We spent most of the month at home in September – catching up on household jobs and enjoying the local countryside. A welcome break before we enter another busy patch leading up to Christmas. With school and my main contract starting again, weve consciously carved out downtime for creative stuff – writing, drawing and reading. It’s made a positive difference mentally.
I jumped off the social media wheel this month and redirected my energies into other creative paths instead. I wish I could do it all, but I’ve conceded that I don’t have the head time to work on everything. Instead, I’m focusing on rewriting my novel, supporting M, reading and taking care of my physical and mental wellbeing. Learning from lessions in Atomic Habits, I’ve changed some of my routines – switching off my screens at 8.30pm and reading, walking for longer periods of time, cutting down caffeine and alcohol, listening to audiobooks while cooking/cleaning/waiting for my ancient laptop to start. Small things that add up.
When I wrote this, I thought I’d actually read lots more books than last month. However, it turns out that the total is slightly lower, it’s just that I’ve read more pages. Favourite book? It has to be The Science of Storytelling, which I found fascinating and useful. The Hanging Tree was the most disappointing mainly because a major reveal fell short of my expectations. I realise that there may be another twist further down the line but the experience was decidely underwhelming.
Untamed by Glennon Doyle was gifted to me by Penguin Audiobooks. Although it’s not a book that I would have chosen myself, Doyle’s reflections were full of righteous freedom. I’ll add more detail to my life-changing books post soon.
Books Read (63 books out of 80 target)
- Fireside Fairytales by Kate McRitchie (4.5/5)
- Carpe Jugulum by Terry Pratchett (4.5/5)
- The Science of Storytelling by Will Storr (audiobook) (4.75/5)
- [PR-Product] Untamed by Glennon Doyle (audiobook) (4/5)
- The Hanging Tree by Ben Aaronovitch (3.5/5)
- The Appeal by Janice Hallett (4/5)
- Race: Vintage Mini Paperback by Toni Morrison (4.5/5)
- Klara and the Sun by Kazuo Ishiguro (4.25/5)
- Quartet in Autumn by Barbara Pym (4.25/5)
Al doesn’t subscribe to an audiobook service so reads mostly at the end of the day. Unlike me, he takes his time, which means that he can remember virtually everything about the story afterwards. This month, he completed the latest Lionel Shriver (recommended by Read Holmfirth). It took a while to get into the book, but he said it was worth persisting.
- Should I Stay or Should I Go by Lionel Shriver (4.25/5)
A fair amount of Little M’s reading time is now focused on books from the school library. She reads approx. 2 short titles per week – mostly aloud with Al and I and they’re usually non-fiction. For bedtime reading, we’ve been making our way through Oddity by Eli Jones, which we’ll realistically finish in October.
- Bunny vs Monkey by Jamie Smart (5/5)
- Oddity by Eli Jones (partial)
Film and TV
This went on the backburner in September. I spent time reading instead.
It was lovely to stay at home for most of this month. We made an exception to visit High Street Books and Records in New Mills and have a stroll down the impressive Millenium Walkway. Definitely worth a trip if you’re in the Peak District. Lots planned for October so watch this space. I’m aiming to read 9-10 books as this will take me very close to my target of 80 for the year.
Sending windswept moors, gothic novels and witchy vibes your way.
Mel, Al & Little M