Since rediscovering my love for reading last month I've been determined to keep it up, I've been a big reader ever since I was young and I love nothing more than getting sucked in to a good book, so I don't want to slip out of the habit again. Holidays are always the times when I manage to get through the most books, and our trip to Croatia was no different. Whilst I didn't read quite as many books as I usually manage to tick off, I did get through quite a few when I was sitting by the pool or spending afternoons on the balcony.
Much like last month my reads were predominantly non-fiction, however I did finally get round to starting Stephen King's Dark Tower series. My mum loves Stephen King, and she introduced me to his work when I was back in high school. Since then I've been slowly working my way through our collection and when I was looking for a new read I decided to pick up The Gunslinger. This is the first in The Dark Tower series and introduces the character of Roland of Gilead, the last gunslinger, who is on a journey towards The Dark Tower in pursuit of The Man In Black. True to form, this book is typical of Stephen King's work in that it's a gripping masterpiece with a haunting similarity to current times whilst also diverging from reality in to a dystopian fantasy world. If you like thrilling fantasy-stroke-horror with a hint of dystopia, or just like Stephen King, then you need to give this series a go. I've now started the second book, The Drawing Of The Three, and am eagerly awaiting the movie adaptation of The Gunslinger which is due out in February.
Moving on to my non-fiction picks for the month, the first few of which I mentioned in my previous reading round up. I've been on a bit of a "getting my shit together" spree recently, which I think has been apparent in my reading choices. I started off the month with F**k It - Do What You Love by John C. Parkin, which started out well but I soon got a little bit fed up with it as towards the end it started to get a little bit repetitive. It's nothing groundbreaking, and at times felt a little preachy, bordering on patronising, but the first few chapters were relatively useful in terms of prioritising and motivation.
Next on my list was Ctrl, Alt; Delete: How I Grew Up Online by Emma Gannon, a blogger, podcaster and all around internet persona. I was honestly expecting to love this, and there were some chapters that I couldn't put down, but the book just didn't flow for me and I found it quite disjointed. I was kind of disappointed really, as it's received rave reviews and the concept of an internet memoir really appealed to me having grown up alongside the internet myself. It had its good bits, but overall it wasn't quite my cup of tea.
Seeing as I didn't quite get on with The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying, I figured I'd take a step in the other direction and try out The Life-Changing Magic of Not Giving a F**ck instead. Okay, I'll be fair and say it's pretty easy not to care what others think when you're lying on a sun lounger by a beautiful pool with a cocktail in your hand, but there was something about this book that just spoke to me. Ugh, that feels so cheesy to write, but it's true. I'm guilty of caring too much about things that don't really matter and I often forget to put myself and my happiness first. If that's something you do too, then read this book. It will help you alter your perspective and reprioritise your life. I know it's just a book, but it felt like a weight being lifted off my shoulders. I'm really looking forward to the follow-up - Get Your Sh*t Together - which is due out in December.
The concept of Hygge has been somewhat of a phenomenon in the blogosphere this year, and I have to be honest here, I didn't really get it. The lovely Char was kind enough to send me a copy of The Art of Hygge which I was hoping would give me a little bit more insight in to the concept as a whole. I love getting cosy as the dark nights draw in, so I like the general idea of Hygge and whilst overall I do think it's a pretty simple idea, which most people implement anyway without putting a name on it, this was generally a really nice read. It's got some delicious sounding winter recipes and reading through it had me feeling a bit more appreciative of life's simple pleasures.
The final three books I worked through in October were all focused on the world of digital marketing and the art of blogging. I love the digital world, and often find myself spending an evening poring over articles about the latest and greatest in digital marketing or blogging, so these books really appealed to me. The first two I picked up when I visited St. Andrews at the start of September, How To: Get Your Website Noticed and Status Update, alongside The Art Of Social Media which I haven't got round to picking up yet. How To: Get Your Website Noticed is a really concise starter guide to the world of SEO, website design and how consumers use the internet which was a really useful read with some great tips. I'm still reading Status Update, but so far it's been a deeply fascinating look at how the internet has influenced celebrity culture and vice versa.
Finally, having loved her blog for years, I decided to download Forever Amber's book - My Blogging Secrets: A Guide To Becoming A Pro Blogger. With a consistent voice throughout, it was easy to get lost in Amber's tales of her experiences as a blogger and how she made it work for her. It's a refreshingly honest look at how to make money from blogging as well as the ups and downs of life as a freelancer. She has an endlessly humorous writing style that's both relatable and to the point - a must read for bloggers who want to grow their site.
I haven't quite decided the next few reads on my list, but I'm thinking I might make more of an effort to get back in to fiction. I think I need a new world to get lost in whilst winter rages on, so if you have any recommendations or have read anything fantastic recently please let me know in the comments!