What I Read: October 2019

Well, y’all, I am hanging in there. I ended October still two books ahead in my challenge. I’m a little intimidated by the holidays coming up–holidays can be great for reading, and they can also be death to reading. It’s just so hard to tell until the moment is upon us. I also hit the point in the year where I finished up a bunch of the slow reads I had been working through and have new ones started now–also, not great for hitting the end of the year reading count!

And, lest you fear I’m all about the numbers, I do read for actual enjoyment. I just enjoy the numbers and the challenges too. So, without further ado: I finished ten books in October, and I need to finish at least nine in both November and December to hit my goal of 120 books this year. I’m pretty sure I’ll manage, but I’ll feel better when I get a good month of reading under my belt in November!

The books I read
  1. Girl, Wash Your Face by Rachel Hollis. This was the first book of the month and it is going to have to go down as one of my favorites this year. For some reason I had heard some negative feedback on it, and after reading it, I really don’t understand it. It was the most empowering, encouraging, and inspiring book I’ve read in a long time. It’s easy for me to feel like I’m in a rut and not achieving things, and some of the time it’s true. This book encouraged me to find the actionable, and hold myself accountable regardless of how I feel in a moment.
  2. The Call of the Wild and Free: Schooling that Reclaims the Wonder of Childhood by Ainsley Arment. This was another fantastic, inspiring book, though definitely very different from ‘Girl, Wash Your Face’. This heartfelt, lovely book on homeschooling and protecting our kids’ childhoods was such a good thing for me to read as we approached the midpoint of the fall semester and our first break. It reminded me of Julie Bogart’s ‘Brave Learner’ (another wonderful book on homeschooling, if you’re looking).
  3. Lonely Planet Ireland – Fionn Davenport. We’re planning a trip to Ireland in May and naturally, that means I have ALL the travel books carefully queued up in my hold list at the library, even though the trip is still six months away and I’ve planned everything that can reasonably be planned this far in advance to within an inch of it’s life. What?! Don’t judge me! 😛
  4. A Lantern in her Hand by Bess Streeter Aldrich. Man, this was a good reading month! This was another book that will definitely make it onto my best books of the year list. It’s beautiful, poetic, and achingly sweet. Warning: it’s a tear jerker, but not in a horrible way–more like Beth in Little Women. I was so glad I read the last chapter when nobody else was awake though. Buckets, you guys. It was embarrassing. (Me. I was embarrassing. Not the book)
  5. Time After Time by Lisa Grunwald This was a fun, breezy novel I read at the start of our break. The main protagonist is a ghost, but not a creepy one. It’s an odd combination of love story, historical novel, and fantasy, but I really enjoyed the twistiness and unique change of it from my normal reading.
  6. How to Stop Time by Matt Haig. Another fantasy/historical novel/love story here. Almost vampiric, but less gothic and more pragmatic. It was really intriguing as well, and I enjoyed it.
  7. The German Midwife by Mandy Robotham. WWII fiction. I loved the premise–telling a story of what could have happened, had Hitler’s mistress had a child, but focusing mostly on the midwife who delivered her. All fiction, of course, but good, enjoyable historical fiction right up to the end. The author lost me a bit at the end. The character progression seemed out of whack and a little rushed at the end, and then the final events were confusing and not at all logical. Still, I enjoyed it!
  8. The Summer Before the War by Helen Simpsonson. I actually read this book first in 2017, but didn’t remember it until I started reading it. I kept reading it, because it was just delightful. It reminds me of Miss Prim, The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, and a little bit Anne of Avonlea. Postively wonderful, and you should probably have it on your nightstand for reading over the holidays. Just saying. 😉
  9. D-Day Girls: The Spies who Armed the Resistance, Sabotaged the Nazis, and helped end World War Two by Sarah Rose. Really good nonfiction. I was pretty irritated with the author’s tone in the first few chapters of the book; I felt like she was being especially harsh to the men in power while sugar-coating all the women, but that either wore off as the book progressed, or I stopped noticing. If nonfiction WWII info is your thing, you will probably really enjoy this!
  10. The Swiss Family Robinson by Johann David Wyss. We read this with our family book club. I’ve read it before. AS with so many books, however, it was an entirely different experience as an adult. I was especially rivetted by more of the background surrounding the author and the context in which he wrote the book, and then the many revisions which it went under as it was translated from the original Swiss. The biggest bombshell, I think, is that there was no girl/mild romance in the end of the original manuscript. That was a shocker.
October Reading, officially, wrapped.

That’s it for now, readers. I hope you have beautiful holidays full of wonderful books!