In a year that has brought a lot of turmoil, reading has been a good refuge for me. It occupies my mind with new learning or provides a brief escape from heavier topics. Today I’m highlighting the books I read in October. This month was an eclectic mix of reads.
First up is The Writing Life by Annie Dillard. I chose this book because I was searching for the context of one of my favorite quotes. I talk about that quote and how it inspired me to approach my life differently in this blog post. In this book, Annie Dillard gives a personal account of what it feels like to be a writer. She presents the demands and motivations of the writing life in a series of short essays that gave me a sense of ‘ahh, that’s what life often feels like’ for writers.
It was unintentional, but I ended up reading two books about the writing life this month.
My husband Steve and I listened to the audio version of Stephen King’s On Writing. We are exploring audio books as an alternative to mindless TV time. This book was a good crossover point in terms of interests. He loves Stephen King and I enjoy memoir. Stephen King narrates the audio version which gave the memoir portion of the book authenticity and the writing advice portion authority. Personally, I loved learning the origin story of Stephen King’s writing career. And, I may have been convinced that a Stephen King novel should be our next listen.
The Enneagram has been having quite a moment in social media and on podcasts lately.
All of this Enneagram chatter and my general curiosity about personality frameworks led me to The Sacred Enneagram by Christopher L Heuertz. Start with The Enneagram institute if you are unfamiliar with the Enneagram concept and the nine types. Once you know your type, this book offers ideas for healing and growth. I am still not quite sure if I am a 3w4 or a 4w3 type and I learned that either way, I will likely benefit from solitude. It was nice to put some context to my frequent desire for alone time. I learned that other types benefit more from silence or stillness.
Book Club chose a coming of age novel this month.
Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro was the October Modern Mrs. Darcy Book Club pick. This suspenseful atmospheric novel drew me in from the very beginning. In some ways the story moves slowly but I found this added to the suspense. This story follows three friends from their boarding school days through adulthood. But over the course of the novel we learn that life holds strange and concerning expectations for these students. This book inspired the 2010 movie by the same name, starring Keira Knightley, Carey Mulligan, and Andrew Garfield. Definitely read the book first to really get the most out of the film.
For my Mother-Daughter book club, we read historical fiction.
My daughter and I have a bookclub of two and The Lute Player by Norah Lofts was Sophie’s most recent choice. We choose according to prompts and the prompt was ‘a book outside of your usual genre’. I am comfortable with historical fiction but I was initially unenthused with this choice. However, the story does move along and soon I was committed. It was a nice bit of escapist reading. And now I know a bit more about King Richard and the Third Crusade. If you love historical fiction and you don’t mind a hefty book, this might be for you.