October 2022 Reading

Thinking back to October, I’m reminded what a gorgeous month it was. It was an amazing start to fall – beautiful foliage, cloudy and rainy days. Perfect for curling up inside with a wonderful stack of books. It’s fun to look back on October because November has started out decidedly un-fall like. It has been slightly muggy and relatively warm (yesterday it got to the mid-70s!). I keep telling my family to soak up the sun while it’s here and it’s a great opportunity to get outside, but inwardly I’m groaning. I’m anxious for it to feel like fall again. And I know it will! Until it does, I will bask in my memories of October which, of course, means thinking about what I read. It was an excellent month of reading and worth the reflection!

I tried to read only from my TBR in October and wouldn’t allow myself to pick up anything shiny and new. It wasn’t easy! So many new books were calling to me, but I managed to stick to the stack I curated at the beginning of the month. The purple checks are the books I read, the dashes are what’s in my current rotation, and the x is one I decided against. (That strange purple arrow on Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell was meant to be a check mark. Not sure what happened!)

I’m very proud of that stack of library books on the right. It was my priority because of their due dates and I read almost all that I intended. I’ve returned the book on the bottom, The Lacuna, to the library unread because I’ll be reading it with a group of blogging friends in 2023. And I managed to read 5 books that I own, which is always a challenge for me because library books and their due dates seem to rule my reading life!

Here’s exactly what I read in October:

Kirsten’s Surprise | Frankenstein in Baghdad | Trust | The Plague of Doves | Beloved | The Painted Drum | Kirsten Learns a Lesson | Lonesome Dove | Fugitive Pieces | The Wild Hunt | Captain Underpants | Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell | Fresh Water for Flowers | The Secret History

Highlights from October:

+ I finished two super chunkers: Lonesome Dove and Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell. I loved both of them! It’s amazing what you can get through when you break these large books into small chunks. I read 4 chapters a day of Lonesome Dove and 40 pages a day of Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell and was surprised by how well I was able to balance my other reading alongside these big guys. (I started Lonesome Dove in September, but finished in October so I didn’t read ALL of them both in October.) I’ve always hesitated to plan out long reads like this but I’m a complete convert now. I have BIG plans in 2023 that I’ll be sharing here soon.

+ The Secret History was an excellent way to kick off the spooky season. This was a reread for me and I enjoyed it immensely — I was engrossed by the characters and the setting, as well as all of the cozy details scattered throughout. This is such a fun book and worth revisiting. (30 times for some people!)

+ Fresh Water for Flowers has been added to my list of yearly rereads. Early spring is probably the perfect time of year to read this heartwarming book that’s full of flowers, gardens, and seizing the day. And it takes place in France, which is one of my favorite settings. I was so happy to have found this little gem.

+ I read two Louise Erdrich books in my effort to catch up with the Erdrich-Along. There’s no doubt that Erdrich is a genius and I’ve loved immersing myself in her this year. I’m looking forward to attempting to become a completist of her work!

+ Bronwyn and I read two American Girl books in October and we’re nearly finished with the Kirsten series. Bryce has been enjoying Captain Underpants books before bed (and honestly, so have I). It’s such a privilege to read aloud to my children!

And here’s an update on my TBR (you should be able to click to make it bigger). You’ll notice that I didn’t finish a lot of books that I’d actually planned to read in October, but that was because I was working hard to finish up the TBRs I had for the previous months. And I did a pretty good job! I’m pleased with how the month played out even though it was really hard to stick to a plan! I’ve enjoyed using the blank pages of my Moleskine weekly planner to list out my TBR in 4 month increments like this. It’s been helpful to pull from lists for previous or future months based on library availability and I like seeing the spread for planning purposes. It’s something I hope to continue in 2023.


And that’s a wrap for October! I hope to be back on Wednesday with an update on what I’ve read in the last week. Until then – take good care!

26 thoughts on “October 2022 Reading

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  1. What a great month of books AND reading!! I’m looking forward to Fresh Water this month (figure the timing doesn’t matter as much for this non-gardener 😂) and generally 100% on board to read the big books! I’m thinking about my TBR a little differently for Nov and Dec to be sure I read ten books I’ve been meaning to read before year-end. more to come (and it’s supposed to be 80 here today. I hope November finds her way back here soon)!

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    1. I hope you love Fresh Water for Flowers! And you’re right – if you’re not looking for gardening inspiration then you can read it any time of the year!! I can’t wait to see what you have in mind for the rest of the year. I think I’m going to jump in on your Mrs. Dalloway boat because it’s available at the library. I’ll have to request an ILL from The Hours but I might be able to pull it off!

