This is the latest post in a series I started in late 2019, anticipating the twentieth anniversary of my bookblogging at the end of October 2023. Every six-ish days, I’ve been revisiting a month from my recent past, noting work and family developments as well as the books I read in that month. I’ve found it a pleasantly cathartic process, especially in recent circumstances. If you want to look back at previous entries, they are all tagged under bookblog nostalgia.
I started October last year in London at a Glasgow 2024 Worldcon planning meeting; I don’t know who took this photograph but it catches the spirit well.
The next weekend we celebrated our 29th wedding anniversary with a weekend in Trier, Germany, stopping off in Luxembourg on the way back.
The most hilarious news story of the month was the resignation of Liz Truss as UK Prime Minister less than two months into the job. I can reveal now that on the morning it happened, I texted a member of her team who I knew that I hoped he might have a better day at the office than the previous day (which saw the chaotic House of Commons vote that sealed her fate). My friend, who must have already known that she had decided to resign overnight, replied “Doubt it but thanks for the thought!”
I read 24 books that month:
Non-fiction 7 (YTD 83)
Doctor Who: A British Alien?, by Danny Nicol
The Bad Christian’s Manifesto, by Dave Tomlinson (did not finish)
Twelve Years a Slave, by Solomon Northrup
The Face of Evil, by Thomas L Rodebaugh
Love and Monsters, by Niki Haringsma
Welcome to the Doomsphere: Sad Puppies, Hugos, and Politics, by Matthew M. Foster
The Bordley and Belt Families, Based on Letters Written by Family Members, assembled and annotated by Edward Wickersham Hoffman
Juicy and Delicious, by Lucy Alibar
SF 12 (YTD 89)
Lambda, by David Musgrave
Empire Of Sand, by Tasha Suri
Complete Short Stories: the 1950s, by Brian Aldiss
Tell Me an Ending, by Jo Harkin
Expect Me Tomorrow, by Christopher Priest
La Femme, ed. Ian Whates
Eversion, by Alastair Reynolds
Goliath, by Tochi Onyebuchi
The This, by Adam Roberts
Mindwalker, by Kate Dylan
Scattered All Over the Earth, by Yōko Tawada, tr. Margaret Mitsutani
Life Ceremony, by Sayaka Murata (did not finish)
Doctor Who 2 (YTD 28)
Lineage, ed. Shaun Russell
Doctor Who and the Face of Evil, by Terrance Dicks
Comics 2 (YTD 16)
Voorbij de grenzen van de ernst, by Kamagurka
Weapons of Past Destruction, by Cavan Scott, Blair Shedd, Rachel Stott and Anand Setyawan
6,500 pages (YTD 62,000)
7/24 (YTD 91/236) by non-male writers (Alibar, Suri, Harkin, Dylan, Tawada, Murata, Stott)
6/24 (YTD 33/236) by a non-white writer (Northrup, Suri, Onyebuchi, Tawada, Murata, Setyawan)
I’m going to be nice and celebrate three very good books I read that month, and refrain from calling out any bad ones.
- Twelve Years a Slave, by Solomon Northrup, was the standout book of the month for me, the autobiography on which the Oscar-winning film was based. You can get it here.
- I really enjoyed Tell Me an Ending, by Jo Harkin, an sf novel set in the near future where memory editing has become a thing; but what happens when people want to reverse the process? You can get it here.
- Niki Haringsma’s Black Archive on Love and Monsters is a delight; it’s always nice when someone I like writes a book I like about a subject I like. You can get it here.