The September/October Wrap-Up

monthly-wrap-up

Halloween is behind us, and despite the global pandemic we managed to have some scary fun at home. We danced around the house, made themed snacks, and played a couple of games. My youngest daughter has been creating her own “choose your own adventure” style games for a while now and they are always good for some laughs.

The past few months have continued to be rich in reading. I finished 22 books in September and October:

  1. Sleeping Giants by Sylvain Neuvel
  2. A Share in Death by Deborah Crombie
  3. The Fixed Stars by Molly Wizenberg
  4. Committed by Elizabeth Gilbert
  5. The Sparks Fly Upward by Diana Norman
  6. Hid From Our Eyes by Julia Spencer-Fleming
  7. All Shall Be Well by Deborah Crombie
  8. The Rural Diaries by Hilarie Burton Morgan
  9. The Woman Who Stole My Life by Marian Keyes
  10. The Gilded Hour by Sara Donati
  11. The Searcher by Tana French
  12. Leave the Grave Green by Deborah Crombie
  13. Happiness for Beginners by Katherine Center
  14. Where the Light Enters by Sara Donati
  15. The Tourist Attraction by Sara Morgenthaler
  16. The Switch by Beth O’Leary
  17. Well Played by Jen DeLuca
  18. A Curious Beginning by Deanna Raybourn
  19. A Perilous Undertaking by Deanna Raybourn
  20. Teach Me by Olivia Dade
  21. Earthlings by Sayaka Murata
  22. Dishoom: From Bombay With Love by Shamil Thakrar

As you can see, I’ve been continuing with the comfort reads, but there have been a few notable exceptions. I read three non-fiction books, including two memoirs and a cookbook. I knew of Molly Wizenberg from her foodie memoirs, but The Fixed Stars is the story of the break up of her marriage as she discovers that her sexual identity is not as “fixed” as she once believed. It was a very honest portrayal and it gave me a lot to think about. Similarly, Committed by Elizabeth Gilbert details the writer’s thought process as she comes to terms with the idea of remarrying when she had sworn off marriage forever. It is part memoir, part sociological study, and I enjoyed it very much.

In late February, right before the global pandemic hit us all in the face and put an end to casual travel, I had the chance to meet up with an old friend in London for the weekend. Because we both enjoy good food, we did a lot of eating, but the restaurant that stands out the most was Dishoom. Later, when my birthday rolled around in April, I received a surprise in the mail: their cookbook, which is a love letter to the city of Bombay. I took my time with this one because it is beautifully written, with recipes that will leave your mouth watering, and a fascinating guide to the city (if, as the authors confess, somewhat rose-tinted). Highly recommended.

More on Bombay-related reading to come, as this cookbook set me off on a literary journey to learn and experience more of the city via my armchair and my library card. I also will devote a separate post to Earthlings, as I have a lot to say about this one (whew).

I’m really looking forward to November, to nanowriming (anyone else out there? wanna be buddies?) and some other personal projects for the month to come. We’re back in confinement here in France, so I’ll have the month at home to telework and focus on my goals.

Hope you are all staying safe and healthy. Wishing you a fulfilling fall and, as always, lots of good reading in the month ahead.

6 thoughts on “The September/October Wrap-Up

  1. Susan

    hi new to your blog … hope you are staying strong in France. I’m not sure what Elizabeth Gilbert’s Committed is like … but it seems she’s had a rollercoaster in relationships … wish her happiness. I hope you can escape more lockdown through your books & reading … enjoy.

    Reply
    1. Too Fond Post author

      Yes, ultimately the book comes to the conclusion that marriage is not a state that benefits women, and yet Gilbert decides to marry again anyway. She definitely has had a lot of ups and downs in her relationships, and she is very honest about that in the book.

      Reply
    1. Too Fond Post author

      It’s so good! We went for brunch and had the most delicious na’an breakfast sandwiches and endless cups of chai. I’m already planning to go back next year (knock on wood and hurry up, covid vaccine!)

      Reply
  2. Laurie C

    I had a long blogging hiatus a couple of years ago, but found that I missed blogging about books! I will definitely look for The Fixed Stars. I read Molly Wizenberg’s A Homemade Life and liked it a lot, but hadn’t heard about her other memoirs. I haven’t read any of the books on your list, but I’m waiting impatiently for The Searcher to come in on audio for me from the library, and have been wanting to get back to the Julia Spencer-Fleming mystery series, of which I’ve only read the first one.

    Reply
    1. Too Fond Post author

      The Fixed Stars is a great read on its own, but it’s especially interesting if you’re familiar with Wizenberg’s previous memoirs. I enjoyed The Searcher, too, though it’s very different from French’s other books. I’ve seen a lot of mixed reviews but I found it atmospheric and I thought the characters were really well developed.

      Reply

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