Book Chat

Reading Life: October 2020

October was a busy month from start to finish, with an election looming over it all… no wonder I’ve been in a reading rut. (If you haven’t been able to take advantage of early voting, please VOTE today!) But when I do feel like reading, I just want to escape from the real world.

This year I’m continuing to keep a physical journal chronicling my reads, and you can check out more photos on my Instagram account @ladykatiestitchery

October 2020 Thoughts


Busy Toddler’s Guide to Actual Parenting: From their First “No” to their First Day of School (and Everything in Between), by Susie Allison

Start: 10/1/2020
Finish: 10/6/2020
Genre: Nonfiction/Parenting
Source: Instagram @BusyToddler
5 stars

Required reading! I already love the @BusyToddler activities on Instagram, but Susie’s low-pressure parenting philosophy is especially encouraging in our current era of Pinterest-perfect social media. I loved the mix of positive advice and easy activities for all stages from baby to toddler to preschooler. Even though some sections feel (sadly) irrelevant during the pandemic (pour one out for Adventure Days with friends), these past months of isolation have reinforced the importance of play and building sibling relationships. Many of her ideas have been covered on her Instagram platform, but seeing it all in book format made me realize how much she has helped to shift my perspective on parenting over the last few years, and that is truly invaluable!

I loved these two quotes:

“Don’t plan your life around the hard stuff or sit in agony over the things that aren’t going well right now. Parenting is fluid and it’s all just a phase. The ship will right itself eventually.”

“This is the lesson I wish I had known when I started out as a new parent: You are your harshest critic. What you notice and are hyperaware of probably isn’t even a blip on the radar for someone else. No one else is watching.”

Soulless (Parasol Protectorate #1) by Gail Carriger

Start: 10/7/2020
Finish: 10/22/2020
Genre: Fiction
Source: Sommer
4 stars

Perfect escapist reading! The jacket copy sums it up nicely: “A comedy of manners set in Victorian London, full of werewolves, vampires, dirigibles, and tea-drinking.” I’ve been in a reading rut lately and this combo of genres that are outside my usual wheelhouse – urban fantasy, historical romance, steampunk – was just plain fun when nothing else felt appealing. I especially enjoyed the fashion, banter, and alternate history.

Nothing Like I Imagined (Except for Sometimes), by Mindy Kaling

Start: 10/23/2020
Finish: 10/23/2020
Genre: Nonfiction Essays
Source: Amazon Prime
4 stars

A super fun collection of six essays that I consumed in one sitting (available as free eBooks AND audio on Amazon Prime! I did find it a bit annoying that you had to read/listen/download them all separately, but free is free). Mindy Kaling is always funny but this collection also has more depth of emotion than her previous memoirs. Now I need to watch her new Netflix show Never Have I Ever!

Currently Reading:

Changeless (Parasol Protectorate #2), by Gail Carriger

Start: 10/23/2020
Genre: Fiction
Source: Sommer

Of course I had to keep going with the series, I need an escape from the real world! The second book promises more werewolf antics, vampire politics, and a journey to Scotland via dirigible!

Rebecca, by Daphne du Maurier

Start: 10/25/2020
Genre: Fiction
Source: the month of October

Every year I start this book, and every year I can’t get further than a few pages in. And then once October is over, I’m no longer in the mood for a classic gothic suspense novel.

These are still technically on the list too, but I don’t think I’ve made any progress on them in the past month. I’m not giving up on them yet, but they’re waiting in the wings!

The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America’s Great Migration, by Isabel Wilkerson

Start date: 8/19/2020
Genre: Nonfiction
Source: Blog comment (thanks!)

Absorbing, but heavy. I’ve been listening to this when I have a chunk of time, but if I only have a few minutes of listening time I revert to podcasts, so I haven’t made much progress over the past month.

The Montessori Toddler: A Parent’s Guide to Raising a Curious and Responsible Human Being, by Simone Davies

Start date: 8/28/2020
Genre: Nonfiction/Parenting
Source: Sommer

Oops, I forgot to finish this one. What I wrote in August still holds:

Even though Amelia is at the tail-end of toddlerhood, Jon is just entering this stage, and it’s never too late to get some new ideas… especially since we’re at home all the time now.

Wow, No Thank You, by Samantha Irby

Start date: 9/1/2020
Genre: Nonfiction essays
Source: Libro.FM

Samantha Irby is hilarious, and I enjoyed her previous collection of essays We Are Never Meeting in Real Life, but I forgot how much of her humor is related to her various medical maladies, and sometimes I wish I could skim past some parts… but that’s hard to do with an audiobook. So even though I’m giggling throughout some essays, I’m cringing so much through others that it’s taking me a while to get through this audiobook.

A new addition for 2020:

Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library

Dolly Parton has an amazing program that sends a free book to every child in Tennessee every month from birth to five years old. It’s such an incredible concept, and we’ve been enjoying Amelia’s books for three years. So many of our new favorite stories have come from this program, and now that Jon has joined too, I want to highlight the books we receive this year so I can remember the new books added to our library. Three cheers for Dolly Parton!

For Jon:

For Amelia:

Books read in October: 3
Books read in 2020: 39
Currently reading: 2

So that’s what I’ve been reading during the tenth month of 2020!

One thought on “Reading Life: October 2020

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