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I Read 11 Books in October | Monthly Wrap Up

Anyone else feel like October just flew by?! I can’t believe it. To those who participated in Blogtober, I hope it was a successful & fun month! I’m so happy I decided not to post daily this time around. Life has became too hectic for daily posting. On the other hand, I did manage to read 11 books this month! Like – how?! 10 physical books & one audiobook! And I also surpassed my yearly reading goal of 50 books! Before I begin this wrap up, I wanted to answer a frequently asked book related question – “how do I find the time to read so many books? I’m lucky to say I’m a relatively fast reader [ and the more i read – the faster i become ]. Also, I have revamped my routines to make reading more of a priority. My husband & I both have been reading pretty much every evening for the past 6 months. We find it relaxing & our way to unwind. Lately, we’ve been adding a bit of ambience by playing rain sounds with fall scenery on the TV. Highly recommend if you are trying to romanticize the autumn season. Regardless how many books you read a month, just picking up a book & finding something that helps you escape reality / expand your thoughts is something to be proud of. And I hope these wrap ups have sparked your interest in reading & inspired you to add a few to your TBR [ to be read ] lists. Let’s get into the wrap up…

Dark Age by Pierce Brown

I actually started this book at the end of September but completed it the first week of October. My husband actually recommended this series to me a few months back & I was pretty hesitant about it. Sci-fi / dystopian novels aren’t usually my thing. But he bated me by saying the series was like a combination of Hunger Games, Game of Thrones, Star Wars & Lord of the Flies all wrapped up in one – & so I read the first book back in May. And next thing you know, in the span of a few months I read the entire trilogy as well as the two books of his latest installment [ which takes place 10 years after the first 3 books ]. Dark Age in particular is the darkest & most gruesome of Pierce Brown’s books [ hence the title] . But don’t let that deter you away. These books are filled with so much action, a little bit of slow burn romance & very fast paced. Another thing I appreciate with this entire series is the shock value. I usually see twists from a mile away. But PB writes in such a way that made me so surprised! Be sure to check out my bookstagram reel on this series! ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Reminders of Him by Colleen Hoover

I told myself I wanted to read more Colleen Hoover books before I make a final cohesive rating of her as an author. And Reminders of Him has been on my bookshelf for months. And a lot of people considered this one their favorites. For me, I was very enticed by the plot – a mother released from prison who dreams of rekindling her relationship with her 5 year old daughter. It’s a small town “second chance romance” if the second chance is your deceased boyfriend’s best friend. There was a lot of potential with this one but the “twist” fell flat & the entire book although it had beautiful quotes, felt like a lifetime movie [ which isn’t my favorite ] . When it got to the ending, I was kind of expecting more of a dramatic & life altering conclusion. And for me, it was very predicable. ⭐️⭐️⭐️

Home Before Dark by Riley Sager

Of course, I had to read a spooky novel this month for Halloween. This was my first Riley Sager book [ & it certainly won’t be my last ]. This was the perfect haunted house / ghost story trope. And the premise was so interesting with the past & present POV’s. I was very much entertained the entire time & a little spooked out at parts [ not going to lie]. This tells the story of Maggie – who’s father [ who recently passed ] wrote a book about their experience in this victorian home. 25 years later, Maggie has returned to the home to find out the truth & whether her father’s book was all fiction or perhaps a bit more. This screams very much Amittyville Horror vibes if you’ve seen that movie. I can’t wait to read more of his books in the future. Be sure to check out my bookstagram for an even deeper inside look of this novel. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️✨

Crown of Midnight by Sarah J. Maas

So, last month I finally started the first book of the Throne of Glass series – & I of course had to continue this month with the second installment. Once I finished the ACOTAR [ A Court of Thorns & Roses] series over the summer, I was craving another one of SLM’s books. Once again, I was thoroughly entertained & was immersed back into the world of fantasy with this read. I think I got a better understanding of the main character, Celeana. And we are introduced to a few new characters while also adding a hint of romance. Check out my bookstagram for more details about this read. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Stranger in the House by Shari Lapena

