What I Read – October 2019


Risen Motherhood – Emily Jensen & Laura Wifler (Harvest House Publishers, 2019)

The Innocents – Michael Crummey (Doubleday Canada, 2019)

Here I Am! Pauline Holdstock (Biblioasis, 2019)

Every Little Scrap and Wonder – Carla Funk (Greystone Books, 2019)

The Blythes are Quoted – L.M. Montgomery (Viking Canada, 2009)

Frankly in Love – David Yoon (Putnam, 2019)

All the Forgivenesses – Elizabeth Hardinger (John Scognamiglio Books, 2019)

Did Not Finish:

Translated from the Gibberish – Anosh Irani

The Savage Detectives – Roberto Bolano

Greenwood – Michael Christie

Currently Reading:

Reviving Ophelia – Mary Pipher & Sara Pipher Gilliam

Emerald City – Brian Birnbaum


I shared a bit about October already at my mid-month check-in here. October did not get off to a great start and while it improved slightly I ended up reading seven books overall, which was definitely lower than I’d hoped. In the end, I DNFed (did not finish) three books which might be a record for me. After giving up on Greenwood (which, maybe I’ll return to one day…maybe?) I turned to some comfort reading with L.M. Montgomery and The Blythes are Quoted. While not exactly what I’d hoped, it was easy reading and I went from there to playing catch up with some ARCs and ended up enjoying Frankly in Love and All the Forgivenesses (review to come) pretty well.

2019 Reading Goals:

Books Read: 96/100 I’m confident I’ll hit my goal in November and I’m kind of excited to see what my 100th book ends up being

Books Reviewed: 75/50

Giller Prize Challenge: 5/6 My local library now has copies of Small Game Hunting, which is the final title I need to check off, and I’m #4 on the waitlist. So I may not get to it before November 18. I’m #1 on the waitlist for Frying Plantain though, which wasn’t shortlisted but I still want to read. My Giller prediction is still The Innocents but if it isn’t The Innocents I think it will go to Reproduction.

What I’ll Read Next:

I’ve been seeing all autumn that I’m going to read The Dutch House and A Girl is a Half-Formed Thing and yet, clearly, I have yet to read either. Call me crazy, but after the rough reading month October turned out to be, I decided to save them for November. Plus, my birthday is in November and I wanted to make sure I’d have a book I loved to read then so I’m keeping The Dutch House as my birthday read.

I’ve decided to put a pause on my library hold list and stop adding things to it for a while. Instead, I’m going to focus on books I already own (and maybe some ARCS that I already have) for the last two months of 2019. In fact, I’m thinking of making December an all classics month. (Dickens, Plath, Greene, Thomas are just a few I’ve put off for far too long.)

What was your best read of October? Did you fare any better than me? What’s next?

20 thoughts on “What I Read – October 2019”

  1. A classics month! How exciting. I get energized when I start knocking a bunch of books off my TBR. It’s taken me two years so far, and I’m not quite done, but I am impressed with the lower number of books I own and have not read yet.

    1. I’d like to read A Christmas Carol aloud to my husband this December. I’ve never read it; can you believe that? I must have seen every film version ever of it, though.

    2. I’m partial to the muppets version myself! I think this would be a perfect Christmas read-aloud for you! Sharing ghost stories at Christmas isn’t really a thing anymore, is it? Maybe we should bring it back!

  2. You’re blasting your challenges!! When I rule the world it will be compulsory for everyone to read Dickens at Christmas so I approve of your plan to get into training now… 😉

    1. It is without any doubt the greatest book ever written in English or any other language! In my ‘umble opinion, of course… 😉 I do hope you enjoy it! 😀

  3. I agree with FF! Bleak House is so good!
    I’m curious to know why you dnf’d Greenwood?
    I’m also curious to see if you find Small Game Hunting less Newfoundland-y than The Innocents. It’s very different.

    1. I’m getting excited about Bleak House!

      I didn’t make it that far in Greenwood but it just didn’t grab me. It’s set in the near future so the beginning had a lot of explanation and backstory and parts of it felt kind of preachy. (Things are terrible because we’re terrible to our environment now. Which is true but not very fun to read about.) Then the book jumps back in time to early 20th century to tell us about the main character’s family history and I found I just didn’t care, which is usually a good sign for me that I should stop reading. I might go back to it because I really did like Christie’s previous work.

    2. Fair enough. Sometimes it’s a good thing – one less book to read! I’m anxious to get to it and see what I think!

  4. It sounds like you’ve had an excellent month. I will be looking forward to your opinion on Bleak House, it is one of my favourite classics and I love its satire on the English legal system. I love all people who were born in November (just like me), so Happy Birthday! (belated or future). I personally did not like The Dutch House, and I cannot imagine it to be a compelling read let alone a celebratory one, but I am open to my mind being changed – perhaps, I missed some point in the novel, though I don’t think it had many to make.

    1. I keep hearing great things about Bleak House so I’m looking forward to it.

      Have you read other books by Patchett? She’s one of my favourite authors so I’m curious to know what you disliked about this one and how you think it might compare to her other work?

    2. This was my first experience reading Patchett. Previously I wanted to read either Bel Canto or State of Wonder (I love books set in the Amazon), but never got the chance. I don’t want to be negative, I wanted to love The Dutch House, and I realise I have a very unpopular opinion, but I also have to say that I found The Dutch House very disappointing. For one thing, it was excruciatingly slow and I do not usually mind slow-moving books. It was about nothing, too. I mean, there is this allegedly grand and eerie house, the haunting past of one brother and sister, but nothing about it was haunting or eerie or moving at all – they were such by virtue of the author’s naming them as such only. It was all painfully mundane, painfully unoriginal, painfully sentimental and painfully boring. I recalled Sarah Waters’ The Little Stranger (big mansion with portraits) while reading and, also, of course, Donna Tartt’s (fixation on the past). If someone were to ask me “what this book is all about”? I would not know what to say – about two siblings realising that familial life is more complicated than they thought? A really poor attempt and I do not see any appeal of this book at all (ok, it was well-written). Perhaps, someone will say to me what I should have gathered from the story and I missed something, but I also feel like this was the kind of a story elements of which I have read a hundred times before.

    3. Thanks for your reply – that gives me a better idea of the book. I’m curious as to how I’ll find in comparison with her others. Bel Canto is very good and I feel like quite a bit happens in it!

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