What I Read – October 2021


Five Little IndiansMichelle Good (Harper Perennial, 2020)

Jesus and John Wayne – Kristin Kobes du Mez (Liveright Publishing Corporation, 2020)

The Anthropocene Reviewed – John Green (Dutton, 2021)

A Womb in the Shape of a Heart – Joanne Gallant (Nimbus Publishing, 2021)

Minor Feelings – Cathy Park Hong (One World, 2020)

Mexican Gothic – Silvia Moreno-Garcia (Del Rey, 2020)

Adventures of Huckleberry Finn – Mark Twain (Canterbury Classics, 2012)

Strange Beasts of China – Yan Ge (Melville House, 2020) (translated from the Chinese by Jeremy Tang)

In Fine Form edited by Kate Braid and Sandy Shreve (Caitlin Press, 2016)

Lemon – Kwon Yeo-sun (Other Press, 2021) (translated from the Korean by Janet Hong)

Did Not Finish:

Harrow – Joy Williams

I got to page 112 of this ARC before I gave up. I was intrigued by the dystopian setting and by the strangeness of the world that Williams created but in the end it was too strange for me. I couldn’t keep track of characters, I had a really hard time visualizing anything that was described in the book, and I just didn’t understand or care about what was happening. Books like this sometimes make me feel like I’m not smart enough for them and like another, better reader would get more out of them. Maybe. At the same time, I am a smart reader, I read a lot, and if a book is too confusing for me, it might just be a confusing book. Anybody read this one? Or anything by Joy Williams?

Currently Reading:

Nostalgia is Heartless – Sarah Lahey

Out of the Sun – Esi Edugyan

Everyone Knows Your Mother is a Witch – Rivka Galchen

2021 Goals:

Books Read: 61/100

Books Reviewed: 49/61

Asian-Canadian Literature Challenge: 4 (Some great Asian authors this month but no Canadian ones so nothing to add to this challenge.)

A Virtuous Reading Challenge: 4/12 (Adventures of Huckleberry Finn checked off another for me on this list.)

Current TBR: 225 (previously 223; I really felt like it was going to go down this month…)

Other Reading:

This month we’ve continued to read Little Women at bedtime with the girls.

In my Bible Reading I’ve finished James, 2 Kings, 2 Chronicles, Lamentations, Obadiah, 1 Peter, 2 Peter. At the moment I’m reading Ezekiel and John. Also this month, I’ve been reading more Christian liturgy (throwing it back to my Anglican roots), specifically as collected in a book called Every Moment Holy. This collection offers beautiful prayers for life’s mundane moments. From going to work, to sick days, to power outs, to changing diapers, it has been a great encouragement to stop and pray and focus in the midst of every day life.


I read a lot in October! I’m really pleased that in the end I managed to read 10 books. There was a good mix in there too – 5 non-fiction, a poetry anthology I’d been working through for a while, 2 translations, and a classic. I am working on reviews for A Womb in the Shape of a Heart, Strange Beasts of China, and Lemon. There were lots of stand-outs for the month too. Five Little Indians and A Womb in the Shape of a Heart were both rather emotional reads though for quite different reasons. Jesus and John Wayne was a really informative and helpful read for me as I navigate a tricky time in the Christian church in the west. Mexican Gothic was just my level for a spooky October story and both Strange Beasts and Lemon have left me with a lot to ponder.

What’s Next:

Who knows? This past week I’ve only just started on Out of the Sun and Everyone Knows Your Mother is a Witch so I haven’t given much though to what comes after those. Once I finish Nostalgia is Heartless, I plan to begin an ARC of Palmares by Gayl Jones as I’m woefully behind on my stack of ARCs. I also have We Run the Tides on hold at the library. I am also excited that Ann Patchett, one of my favourite authors, has a new essay collection coming out in November and I already have it on pre-order.

What was your best read for October? The spookiest? What do you plan to read in November?

5 thoughts on “What I Read – October 2021”

  1. I don’t really read spooky books but I did actually read a few spooky short stories this year, because a podcast I follow was doing a discussion of them – The Blue Lenses by Daphne Du Maurier, Kerfol by Edith Wharton, and The Strange Case of Sir Arthur Carmichael by Agatha Christie. Their spook level was about right for me. They weren’t my best read of the month, though, which was probably The Butchering Art.

    Thanks for the mentioning Every Moment Holy – it sounds great and I will look it up!

    1. Those sound more my speed of spooky too! I find older stories don’t have the same ick factor that some modern ones do.

      You’re welcome! It’s a beautiful collection and has been a lovely way to refocus during the day. There are prayers for different hours as well as many situations.

  2. Hmm. my best is hard to decide – Vanity Fair, probably, though I loved re-reading (or rather, listening to) Reginald Hill’s Pictures of Perfection. No contest for the spookiest since I only managed to read one collection – Randalls Round by Eleanor Scott. Fortunately it was very good!

    1. I thought Minor Feelings was quite good. I didn’t find it super readable since it more essays than memoir but the topics she addresses are super relevant and I appreciated her perspective.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s