What I (Didn’t) Read in October

Happy Friday, everyone!!!

Gosh, you have no idea how thrilled I am to say that πŸ€— I’m back!!! The last few weeks have been absolutely insane, and I still can’t quite believe that I actually handed in my thesis and have free time now. The whole concept sounds alien, somehow. I don’t think I’ve had more than two weeks off since starting university and suddenly, I have three whole months looming ahead of me.

Nickelodeon Reaction GIF by SpongeBob SquarePants

It’s going to be awesome! I can finally read as much as I want, binge-watch crappy Netflix shows, write, play a ton of violin and piano, and maybe even travel a bit! Like, I’ve never even been to Poland, and that’s only a short train ride away… So exploring a few other European countries should definitely be doable!

Okay, fine, maybe it won’t be three complete months of bliss. Being me, I still have plenty to do. My thesis defense is scheduled for December 2nd, and I’m honestly kind of terrified. Not so much of the presentation itself – though the process of having half of the math department asking me questions isn’t exactly comforting – but of having to prepare it, since doing that means I will have to reread my thesis, and rereading my thesis means I will probably spot a ton of mistakes that I missed before handing it in. Although my roommates claim I have the worst case of imposter syndrome they’ve ever come across, I’m just really not convinced that my thesis is any good, and spotting mistakes in it after I can no longer change them is probably not going to do wonders for my already frayed nerves…

Still, let’s not focus too much on the stressfulness, because October definitely had a few ups in addition to the downs. After over a year of not being allowed to practice, we finally had our first orchestra rehearsal last week, and it’s been so much fun seeing everyone again! Plus, one of the pieces we’re playing is Tchaikovsky’s Swan Lake suite, and it’s so wonderfully melancholy that I’m becoming more obsessed by the minute.

Just in case someone feels like listening πŸ₯°

And, speaking of music, choir has been really fun as well. Our Advent concert is coming up, so we’ve been singing a lot of Christmassy songs, which never fail to put me in a good mood. In general, it already feels way more like Christmas than it probably should at the beginning of November… Even the Christmas markets opened a month early, since they were shut down all of last year due to the pandemic. I’m not so sure what to think of this, but, I mean, now that they’re open anyway, why not take advantage of it? πŸ€”

Reading-wise, though? October was awful. The only thing I read for fun were about 20 pages of Oathbringer. I didn’t even reread a single book, which I don’t think has ever happened to me before… I did, however, read a ton of math related things, and since some of you said you wanted reviews, who am I to say no to that?


Moduli Spaces of Curves of Genus 2 and Algebraic Number Fields by me

Honestly, if I have to read a single sentence of this 150-page monstrosity one more time, I’m going to barf. Even after the fifth proofread, I still found a ton of typos – though I blame quite a few of them on LaTeX’s horrible spellchecking software – and I know for a fact that I could have gone into more depth regarding some of the mathematical background. Overall, I feel like all I did was plagiarize my supervisor in the first half, and word vomit the results of months of coding onto my poor unsuspecting readers in the second half. So no, I do not recommend you pick this up.


Algebraic Number Theory by Serge Lang

Well, this one was definitely a whole lot better than my thesis; I’ll give it that much. However, without some supplementary lecture scripts, I highly doubt I would have understood everything that “should be immediately clear to the reader”. Why do you math professors always assume your readers are that intelligent? Don’t we have a right to be stupid, huh? Still, I do think this book is a very good introduction to the topic, so if any of you math students out there want to learn about algebraic number theory, reading it might not be a bad idea.


Mathematics of Public Key Cryptography by Steven D. Galbraith

I didn’t read this one in its entirety, but the chapter on hyperelliptic curves was really helpful! Particularly the section on computing Mumford representations of points on a curve’s Jacobian variety, since we only covered how to do that for ramified models of hyperelliptic curves at university, not split models.


Moduli of Curves by Joe Harris and Ian Morrison

This book confused the heck out of me when I first picked it up sometime at the beginning of this year… Now, though? It actually kind of makes sense! And it forced me to do a lot of brushing up on category theory and schemes, which probably wasn’t a bad thing either.


Anyway, I think you get the picture. My entire list of references includes 43 sources, so I hope you’ll forgive me if I don’t review any of the others and simply stick to this small sampling. If you feel like you’re missing out, feel free to complain in the comments!

I’ll keep my fingers crossed that I’ll get to read a few more non-mathematical books in November, and I’m already looking forward to engaging with this community again! It’ll probably take me until Monday to make a full comeback – all of my friends have been eagerly anticipating my newfound freedom as well, which means that my weekend is packed with more social events than I’ve probably attended in the past two years in total – but I can’t wait to see what I missed!

