What I read in October 2023

October was a busy month (in a good way!). As well as reading 15 books, I saw six Colchester Fringe shows and started work on my headline story for Emotional Madness in December. Plan for November is to finish it and start practising!

Looking Within, Darkness Beckons, We Have Always Lived in the Castle, Sea of Tranquility, Private Inquiries

Looking Within: understanding ourselves through human imaging, by Cullen Ruff - 4*

Darkness Beckons, edited by Mark Morris - 4.5*

We Have Always Lived in the Castle, by Shirley Jackson - 4*

Sea of Tranquility, by Emily St. John Mandel - amazing, devoured it in one sitting. 5*

Private Inquiries: The Secret History of Female Sleuths, by Caitlin Davies - 4*

Stigma, The Rental Heart, The Hollow Sea, Black Rabbit Hall, Bloodchild

Stigma by Jørn Lier Horst and Thomas Enger, translated by Megan Turney - 4*

The Rental Heart, by Kirsty Logan - 4.5*

The Hollow Sea, by Annie Kirby - 4.5*

Black Rabbit Hall, by Eve Chase - 3.5*

Bloodchild and other stories, by Octavia E. Butler - my first Octavia Butler book and OMG, I’m in love. 5*

Sexed Up, His Favourite Graves, Kindred, All About Love, Upstairs at the Beresford

Sexed Up: How society sexualizes us, and how we can fight back, by Julia Serano - 4*

His Favourite Graves, by Paul Cleave - 4*

Kindred, by Octavia Butler - 4.5*

All About Love, by bell hooks - all the evergreen gems are already quoted all over the internet. Disappointingly, the rest of the book is outdated, preachy, and dull :( - 2*

Upstairs at the Beresford, by Will Carver - 4*

Looking ahead…

Behold the Void, Frankissstein, Crow Face, Doll Face, Wild Seed, Yule Island

As ever, lots to look forward to. Having loved Bloodchild and other stories and Kindred last month, I’m looking forward to diving into Octavia E. Butler’s Patternist series with Wild Seed.

Carly Holmes’ contribution to Darkness Beckons was delightfully unsettling, so I’m excited to read her new novel, Crow Face, Doll Face for the blog tour this month.

Similarly, I’ve read Philip Fracassi’s short fiction in a few places and think it’s about time I read a whole book of his – namely, his Behold the Void collection.

Yule Island, by Johana Gustawsson, is another blog tour read I’m particularly looking forward to, having enjoyed The Bleeding so much last year.

I’m also determined to read Frankissstein, by Jeanette Winterson, a) because it’s been on my TBR pile for an embarrassingly long time, and b) because I’ve got my eye on a couple of other books by her, but feel like I should really read the one I have before I get them!

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About Alice Violett

Writer of blogs and short stories, reader of books, player of board games, lover of cats, editor of web content, haver of PhD.

Colchester, UK https://www.draliceviolett.com