This is where things went a little downhill. But you can’t always read an amazing book, right? I bought this book because a few booktubers recommended it & I thought it would be the perfect short [ under 300 pages] thriller I needed in between those thick fantasies. I almost DNFed [ did not finish ] this book because it was just simply- boring. I saw the twists from a mile away & I find the amnesia tropes to be so overdone within the thriller/ mystery genres. Be sure to check out my full unhinged review on my bookstagram. ⭐️⭐️

Love in The Time of Serial Killers by Alicia Thompson

This is a perfect example of “don’t trust a book by a pretty cover.” What I thought was going to be a lighthearted spooky / true crime rom com ended up being a fairly deep story about a girl who returns to sell her deceased father’s home. She is a PhD student writing her dissertation on true crime / serial killers & quickly becomes convinced her neighbor is a serial killer himself. I found this story to be all over the place. Although it touched on many tough topics of grief, divorce, family dynamics, suicide, broken friendships & mental health – it also felt like a cringe spicy fan fiction. Phoebe & Sam’s romance was spicy but also very cringe. Some of the dialogue made me go 😬. And like most cheesy rom coms, the story was very predictable. Overall, I feel like some people would enjoy this for the lighthearted smut & see it as a good filler read – which is why I give it a solid 3 stars. Check out my bookstagram review.⭐️⭐️⭐️

Confess by Colleen Hoover

I warned you this was going to be a CoHo month – & so I decided to listen to the audiobook for this one. And once again, like Reminders of Him – this one felt the same. I will say, I find the premise of painting a person’s confessions so interesting. And the fact CoHo shared true confessions from fellow readers bumped up the rating for me. In general, I felt the romance between Auburn & Owen was good [ a mysterious artist with a bit of spice ]. I just felt like the twists weren’t that surprising & I’m personally not the hugest fan of the insta love trope. I want a romance that is a little more believable than that, you know? I also watched the tv series which made it slightly better but also kind of cringe. Have you read this one? ⭐️⭐️⭐️

Circe by Madeline Miller

I was excited to read Circe because I absolutely adored her other greek mythology novel, The Song of Achilles that I read back in May. I felt this book was perfect for spooky season because of her magical witchy tendencies. While some aspects of the story was rather dry, I think Madeline Miller writes these retellings so beautifully where you can feel all the emotions. For a literary fiction, I think her’s are worth reading because you learn something but also get the taste of a meaningful story. From her relationship with her sister, to finding love – I thought this was another well done read & I give it a solid four stars. If I were to compare the two though, I still think Song of Achilles is her best novel. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Heir of Fire by Sarah J. Maas

This was probably my favorite book of the Throne of Glass series so far! This is the 3rd installment of the series. The story is finally growing more & more. And I absolutely loved the multiple POV’s & getting a glimpse of more characters. This was such a wild ride – especially towards the last few chapters. Rowan, ( one of the newest characters) is chef’s kiss. I knew this character was going to be in the books [ thanks to booktok spoilers] but people are so right to be obsessed with this character. And introducing more of the witch clans made it the perfect read for spooky season. It felt very much like Game of Thrones in some parts with witches riding on wyverns [ dragons] & I became enthralled with the world – per usual. SJM seriously knows how to write a fantasy story. Here’s my bookstragram take on the book. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️👏🏻

Assassins Blade by Sarah J. Maas

I finally finished this novella since I DNFed it last month. The thing about this book was determining when was the right time to read this & fully appreciate the story since it’s a prequel / novella. You can read it before Throne of Glass , after Crown of Midnight or after Heir of Fire. So many decisions! I decided to choose the romantic reading order [ after Heir of Fire] , I pretty much knew what was going to happen. But I’m happy that I can move onto the rest of the series knowing Caleana’s backstory. Overall, this story – especially the ending, was heartbreaking. IYKYK. I may re – read this once I’m finished with the entire series just to see if I appreciate it even more. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

