October marked my first Dewey’s Read-a-thon, the IFOA, and my very-nearly-finishing The New Yorker’s 20 Under 40 short stories (I’ll be chatting about the last of them next week). It also got me thinking about the end of the reading year, which reignited my interest in War and Peace, which I had set aside in May and took tenative steps towards in September. Reading about 75 pages a week makes it feel like my personal BBC version of it, and I’m fairly sure I’ll finish before New Year’s. (And, speaking of which, has anyone watched Antony Hopkins as Pierre? How funny. But I’m not sure it’s supposed to be funny. ;))

Book Read that had been on my TBR list for the longest time: Michael Winter’s This All Happened (2000)
Book Read that had been on my TBR list for the shortest time: Jonathan Franzen’s Freedom
Book that I hadn’t put anywhere near my TBR list: David Bergen’s The Matter with Morris

The Matter with Morris
was definitely my month’s most surprising read, occasioning my Almost-Kinda-Love-Letter to the Giller Shortlist. Although I was also shocked to find myself wholly swept away in Madame Bovary, thanks to Frances’ group read.

For November, I am definitely most looking forward to indulging in Margaret Laurence-ness. Re-reading The Stone Angel, which was the first of her novels that I read, in twelfth grade English. And also A Jest of God, which was the first of her novels that I read outside of school. Some biographical reading and the films of these novels will round out the week of November 15th. I’m excited!

Favourite Passage from October:
Sherman Alexie’s Reservation’s Ten Commandments as Given by the United States of America to the Spokane Indians
From Thomas Builds-the-Fires’s journals, including this tenet:
“You shall not misuse my name or my symbols, for I will impale you on my flag pole.”

How about you? How was your reading October? What are you looking forward to in November?

Full list available: Read More. Bram Stoker’s Dracula (1897)
David Bergen’s The Matter with Morris (2010)
Gustav Flaubert’s Madame Bovary (1857)
Jonathan Franzen’s Freedom (2010)
Juan Ramón Jiménez’s Platero and I (1914)
Trans. Eloïse Roach
Jules Verne’s Around the World in 80 Days (1873)
Louise Doughty’s A Novel in a Year (2007)
Louise Penny’s Still Life (2005)
Michael Cunningham’s By Nightfall (2010)
Michael Winter’s This All Happened: A Fictional Memoir (2000)
Myra Goldberg’s Wickett’s Remedy (2005)
Richard B. Wright’s Mr Shakespeare’s Bastard (2010)
Robert Kirkman’s The Walking Dead (2005-2010)
Sara Gruen’s Ape House (2010)
Sherman Alexie’s Indian Killer (1996)
William Golding’s The Lord of the Flies (1954)

Astrid Lindgren’s Pippi Longstocking (1945)
Trans. Florence Lamborn Illus. Louis S. Glanzman (1950)
Joan Bauer’s Squashed (1992)
Maud Hart Lovelace’s Betsy Tacy (1940)
Maud Hart Lovelace’s Betsy, Tacy and Tib (1941)