October was one of those months. One of those months when every single you book you read is great. More than that: it was one of those months when you manage to find books that were phenomenal, not just great. When you read many of them in a row.
It’s not my first time experiencing clumps of greatness when it comes to books. Back in 2010, my year of reading-everything-regardless-of-feeling (also my year of reading-way-too-flippin’-much-217-books-really-Manda???), I made note of how rotten the year had been in terms of reading quality (note to self: see the 217-books comment). I also made note, in my 2010 reading wrap-up, that my few wonderful books were concentrated around specific moments during the year, when I seemed to run into a bunch of them all at once. Sometimes, that’s just the way it works. I said this on facebook a few weeks ago:
I’ve read some good fiction over the last few months, but it’s been awhile since I read a phenomenal, can’t-stop-smiling, hug-that-book-so-hard kind of novel, and now I’ve read three in a row with a likely fourth to follow. I guess this is what happens when a bunch of your favorite authors all have new releases at the same time.
Now that reviews of all those books are finally up, I can finally write this post. Because here’s the thing. I read eight books in October. Two of them were right-to-my-core nonfiction books focusing on disordered eating. Three of them were fantastic RIP reads. And three of them – the last three – were the books mentioned on facebook. Shadows of Self, Walk on Earth a Stranger, and Carry On. (The fourth, upcoming book mentioned in that post was Six of Crows, which I purposely waited to start reading until November, and which didn’t end up being quite as good as I’d hoped. Ah well…)
Every month, I pick a favorite of the books read that month in my year’s reading list. Some months, it’s really easy, because one book has dominated my brain and stood out from the rest. Some months, it’s difficult because none have been particularly noteworthy (especially if I only read one or two books). And some months are difficult because I just want to say ALL OF THEM READ THEM ALL. That was October. For October’s “favorite,” I had to pick from the best of the best, from a list that likely contains several 2015 favorites, from a list that would all be 4-5 stars if I still rated books. That was hard! I’m not even sure my choice will stick over time – maybe one book will stay with me longer and overtake the rest? Maybe?
Now, don’t misunderstand – I’m totally cool with having a month with reading so good that my biggest trouble is picking out a favorite for the month. If all months were like this? Bliss! And honestly, it was a wonderful change, after several months where I gave up more books than I finished. Wonderful to read so many great books, to revisit so many favorite authors, to have new books to put on my wishlist. Like a little gift from the book world to make me smile. 🙂