Hi, I'm Angi
Welcome to my corner of the internet! My passions include travel, photography, books, music, Japanese language and culture, Italian language and culture, and art.

Here at Abbott Lane you'll find my thoughts on these topics and much more. Thanks for stopping by to visit!

Best Books: October 2021


I'm horribly behind on writing this (and on my Goodreads reading goal, but that's a whole other story), but I wanted to share what books charmed me in October.

My reading habits lately have been hit or miss. I can go a couple of weeks without reading, which isn't terribly uncommon for me (generally speaking) when I get super busy, but it is VERY uncommon for me during this time of year. This is usually my reading season! So it's a bit strange that I haven't been doing it more. My guess is that I'm feeling a bit overwhelmed. I launched a business this year, continue to take Japanese and violin lessons, and between that I need to do all the adulting things. Honestly, sometimes when I come home I just want to zone out on the couch.

One of my goals this winter is to get into a better evening routine that has designated time to read. My thinking is - get home, practice violin, eat dinner, do a quick clean of the kitchen and whatever else needs to be tidied, then read until bedtime. So I think I'll be trying this out starting next week.

October saw me read five books and what's great is that most of them were GOOD. Actually, there was only one that I didn't fully enjoy. What's funny is that I barely followed my TBR this time around. Anyway, here we go with a recap of my favorites...

Immobility - Brian Evenson

When you open your eyes things already seem to be happening without you. You don't know who you are and you don't remember where you've been. You know the world has changed, that a catastrophe has destroyed what used to exist before, but you can't remember exactly what did exist before. And you're paralyzed from the waist down apparently, but you don't remember that either.

A man claiming to be your friend tells you your services are required. Something crucial has been stolen, but what he tells you about it doesn't quite add up. You've got to get it back or something bad is going to happen. And you've got to get it back fast, so they can freeze you again before your own time runs out.

Before you know it, you're being carried through a ruined landscape on the backs of two men in hazard suits who don't seem anything like you at all, heading toward something you don't understand that may well end up being the death of you.

Welcome to the life of Josef Horkai….

I'd been meaning to read Evenson's work for ages, since he always pops up as a recommendation for folks who like literary horror. This story isn't horror per se - it's more of a strange, post-apocalyptic tale. But it definitely has horrific elements! Evenson is a great writer, and I found myself caught up in the story and trying to piece together exactly what in the world was happening. It was a strange ride, and I enjoyed it!

I'm Thinking of Ending Things - Reid

In this smart and intense literary suspense novel, Iain Reid explores the depths of the human psyche, questioning consciousness, free will, the value of relationships, fear, and the limitations of solitude.

Eeek! EEEK!! This one gave me the creeps and was SUCH a delightful listen for spooky season! I'd really enjoyed Reid's book Foe, which I read a couple of years ago, so I was excited to dive back into his writing and BOY OH BOY did this one deliver. 

I purposely didn't put a more descriptive synopsis above because I think that part of the joy is just being taken on the journey. I did this on audiobook, and honestly I can't imagine reading it any other way. This was MADE for audiobook! Oh, and if you decide to pick pick up this one, don't read anything about it beforehand. The less you know the better.

The Enigma of Amigara Fault - Junji Ito

Following an earthquake in an unnamed prefecture of Japan, a fault is discovered on Amigara Mountain, very close to the epicenter of the quake. On the slopes of the mountain, two hikers meet; a man named Owaki and a woman named Yoshida. The former assumes that they are both here to see the fault, which has captured the attention of the global press. Following the sound of voices to the fault, the two of them marvel at the strange sight before them: countless human-shaped holes in a rock face exposed by the earthquake.

...and then things get weird. LOL!

Another first for me - reading Ito! I don't even know how to describe this one except for strange. It's strange and weird and surreal and bizarre. It's also a very short read, and available online so check it out! Just don't forget to read from right to left, Japanese style, or else you'll be VERY confused.

The Burning Girls - C.J. Tudor

A dark history lingers in Chapel Croft. Five hundred years ago, local Protestant martyrs were betrayed—then burned. Thirty years ago, two teenage girls disappeared without a trace. And a few weeks ago, the vicar of the local parish hanged himself in the nave of the church.

Reverend Jack Brooks, a single parent with a fourteen-year-old daughter and a heavy conscience, arrives in the village hoping for a fresh start. Instead, Jack finds a town rife with conspiracies and secrets, and is greeted with a strange welcome package: an exorcism kit and a note that warns, “But there is nothing covered up that will not be revealed and hidden that will not be known.”

The more Jack and daughter, Flo, explore the town and get to know its strange denizens, the deeper they are drawn into the age-old rifts, mysteries, and suspicions. And when Flo begins to see specters of girls ablaze, it becomes apparent there are ghosts here that refuse to be laid to rest.

Uncovering the truth can be deadly in a village with a bloody past, where everyone has something to hide and no one trusts an outsider.

Generally speaking, thrillers are very hit or miss for me. Usually there's some glaring issue that I can't seem to get around. But Tudor's The Burning Girls was the first solid thriller - from beginning to end - that I've read in a long time! This books shines with a great story, unexpected twists, and believable characters. Honestly, I was a bit surprised at how much I enjoyed this one, considering my tenuous relationship with thrillers, but I had fun with The Burning Girls!

And that's all this time around. I realize I haven't done a November TBR, but honestly, like I mentioned, I haven't been reading terribly much or planning my reads. So I'll probably just do a best of November wrap up when the time comes!

Other books read: This is How You Lose the Time War - El-Motar