I think October has been my most bookish month so far. There’s been so much going on that it’s hard to fit it all in to this round up.
From literary festivals to wanders around some of London’s best bookshops, I’ve been out and about discovering new bookish locations. I also made the most of the darkening nights by cosying up with a few good books and reading some fantastic new novels.
So, here’s a summary of everything that happened in October in case you missed it.
I reviewed loads of great books this month, and shared our book club’s verdict a several titles.
Your first treat was a pre-publication review of Nicotine, the latest novel from American author Nell Zink. I also gave you a preview of a fantastic short story collection coming out from Salt Publications in November. Stephanie Victoire’s The Other World, It Whispers is a wonderful suite of nine stories bringing together the best features of fairy tales, ghost stories and the Gothic for a truly magical book.
I gave you our book club’s review of His Bloody Project. We read this book for The Reading Agency as shadow judges for the Man Booker Prize and absolutely loved it. It’s a shame it didn’t win but it was great to see a small book and small publisher in the limelight, and we’re sure more unique work will come from Graeme Macrae Burnet and Saraband in future.
We also reviewed our October book club read, The Invitation by Lucy Foley. This book is set in 1950s Italy and will whisk you away on a wave of romance, glamour and intrigue.
As it was the season for scaring ourselves witless, I gave you some recommendations for a Halloween reading list to terrify your soul and expand your imagination.
I got the chance to meet lots of writers as I blogged for the Berwick Literary Festival. I also attended some insightful talks about how to start writing and the value of writers, which opened my eyes to how challenging this profession is. Yes, writers write because they love it but it’s not as easy to get a break or make a living as you might think.
The Jesmond Library Creative Writing Competition launched in October and offered some great prizes for short stories about Jesmond itself. Good luck to anyone who entered.
I had a natter to Society of Young Publishers North about publishing degrees – they talked about what to expect from the course and if it’s the best way into the industry. They provided some really useful information for anyone considering signing up for a course soon.
Our Man Booker Prize author Graeme Macrae Burnet talked to me about how he wrote His Bloody Project and how he likes to make his readers the detective. It’s a brilliant insight into a creative mind and one of this year’s most talked about books.
I was properly loved up this month.
Claire (from book club) and I visited London to attend the Man Booker Prize shortlist readings and stumbled across five beautiful bookshops on our travels. They’re gorgeous and well worth a visit when you’re next in the capital.
I waxed lyrical about the Man Booker and me, looking at what I learned and experienced by following this year’s prize. I’m still chuffed I managed to get to the shortlist readings without any transport disasters – remember my attempts to get to the Baileys readings?
Rebecca (from book club) shared her second blog post and told us about a book that has changed her life.
And, I banged on about how much I love being a book blogger. It’s a wonderful thing and this summary shows just how much it lets me indulge my inner bookworm.
So, with a literary prize, a literary festival and a literary tour of London under my belt this month, I’m well and truly ready for a rest. With some good books. And a brew. And some biscuits. Lots of biscuits.
Thanks for reading x