The Sunday Salon: My October Book Stack

Hello and welcome to another Sunday Salon.  Autumn is on its way to southeastern Pennsylvania; the trees are just beginning to change color.  Some days are quite warm, others cool.  There’s lots of work to be done in the garden, too, clearing out 2012′s detritus and planting bulbs for spring.  I love this time of year!

Books-wise, this month I’ll be reading mostly from my TBR shelf.  Here’s what’s on tap:
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  • Elizabeth Taylor’s The Wedding Group is the October readalong for the Elizabeth Taylor Centenary, and it’s the first book I read this month so I’ve already finished (read my review).  It was typical Taylor in many ways, and I enjoyed it even if it’s not one of her best.
  • Burger’s Daughter is by Nobel prizewinner Nadine Gordimer.  It’s about the daughter of two activists who struggles to establish an independent identity after both of her parents have died.  I enjoy Gordimer’s work, but she challenges me, too.  I read about 1/3 of this book and was having difficulty concentrating, so I set it aside for a bit.  I plan to return to it after finishing my current book, which is …
  • The Ant Heap, a translated work by Hungarian author Margit Kaffka.  I received this as a gift a few years ago, and am embarrassed to say I’ve not read it yet.  (To be fair, the giver gave me a huge stack of books and I read some of them right away!)  It’s a short novella, with a lengthy introduction that is actually a short biography of the author.  I liked that, because I really knew nothing about her.  The novella itself is about life in a convent and seems rather progressive for its time (early 20th century).
  • The Secret History, by Donna Tartt, is one I finally caved in and bought at a used bookshop after seeing it time and time again.  I’ve heard good things about it, and understand it’s mystery, which suits me at the moment.
  • Homer’s Odyssey isn’t the classic you might be thinking of; rather, it’s a memoir about a woman who adopted a blind cat.  This, too, was a gift, from a fellow cat-lover.  I was a bit skeptical about it but the LibraryThing reviews convinced me it’s a worthwhile read, and a feel-good story, and there’s certainly nothing wrong with that!

Also this month, The Classics Club has me pondering the eternal question, “Why do I read classics?”  That’s kind of ironic since only one of my October reads is a classic, and it’s a “modern classic” at that.  Well, on the whole I do read a lot of classics, so let’s just call October an anomaly, and I’ll be back with my answer to that eternal question later in the week.

Are you reading anything good this weekend?

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17 thoughts on “The Sunday Salon: My October Book Stack

  1. I read Homer’s Odyssey a while back. I think it was a really cute book. :) I love cats and can relate to her feelings about Homer.

  2. I’ve read two of the books on your pile Laura – The Wedding Group I read yesterday and loved and will review soon! The Secret History I read years ago when it first came out and I thought it was marvellous. I’ve given and lent copies to people since and they have mixed reactions – some love it and some think the characters are a bit weird! I hope you enjoy it – I did!

    • kaggsy, I’m glad you enjoyed The Wedding Group! And it’s great to see such high praise for The Secret History, it makes me excited to read it.

  3. I haven’t read any of the books in your pile but they all sound sooo interesting! Fall is upon us here at the very southern tip of Ontario, Canada. I just love Autumn and the colours of the leaves!

    • Nicola, our leaves are only just beginning to turn but there’s more color now than a week ago. In another week or two it should be gorgeous; I can’t wait!

  4. I haven’t done a post about what I’ll read in October – because I simply can’t decide : )
    I have finished The Wedding group -which I enjoyed – and am now reading The Casual Vacancy which is just over 500 pages so it’s taken me a few days to get two thirds of the way in – and I am enjoying it in the main. Having pledged to read all 6 Booker shortlisted books before the annoucment of the winner on the 16th, and having downloaded it to my Kindle, I feel I must read Umbrella soon, but I can’t say I am looking forward to it -which is not the best way to approach a book. I am going to try and squeeze in a small Elizabeth Gaskell novel I bought recently, between The Casual Vacancy and Umbrealla – after that I think all that contemporary reading will drive me to Viragos and Persephone books.

    I can heartily reccommend that Donna Tart book though, it’s some years since I read it but I remember loving it.

  5. Ooh – interesting stack. I haven’t read any of them but The Secret History is on my TBR short list.

    • Well Debbie, “watch this space” as they say — I’ll let you know my thoughts on The Secret History, and perhaps you’ll nudge it up the stack.

  6. Secret History has been on my bookshelf for so long now I’d even forgotten I had it until I saw it on your shelf. Will be agog to hear what you think – I might then need to go and dust the cobwebs off it.

    • Oh my, so much pressure to read and report on The Secret History! It has certainly piqued my interest, now let’s hope it lives up to it.

  7. Your devotion to reading from your own shelves is inspiring. I, on the other hand, have managed to max out my library card with all the new autumn fiction: so many temptations. Good thing I can still tell myself that the year’s not over yet… *cough* Enjoy your October reads!

    • Inspiring? Moi?! I’m not so sure … especially since I continue to acquire books! It does however keep my guilt at bay if I make a conscious effort to read some of those that have been lying around for eons.

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