Friday, October 2, 2015

#15in31: Reading Challenge October 2015

Allie at A Literary Odyssey posted an interesting challenge for which she'd signed up: to read 15 books in 31 days! In September, I had a stellar reading month, completing 14 books (though to be fair, I'd actually started Wilkie Collins' No Name in August; However, it's a really long book, so I'm counting it anyway.) I'm pretty sure I could get close to 15 books in October if I try. I have some airplane travel coming up, plus a lot of books left on the TBR shelves I'd like to complete. Even if I don't finish the challenge, I'll have made some progress -- I'd love to knock at least 10 books off my owned-and-unread list!

I tried to choose as many as possible from my own shelves. There's no way I'll be able to blog about every single book I read in October, but here are my potential reads:


Tea by the Nursery Fire by Noel Streatfeild. I'm on an online group and it's part of a bi-monthly book exchange -- I need to read it and send it off to the next person by November 1. It looks like a charming memoir, just my type of book.

Sylvia's Lovers by Elizabeth Gaskell -- I've already started this one, which was randomly selected as Classics Club Spin Pick #10. I'll hopefully be posting a review on October 23. Might be a slow read, because everyone speaks in dialect, but it's pretty good so far.

Letters From Hawaii by Mark Twain. One of the last books for my TBR Pile Challenge 2015.

The Black Moon by Winston Graham -- the fifth book in the Poldark series. My library only owns one copy and there are holds on it, so I have to read it in the next week or so.

The Four Swans by Winston Graham (not pictured, as it's waiting on the hold shelf for me at the library). Again, only one copy, and holds on it. I'm trying to stretch them out, but I don't want to miss my turn to read it.

Potential books, in no particular order (and a few extras, just in case):

Sir Harry Hotspur of Humblethwaite by Anthony Trollope. I haven't read any Trollope in months, and I'm starting to miss him. This one is super short, and I've always found the title amusing.

Lucky Jim by Kingsley Amis. One of the shortest books on my Classics Club list. I've tried to read it twice but couldn't get into it. Again, time to read it, or give it away.

Aiding and Abetting by Muriel Spark -- another library sale find, a novella.

Tea with Mr. Rochester -- I have to include at least one Persephone from the TBR shelves! Short stories are always a good choice, and it's a tiny slim volume.

Alexander's Bridge by Willa Cather. One of her early works, and it's been on my TBR shelf since I bought it at the Borders clearance. Plus it's really short.

The Bottle Factory Outing by Beryl Bainbridge. Purchased about eight years ago after I saw it on a list of the best English-language books of all time. I need to read it, or get rid of it.

The Mystery of Edwin Drood by Charles Dickens. I'm down to 14 more books on my Classics Club list, and this fits in nicely with RIP X.

The Pumpkin Eater by Penelope Mortimer. I have a weakness for NYRB Classics. Plus, it has "pumpkin" in the title, and it's October, so that's as good an excuse as any, right?

The Skin Chairs by Barbara Comyns. From my pile of Virago Modern Classics. I just read Our Spoons Came From Woolworth's and loved it, so I want to read more books by Comyns.

The Mysterious Death of Miss Austen by Lindsay Ashford. I don't read a lot of Jane Austen fan fiction, but the author was a speaker at the Jane Austen AGM a couple of years ago, and it sounded interesting. Also a good choice for RIP X.

An Academic Question by Barbara Pym. Pym's never disappointed me! I haven't read any of her books in over a year, so it's high time for another.

Ha'penny by Jo Walton. Sequel to Farthing which I read last week, and loved.

Still Glides the Stream by D. E. Stevenson. In case I need a quick, easy read. Stevenson's books are fun, light mid-century fiction. I picked this one up at the library sale a few years ago for $1.

The Little Friend by Donna Tartt. I finally got around to reading The Secret History and tore through it, so I should have no trouble finishing this one, if I don't decide to put it off for a few months -- it's the only one of her books I haven't read, and it'll probably be another eight years until she publishes another, so I might want to stretch it out a little.

So -- any recommendations?  Which books should I push to the top of the pile? I highly doubt I'll get all these finished, but it sounds like a fun challenge! Sign up at Estella's Revenge if you're interested. I'll be sure and post about how it turned out, and which books I actually finished.


  1. Pym, Pym, Pym... But wait Spark. Oh and Cather.
    You'll have fun wherever you end up :-)

  2. If I wasn't in the most massive reading funk of the year I would give this a go too! I haven't read any of your choices, but I think the Comyns looks great.

  3. What a wonderfully eclectic set of titles! Between Dickens, Pym, Twain, and Gaskell, you have a wealth of great reading ahead. I really liked Sylvia's Lovers, and hope you enjoy it as well. I love the title of Tea with Mr. Rochester--I'll have to go and check that one out.

    Good luck with the challenge, and happy reading.

  4. You have some wonderful books here, and Pym and Trollope never disappoint.

  5. As you say, Alexander's Bridge is short and it is an interesting read and you'll enjoy the Pym. I would read The Bottle Factory Outing from your list I think.