If you wrote a post that you’re particularly proud of this past month, feel free to tell me down below, and I’ll try to find the time to check it out a bit belatedly! Also, if you have any good travel recommendations within Europe, I’m always open to suggestions 😊

36 thoughts on “What I (Didn’t) Read in October

  1. Strawberrys Corner says:

    I’m sure your thesis is amazing, especially if it’s plagiarised as you said haha but yeah, the other books you read this month don’t look super fun. Unlike other books you’ve read, not interested in picking any of these up haha

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Rachel says:

    Yay you’re back!!
    ohno i’m sorry you weren’t able to read much in October (look who is speakingπŸ˜‚ october was one of my most terrible reading month too since… ever.) but uh those math books look okay…ish umm… I like math, don’t get me wrong, its one of my strongest subjects, but a whole month of reading only math books? sorry not for me but kudos to you for doing it haha!!
    Looking forward to reading your postsπŸ’–

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Line says:

    You gave us reviews of math books πŸ˜‚ I swear I read every word you wrote but after some hard deliberation, I think I’m going to pass on all of them. The main factor was that I don’t even understand the titles πŸ˜…

    But it’s so good that you’re back! πŸ€— My Friday is normal again! And I’m jealous of your travel plans obviously. I haven’t been to Poland either or that many other places in Europe for that matter. I can recommend Brussels (it’s the food) or any of the Nordic countries if you’re traveling before Christmas and if you can manage the cold πŸ˜„

    Liked by 1 person

    • abookowlscorner says:

      Of course, I had to stay true to my word πŸ˜‡ Though I’m very surprised to hear you don’t want to read them – I was so sure they were exactly up your alley 🀣

      I’m also really happy to be back to normal Fridays! Hopefully, they’ll stay that way from now on 😊 And we’ll have to see how many of my travel plans I will actually be able to realize. I’m currently trying very hard to convince my brother – who is studying abroad next semester, will miss exams here, and therefore also has plenty of free time – to go to Sweden with me, but we’ll see how that goes. Because Christmas in Nordic countries does sound pretty amazing! (And, okay, fine, I just have huge Astrid Lindgren childhood nostalgia and probably a very wrong picture of what Sweden is actually like πŸ˜…) But yeah, if we do manage that, I’ll probably be so broke afterwards that any other travel will have to be restricted to daytrips. So Poland sounds perfect! πŸ˜„ Though you’ve also made me very curious about food in Brussels, now…

      Liked by 1 person

      • Line says:

        Travel plans do tend to take on a life of their own, but I still hope you get to go to Sweden then 😊 And well, some parts of Sweden probably are like Lindgren how wrote it, but I’m thinking you need to get quite far away from the big cities to find it πŸ˜„
        And the food in Brussels/Belguim is chocolate, waffles, fries and beer, so you know, the most important items of a healthy diet πŸ˜… But it’s quite beautiful there too.

        Liked by 1 person

        • abookowlscorner says:

          Well, if you hear any news about two dumb German tourists freezing to death while trying to make their way through the Swedish countryside, you’ll know what happened 🀣
          And that does sound like the perfect diet! Though, being from Bavaria, I am obviously skeptical whether the Belgians could really top our beer. I suppose I will have to visit sometime and see 😁 And Brussels has so much political history that I’m sure there are a lot of things to learn in addition to all the food-tasting and sightseeing!

          Liked by 1 person

  4. jan @ thedoodlecrafter says:

    how are we already talking about christmas??? i mean wow, this year went by too quickly. i’m so glad to see you back!! i’ve read a total of one book for the whole month so you’re better off than me haha. hope to see more of your posts soon!

    Liked by 1 person

    • abookowlscorner says:

      I know, right? When I saw those Christmas market booths in the streets, I was seriously shocked where all the time had gone!
      And lol, I hope your one book was at least more interesting than my October reading πŸ˜‚ I’ll keep my fingers crossed that November will be a better month for both of us!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Definitely Moi says:

    Yay! Welcome back, Naemi! πŸ₯³ Congratulations on finishing out that thesis!

    I absolutely ADORE Swan Lake! All of Tchaikovsky’s pieces are beautiful, but Swan Lake has to be my favourite! ❀️

    I loved how you actually wrote reviews for all those math books 🀣 I tried reading them, and I’m proud to say I finished. Mostly.

    As much as I L O V E D reading out reviews of math books, I’m excited to see what’s in store for November and December! (Can’t believe it’s the end of the year already. I’m still in shock.)

    Ooh, and Happy Travels! (Poland sounds great!)

    Liked by 1 person

    • abookowlscorner says:

      Thanks, Moi! πŸ’™

      And OMG, yes, I’m so glad someone understands!! Tchaikovsky is epic, and playing his pieces is so much fun! We performed Romeo and Juliet two years ago, but Swan Lake is even more captivating, and I’m just so excited!! πŸ€—πŸ€©πŸ€—

      I’m also glad to hear my math book reviews are being appreciated πŸ˜‰ You guys asked for them, so of course, I couldn’t deprive you of this educational opportunity 😁 Though, okay, fine, I might also be looking forward to bringing you slightly different bookish content in November and December πŸ˜‚ (But yes, how is it the end of the year already??!)

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Jina Bazzar says:

    I’ve never before read any review for algebra books πŸ€”
    Still, no hard work goes unrewarded. I’m sure your thesis will be fine. Good luck. And, I didn’t know you were part of an orchestra band? group?

    Liked by 1 person

    • abookowlscorner says:

      I honestly don’t think most people are that interested in them, so maybe it’s not that surprising that you haven’t seen those algebra book reviews around… 🀣
      And yes, I’m part of my university’s symphony orchestra and a local choir! Nothing professional, but it’s a lot of fun and ensures that I actually do something other than math and reading in my free time πŸ˜‰
      And thank you! It’s good to know people out there believe in me πŸ’™

      Liked by 1 person

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