The October List: Ten Books to Match the Tenth Month
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Timing is everything. Like slurping sorbets in summer, or stirring stew in the depths of winter, there is something soothing to the soul about reading the right book at the appropriate time of year. The books in this list make it easy; the clue is in the titles.
October. ..it’s a good word, with that pleasingly matter-of -fact opening and the chilling brrrr at the end, no wonder so many authors have found it a shortcut to a snappy title.
On a side note, October, eight month of the Roman calendar was known to the Anglo-Saxons as Winterfylleth, as it was at this full moon that winter fyll, or fell. There’s another wonderful word, winterfylleth, just begging to be used in the title of a novel.
October tells you something. It brings to mind the crunch underfoot of frost-bitten leaves, the smell of wood-smoke, the pleasingly alliterative colour orange. It is a time to fill a pot of coffee, huddle under blankets, and sink into a good book.
October hints at melancholy, time passing, loss and lament. But, these aren’t all sad books. They range from thrilling to tear-jerking, heart-stopping to hilarious. Whether you’re seeking a trick or a treat, there’s an October book to suit.
For fear all that doesn't adequately stock up your to-be-read pile, I have one, final but excellent recommendation. Neil Gaiman personifies the month of October in his own inimitable, weird but wonderful, style in a short story called October in the Chair which you can find in his 2006 collection, Fragile Things.
I'm going to allow Mr. Gaiman the final word:
'October knew, of course, that the action of turning a page, of ending a chapter or of shutting a book, did not end a tale.'