THE WORD: Läslov
If, like us, you’ve always considered October to be one of those strange in-between months, then you’re not alone. Those clever Swedes already found a smart solution to this problem and in 2016 officially rebranded this time heading into deepest autumn as läslov, which means ‘reading break’, instead of the previously used höstlov, literally ‘autumn break’. The intention behind the change was to encourage more Swedish children to pick up a book, but we think the idea has a wider potential.
Perfect If: You know that there is no better time to curl up in a comfy chair or a cosy reading nook with a good book and get your läslov groove on than on a chill, grey October day.
THE EVENT: The Frankfurt Book Fair
Just in time for läslov: The world’s largest book fair is back this year, shining a literary light on Frankfurt from 20-24 October with a hybrid programme of virtual and in-person events for both industry insiders and the general public. In addition to book signings and author meet-and-greets, this year sees the return of Bookfest City with its roster of happenings all across Frankfurt, from poetry slams to panel discussions, concerts, parties and workshops. The book fair guest of honour for 2021 is Canada which, under the banner of ‘Singular Plurality’, will host an extensive line-up of live and digital events featuring Canadian literati including Margaret Atwood, Esi Edugyan, André Alexis and Lisa Moore.
Perfect If: You’re burning through your autumn reading list too quickly, and could use some fresh inspiration.
THE SOUND: ‘Optimist’ by Finneas
This month sees new releases from Ed Sheeran, Coldplay, Elton John, Lana Del Rey and Lady Gaga (with Tony Bennett), not to mention a re-release from a small garage band from Liverpool called, ahem, The Beatles. However, despite the presence of such musical behemoths, we’re curious to hear what the debut album from Finneas, titled Optimist, delivers. Yes, that was Finneas as in Finneas O’Connell, the brother and main musical collaborator of Billie Eilish.
Perfect If: You know that Billie Eilish was discovered and signed based on her rendition of Ocean Eyes, which was originally written by her brother back in 2015, but offered to Billie when he realised how well it suited her vocals.
THE LOOK: The Detachable Turtleneck
Just as everyone, well, almost everyone, is gradually starting to see relaxations on the mandatory wearing of masks in many situations, the changing seasons suddenly make us appreciate the advantage of that extra face protection from the cold and wind. Not to worry, the world of style has the answer now, with high-fashion interpretations of the detachable turtleneck. Labels such as Prada, PH5 and Phillip Lim have all offered recent takes on the look with eye-catching detachable turtlenecks and collars – and the trend is filtering down to the high street.
Perfect If: You’re in the market for a new craft project as the days grow colder and darker – why not reinterpret the look by knitting or crocheting your own design?
THE TV SHOW: Invasion
As Apple TV+ continues to get into its stride on the back of successes like Ted Lasso, they will be hoping that its latest major new show, Invasion, draws a similar popularity as its other major science-fiction drama See. Invasion stars veteran New Zealand actor Sam Neill, alongside acclaimed Iranian actress Golshifteh Farahani, as the action shows different perspectives from around the world on an alien invasion.
Perfect If: You find big-budget War of the Worlds tropes the sci-fi equivalent of a pair of old comfy slippers – perfect for those dark autumnal nights as you gaze into the vastness of space and wonder just what might be out there.
THE BOOK: Chronicles of the Happiest People on Earth
When the winner of a Nobel Prize in Literature announces a new novel after a hiatus of 48 years, critics tend to sit up. That is very much the case with this latest work from Wole Soyinka – playwright, poet, novelist and all-round icon of African literature. Written during lockdown, this unexpected novel promises to be a rare treat.
Perfect If: You appreciate picaresque characters, rich satire, witty observations and a sublime writing style.
THE BLOCKBUSTER: No Time To Die
Is this a mission too far? After a seemingly never-ending series of delayed release dates, are film fans still even waiting for the next Bond? Industry insiders will certainly be hoping so. After over half a century of saving the world, this time many are praying that Agent 007 can save the movie industry itself. Opening solely with a theatrical release (no simultaneous streaming here), No Time to Die will be the biggest test yet of moviegoers’ willingness to return to the cinema. Intriguingly, alongside the action, co-star Léa Seydoux says that Daniel Craig’s last outing as Bond is set to leave film fans crying by its end.
Perfect If: You’ve been dreaming of a return to theatres for a big-screen, pure popcorn experience, but nothing has quite lured you back. Until now…
THE DOCUMENTARY: Becoming Cousteau
It’s not so long ago that most of us had no clue what was going on in the underwater world, and had even less of an idea about the importance of preserving it. That all changed largely thanks to the legendary Jacques Cousteau, whose films helped the world appreciate the life aquatic. Over a five-year period, filmmaker Liz Garbus and National Geographic were granted access to never-before-seen footage by The Cousteau Society, using it to create a documentary that sheds light on the journey the French icon made from explorer and filmmaker to environmentalist.
Perfect If: You want to understand why Cousteau’s journey is still relevant today.
THE CAUSE: Adopt-A-Dog Month
The ASPCA has celebrated Adopt-A-Dog Month every October for the past 30 years, looking to pair the millions of abandoned dogs found each year with a loving family. If you’ve been considering opening your heart and home to a new four-legged friend, perhaps this is the perfect opportunity – though you’ll want to first make sure, of course, that a dog is the right pet for you, and that you’re up to the task of housetraining and properly caring for a new pooch. If this isn’t a responsibility you’re ready for right now – because, let’s face it, dogs can be messy and demanding housemates – you can get involved instead by volunteering at your local shelter or donating to any animal rescue organisation.
Perfect If: You know you would make a wonderful forever family for a lucky shelter dog somewhere.
THE ACTIVITY: Halloween Treats
This year, start the scary fun early by making these Halloween treats with the kids. The video demonstrates seven spine-tingling specialties, from savoury to sweet. Whether you go for Ghostly Ganache Cakes or Jack O’Lantern Peppers, these snacks are guaranteed to send shivers down your spine. In a good way, obviously.
Perfect If: You’re planning on throwing an extra spooky party this year and don’t want to buy treats with genuinely scary additives.