The top 7 books to read in October 2021

Here are

The top 7 books
I plan to read in October 2021

Click on the covers to know more


Again reading a crazy number of books at the same time, but by now, this should not surprise anyone, lol.

  Termination Shock  

  Speedboat   Ficciones  

📚 Termination Shock, by Neal Stephenson
Expected publication: November 16th 2021 by William Morrow

I haven’t finished yet this technothriller about climate change. Partly because this is around 896 pages, but also because I have more urgent reading commitments for various book clubs.
Nothing much happens before around 500 pages…
I’m at 60%, and so far it’s really not blowing my mind, though I do learn a lot about many things, such as for instance the Sikh culture, martial arts, and the LAC (Line of Actual Control),  the notional demarcation line between the Indian-controlled territory and the Chinese-controlled territory.

“A visionary technothriller about climate change.
Neal Stephenson’s sweeping, prescient new novel transports readers to a near-future world where the greenhouse effect has inexorably resulted in a whirling-dervish troposphere of superstorms, rising sea levels, global flooding, merciless heat waves, and virulent, deadly pandemics.
One man has a Big Idea for reversing global warming, a master plan perhaps best described as “elemental.” But will it work? And just as important, what are the consequences for the planet and all of humanity should it be applied?
Ranging from the Texas heartland to the Dutch royal palace in the Hague, from the snow-capped peaks of the Himalayas to the sunbaked Chihuahuan Desert, Termination Shock brings together a disparate group of characters from different cultures and continents who grapple with the real-life repercussions of global warming. Ultimately, it asks the question: Might the cure be worse than the disease?”

📚 The New Testament: A Translation, by David Bentley Hart
Published in 2017

David Bentley Hart’s translation IS blowing my mind, especially in the Pauline writings.  If early on, we had looked more closely at the Greek without relying so much on Saint Jerome’s Latin translation, we would not have had all these crazy notions between grace and acts for instance, as really Romans 5 for example has nothing to do with this. The acts Paul is referring to are actually the fact of observing the Mosaic Law. Each time I’m reading texts by Paul on grace/acts, I’m shocked that Mosaic observance is indeed always in the background. Hence the essential importance of translating correctly a text!

“From one of our most celebrated writers on religion comes this fresh, bold, and unsettling new translation of the New Testament.
David Bentley Hart undertook this new translation of the New Testament in the spirit of “etsi doctrina non daretur,” “as if doctrine is not given.” Reproducing the texts’ often fragmentary formulations without augmentation or correction, he has produced a pitilessly literal translation, one that captures the texts’ impenetrability and unfinished quality while awakening readers to an uncanniness that often lies hidden beneath doctrinal layers.
The early Christians’ sometimes raw, astonished, and halting prose challenges the idea that the New Testament affirms the kind of people we are. Hart reminds us that they were a company of extremists, radical in their rejection of the values and priorities of society not only at its most degenerate, but often at its most reasonable and decent. “To live as the New Testament language requires,” he writes, “Christians would have to become strangers and sojourners on the earth, to have here no enduring city, to belong to a Kingdom truly not of this world. And we surely cannot do that, can we?”

📚  Speedboat, by Renata Adler
Published in 1976
Reading for #1976Club, hosted by Stuck in a Book

Planning to read two books for this club. Already halfway in this one, and really not impressed. It’s a collection of vignettes and stream of consciousness. There are a few lines I do like a lot, but I’m actually a bit disappointed by the whole thing. I’m glad it’s short.
Are you participating in #1976Club (October 11-17)? Which books are you reading for it?

“This story of a young female newspaper reporter coming of age in New York City was originally published serially in the New Yorker; it is made out of seemingly unrelated vignettes—tart observations distilled through relentless intellect—which add up to an analysis of our brittle, urban existence. It remains as fresh as when it was first published.”

📚  Ficciones, by Jorge Luis Borges
Published in 1944
Reading with The World’s Literature Goodreads Club and for The Classics Club and the Books in Translation Challenge.

As a teenager, I really enjoyed a lot this author. I may even already have read this one, so when I saw this Goodreads club was going to read it, I joined.
Cool collection of short stories – a genre I don’t often enjoy, unless the author is a genius.

“The seventeen pieces in Ficciones demonstrate the whirlwind of Borges’s genius and mirror the precision and potency of his intellect and inventiveness, his piercing irony, his skepticism, and his obsession with fantasy. Borges sends us on a journey into a compelling, bizarre, and profoundly resonant realm; we enter the fearful sphere of Pascal’s abyss, the surreal and literal labyrinth of books, and the iconography of eternal return. To enter the worlds in Ficciones is to enter the mind of Jorge Luis Borges, wherein lies Heaven, Hell, and everything else in between.”


