October Reading and Plans for November

I’ve just returned from a few weeks of travelling and working, but have also basked in some restful and productive moments. More about that anon, in my next few posts this coming week. [With lots of pictures. Here’s just one to whet your appetite…]

On my way to the south of France, a perfect day for a drive...
On my way to the south of France, a perfect day for a drive…

But for now, let’s see what my reading has been like in this tumultuous and busy month of October. At first, things didn’t go well, and very little reading got done. As for reviewing – foggedaboutit!  But it ended in a warm glow of poetry. And I’ve reached my Goodreads annual target of 140 books, with 2 more months to go, so I will almost certainly get to over 150 now.

Reading for Reviews

  1. Gilly Macmillan: The Perfect Girl – Keen to read this, as I enjoyed the debut novel by this author Burnt Paper Sky. Sadly, this one did not quite live up to the promise of the first one – and my review has still not been written for CFL.
  2. Jeffrey Siger: Santorini Caesars – review to follow on CFL

Reading for Projects/Challenges

Anna Katharina Hahn:  Kürzere Tage (Shorter Days) and Robert Seethaler: Der Trafikant (The Tobacconist) for German Lit Month in November. Was not impressed by one and loved the other, but which is which? You’ll have to wait and see…

Andrea Camilleri: The Age of Doubt – am rereading Camilleri (and reading those books in the series which I missed the first time round) for a feature article on his Montalbano series

Reading for Fun

  1. Henrietta Rose-Innes: Nineveh
  2. Anthony Horowitz: Magpie Murders
  3. Zygmunt Miloszewski: Rage (transl. Antonia Lloyd-Jones)
  4. Sarah Moss: Signs for Lost Children

I hope to write a longer review for Signs for Lost Children and perhaps a shared post for Rage and Magpie Murders. But then, I am still behind on Romain Gary, so my promises are not that reliable at the moment. As for AD Miller: Snowdrops – DNF – cannot bear to read anymore about Western male fantasies about manipulative but sexy Russian women.


I was lucky enough to spend five days in the house of a poet and artist, and was bathed in beautiful words and images.

I wrote a couple of poems at this table. Well, wouldn't you?
I wrote a couple of poems at this table. Well, wouldn’t you?

The two volumes below I travelled with myself, but there were plenty of other poetry books there, so I will devote a separate post (or two or three) to that.

  1. Tiphanie Yanique: Wife
  2. Vahni Capildeo: Measures of Expatriation

So 11 books (not counting the additional poetry) and a reasonably balanced month: 4 foreign language books, 2 poetry, 5 crime, 5 by men and 6 by women.

Plans for November include:

  • actually writing some reviews
  • German Literature Month with Caroline and Lizzy – I hope to read at least one more book by Clemens J.  Setz
  • preparing for a master class with Laura Kasischke by reading more of her poetry and her novel Suspicious River
  • keeping up the poetry reading habit, because it works wonders for my peace of mind and my creativity
  • book reviews for Crime Fiction Lover will include: A Suitable Lie by Michael Malone; Rob Sinclair’s Dark Fragments and my favourite annual feature of ‘5 women authors to watch’ for New Talent November
  • reducing even a tiny amount of my greedy reading pile on Netgalley


24 thoughts on “October Reading and Plans for November”

  1. I’m glad it’s not just me that couldn’t get into “Snowdrops” either – I gave up too then felt guilty because my eldest child had bought it for me! Hoping to drop into German Lit month if I can – I feel like I’m playing catch up at the moment!

  2. What lovely ‘photos, Marina Sofia! And it’s so good that you had time to rest and read as well as to work. As always, I like the diversity of books you read, too – impressive.

  3. My problem is “finding time to read”, but many thanks: I do get so many great ideas for reads on your posts. I’ll try to check out your four “reading for fun” this time.

    1. If it’s truly fun, without too much grimness, that you’re after, then I would recommend the Magpie Murders book. I certainly needed it after a sequence of darker reads.

    1. It was indeed Provence, although that first picture was taken in Savoie, on the way there. I was expecting Snowdrops to be more of a commentary on the confused Russia of the late 1990s – and it was to a certain extent, but not enough for my taste.

  4. Meanwhile, I’ve started about sixteen books….and finished none! I have managed to reach to the end of few poems, but mostly only ones I’ve read before (there are some I need to keep reading to act as personal ballast)…anyway, an impressive and inspiring post as always. (I’m about to continue reading Rachel Cusks’s Transit, having liked Outline more than I wanted to….)

    1. I too find at times I get a bit ‘grumpy’ about books and they all seem sameish and I cannot read them to the end, so I completely understand… Not sure there is any advice I can give, except that the right book will come along at some point.

  5. 140 books already! It makes me dizzy and I wonder how you do it.

    I’m waiting for the Gary review. Does it motivate you? 🙂

    PS: Provence is a wonderful place to stay. Please, let me know if you’re anywhere near Lyon.

  6. What a wonderful trip, Marina. I’m a bit jealous you get to travel so much. I think it’s key to being informed, well-read and open-minded. Enjoy it for the rest of us xxx

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