over! I had an excellent month including The Absolutist (John Boyne) , Before I go to Sleep (S J Watson) and Wish you Were Here Alan Hollinghurst) which I am really enjoying. Also finally managed to read We Need to Talk About Kevin before all the hype about the film My first Bryant and May book has arrived from the library – think you must have other readers here because I often have to wait after you have given a favourable review (unless I get in first of course).

    • Helen says:

      I hope you enjoy Bryant and May, Sue. I loved Before I Go to Sleep but haven’t read the others you mentioned. And how interesting that your friend’s parents owned the toll house near Jamaica Inn! I’ve never been to Jamaica Inn but will pay it a visit next time I’m in that part of the country.

  3. Richard Reeder says:

    I think that you will be delighted by a book penned by an Aussie born and raised author, Goldie Goldbloom, who now resides in Chicago. The book was originally published under the title “Toad’s Museum of Freaks and Wonders.” It was republished as “The Paperbark Shoe.” It’s narrator and protagonist is an albino woman residing in the desolate wheatlands of Western Australia during the Second World War. Her marriage is not the happiest, and when an Italian prisoner of war is assigned to her farm, emotional fireworks are set off. It is a tender and lovely story. Goldbloom’s writing style is superb. It was the best book that I read in October.

    • Helen says:

      I haven’t heard of that book, Richard, but I’m intrigued by your description of it. It does sound like a book I would probably enjoy. Thanks for bringing it to my attention.

  4. Jo says:

    I enjoy the monthly reviews, because I think sometimes you can pick up a few recommendations. I enjoy doing mine on my blog, because it feels like I am reflecting back on what I have read and consolidating it all. It is looking back that sometimes I see a theme, like reading lots of books with the Second World War as a background theme, etc. Reading them at the time you do not always realise it.

    However you chose to do the format of it, it is always interesting to read.

  5. wordandpiece says:

    I always want to post what I have coming up but then if I don’t get to a book I feel really guilty! I love Christopher Fowler he’s one of my favourite authors and I always recommend him. I think the Victoria Vanishes is my favourite. Have had the Children’s Book for months but it’s so big I’ve not gotten round to it yet!

    • Helen says:

      I’m reading the Bryant and May series in order so it will be a while before I get to The Victoria Vanishes, but I’m looking forward to it since you say it’s your favourite! And it’s taken me a long time to get round to The Children’s Book too!

  6. BuriedInPrint says:

    I enjoy the monthly summaries; sometimes, even if I haven’t had anything to say about the books when they’ve been discussed at greater length, I find an opportunity to say something in these, so I’m not just lurking, quietly. I only updated quarterly this year, but that was more a question of trying to fit in a lot of other things…

  7. FleurFisher says:

    I don’t write monthly summaries, because sometimes I read and write about a book straight away and sometimes I reflect for a long time. And, to be honest, because I’m not that organised. But I do like to read them.

  8. Charlie says:

    I like these posts, they’re good by themselves and also when you might have missed other reviews (you being the blog reader), because it identifies them. I’ve read The Secrets Between Us, and have Shanghai Girls to read.

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