What I Read in October 2021

What I Read in October 2021

I’ve been in a bit of a reading slump for the last few months now. Quite a few of my friends have as well. So I’ve not read much in October, but I thought I’d still write a short what I read in October 2021 post.

Here are the five books I read in October 2021.

The Fir Tree by Hans Christian Andersen

I’ve been wanting to get into a Christmas mood and this quick read was the perfect way to get started. I’d never heard of this folk tale before, and it’s quite dark – as are most fairy tales of the age. The story follows a fir tree that dreams of being a Christmas tree, but when it happens they’re left to rot all alone away from the other trees in the wood. It’s very much a ‘be careful what you wish for’ story, with lots of sumptuous Christmas imagery.

The Radium Girls by Kate Moore

I’ve been wanting to read this non-fiction book for years and I’m so glad I did. It was definitely a five-star read for me, and I haven’t had many of those this year. The book documents the lives of women who worked at Radium Corporations in American, painting radium paint onto watches to make the numbers glow in the dark. The radium caused many of them to die very young, from terrible and excruciating radiation poisoning. All the while the companies said that Radium was good for them. It took 30 plus years for Radium companies to be held accountable, shut down, and the women or their families to receive compensation. A harrowing read, that doesn’t shy away from detail so not for the faint-hearted. But incredibly important.

You Sad Feminist by Megan Beech

I needed a quick read and I chose this short collection of poems from Megan Beech. I loved her first collection When I Grow Up I Want to be Mary Beardbut I can’t say I enjoyed this as much. It was a simple read but not one I’d repeat sadly.

The Girls of Slender Means by Muriel Spark

The story of The Girls of Slender Means jumps back and forth between a group of girls post-WW2 discussing the death of a novelist they used to know, and the novelist with the group of girls in the war years beforehand practicing elocution and dating in wartime. It’s a darker story than it initially seems, but I can’t say it held my attention that much.

The Reader by Bernhard Schlink

And finally, for the month, I re-read a favourite of mine. This historical fiction follows Michael Berg as a 15-year-old, a law student and as a middle-aged man. At all points his life is entwined with Hannah Schmitz, a woman he had an affair with at 15 and who turned out to be an SS guard for Auschwitz. The story is beautifully written and incredibly nuanced.

What did you read this month? Let me know in the comments below. And fingers crossed I get a reading boost in November!

Love Ellie x

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What I Read in October 2021

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