Happy Halloween everyone! I hope people have a fun evening planned. For me it’s definitely going to be a night for curling up on the sofa with my better half, a book and a cat (or two) for company as I have a busy weekend ahead.
It’s hard to believe it is nearly Christmas again- October seemed to go by so very quickly- though in fact the whole of 2014 has felt like that for me. It’s been another busy month with lots of time spent with family and friends and sorting out more wedding bits and pieces. I did have the opportunity to get some reading in though not as much as I’d hoped for, happily clearing a few older unread paperbacks from my shelves as I’d intended and sending them off to the charity shop. It felt really good to be reading ‘physical’ books again after working my way through so many e-books last month. I’ve been pretty tired though on an evening after work- I’m not sure if it’s because of all the exercise I’ve been doing or merely because winter is fast closing in now, but I’ve been falling asleep way earlier than usual and it’s cutting into my reading time exponentially. I’d also hoped to take part in a Readathon in the month, though it clashed with a weekend my mum was coming to visit, so I didn’t get the chance. Maybe I’ll participate in the next one…!
Overall I completed 17 books in the month- a respectable total but nowhere near what I got through in September, for obvious reasons. I’m reading another one at the moment which I might get through by the end of tonight, but we’ll see. Most of these books were pretty quick reads but I read a few chunkier books too, which definitely took me a bit longer to get through. One of these is The Count of Monte Cristo, which I’ve been reading at bedtime now for a few weeks and I’m still only about a quarter of the way through! I do like it, but it’s such a doorstop read it will be a (Christmas) miracle if I’m even through it by the end of December.
My favourite reads of the month were probably Want You Dead, the tenth Roy Grace detective novel from Peter James and also certainly my last audiobook- The Signature of All Things by Elizabeth Gilbert, which I just absolutely loved, even though by the end it truly felt like it had gone on forever! You can read my thoughts on it here. My current audiobook is Whiskey Beach by Nora Roberts, which is enjoyable and certainly a good dose of romantic-suspense as well as being very atmospheric. I love books that are set by the ocean, of which Roberts has written many. I have no idea what my next audiobook is going to be after this one either- so if anyone has any recommendations with some brilliant narrators, please pass them on.
I got some more non-fiction competed in October too, reading and reviewing Killing Keiko by Mark A. Simmons, which honestly moved me to tears. It was a book that made a massive impression on me and left me thinking about it for days afterwards. Even thinking about it now I feel so sad. I also completed Bye Mam, I Love You by Sonia Oatley, which was a shocking account of the murder of her teenage daughter, Rebecca- a crime that made major headlines here in the UK a few years back. I also finished The Penguin Book of Witches by Katherine Howe. I’d been so eager to get my hands on it, but it was completely out of stock in bookshops in our town and sadly, we don’t have any independent bookshops here (I know), so I ended up ordering it online. I dived into it once it arrived and ended up enjoying it- it contained some fascinating information about witch trials in the 17th Century, though was admittedly somewhat dry in places. I think it’s the sort of book to pick up for research purposes, rather than merely for enjoyment. Along the witchy theme, I read a few spooky and horror novels during the month, in anticipation of Halloween, which I liked- even though I can sometimes be the biggest wimp when it comes to scary books! I read Rosemary’s Baby by Ira Levin and a chunkster by Stephen King and some Ray Bradbury amongst others. I also wrote a round-up of my favourite scary books ever at the beginning of October, which I hope may have inspired some people to try out some from the list if they haven’t experienced them already. You can check out that post here if you haven’t seen it. Be sure to link to your own Halloween reading round-ups in the comments here too, so I can head on over and check them out!
Looking ahead to November I have a friend’s hen-do to look forward to tomorrow, catching up with my best friend to start planning my own hen-do(s) in a couple of weeks’ time and I am planning on starting my Christmas shopping at last! I’m hoping to get some more Penguin orange classics read from my shelf and continue making inroads into my other paperbacks as well. It would be nice to read a few festive-themed reads too, if I have the time, though that’s not looking too likely, unfortunately- especially if November ends up being as busy as this month was. I have something planned I think for absolutely every weekend, which definitely isn’t a regular occurrence.
I’ve also been having some serious thoughts about my blog in recent weeks. I always promised myself that I would stop writing reviews it if it ever stopped being fun. I’ve not quite reached that stage and I really love my little blog, but real life (including my new job) is seriously getting in the way of my reading time at the moment- and probably will be for the foreseeable future- and I do feel pressured to try and write posts or write ‘something’ sometimes just so I can say that I’ve updated my blog again. I’ve also had to turn down author review requests for quite a while now- and again with publishers offering to send me some brilliant-sounding books, merely because I just don’t have the time to get through them anymore. I have a whole backlog of my own books to get through which I would really love to make proper inroads in at some point as well- so I’ve stopped requesting Netgalley review copies for now. The last thing I ever wanted was for reading (my absolute favourite thing and a real means of escape) to begin to feel like a chore and for it to seem like I’m making excuses for not posting anything on a blog I only ever intended to be a hobby.
Does anyone else get that feeling? I really, really hope this will pass and that this is just something of a blip- but in the meantime I am going to take a step back from some of the reviewing and stop putting so much pressure on myself- as I have been really stressing out over a lot of relatively minor things in my life lately, which has culminated in a much bigger feeling of meh. I will still post reviews, but they will most likely be even more infrequent- I don’t want to rush through reading something merely so I can talk about it on here. Likewise, if I DO encounter something amazing that I feel everyone should read, then expect me to shout it from the rooftops- or from Twitter! We’ll see how that works out for now, but it really might get to the stage where unfortunately enough becomes enough. I always envy those bloggers who are able to post continuously and always have something interesting to say, but I just don’t have their tenacity. Wish me luck.
I hope everyone has a great reading month! 🙂