It Starts With Us by Colleen Hoover

Let me just say, this was a highly anticipated read this month [ for a lot of us it seems ] . And although CoHo sheds light on domestic violence & the struggles of leaving a situation / relationship such as this one – this book made me so angry & frustrated. Yes, I love Atlas & Lily. A childhood friends to lovers / second chance romance is my cup of tea. But so many aspects of the story just pissed me off. And you would think if a book made me this emotionally charged, I would give it a higher rating. No. Lily deserves all the happiness in the world & to live the life she wishes. She should be with whoever she wants. No man ( especially a man who is violent towards her) should have a say. Period. Along with this, I just felt like the book was choppy & the ending seemed rushed. A lot of people pin this as a drawn out epilogue – & I fully agree. CoHo never really intended to make a second installment after It Ends With Us & so this was merely for the fans [ as she states in the thank you in the beginning of the book ]. I was discussing this book with a few bookstagrammers & I totally agree the twist with Atlas was very profound – especially the part where they state the title “it starts with us” IYKYK. Check out this bookstagram reel of me receiving the book on release day! Also, I did a mini review on there here. ⭐️⭐️⭐️

It’s hard to say if I’ll read this many books or more in the future – but we shall see! Reading has became my favorite activity & I just love immersing myself into the community. I’ve created a Good Reads account where you can keep up with my reading challenge & what I’m reading in real time. And again, if you aren’t already – be sure to follow me on my Bookstagram. I’ve been loving connecting with other book lovers on there, making fun reels & sharing reviews. I hope you’ve been enjoying my book content on the blog. I still plan to share tons of decluttering posts & intentional living discussions especially with the holiday season approaching. In the comments, let me know what your favorite books were this month!

-B

books, Uncategorized

The Fall Bucket List Book Tag

I want to thank HerDigitalCoffee for tagging me in this fall inspired book tag! What a wonderful way to embrace the autumn season & discuss my favorite hobby. Be sure to check out her Fall Bucket List Book Tag if you haven’t already.

Rules:
  1. Link back to the original creator in your post
  2. Feel free to use any of these graphics in your post, or create your own.
  3. Tag 7 people at the end of your post and let them know you’ve tagged them

Before The Coffee Gets Cold is a short fable about a chair in a coffee shop that allows you to travel back in time. I have this on my fall TBR & can’t wait to read it. Whenever I think about fall, I picture coffee shops, warm beverages & chilly weather.

I’ve seen Love in The Time of Serial Killers all over booktok & Instagram because the cover is just iconic for spooky season. I haven’t yet read this one but have this on my October TBR, so I’ll let you all know my verdict in my October Reading Wrap Up.

I decided to choose the Halloween classic – It by Stephen King because although this is a story about a killer clown – it always showcases the friendship of a group of kids in the 80’s. [ very Stranger Things esque ]. A warning to the wise is that this book is long! [ 1,000 pages ]

This is a Kindle Unlimited find that sounds perfect for Halloween / fall season. It’s a suspenseful mystery with hints of culinary wonder – a cute town [ in winter ] with shops of spice & pumpkins galore.

A talented “chef” of magic spells [ because I couldn’t think of a book with an actual chef. LOL I’ve heard great things about this mystical trilogy & actually watched the tv show in August. It tells the story about a professor with witchy powers & tries to find the meaning of The Book of Life.

I’m choosing Rock Paper Scissors by Alice Feeney because it’s a 5 star thriller read in my opinion. I rarely give thrillers 5 stars, so I jumped for joy because I didn’t see the twists & turns at all. To the point where I wanted to re-read the book once I understood the truth.

