the year in books :: October


Now that autumn is here and the evenings draw in, curling up on the sofa with a book and a blanket is a rather lovely thing to do. I’ve found myself with a little stack of books on the go. I’ve been reading the devastating but brilliant A Monster Calls, flicking through the gorgeous cookbook A Modern Way to Eat, and imbibing advice and humour from Sali Hughes’ Pretty Honest.

My September choice was Anne Lamott’s Bird by Bird (Some Instructions on Writing and Life), which has proved both entertaining and thought-provoking. With a combination of autobiography and practical advice, Anne Lamott is by turns irreverent and wise, anecdotal and philosophical. This was the first book that I’ve read about the writing process itself, and it was both educational and inspiring. I’ve also been dipping in and out of The Photographers Playbook, a cornucopia of ideas including assignments, essays, advice, tricks and games, it’s a resource that will prove endlessly fascinating.

For October, I’ve selected The Fairy Tales of Hermann Hesse which was given to me recently by a dear friend with a penchant for the literary. For some reason, fairy tales seem appropriately autumnal reading to me, and I’m looking forward to settling down under that blanket, book in hand. I have yet to select my November choice, but no doubt something will present itself in the meantime.

So, onwards to the October link up. Here’s a reminder of how it all works:

The aim is to read (at least) a book a month during 2014. At the start of the month, we blog the book that we are planning to read in the month ahead. If we feel inspired to, we could also write a little about the previous month’s book. Not a review, as such, just some thoughts: a recommendation (or otherwise!) for others who might be thinking of reading it. It’s not a traditional book club, so we don’t have to all read the same book. This is just about trying to ensure that we make space for reading in our busy lives, and hopefully a way to discover more lovely books (and lovely bibliophiles).

If you would prefer to share your book choices over on Instagram, that would also be great, please use the hashtag #theyearinbooks so that we can find your posts. The same hashtag is also active on Twitter. There is a Year in Books Pinterest board, so do let me know in the comments if you would like me to add you as a pinner. If I should have added you, and haven’t, do nudge me. Pinterest is a little problematic on the issue and it sometimes takes a couple of attempts. There’s also a Goodreads group for this project, and you are welcome to join, whether or not you have a blog of your own.

If you would like to add a badge to your blog, you can grab the code over in the sidebar. I am compiling a reading list of book suggestions which people have left in the comments here, or via Instagram. Please feel free to continue to recommend books in this way and I will add them to the list.

It doesn’t matter whether or not you have linked up before- everyone is welcome and it’s never too late to get involved. I would be grateful if you could link back to here in your post. Do add your link below – click on the blue button at the bottom of the post.

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  • What a great idea! I’m definitely joining this! It would be great if you could add me to the pinterest group!

    Greetings from Austria
    Emm.A 🙂

  • I love Hermann Hesse, I have forgotten all about this author and will have a look on my bookshelves to revisit a novel or two. I haven’t read the fairy tales. Cx

  • I know what you mean about fairy tales being right for autumn, they are dark and scary and just perfect for chilly evenings when the wind is howling and the rain is lashing against the windows. I hope you enjoy them. CJ xx

  • I’m so glad you enjoyed Anne Lamott – I read it at just the right time. Now that I’m almost finished my first manuscript, I often say to myself ‘bird by bird’ because that’s exactly how it has been written!

    I’ve had a couple of recent read posts on my blog already this month and have linked to both. Stand outs were The Age of Miracles (if you’ve read We are Called to Rise and enjoyed it, then this one is for you) and there was also The Reason I Jump, an insider’s view of autism. I inexplicably forgot to discuss this in my blog post (school holidays and in a hurry!), but it was wonderful. Only took a couple of hours or so to read, but filled with wonderful insights.

    I’m just starting The Dirty Life by Kristin Kimball which I’m really enjoying and think would appeal to lovers of A Homemade Life.

    Thanks for another great post!

  • They are filming A Monster calls at a little church in Saddleworth not far from where I live…might have to read the book before it comes out though!

  • The Anne Lamont book sounds very interesting – I’ve never much liked how to writing guides but this sounds like something better. I agree that ‘A Monster Calls’ is a brilliant book – very disturbing and memorable though I am not sure whether it is that suitable for the young adult audience it is was written for. I’m joining in again here – very much enjoy your link up – thanks!