Happy Halloween, all! 🎃👻🍂💀
October is coming to an end, and with that comes my usual monthly wrap-up. It’s been a pretty good month overall – this time of year is always beautiful when the leaves change, I’ve been baking lots of pumpkin goodies, and Halloween is one of my favorite holidays! Sad to see October go, but looking forward to things coming in November.
Reading-wise, October was really good! I read 12 books this month (pretty typical for me) with an average rating of 3.9 stars. That might not be my highest ever, but I did find some new favorites and had fun with most of the books I read. Plus, getting through some of the spooky books on my TBR (though not too spooky, because I’m a wimp) was a fun way to get into the Halloween spirit.
Now let’s get into this wrap-up!
Books I read
The Blacksmith Queen by G.A. Aiken ⭐️⭐️/5
I aggressively did not care about 90% of this book. It’s only been a month and I’ve already forgotten most of what happens. More thoughts in a mini review here.
Lair of Dreams by Libba Bray (Diviners #2) ⭐️⭐️⭐️/5
Continuing the Diviners series with plenty of ghosts, flappers, and mysterious happenings. More thoughts in a mini review here.
Before the Devil Breaks You by Libba Bray (Diviners #3) ⭐️⭐️⭐️/5
And I’ve now caught up with the Diviners series! Even though I didn’t love these last two books, I’m looking forward to the final one next year. More thoughts in a mini review here.
The Dreadful Tale of Prosper Redding by Alexandra Bracken ⭐️⭐️⭐️.5/5
A fun and spooky middle grade book about a demon and a family curse! This might not have been the most mind-blowing, but I still enjoyed reading it. More thoughts in a mini review here.
The Library Book by Susan Orlean ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️/5
This nonfiction book is about the Los Angeles Public Library, a fire that happened in the 1980s, and libraries in general. I learned a ton and found this so interesting! More thoughts in a mini review here.
Pumpkinheads by Rainbow Rowell & Faith Erin Hicks ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️/5
I only just managed to fit this one in last night, and thank goodness! This was the perfect graphic novel to read on the night before Halloween. More thoughts in an upcoming mini review!
The Stone Sky by N.K. Jemisin (The Broken Earth #3) ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️/5
With this, I finished the Broken Earth Trilogy at last. It broke my heart a little, but in a good way. More thoughts in a mini review here.
Tunnel of Bones by Victoria Schwab (Cassidy Blake #2) ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️.5/5
A wonderful sequel to one of my favorite middle grade books! Cass and Jacob are SUCH a fun pair to follow around and discover spooky cities alongside. I can’t wait for book 3! More thoughts in a mini review here.
The Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️.5/5
Wow, this book was stunning. I don’t usually read books in verse, but I’m so glad I gave this one a chance. More thoughts in a mini review here.
The Starless Sea by Erin Morgenstern ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
RELEASE DATE: Nov. 5
This book exceeded ALL expectations and blew me right away. I want to talk about it for hours at a time! My full review is here – I’m rather proud of this one, as I think it’s one of the better reviews that I’ve written.
Are You Listening? by Tillie Walden ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
Another incredible success by Tillie Walden, just when I thought she couldn’t get any better. This is easily one of my new favorite graphic novels. My full review is here.
The Raven King by Maggie Stiefvater (The Raven Cycle #4) ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
I finished my audiobook reread of The Raven Cycle and, as expected, it made me cry. Maggie Stiefvater really just knows how to twist around my heart, huh? Also, Call Down the Hawk can’t come quickly enough. (Only a few days left!!!) I did a full, spoiler-filled series review of The Raven Cycle, which you can read here.
🎃 Acquadimore Books talked about falling out of love with fantasy books, mentioning many of the things that I’ve been struggling with in fantasy recently too.
🎃 El @ Elated Books calculated how long it would take to ACTUALLY finish your TBR, and…looks like I’m just gonna have to spend the rest of my time reading, folks. 🤷♀️
🎃 Sophie @ Blame Chocolate recommended some spooky LGBT+ books for Halloween (or general autumn) reading.
🎃 Noémie @ tempest of books listed some upcoming 2020 debuts, which all look incredible!
🎃 Sha and Mandy @ Book Princess Reviews outlined how to live like a YA fantasy protagonist for a day, which made me realize how quickly I would die if I were in that situation. 😬
🎃 May @ Forever and Everly wrote a truly fantastic discussion about hypocrisy regarding the portrayal of “realistic” teens in YA.
🎃 Sophie @ Sophie’s Corner talked about how she outlined her novel for NaNoWriMo and provided lots of incredible outlining/writing tips and resources!
🎃 Emmie @ Another Night of Reading gave tips for reading more books, all of which I completely agree with!
🎃 Xandra @ Starry Sky Books talked about how YA is viewed by literary scholars, a topic near and dear to my heart, and she nailed it.
I finally watched the show that everyone has been talking about this year, and it was even better than I expected!
Fleabag essentially follows a woman in London trying to live her life, focusing on her family, relationships, and grief. Somehow, it manages to be both hilarious and utterly heartbreaking. It was so brilliant that as soon as I finished (those two seasons go by too quickly!) I went right back to the beginning and watched it all again. Phoebe Waller-Bridge could murder me and I’d probably thank her.
Meeting Leigh Bardugo and Madeline Miller
This October, I got to meet not one but two authors that I love! Both Leigh Bardugo and Madeline Miller had events near me, so I was lucky enough to see both of them speak and get books signed.
Leigh Bardugo’s event was probably the biggest single-author event I’ve ever been to – I waited in the signing line for over an hour! It was incredible to hear her speak, both about Ninth House and her Grisha books. She even talked a bit about the upcoming Netflix show and I’m even more excited than ever. This was actually my second time meeting her, believe it or not, and hopefully not the last.
I was definitely one of the youngest people at the Madeline Miller event (lots of white hair!), but it was so cool to hear her speak, since she’s clearly so passionate about the classics and the stories she tells. I would have happily listened to her talk about The Odyssey for another five hours! Then I got my copy of The Song of Achilles signed and had her write the first line of The Iliad in it (“Sing, goddess, of the destructive rage of Achilles”) so that’s something I’m going to treasure forever.
Finishing my WIP
I already wrote a whole post about this, but I thought it was worth mentioning that I finished the first draft of the WIP I’ve been working on since early this year!
As I talked about in that post, this project still has a lot of work left, but it feels good to actually have the entire story more or less written. For the moment, I’m going to be taking a break from this one to do National Novel Writing Month (more on that in the aforementioned post).
Seeing a Pride and Prejudice musical
If there are two things that I love, they are Pride & Prejudice and musicals. (Okay, there are a lot of other things, but those are some of the top.) If you put those two together, you’ve already got a recipe for success in my mind.
This month, I got to see Austen’s Pride, a musical adaptation of Pride & Prejudice in Seattle, and it was spectacular! I already love this story and its characters, so seeing them singing and dancing around a stage was just an added level of awesomeness. The costumes, the choreography, and the story itself were absolute perfection.
Me: I’m not going to put too many books on my November TBR because I need to concentrate on NaNoWriMo.
Also me: checks out like 50 books from the library and wants to read them all at once.
This is fine. 🙃
- Call Down the Hawk by Maggie Stiefvater (release: Nov. 5)
- Lovely War by Julie Berry
- Now Entering Addamsville by Francesca Zappia
- Pride, Prejudice, and Other Flavors by Sonali Dev
- In Other Lands by Sarah Rees Brennan
- Well Met by Jen DeLuca
- The Little Stranger by Sarah Waters
- Ninth House by Leigh Bardugo
How was your reading in October? Did you read any spooky books? What are you planning to read in November?