Flourish With Rose

The Comfy Reader

Books With Bunny

All Things Gee

Heidi And Her Books

Beauty of Cafe

Of Glasgow Girl

-B

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blogtober, books

22 Books To Read This Fall

With spooky season quickly approaching – I figured it was the perfect time to share a list of thrillers, mysteries & eery page turners for the months ahead. A few I have read & 100 percent recommend, while others on this fall’s TBR. Be sure to check out this reel for a few extra fall reads. Here are books to read this fall season:

In My Dreams I Hold a Knife by Ashley Winstead

Synopsis: Six friends.
One college reunion.
One unsolved murder.

Ten years after graduation, Jessica Miller has planned her triumphant return to her southern, elite Duquette University, down to the envious whispers that are sure to follow in her wake. Everyone is going to see the girl she wants them to see—confident, beautiful, indifferent. Not the girl she was when she left campus, back when Heather Shelby’s murder fractured everything, including the tight bond linking the six friends she’d been closest to since freshman year.
But not everyone is ready to move on. Not everyone left Duquette ten years ago, and not everyone can let Heather’s murder go unsolved. Someone is determined to trap the real killer, to make the guilty pay. When the six friends are reunited, they will be forced to confront what happened that night—and the years’ worth of secrets each of them would do anything to keep hidden.

Verity [ Collector’s Edition ] by Colleen Hoover

Synopsis: Lowen Ashleigh is a struggling writer on the brink of financial ruin when she accepts the job offer of a lifetime. Jeremy Crawford, husband of bestselling author Verity Crawford, has hired Lowen to complete the remaining books in a successful series his injured wife is unable to finish. * exclusive new chapter included* check out my bookstagram reel

The Kiss Curse by Erin Sterling

Synopsis: Gwyn Jones is perfectly happy with her life in Graves Glen. She, her mom, and her cousin have formed a new and powerful coven; she’s running a successful witchcraft shop, Something Wicked; and she’s started mentoring some of the younger witches in town.

Payback’s A Witch by Lana Harper

Synopsis: Set during October in a witchy Midwestern town, it focuses around three female witches who were all hurt by the same man, also a witch, and who now want to get their revenge by ensuring he doesn’t win the tournament that determines which family gets a magical boost.

Our Crooked Hearts by Melissa Albert

Synopsis: Our Crooked Hearts follows seventeen-year-old Ivy in the present day as encounters a stranger on a road in the middle of the night. This mystery triggers a series of strange events, leading her to question everything around her mother and their relationship.

A Stranger in The House by Shari Lapena

Synopsis: Karen Krupp is left with a bad concussion after crashing her car into a pole while fleeing from an abandoned restaurant in a sketchy neighbourhood in a town in upstate New York. She claims she has no memory of what happened, and her doctors acknowledge that this could happen, but add that she might regain her memory. check out my bookstragram review

The Dead Romantics by Ashley Poston

Synopsis: When her new editor, a too-handsome mountain of a man, won’t give her an extension on her book deadline, Florence prepares to kiss her career goodbye. But then she gets a phone call she never wanted to receive, and she must return home for the first time in a decade to help her family bury her beloved father.

The Golden Couple by Greer Hendricks & Sarah Pekkanen

Synopsis: Wealthy Washington suburbanites Marissa and Matthew Bishop seem to have it all—until Marissa is unfaithful. Beneath their veneer of perfection is a relationship riven by work and a lack of intimacy. She wants to repair things for the sake of their eight-year-old son and because she loves her husband.

Rock Paper Scissors by Alice Feeney

Synopsis: It’s a “dark and twisted love story about a man who writes a letter to his wife every year on their anniversary, even after she dies”. (The book is interspersed with letters that written to Adam on their anniversary, but never given to him, inspired by his Rock Paper Scissors screenplay.) check my bookstagram post

If It Bleeds by Stephen King

Synopsis: If it Bleeds is a collection of four unrelated novellas. The first two, Mr. Harrigan’s Phone and The Life of Chuck, both deal with characters approaching the end of their lives. The third story, the titular If It Bleeds, is basically a mini-sequel to The Outsider with Holly Gibney as the main character. The last one, Rat, is about a writer who strikes a Faustian bargain in order to write a novel.

