October 2020 Round-Up

title in white in front of three stacks of books

October was an odd month. Frantic prep before NaNo started in November combined with an health issue that took me a long time to work out means I am pretty exhausted! But despite this, I still managed to read A LOT.

In all, I read 32 books, of which 7 were non-fiction. I am now well over my total number of books read last year. Interestingly, I have read exactly as many new releases so far as I did in all of 2019 (103.)

I mostly read physical books this month as so many autumn releases have been pushed back to next spring, so I let my eARC reading slide (I really shouldn’t have, but hey ho. I did and November Sifa has a few books she needs to read!)

I am certainly feeling a bit “non-fictioned-out” at this stage, as I might only read one non-fiction a month if that. It was interesting, and I have many ideas for NaNo this month, but I also am so ready to just dive back into fiction.

Best Backlist Read, Best New Release, AND Most Surprising Read

I am rolling all three into one this month, as there are three books that stand WAY OUT from the rest this month (and I put them all under “Most Surprising” and then had a REALLY HARD time thinking of anything that came close to these three books.

I don’t usually read romance or historical, however, I finally got around to picking up Laura Wood‘s books this month, after having one of them for over a year, and I feel utterly in love with her inter-war stories.

I actually started with A SKY PAINTED GOLD, her YA debut, even though it wasn’t the first book I picked up of hers. This is really light on the romance, more of a coming of age story that happened to have a slow burn romance threaded underneath. It’s set in 1929, before the crash (an ends before it), with all the glitz and glam you’d expect from that era. – as beautifully written as this cover is breath-taking.

Its companion book, A SNOWFALL OF SILVER, only released this month – and I was lucky enough to be reading this the day of the online launch, which really added another dimension to my reading experience. This book follows the sister of the main character in A SKY PAINTED GOLD, as she goes on an adventure with a travelling theatre company.

It’s side-splittingly funny at times. Laura Wood’s other books are funny, but not to this degree. The main character’s voice and her deeply theatrical tendencies are just brilliant. If you want a cosy winter read, then this should be the top of your Christmas TBR.

Book cover for UNDER A DANCING STAR: gold line drawings of dragonflies and butterflies above an estate on rolling hills against a turquoise background

My favourite of the three, and the best book I read this month, is also the one that’s sat on my shelf the longest. UNDER A DANCING STAR is a book I’ve been meaning to read since YALC of 2019 when my friend persuaded me to buy it.

A prequel to Much Ado About Nothing set in 1933 Italy against the rise of Hitler and Mussolini, this is the most romance-heavy of the three book. It’s all about how Beatrice and Benedict first meet, and watching them fall in love is *swoons*. With sharp dialogue and Laura’s typical sumptuous prose, this is an absolute must read for any Shakespeare fans.

Most Anticipated November Release

Book cover for THE CAMELOT BETRAYAL: a girl sits in a boat with blue waves and hair flying around her against an orange sky

THE CAMELOT BETRAYAL, by Kiersten White, is the second book in her Camelot Rising trilogy that started last year with THE GUINEVERE DECEPTION. I loved buddy reading this take on Arthurian mythology that sees Guinevere dead and Merlin’s ward take on her identity to protect Arthur. And yes, Arthur knows about the deception, which was something I was so glad about.

It was so bingeable and messages were flying between my friend and me as we theorised about every little details. I can’t wait for this next instalment – which we’re also intending to buddy read.

How was your October?

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