      To be honest: I struggle with Virginia Woolfe in general, so I’m hoping the support of FM will help me through it!

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      1. Oh I’m so glad you’re going to try Virginia Woolf! I liked it when I read it for the first time a few years back, but I’m a better reader 😉 now and hope to get even more from it!

        And I’m already enjoying Fresh Water for Flowers. Wow, it sucked me right in.

        >

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  2. I just checked out Jonathan Strange this morning… (the audio version) and my plan is to start shortly (the perfect house-task companion? I hope so!)

    I was so lucky to get Claire Keegan’s new book and I will finish that up momentarily! It is so good!

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    1. Yes – I think JS&MN is a very good house task companion! And I think you’ll be looking for more tasks around the house to complete so that you can get back to it!!

      Can’t wait to hear what you think about Keegan’s new book. I’ll be keeping my eyes open for it!

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  3. It looks like a great month of reading. I started The Shell Seekers. I am also half way through Verity and I should finish that today. Verity is really intense, I knew that going in, I have to pull off every now and then for something a little less terrifying lol.

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  4. We’ve had the same situation with the temperatures this past week and half. So I totally understood that longing again for the fall temps. However, I checked the weather last night and it’s supposed to be back to the cooler weather towards the end of the week. Yay!

    When I read what you had to say about Fresh Water for Flowers in a previous post, I immediately put it on my TBR. Reading about it again today in your post, I think I just need to buy the book and have it on my shelf. Then look at reading it next spring. 🙂

    Also, I am still planning to read Winter Solstice with you in December. I can’t wait to read another Pilcher novel!

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    1. Oh, yay! I hope you love having Fresh Water for Flowers on your shelf – just having it’s beautiful cover around will give you hope for spring 🙂 I can’t wait to pick up Winter Solstice. So exciting!!

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  5. It was like summer here this weekend, which was glorious but also disturbing. I’m ready to go back to fall!

    You really did read some wonderful books last month, and I really do love how you tackle those big ones by reading a certain amount every day (I wish I were so disciplined!). I have found that Fresh Water for Flowers is available on Hoopla both as an ebook and an audiobook, so that is definitely in my future. I also finally started The Marriage Portrait, and though I’m only maybe 60 pages in, I am loving it. I hope you will start your copy soon!

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  6. Very warm in Maine, too. Even though I feel a little guilty, I am really enjoying it. Impressive list, especially with your two “super chunkers.” (What a great description!) I can’t picture myself reading a book 30 times, even if it’s one I really love. I am still on an Elizabeth Jane Howard kick, and will probably read all of her books.

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    1. I’m glad you’re enjoying the warm weather! We had a cold front blow in yesterday so today is already feeling more like it “should.” Thanks for your kind words about my October reading — and I’m still hoping to tackle some Howards in 2023!!

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  7. I really enjoy your reading wrap up posts. I did a lot of finishing in October, so many books that were just waiting to be completed. I am contemplating a BIG book for 2023 but I’m trying to let my reading be more serendipitous these last months of 2022.

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    1. Thanks Juliann! It feels good to cross the finish line on books that have been lingering. I hope you enjoyed them! I can’t wait to see what your big read for 2023 will be 🙂

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  8. So glad you’re having a good time with your reading and have found a system that works. I also feel the pull of those library due dates. So far, reading one of my own books for every two library books is working! So I’m making a little dent in those owned books. 🙂 Hope November is a satisfying reading month for you as well.

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    1. I love your strategy for getting through your own books! I’m trying to do the same… I should STOP loading up on library books every week, that would help. Here’s to a great November for both of us!

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  9. I had Wild Hunt out this month too! Ok start but didn’t finish before it was due. Would love to know if it is worth a second try?

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    1. I really enjoyed it! But I’m always a sucker for books that have anything to do with WWII or set on an island, so the author had me hooked in two ways 🙂

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  10. Katie, I love your idea of curating a TBR month and following through! So cool. A great motivation for me come ’23. Maybe January?!

    Sometimes our simplest, smartest brainstorms turn out to be our most brilliant. Go figure!

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  11. I love your strategy about adding in the big clunkers! Since I’ve started using Goodreads to “quantify” / track my reading life, I find myself postponing the 500 page + clunkers! Quantifying/tracking my reading life definitely helped pull me out of the new mom postpartum identity crisis, but I think the long-book-avoidance is a funny side effect!

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    1. I think that has happened to many of us! I am almost always reminding myself to focus on quality over quantity; I think my competitive nature will always be at work here. BUT! It has been so rewarding to get through some really big books that I would have avoided in the past. Good luck!!

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