October: the list

I might have to change my featured image for this monthly post because I got behind in both March and August. “New results,” pfffft. “New beginning”? Sure! Books I need to catch up on:

  • In a Dark, Dark Wood by Ruth Ware (currently reading)
  • God, the Moon, and Other Megafauna by Kellie Wells
  • A Map of the World by Jane Hamilton
  • Detroit Hustle by Amy Haimererl (currently reading)

On the first day of the year, I laid out my 2018 reading goalsHere’s what’s on the list for October:

#1 Fat Fiction: Knit One, Girl Two by Shira Glassman

Brief Description: “Small-batch independent yarn dyer Clara Ziegler is eager to brainstorm new color combinations — if only she could come up with ideas she likes as much as last time! When she sees Danielle Solomon’s paintings of Florida wildlife by chance at a neighborhood gallery, she finds her source of inspiration. Outspoken, passionate, and complicated, Danielle herself soon proves even more captivating than her artwork…”

knit one girl two
We’ve got another fat girl on the cover. Hooray!

#2 The Oldest Book Shelved: Cat’s Eye by Margaret Atwood, added to my library in August 2012 after I scooped it up at a granny garage sale.

Brief Description: Cat’s Eye is the story of Elaine Risley, a controversial painter who returns to Toronto . . . Engulfed by vivid images of the past, she reminisces about a trio of girls who initiated her into the fierce politics of childhood and its secret world of friendship, longing, and betrayal. Elaine must come to terms with her own identity as a daughter, a lover, and artist, and woman – but above all she must seek release from her haunting memories.”

cat's eye.jpg
Based on the cover, do you think this book has supernatural elements? I don’t know much about it.

#3 Newest Book Shelved: Every Tongue Got to Confess: Negro Folk Takes from the Gulf State by Zora Neale Hurston

Note: I must confess I’m cheating a bit with this category. I made a big spreadsheet at the beginning of the year, but of course I’ve bought books since then. I often put my newest-newest books as my random pick. Shush, don’t judge.

Brief Description: “. . . an extensive volume of African American folklore that Zora Neale Hurston collected on her travels through the Gulf States in the late 1920s. The bittersweet and often hilarious tales — which range from longer narratives about God, the Devil, white folk, and mistaken identity to witty one-liners — reveal attitudes about faith, love, family, slavery, race, and community.”

tongue
There are around 500 folk tales in these pages!

#4 Random Pick: Excellent Women by Barbara Pym

Brief Description: “Mildred Lathbury is a clergyman’s daughter and a mild-mannered spinster in 1950s England. She is one of those ‘excellent women,’ the smart, supportive, repressed women who men take for granted. As Mildred gets embroiled in the lives of her new neighbors . . . the novel presents a series of snapshots of human life as actually, and pluckily, lived in a vanishing world of manners and repressed desires.”

excellent women
Pym is recommended by many of my blog friends.
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39 comments

  1. I like your choices here. There’s some interesting variety, among other things. And I really hope you’re enjoying In a Dark, Dark Wood. I’ll be especially interested in what you think of it.

  2. I’ll keep an eye out for your thoughts on the Atwood novel. I’ve only read The Handmaid’s Tale, and sadly wasn’t as enamoured as most people seem to be. But it certainly had its merits, and I’m still curious about her as an author.

  3. Sounds like a good batch this month, with a few that might even tempt me. 😉 The cover of the Atwood does suggest supernatural to me, but the blurb doesn’t at all – intriguing! Maybe the cover will prove to be related to the art discussed in the book…

    • I didn’t realize there was a big art component to the novel (though maybe it says that in the synopsis and I forgot). I hope so! I love when different fields come together to make a complete work of creativity.

  4. Oohh Barbara Pym’s book looks good, not surprising that this is a fellow blogger pick! I can’t remember if I’ve read Cat’s Eye, I’m pretty sure I have, but I honestly can’t know for sure. Therefore, I can’t help you in terms of what genre it is, although the cover is pretty science-fiction-y

  5. I have been seriously considering picking up Excellent Women – I read a glowing recommendation in another book, and it has me very interested. I look forward to seeing what you have to say about it!

  6. I absolutely love both Cat’s Eye (it vies for my favourite Atwood and that’s only a question of what day I’m contemplating the question – it shifts because I really admire/enjoy so many of her books) and Barbara Pym in general, but I know our reading taste doesn’t always align, so I’m not sure if that bodes well or ill for your October choices. 🙂

    I don’t want to spoil anything about Cat’s Eye for you, but I would consider the cover more about the symbolic possibilities rather than a speculative angle. And I didn’t know anything about the artsy side of the novel the first time I read it either but it is key to the story.

    • These are some good hints! I read all sorts of things, so I’m never afraid to try a new type of book. Maybe I’ll start with the Atwood, as that is the one everyone keeps mentioning.

  7. I’ve thought about picking up In a Dark, Dark Wood, but since I didn’t love The Woman in Cabin 10, I’m not sure how much I will enjoy this one. I think I remember you picking up the audio version of the latter. Is that the route you are going with this one? Hope you enjoy all the books on your list!

    • The audio version saved The Woman in Cabin 10 for me. The voice actor was able to add a lot of emotions to lines that would read as cheesy or flat. I’m reading In a Dark, Dark Wood aloud to my husband. So far, I like the characters better than Cabin 10. Everyone says Ware’s first novel is her best.

  8. Every Tongue Got to Confess sounds like it will be SO interesting! I’m guessing you’re trying to read everything you can of ZNH?
    Cat’s Eye is perfect timing for MARM. I read that one so long ago, I can’t even remember what I thought of it, so I’m looking forward to yours and anyone else who reads it!
    I’ve heard good things about Pym, as well, but have yet to read her. I’ve been keeping my eyes out for a copy of one of her books at all the used book stores and book sales, but so far no luck.

    • I believe I have all of Zora’s books, including some books ABOUT her, but I’m trying to be careful about not reading them all at once. Every Tongue will be my second Zora book in 2018; I HAD to read Barracoon and be part of that big moment in publishing!

      I’ll be sure to get in on your read-along with my Cat’s Eye post. As I mentioned, I’ve also read the entire MaddAddam trilogy. I used to teach the first book, Oryx & Crake, to college students.

      I’ve never read Pym, but so many of our blogger friends recommend her that when I found this novel in a used bookstore, I pounced.

  9. It feels like we’re playing a game. I read a Hurston book, you read a Hurston book, I read a Hurston book, you read a Hurston book… 😉 Will you run out of them eventually?! XD Seriously though, Every Tongue Got To Confess sounds AWESOME. Over 500 folktales? Why does that sound like something I’d adore? No idea. Folktales just appeal to me. 🙂

    I’ve only read Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale. I’ve heard so many amazing things about <em.MaddAdam, but this one is new to me. Without cheating, I hope there is some paranormal something going on in Cat’s Eye, otherwise, this cover’s got a lot of ‘splainin’ to do!

    • I’m about 50 pages into In A Dark, Dark Wood right now and loving it. I thought The Woman in Cabin 10 was ok. I’ve heard her first novel is the best.

      I’m going to start Cat’s Eye tomorrow, so I’ll find out soon enough if it’s supernatural!

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