Online Reading Challenge – October

Hello Fellow Challenge Readers!

It’s time for a new topic in our Online Reading Challenge! This month our focus is on: Nature! There are lots of great choices and a couple of different ways you can approach this topic – here are a few ideas.

Books from an animal’s point-of-view. These would include classics like Watership Down by Richard Adams or the more recently published The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein (a book I recommend very highly).

Books about animals. From wild creatures (such as H is for Hawk by Helen Macdonald and Life of Pi by Yann Martel) to domestic (like The Story of Edgar Sawtelle by David Wroblewski or Marley and Me by John Grogan) there are a lot of titles to choose from. I love the country vet stories by James Herriot, set in the Yorkshire Dales of 1930s England.

Books about the environment. Another classic, Silent Spring by Rachel Carson, is as relevant today as it was when it was published in 1962. One of the best books I’ve ever read is Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens (although we still have a waiting list – I recommend that you read it whenever you can get a copy), which evokes the wilderness of the low country of North Carolina beautifully. For more evocative landscapes, reach for Tony Hillerman’s southwestern mysteries or Dana Stabenow’s Alaska mysteries.

Books about Man and Nature. Lots to choose from here, when man (or woman) venture out into the wilderness. Cheryl Strayed’s Wild takes you along the Pacific Crest Trail, while Ann Patchett’s State of Wonder travels to the Amazon. If you’ve never read A Walk in the Woods by Bill Bryson, do yourself a favor and do so immediately (It’s very funny but will also put the fear of bears into you for good!) Jon Krakauer has two great titles that fit into this category – Into the Wild about a young man attempting to live off the land in Alaska and Into Thin Air about a doomed excursion to Mt Everest. Both are gripping and thought provoking.

I’m planning on reading Open Season by C.J. Box, the first of his Joe Pickett mysteries. They are set in the Bighorn Mountain area of Wyoming where Joe is a Game Warden. Box’s mysteries get consistently good reviews so I’m looking forward to reading this!

Now it’s your turn? What will you be reading in October?



6 thoughts on “Online Reading Challenge – October

  1. I’m not quite finished, but I’m 1/2 way through The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate by Jaqueline Kelly. It’s delightful! I believe it was a Newberry Award Winner back in 2009? 2010? The protagonist is an 11 year old female amateur naturalist living in Texas in 1899. It’s perfect for me – historical fiction, young adult fiction, AND deals with evolution/ Charles Darwin! I wonder if it could also count as an October selection – nature?

  2. Excuse the overlapping Sept/Oct comments here! I’m hoping to either read or listen to The Overstory, by Richard Powers. According to always knowledgeable Wikipedia?! , ” The Overstory is a novel by Richard Powers published in 2018 by W.W. Norton. It is Powers’s twelfth novel. The novel is about nine Americans whose unique life experiences with trees bring them together to address the destruction of forests.” It was highly rated on Audible and consequently in my queue. If that doesn’t work out, I’m glad to see you recommended Where the Crawdads Sing, as that’s also on my list of “to read!”

    I’d also like to recommend The Signature of All things, by Elizabeth Gilbert to anyone who’s not read it. I loved this book! I could not plow my way through Eat, Pray, Love, but Signature of All Things was a totally different story, no pun intended! It’s been a few years since I’ve read it, but the main character is a female botanist of sorts (her main focus is moss and lichen) living in the early 1800’s. It sounds very strange, but it was a really enjoyable read – gently humorous but moving, too. Gilbert’s voice takes on the character of 18th/19th century speakers. It completely amazed me that she could write such a different type of novel. I think it would have been appropriate for either the science or nature months, actually!

  3. I have never looked at The Signature of All Things too closely, but now I’m going to add it to my reading list! Your reading choice sounds fascinating – I hope it goes well. And you will not regret reading Where the Crawdads Sing whether it’s for the Reading Challenge or not! Thanks for reading along with us! Ann

  4. Thanks so much for the feedback, Ann! I will definitely add Where the Crawdads Sing to my “to-read” list!

  5. I am combining the September subject (science) with the October subject (nature) and finish Lab Girl which nicely fits both categories.

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