Month in Review: October 2015


This month was largely spent in preparing for Witch Week, which starts in a few days. I do hope you’ll join us! Otherwise, it was a month full of history, mystery, and adventure, with several nonfiction reads as well as the ongoing madcap journeys of Dido Twite.

My book of the month, The Devil in the White City, was informative and entertaining and horrifying in equal measure — perfect for October. Have you read it too? Join in the discussion at the Nonfiction Book Club!




Book of the Month: The Devil in the White City


  • Symphony for the City of the Dead by M.T. Anderson – A fascinating angle on a horrific episode in history, the Siege of Leningrad, and the power of music as exemplified by Shostakovich’s Seventh Symphony.
  • Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy – I finally scaled one of the towering monuments of world literature.
  • The Dead Duke, His Secret Wife, and the Missing Corpse by Piu Marie Eatwell – a real-life Victorian mystery is brought to light in this absorbing historical chronicle.
  • The Wolves Chronicles, Part Two – in my ongoing reread of Joan Aiken’s adventure series, I cover the two episodes that take place during Dido’s journey back from Nantucket to England.
  • Heather, Oak, and Olive – three thematically linked stories from historical fiction master Rosemary Sutcliff.

Other Books Read

  • Tam Lin by Pamela Dean – Reread for Witch Week
  • Dido and Pa, Is Underground, and Cold Shoulder Road by Joan Aiken – Wolves Chronicles reread
  • The Bloody Chamber and Other Stories by Angela Carter – Witch Week readalong
  • The Devil in the White City by Erik Larson – For the Nonfiction Book Club
  • The Secret Chord by Geraldine Brooks – Review to come
  • Country Boy by Richard Hillyer – Review to come
  • The Constant Nymph by Margaret Kennedy – For the 1924 Club
  • The Wee Free Men by Terry Pratchett – Tiffany Aching reread
  • Midwinter Nightingale by Joan Aiken – Wolves Chronicles reread
  • The Witch of Clatteringshaws by Joan Aiken – Wolves Chronicles reread

Other Features and Events

  • A discussion of the question Do you like to talk about books? drew a wide variety of responses. What’s your take on it?
  • The fall issue of Shiny New Books is out, and I’m pleased to be included with two pieces featuring favorites by Mary Stewart and Joan Aiken.
  • Congratulations the winners of my September Wrap-up Round-up Giveaway, Donna, Rita-Jo, and Freda! And many, many thanks to the sponsor, Gotcha Covered. If you’re ever on the lookout for some awesome cloth book covers, check it out.


Shared in the Sunday Post hosted by Caffeinated Book Reviewer and the Monthly Wrap-up Round-up hosted by Feed Your Fiction Addiction

18 thoughts on “Month in Review: October 2015

    1. I was always intimidated by Tolstoy, but Anna Karenina is highly readable — if long. You can think of it as equivalent to a trilogy of regular books!


  1. I love the variety of your reading choices! (And I love how many of them parallel my reading interests. I’m constantly getting good suggestions from you, even if I don’t always have time to follow up on them.)

    Looking forward to Witch Week, insofar as I’m able to participate with as busy as I’ll be that week.


    1. The usual problem — so many books, so little time! I’m glad if you pick up some suggestions from me anyway, as I do from you as well.

      There’s no need to do extra blog posts to participate in Witch Week, but I hope you’ll be able to stop by. There’s going to be lots of great content (and a fantastic giveaway). Can’t wait!


    1. The serial killer thread was indeed creepy, but it was genius to combine it with the story of the creation of the Columbian Exposition — which had perils of its own.


  2. I hadn’t heard of Witch Week – I gather it’s related to Halloween? Halloween isn’t really very celebrated here in Australia but is becoming more popular!


    1. Witch Week is, according to the book by Diana Wynne Jones, the week from Halloween to Guy Fawkes Day (November 5) — a time of year when there’s more magic around than usual. Click on the link to learn more about what will be happening here at ECBR!


  3. I’m glad you enjoyed Devil in the White City! I don’t do a lot of seasonal reading most years, but I’ve really enjoyed reading books like this and The Witches by Stacy Schiff this month. They really are perfect fits for this time of year 🙂

    As you saw in my review, I was blown away by The Secret Chord. I can’t wait to hear more about what you thought!


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