October ended up being a tough reading month for me. I realized, after putting together my October TBR list, that it could potentially be a difficult reading month—I had a lot of advanced reader copies (ARCs) to get through. Although it’s taken me years to recognize it, while I love being able to read new books before they come out and support authors better as the books are released, I also struggle to enjoy reading when I feel like I have to read (rather than just read for fun). I don’t know if that makes sense or not, but that’s the way it is.
What I read in October:
I managed to get through six books in October, so I guess that isn’t too bad, even if it wasn’t what I was hoping for! Four of the books below are ones I got for review; of the other two, The Night the Angels Came was a recommendation from a friend (my favorite read of the month), and Siberian Haiku was a book I got from the library. Movie-made Romance is the newest book—it was released today!
As always, if you’re interested in my thoughts about any of the books, clicking on the cover will take you to my review.
After struggling in my reading last month and during the first half of this month, I’m so ready for some light, easy reading! I still have a couple of ARCs I hope to get to in the remainder of the year (ideally, all six I currently have . . . but that’s a bit unrealistic), but over the next six weeks, I’m planning to focus on more just-for-fun books and hope that gets me back into the reading groove enough that slipping the ARCs in here and there won’t slow me down too much.
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New releases I am planning to read:
There are three ARCs I have that have either already been published or will be published soon, so those three are going to be on my TBR list in the next six weeks.
Releasing January 17, 2024: The Divine Proverb of Streusel by Sara Brunsvold. I’m already reading this one—hoping to finish in the next day or two. I’m really enjoying the story, but I think I’d enjoy it a lot more if it weren’t for the fact that I’m feeling somewhat burned out on review books right now. Oh, well. Highly recommended, if you get a chance to read this! I love all the cooking that’s woven through this story (although I’m still searching for the streusel!).
Releasing November 28: The Boy from Clearwater by Yu Pei-Yun and Zhou Jian-Xin. I’m really excited about this graphic novel! It’s a true story about a boy who grew up in Taiwan. This is a two-part book; the first part is set in the 1930s, and the second in the 1950s. I’ve hardly read anything about Taiwan, so I’m looking forward to learning a bit of history from this story!
Released September 2021: Manga Classics’ Les Misérables by Victor Hugo and Crystal S Chan. I’ve loved the Les Misérables story for quite a while now, so when I saw this, I wanted to read it, since most of my exposure to the story thus far is a TV series I watched. Unfortunately, after having a peek inside at the graphics, I don’t really like the artistic style, but I’m looking forward to reading the story itself.
For my two final books for this reading challenge, I decided to go easy on myself and pick books that should be super-quick, fun reads for me. Who better to do that with than Chautona Havig’s books? I’ve enjoyed her books for ages, but haven’t read many of hers this year. Both of these, Adoring April and Dial W for Wrangler, promise to be fun reads.
I realized I only have five spaces left before my bingo board is filled up! It was fun narrowing down my choices with this one.
A banned book: Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry by Mildred D. Taylor. Mom read this book to us when I was 9 or 10, and I remember it as a gut-punching, well-written book about racism and hope. I’ve been wanting to re-read it for quite a while, so when I saw it fit this category (this was banned by Californian schools for quite a while), I jumped at the chance.
A book I saw someone reading: Sweet and Sour: Tales from China by Carol Kendall and Yao-Wen Li. I’ve always been a sucker for fairy tales and old legends, and I know this was a hit for the brother who read it recently. Plus, it’s short—win-win!
An author who has my initials: Johnny Tremain by Esther Forbes. I thought this would be a tough category to find a book for, but then I spotted this book on the shelf. It’s one I read for school years ago, and have been wanting to re-read, so that fits perfectly!
On display at the library: Counting the Cost by Jill Duggar. This was a difficult category to find a book for! Usually, anything on display is something I’m not interested in, but I found this one in the “newest” category on Libby, and I figured that’s close enough to count! I’m looking forward to hearing Jill’s story—I’ve been intrigued about this book ever since it was released last September.
A book that is the author’s first novel: Gods & Kings by Lynn Austin. I’ve been wanting to read this for at least four years now, and as far as I can tell, this is Austin’s first novel. Yay! Can’t wait!
I was thrilled to see that two of my books for the Peanut Blossom list also work for this challenge!
A book with a flavor-related word in the title: Sweet and Sour: Tales from China by Carol Kendall and Yao-Wen Li
A book with the word “other” in the title: The Wise Woman and Other Stories by George MacDonald. I was supposed to read this book in school, but never got around to it. Over this last year, I’ve gotten more interested in MacDonald’s writings, and am eager to get into this one if I can make the time to read it!
A book with weather-related words in the title: Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry by Mildred D. Taylor
A book with the word “good” in the title: What Good is God?: In Search of a Faith that Matters by Philip Yancey. I’m pretty sure I’ve only ever read one Yancey book—but I’ve been collecting his works for years now. I don’t think I ever even read the back cover of this book, but upon perusal, it reminds me somewhat of The Insanity of God by Nik Ripken, which made a profound impact on me several years ago.
Three borrowed books:
I doubt I’ll be able to get to these, but since they’re on my TBR shelf, I thought I’d include them as well. I’ve borrowed them from a friend, so I really ought to read them . . . but there are only so many books one can read in a few weeks!
Whew! That’s a lot of books! I’m certain I won’t get through all of them, but I’ve decided (to borrow a phrase from Chantel Klassen) to treat this list as a “pile of possibilities” and see where the mood takes me as I close out my reading for the year.
Here is my digital TBR “stack” at the moment:
And my physical TBR stack for the end of November and December:
Have you read any of these books? Do you have any other suggestions to add to my stack? (Because . . . why not, right? 😀 )