A River Runs Through it

📚 A River Runs Through it, by Norman Maclean
Published in 1976
Will be reading for #1976Club, hosted by Stuck in a Book

“From its first magnificent sentence, “In our family, there was no clear line between religion and fly fishing,” to the last, “I am haunted by waters,” “A River Runs Through It” is an American classic.
Based on Norman Maclean’s childhood experiences, “A River Runs Through It” has established itself as one of the most moving stories of our time; it captivates readers with vivid descriptions of life along Montana’s Big Blackfoot River and its near magical blend of fly fishing with the troubling affections of the heart.”

I will probably read a couple more books, from my Summer list I didn’t finish.


the thirteenth tale   The Adventure of the Christmas Pudding

🎧  The Thirteenth Tale, by Diane Setterfield
Published in 2006

This is the very first book I added on my TBR Goodreads list. Yes, I just started this plan of revisiting the books I added there ten years ago and read them or delete them.
OMG, why did I wait for ten years to read this? It feels a bit like Kate Morton‘s books (which I enjoy a lot), but focused on the world of books (book sellers, readers, authors). Anyway, most of you have probably read it, so you know all about it.
The narrators Bianca Amato and Jill Tanner are fabulous!

“All children mythologize their birth…So begins the prologue of reclusive author Vida Winter’s collection of stories, which are as famous for the mystery of the missing thirteenth tale as they are for the delight and enchantment of the twelve that do exist.
The enigmatic Winter has spent six decades creating various outlandish life histories for herself — all of them inventions that have brought her fame and fortune but have kept her violent and tragic past a secret. Now old and ailing, she at last wants to tell the truth about her extraordinary life. She summons biographer Margaret Lea, a young woman for whom the secret of her own birth, hidden by those who loved her most, remains an ever-present pain. Struck by a curious parallel between Miss Winter’s story and her own, Margaret takes on the commission.
As Vida disinters the life she meant to bury for good, Margaret is mesmerized. It is a tale of gothic strangeness featuring the Angelfield family, including the beautiful and willful Isabelle, the feral twins Adeline and Emmeline, a ghost, a governess, a topiary garden and a devastating fire.
Margaret succumbs to the power of Vida’s storytelling but remains suspicious of the author’s sincerity. She demands the truth from Vida, and together they confront the ghosts that have haunted them while becoming, finally, transformed by the truth themselves.
The Thirteenth Tale is a love letter to reading, a book for the feral reader in all of us, a return to that rich vein of storytelling that our parents loved and that we loved as children. Diane Setterfield will keep you guessing, make you wonder, move you to tears and laughter and, in the end, deposit you breathless yet satisfied back upon the shore of your everyday life.”

🎧 Adventure of the Christmas Pudding (Hercule Poirot #35), by Agatha Christie
Published in 1960- Part of my project to listen to all of HP, for The Classics Club
After this one, only 10 left.

“An English country house at Christmas time should be the perfect place to get away from it all – but nothing is ever simple for Hercule Poirot, as he finds not one but five baffling cases to solve.
First comes a sinister warning on his pillow to avoid the plum pudding…then the discovery of a corpse in a chest…next, an overheard quarrel that leads to murder…the strange case of a dead man’s eating habits…and the puzzle of a victim who dreams of his own suicide.”

🎧 I will probably also listen to 3 other books with Hercule Poirot.
🎧 And a French audiobook if I have time


UNTIL 10/31

The Education of Delhomme

Choose between 4 books

2 more books coming mid October!

UNTIL 10/31

in another life


  • Participate in the #1976Club – see above
  • Participate in the World’s Literature Goodreads discussion – see above
  • Watch two zoom book talks: one with Walter Mosley (Brooklyn Book Festival), one on Sandra Cisneros (AARP)
  • Write my last review for a theology book I read last year for Edelweiss Plus
  • Restart sharing reading notes on my Orthodox blog

Eiffel Tower Orange



24 thoughts on “The top 7 books to read in October 2021

  1. I remember borrowing “Collected Fictions” by Jorge Luis Borges from the library and being amazed by his writing. The density of the sentences took work to get used to, and the work was well worth it. Such a wild imagination.


  2. I have read a few books that were at about 1000 pages or longer, and I have enjoyed most of them, but it takes a lot to get me to read one at about 900 pages. Right now I am stuck in the middle of a 600 page nonfiction book I really want to finish.

    I am doing the 1976 club and I have read my books already. Home to Roost by Andrew Garve and Catch a Falling Spy by Len Deighton. I loved both of them, luckily.


      • The nonfiction book is Carry Me Home: Birmingham, Alabama: The Climactic Battle of the Civil Rights Revolution. Maybe closer to 650 pages. I grew up in Birmingham, the author did also and we are about the same age (not that we were in the same area — it is a big city). Reading about this part of Birmingham’s history is very painful for me.

        Sometimes I am not successful in adding URLs to comments at WordPress blogs, so I will put that in my next comment. My blog name is Bitter Tea and Mystery.


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