October Reads and November Plans

Hi guys!

Well, this is awkward. I had all these great plans about my blogoversary (Dawn of books is now 2 years old!), blogging about this year’s Helsinki Book Fair and attending lots of author and blogger events. Also, I thought I could magically catch up with my male to female ratio within one month. It’s now safe to say that none of these things happened. I haven’t written or published a single post in the entire month and, looking back, I’m genuinely surprised I even had time to read any books. I finished 8 books in October, most of them in crazy reading bouts on weekends or during long train rides, but overall my life has lately been sorrowfully un-bookish. I was going to rant about exactly how un-bookish my life currently is, but then I realised that I’m reading exactly as many books as per usual. Sure, there are fewer moments when I could be reading, but now when I get that moment, I make use of it in order to read as much as I possibly can. At the moment, my time is pretty much divided between working, studying and writing my Master’s Thesis, but it doesn’t mean I’ll completely stop reading (or blogging).

To look on the bright side side of life, October did see some cool bookish events. I saw Aki Ollikainen (the author of White Hunger) speak about his books and his writing process. I haven’t yet read his latest, but I’m looking forward to it. The event was surprisingly low-key and fun, because the author invited the audience to ask questions, which presented some very interesting conversations. I also got to attend the annual Helsinki Book Fair on Saturday 24th and shortly on Sunday 25th, saw authors talk about their favourite books, listened to a fascinating panel on ebooks, and overspent on books. I bought five books during the first day; at first there was just one and then suddenly I was standing at the register holding my fifth purchase! I’ll try to write a post about my Book Fair weekend and the books that I bought in November soon-ish, so there should at least be one post coming up in this month!

Books read in October:

  • Aniara: An Epic Science Fiction Poem by Harry Martinson
  • Juoppohullun päiväkirja by Juha Vuorinen
  • King Lear by William Shakespeare
  • Satin Island by Tom McCarthy
  • Saga, vol. 1 by Brian K. Vaughn & Fiona Staples
  • Valomerkki (Northern Overexposure #5) by JP Ahonen
  • Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel
  • A Room of One’s Own by Virginia Woolf

The one book in the list that I won’t be reviewing separately is Juoppohullun päiväkirja (eng. The Diary of a Drunkard/Sot) by Juha Vuorinen. To summarise my review: this book just wasn’t for me. Not one bit. The potential DNF-point came already within the first 30 pages, because there is no point in this novel – except to laugh at an alcoholic young man and his fellow drunks getting into all sorts of scrapes whilst intoxicated. It’s screwball humour mixed with toilet humour; not my cup of tea. The book is an interesting publishing phenomenon – having sold as much as it has and being first published online – but it most definitely isn’t a title I’d include in the Finnish “100 Books You Must Read”.1.5/5 stars

My current to-be-reviewed pile is at 21 books, so once I get the time, I’ll have to come up with a strategy to overcome my constantly growing pile of unreviewed books. However, if you’re interested in reading my immediate reactions to the books I’m reading, I suggest you check out my Goodreads feed. I tend to write quick summaries after finishing the book, so that I won’t forget them before typing up the review post. And now that my blogging hiatus/whatever is on, I need those to refresh my memory.

Books I’ll try to pick up in November:

  • Frankenstein by Mary Shelley (currently reading)
  • Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng
  • Wide Sargasso Sea by Jean Rhys
  • Signature of All Things by Elizabeth Gilbert
  • The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafón

Following the theme of Halloween, I started reading Frankenstein on the last day of October. I’ve heard interesting things about this classic Gothic horror novel, and it sounds very intriguing. It’s an epistolary novel, so the last few days I’ve read about one or two letters a night before my brain has shut down. Not to say it’s drowsy or anything, but I’m looking forward to the weekend to dive into the story. Moreover, Frankenstein fits perfectly in my plans to read more female writers! Also on my November TBR is Everything I Never Told You which I recently purchased for my Kindle. According to some reviews, it’s been one of the more challenging and diverse YA titles of late, so I’m interested to see how it plays out.

Next up are two books from my October library haul: Wide Sargasso Sea and Signature of All Things. My number one goal on this library haul was to get books by female authors, so I picked both short and long titles to suit different reading moods. Wide Sargasso Sea is a modern classic that tells the story of Bertha Mason from Jane Eyre. Based on the first sentence alone, I’m sure the book will be a new experience. When I reviewed the fantastic Mr Darwin’s Gardener, Naomi of Consumed by Ink recommended Elizabeth Gilbert’s Signature of All Things as a book with similar themes. I’ve read Gilbert’s Eat, Pray, Love – which I wasn’t a fan of – but because the reviews on Signature of All Things have been more than positive, I’m giving Gilbert another go.

Lastly, I have Carlos Ruiz Zafón’s The Shadow of the Wind. This doesn’t fall into the category of “books by women authors”, but I’ve been looking forward to this book for so long that I couldn’t resist it any longer. In fact, I think the bookish themes and mysteries of this book will fit perfectly the dark and gloomy season ahead. It’s a book that will be enjoyed with big cups of tea (and maybe some fresh-from-the-oven treats). This month I’ve refrained from adding Anne Brontë’s The Tenant of Wilderfell Hall for the fifth month running to my TBR. I’m still interested in the book, but since it seems I’m never getting round to reading it, I’ll lay it aside for a while and get back to it maybe next month or in the beginning of next year. I can’t believe next year is less than two months away! As always, the TBR list is highly prone to change and the end result will very much depend on how much time I can set aside for reading.

I hope you all had a wonderful October and that November will treat you well. Happy reading! x

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2 thoughts on “October Reads and November Plans

  1. I’m similarly behind with my reviews but I never thought about doing quick thoughts via Goodreads. that would certainly help with one issue which is remembering what I thought of the book. usually by the time I get around to writing, i have to go through the text again to refresh my memory

    • I’m glad if you found my tip useful/applicable! For me, the quick reviews are becoming more indispensable since most of the books I read are from the library and I often have to return them before typing a review.

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