October Reading Roundup

Image from AnastasiaADamov

Turning the pages and feeling the dead leaves between my fingers. The physical motion of touching words and seeing the colour change before your eyes. It’s cathartic. This fall has brought so many changes to my life; from the online community of friends that continue to inspire me each day to my appreciation of the simpler things in life. One of those nice changes is reading and OH have I been reading. I have even started going to the library! Something I never thought that I would do in my life.

My exploration of my local library has only just begun! I have stuck to a few sections, mostly the film section and the biographical nonfiction, but I am wanting to explore more. I’ve always enjoyed going between fiction and nonfiction as I read, so there are many areas that will need some serious browsing.  Lately I have been reading some books that go back and forth between genres and betwixt reality and imagination.

This will be an October reading roundup, where I explore the books that have kept me up all night and the ones that I have risen early with a nice warm cup of joe between my hands. I’ll be exploring the books that I have read, books that I am reading, and books that are on my reading list. So let’s first jump into those books that I’ve devoured from cover to cover…

WHAT I HAVE READ

David Bowie: A Life (2017) by Dylan Jones

This book put me through the ringer, I haven’t cried this much in a LONG time. I remember exactly where I was when David Bowie passed away…I was in the record store in which I worked. It was exactly the spot I needed to be in to celebrate his amazing life. In this wonderful book, Dylan Jones interviews the many people in Bowie’s life from acquaintances to best friends from lovers to those who passed him by on the train. It’s a kaleidoscopic view of a man who changed everyone around him. I could NOT put this one down. Give it a read and don’t forget to travel to Mars.

The Night Ocean (2017) by Paul LaFarge

A novel about madness, love, deception, and Lovecraftian horror? Twists and turns abound, this tale of a woman, Marina Willett, trying to piece together her husbands latest obsession with H.P. Lovecraft and sudden disappearance is quite the hook. Unfortunately, the book spiraled into something that I found rather dull, despite all the twists and turns. It fizzled out after about the halfway point, yet I finished it. It is still a decent read, but it is incredibly creative.

Fright Favorites: 31 Movies to Haunt Your Halloween and Beyond (2020) by David J. Skal

An absolute DELIGHT! I cannot thank both Raquel and Vanessa for recommending this terrifying tome. The book is illustrated gorgeously with films spanning the decades of horror that has haunted our silver screen. I read it within a day, but could not help but stop and gaze at all of the amazing photos of films that I’ve seen since I was a child to films that I’ve always wanted to see. David J. Skal does a remarkable job in describing the setting and behind-the-scenes moments for each of these 62 (that’s right, it’s not just 31) fright favourites! Go ahead, sink your teeth in.

Christopher Lee and Peter Cushing and Horror Cinema: A Filmography…(1995) by Mark Miller

What can I say about this wonderous duo? Before them came Bela Lugosi and Boris Karloff, but they never worked together as much as Christopher Lee and Peter Cushing. They worked together on 22… FUCKING 22 collaborations! Each chapter discusses the films that defined their work, such as The Curse of Frankenstein to Horror Express to each Dracula film they starred in together (many they did solo) and so much more! Miller writes in the style of an academic, so it can be rather dry at points. However, it is such an informative exploration into that wonderful world of horror, sci-fi, mystery, and every ounce of love and respect that had for each other.

Apparently the second edition was printed earlier within the year, with revised and expanded information. If you can try to borrow this one from the library, as it may be a tad expensive 😉

WHAT I AM READING

Weird Women: Classic Supernatural Fiction by Groundbreaking Female Writers: 1852-1923 (2020) Edited by Lisa Morton and Leslie S. Klinger

Look at that COVER! Could you pass this up if you were browsing the library shelf? Currently, I am about 6 stories into this fascinating collection of female authors (many who had to use pen names to get published!) who write about various supernatural tales. My personal favourites thus far are about an ancient flower that carries a mummy’s curse to a tale of an arctic exploration that leads to a dimensional encounter of prismatic terror. I’ll be sure to finish this one shortly, and I know I will not be able to sleep…

Bruce Lee: A Life (2018) by Matthew Polly

My latest acquisition from the local library and it nearly leapt out in front of my eyes. Honestly, Bruce Lee is someone that I NEVER thought I would be interested in…but this year changed everything. The pandemic has shifted a lot of my interests and one of the biggest alterations was my love of athleticism. From basketball to kung fu, I dived deep. And during the month of August, I was able to pick up the amazing boxset from Criterion that showcased the films of Bruce Lee. Thus entered this dragon! I have only read the preface and introduction, but I know that looking over this man’s short life will be a celebration of his legacy.

BOOKS ON MY READING LIST

Lord of Misrule: The Autobiography of Christopher Lee (2003) by Sir Christopher Lee

I mean, come on…it’s CHRISTOPHER FUCKING LEE.

Darcey Bussell Evolved (2018) by Darcey Bussell

I must admit that this will be an unexplored venture. My wonderful girlfriend Vanessa, recommended this book in a video of ours. In that video, she explored her journey with books and how they’ve shaped her growth in various interests from fiction to nonfiction, from comics to biography, and from paintings to ballet. And one of the books that struck most, was this biography by Darcey Bussell. Vanessa’s edition is gorgeous with a cover and signature limited to 500 copies, but it is available in hardcover format on Amazon. Knowing more about the life of one of the most prolific dancers in the world will be such an exciting read! I’m ready to dip my toes (or is it bend my toes?)

That’s all for now! What did you think of my October Reading Roundup? I am curious to know what you have been reading for the month of October and what you plan to read for the coming months (or year). Let me know what you think! The leaves will soon wither and dry as winter approaches, so grab a blanket and a nice cup of hot tea/coffee and snuggle up to a good book.

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