This is my latest wrap-up post in the history of this blog and for that I sincerely apologize….
I’m proud of myself for making it through this insane month. In October I…
- Submitted all of my first round of college applications!
- Passed the first marking period with good grades
- Went to my senior year homecoming… in-person!
- Enjoyed the beautiful fall foliage which has actually been better than normal in my area this year
- Rode a horse
- And spent several hours sitting mysteriously in Barnes & Noble and intensely resisting the urge to buy all of the books
So, I had a better reading month than September. A much better reading month than September, which is somewhat surprising considering that October was even busier than September for me– but I guess you can chalk it up to me successfully adjusting to in-person school.
I read 8 books in October: 6 fiction and 2 nonfiction. (I only read 4 in September, for comparison)
Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad– (classics)
I had heard some less-than-stellar things about Heart of Darkness before I started reading it, but I was determined to give it a solid chance. (Also, I had to read it for class)
However, I did not particularly enjoy the experience. The writing was drawn out and repetitive, and the overarching message was, yes, racist. The point of the book seemed to be that colonization is bad because going to Africa– the “heart of darkness” will turn Europeans into savages. Maybe I misunderstood something somewhere in the book, but I think I’ll pass on a re-read of this one.
Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe– (classics, historical fiction)
Things Fall Apart I also read for my Lit class. The novel follows a Nigerian tribe before and after the arrival of European colonists. As you can probably guess, part of our assignment was to compare it with Heart of Darkness, and it was really interesting to juxtapose the two especially considering that Chinua Achebe has publicly talked about his dislike for Conrad’s novel. I liked reading Things Fall Apart a little more, but, like Heart of Darkness, found the prose to be dry and had a difficult time getting into the book.
The Rime of the Ancient Mariner by Samuel Taylor Coleridge (classics, poetry)
Aaaaand here we go with yet another school book. The Rime of the Ancient Mariner was my first time reading poetry for a while and it was a bit of a different experience than what I’m used to reading.
As Good As Dead (A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder #3) by Holly Jackson (YA, mystery/thriller)
The sequel to one of my favorite series from last year and the subject of a very long rant I will be posting to my blog hopefully soon.
The Shining by Stephen King (horror)
This is another book I don’t want to talk a whole lot about because I plan to post a review for it soon… hopefully.. if I can get myself together soon… but in short, it was my first time reading a real “horror novel” and I thought it was pretty good.
The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides (mystery/thriller)–
My rating for The Silent Patient is mostly on entertainment value, because I flew through this book. I’m always up for a nice suspense mystery, even if it has a few plot holes and insane character motivations.
The Order of Time by Carlo Rovelli (popular science, physics)–
This book was definitely interesting although yes, to be perfectly honest, I did not understand much of it. I read one of Rovelli’s other books in the summer, and I just love the poetic way he writes about science.
When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi (memoir, philosophy)-
My friend recommended me this book, and it was one of the best books I’ve read so far this year. This memoir follows a neurosurgeon who was diagnosed with lung cancer midway through his career– he chronicles his time studying English and neuroscience at Stanford and his career as a surgeon before and after his diagnosis, and the book is just… so good. It’s really depressing though and made me think hard about what I take for granted in my life. Would recommend to everyone, and I was inspired to do more research on the author after finishing it.
I didn’t have the greatest blogging month, although I did *start* writing a lot of posts. The problem I’ve been having is not necessarily WRITING posts– it’s sticking to my blogging schedule. I used to post every Monday, Wednesday and Friday at 7:30 PM; the thing is though, I keep getting home from school and being swamped with homework, not wanting to spend other time posting on here.
Yes, I know there is a way to schedule posts, but WordPress likes to not work. Essentially, I just need to stop procrastinating and saying “Oh, I’ll post it in two days when I have less other stuff” because let’s face it: that never happens!
Anyway… here are my October posts:
At least the posts I did write are reasonably good quality…
Another thing about this month was that although I didn’t post often, my blog was getting a lot of search engine traffic– more than I ever have gotten before. Hopefully this didn’t jinx it, but yay!
Last Month’s Goals
1) Get back into a reading routine–
I didn’t really get into a routine per se, but I did read twice as much as I did in September so I’d say mission accomplished.
2) Waste less time on social media–
I’ve definitely been spending less time on knockoff TikTok (Instagram Reels) and Reddit this month, I think, but my YouTube addiction kind of crept back in a bit. But I think overall I was doing better than September. I’d offload YouTube and Instagram from my phone, but my main issue is when I’m on my laptop, I’m constantly switching tabs whenever I get bored of working on something.
3) Eat healthier–
Yep, I expanded my school lunch repertoire to include peanut butter & jelly sandwiches as well.
This Month’s Goals
1) Take more time to relax
I think I should spend less time getting stressed out. To put it clearly. I also want to have more time to read.
2) Actually post my posts and book reviews
Aka: stop procrastinating, stop perfectionating, and just post your posts.
3) Turn off your phone and lengthen attention span while working-
As I mentioned before, I have a bad habit of procrastinating by checking every conceivable website on which I might have notifications to check every five minutes instead of working on whatever task I am supposed to be working on.
Well, that’s it for my October wrap-up… it’s a bit late, but better late than never as I always say.
How was your October? What was your favorite read of the month? Let me know in the comments!
Fun fact: tomorrow’s my (17th) birthday
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