Nightstand: October

What's On Your Nightstand @ 5 Minutes for BooksCan you believe another month has come and gone already and it’s time again for me to tell you about the books residing on my nightstand? October is drawing to a close and the autumn season is officially upon us. Here in Wisconsin we are having one more slightly warm day before the chill returns to the air just in time for trick or treating this weekend.

The Heretic's Daughter by Kathleen KentIndoors, I’ve just picked up The Heretic’s Daughter by Kathleen Kent to curl up with as Halloween approaches. I got it around Christmas time last year and have been waiting for the fall season to enjoy this story of Martha Carrier, one of the first women to be accused, tried and hanged as a witch in Salem, Massachusetts. Like her mother, young Sarah Carrier is bright and willful, openly challenging the small, brutal world in which they live. Often at odds with one another, mother and daughter are forced to stand together against the escalating hysteria of the trials and the superstitious tyranny that led to the torture and imprisonment of more than 200 people accused of witchcraft. (description from

Since my last nightstand post I have read two books which seems to be fairly typical for me. Here’s what I’ve read:

  1. A Little Bit Wicked by Kristin ChenowethA Little Bit Wicked by Kristin Chenoweth (FIR ’11 book 2) – Finished October 8, 2011 – I’ve always been a fan of Kristin Chenoweth’s acting skills but knew basically nothing about her aside from what I’ve seen on screen. This memoir certainly took care of that! I loved this book and getting to know Kristin and her life and what led her from growing up in Oklahoma to gracing the sets of Glee and Pushing Daisies or the stages of Wicked which I’ve never seen but want to SO badly some day. This book is funny and thoughtful and entertaining and wonderful. Loved it.
  2. Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro (October book club pick, FIR ’11 Book 3) – Finished October 22, 2011 – There were some things that I really liked about this book – the author’s descriptions of life at Hailsham and how he only reveals just so much information at a time, keeping you out of the dark about things until just the right moment. In some ways I’d say this book was remarkably well done and most of my minor complaints with the book are the type that can be commented away with, “but the author probably did it that way intentionally,” for better or for worse.

Major Pettigrew's Last Stand by Helen SimonsonSo after I finish reading The Heretic’s Daughter, I’m planning to read our November book club pick, Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand by Helen Simonson. This is the story of Major Ernest Pettigrew, retired, of Edgecombe St. Mary, England, [who] is more than a little dismayed by the sloppy manners, narcissism, and materialism of modern society. The decline of gentility is evident everywhere, from tea bags, to designer sweaters, to racism masquerading as tolerance.

Mutual grief allies him with Mrs. Ali, a widowed local shopkeeper of Pakistani descent who has also resigned herself to dignified, if solitary, last years. The carefully suppressed passion between these two spawns twitters of disapproval in their provincial village, but Pettigrew hasn’t time for such silliness: real estate developers are plotting to carpet the fields outside his back door with mansionettes and his sister-in-law plans to auction off a prized family firearm. Meanwhile, Mrs. Ali’s late husband’s Muslim family expects her to hand over her hard-won business to her sullen, fundamentalist nephew, a notion she finds repellant and chauvinistic. (book description from

I don’t really anticipate having time to read anything else in the coming month and if I’m right that will bring my Fall into Reading total to 5 with the time to read one or two more books before the challenge ends. My goal was to read 8 books which is still conceivable but I’m betting I’ll only hit my estimated 6 books.

What are you reading right now?

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