Amber Morrell

writer, reader, librarian

October Wrap Up

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This is coming a little late, but I wanted to do a quick wrap-up of what I’ve done and of what’s to come. The month of October was the first of hopefully many where I actively post reviews of the books I read on this blog. Not every book is going to make it; some books are old and reviews are outdated, some books are so popular that my tiny opinion will be trampled on by much louder and more influential ones, and some books I had to read for school so it kind of feels like cheating to write a review of them (besides, I’m probably sick about talking about it ad nauseum in class anyway). In any case, this post will wrap up everything I’ve read this month and what I’ve liked the most, including books I didn’t formally review.

Here is a chronological list of the books I read. Books with links will link to its review.

  1. Bird by Bird, by Anne Lamott
  2. Damned if I Do, by Percival Everett
  3. The Coquette, by Hannah Foster
  4. The Abyss Surrounds Us, by Emily Skrutskie
  5. When the Killing’s Done, by T.C. Boyle
  6. Seaside, by Wylde Scott
  7. The Girl in the Well is Me, by Karen Rivers
  8. Queen of Shadows, by Sarah J. Maas
  9. The Goat, or Who is Sylvia? by Edward Albee

What I Liked

Quite a bit of the list is comprised of books I had to read for school, which is not surprising for someone studying English (note that I didn’t include a reading if I only read an excerpt; only complete novels or books are on the list). What surprised me is that I liked much of what I read, including some of the things I read for my early American Literature class like Foster’s The Coquette. It felt so modern even though it was written in the late 1700s and I was shocked to find that there isn’t a modern retelling of it. A modern YA retelling of The Coquette would be absolutely fantastic, pregnancy and all.

Another book I found quite pleasant was When the Killing’s Done by T.C. Boyle. This is the first Boyle novel I’ve read even though he’s quite a prolific and well-known writer, and I have to say that I really enjoyed it. Especially after doing a close reading of the novel, I find his mastery of language extremely nuanced. His approach to time in the novel (and his manipulation of it) has been inspiring my own writing for the past few weeks.

On the reading-for-fun front, my favorite novel this month is of course Emily Skrutskie’s The Abyss Surrounds Us. I say that not just because she’s a sassy and smart Twitter gal, but because the book just down-right rocks. It’s filled with kick-ass girl-power badassery. And it’s weird. And I love it.

Looking Ahead: November

This month is the month of essays, midterms, delicious autumn comfort food, and of course: NaNoWriMo! I’ll be participating as part of the North Orange County region with some absolutely amazing writing friends (you know who you are!). And because I’m no longer a retail slave I’ll actually be able to go out and do write-ins on the weekends! I’m even hosting my own write-in this year: It’s called “Thirsty Thursdays,” and it’s basically a write-in with alcohol. What could go wrong? (Except, you know, drinking until you pass out and not getting any writing done. Oh, was that what I was supposed to be doing? Writing?) If you happen to be in the Orange County area, definitely check it out! The information is all on the NaNoWriMo regional page for North OC.

I don’t actually know what I’ll be doing for NaNoWriMo yet. I planned on continuing my current YA fantasy WIP, but since it’s been regularly eating my soul and then vomiting it into a dark pit sadness, I’m considering starting something new. Something modern. Something fun (and less, you know, despair-ridden).

Will I get any reading done this month? I guess we’ll find out!

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2 Comments

  1. I really wanted to do NaNo for the first time this year, but it would mean giving up blog, reading, socializing and basically anything that isn’t work or writing. So maybe next time, when I’ll be less busy.
    I hope you’ll read a lot a books this month too and good luck on NaNo! 🙂

    • amber

      It definitely takes a lot of time out of the day, haha. November is already a crazy month for me, what with Thanksgiving and midterms and taking care of a wild toddler, plus I’m hosting a Friendsgiving this year and I’m going to start tutoring at the library. Yikes! I don’t really know how I’m holding on!

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