October Reading Round-up

01Nov13

October was more fun than any other month of challenge reading so far. Maybe it’s just because this is my favorite time of year, with the wind and the weather and the leaves. Perfect excuses to make a pot of coffee, snuggle up, and read.

I finished several challenges this month, as follows.

As planned, I completed the 2013 Middle East Reading Challenge, which has been my favorite challenge this year, mostly because I am learning so much. I still have a handful of other books I checked out for this challenge, and I will mostly likely finish them, too; I ended up creating a category called “Other Books Read in 2013” at the very end of my challenge tracking page. But: the great thing about the MERC has been the exposure to customs and cultures with which I’m not familiar. I’m more inclined to pay closer attention to news about the Middle East now, and it actually makes more sense to me when I do. Reading, they say, opens up worlds, and it has been true for me in this particular case; I’m grateful to the challenge organizer for the opportunity to broaden my horizons!

I also realized that I’d already finished the 2013 Books and Movies Essay Challenge by accident — the collection of 100 essays I read in October simply sealed the deal. I am still not overly fond of the format for pleasure reading, but I do love a good essay from time to time, and am glad I got to sample so many of them this year.

It should come as no surprise to anyone that I finally finished the 2013 Library Books Reading Challenge. 99% of my reading material comes from a library, so I tried really hard not to put a book in this challenge unless it just didn’t fit any of my other challenges. And I still managed to polish off 50 before the end of the year! I love my library system a lot, and I love all the other library systems that graciously lend their materials from out of state – so far, the record for distance is held by a library in St. Louis, Missouri, and it knocks me out they were willing to just hand over a book like that! I returned it promptly, of course.

Favorite book this month = Letters From Skye, Jessica Brockmole. It’s a lovely historical romance about a young American who writes a fan letter to a Scottish poet, instigating a correspondence that carries them both through the tumultuous years of World War One. Call me a sap, but this was just perfect, a good old-fashioned love story with loads of passion, but passion that means something, because of all the obstacles the lovers had to conquer to achieve its consummation. The sub-plot, featuring the poet’s daughter, and set during World War Two, was equally charming, and increased the suspense as you wondered just how she came to be born in the first place. Highly recommended for fans of historical fiction, especially if you like it with an old-fashioned, literary tone.

And now, the numbers:

Fiction: 8

Non-fiction: 9

Graphic Novels: 1

October total: 18

YTD total: 153

I’m not sure if I will be able to finish all of my other challenges by the end of the year, but I’m going to do my level best. November’s focus will be the 2013 Literary Exploration Challenge, where I have the most catching-up to do. Hopefully what will happen is that I can knock this one out in a month, and have December to play catch-up on the remaining challenges.

Allons-y! How’s your reading these days?

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