Love in the Time of Serial Killers by Alicia Thompson

Synopsis:  Turns out that reading nothing but true crime isn’t exactly conducive to modern dating—and one woman is going to have to learn how to give love a chance when she’s used to suspecting the worst. PhD candidate Phoebe Walsh has always been obsessed with true crime.

Home Before Dark by Riley Sager

Synopsis: Alternating between Maggie’s uneasy homecoming and chapters from her father’s book, Home Before Dark is the story of a house with long-buried secrets and a woman’s quest to uncover them—even if the truth is far more terrifying than any haunting. check out my bookstagram review

The House Across The Lake by Riley Sager

Synopsis: When Katherine suddenly vanishes, Casey becomes consumed with finding out what happened to her. In the process, she uncovers eerie, darker truths that turn a tale of voyeurism and suspicion into a story of guilt, obsession and how looks can be very deceiving.

Horrid by Katrina Leno

Synopsis: As the cold New England autumn arrives, and Jane settles in to her new home, she finds solace in old books and memories of her dad. She steadily begins making new friends, but also faces bullying from the resident “bad seed,” struggling to tamp down her own worst nature in response.

Killers of a Certain Age by Deanna Raybourn

Synopsis: Older women often feel invisible, but sometimes that’s their secret weapon. They’ve spent their lives as the deadliest assassins in a clandestine international organization, but now that they’re sixty years old, four women friends can’t just retire – it’s kill or be killed in this action-packed thriller.

Ghost Story by Peter Straub

Synopsis: In life, not every sin goes unpunished. For four aging men in the terror-stricken town of Milburn, New York, an act inadvertently carried out in their youth has come back to haunt them. Now they are about to learn what happens to those who believe they can bury the past — and get away with murder.

Sign Here by Claudia Lux

Synopsis: A darkly humorous, surprisingly poignant, and utterly gripping debut novel about a guy who works in Hell (literally) and is on the cusp of a big promotion if only he can get one more member of the wealthy Harrison family to sell their soul.

A Flicker in the Dark by Stacey Willingham

Synopsis: When Chloe Davis was twelve, six teenage girls went missing in her small Louisiana town. By the end of the summer, her own father had confessed to the crimes and was put away for life, leaving Chloe and the rest of her family to grapple with the truth and try to move forward while dealing with the aftermath.

Haunting Adeline by H.D Carlton

Synopsis: Adeline is a writer who moves into her grandmothers house a year after her passing. It’s a creepy old house that hides the story of her great grandmothers murder. Adeline finds her great grandmother’s diaries and finds out that her great grandmother not only had a stalker but had a sordid affair with him.

Insomnia by Sarah Pinborough

Synopsis: In this twisty, paranoia-inducing tale, a woman anxiously awaits her 40th birthday—but not for the reason you might think. When Emma’s mother turned 40, she lost her mind…and now, as Emma’s own 40th birthday approaches, she begins to fear the very same thing might be happening to her.

Long Live The Pumpkin Queen by Shea Ernshaw

Synopsis: Jack and Sally are “truly meant to be” … or are they? Sally Skellington is the official, newly-minted Pumpkin Queen after a whirlwind courtship with her true love, Jack, who Sally adores with every inch of her fabric seams — if only she could say the same for her new role as Queen of Halloween Town. 

It Starts With Us By Colleen Hoover

An extra book to the list for those who aren’t into spooky season. Coming in October…

Synopsis: Before It Ends with Us, it started with Atlas. Colleen Hoover tells fan favorite Atlas’s side of the story and shares what comes next in this long-anticipated sequel to the “glorious and touching” (USA TODAY) #1 New York Times bestseller It Ends with Us.

Let me know which books you plan to read during the fall season. I’m always looking to add more to my TBR & don’t forget to follow me on bookstagram if you haven’t already.

-B