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. 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*

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.

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.)

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.

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.

-B

Lifestyle

August WrapUp: Birthdays, Books & Getting My Life Together

I can’t believe we are wrapping up another month. I’m another year older, having turned 31 on the 9th & I’ve been trying my best to live more in the moment & enjoy the simpler things. This summer has been a time of healing & rest due to the sudden burst of grief after my wedding. Planning a wedding right after my dad passed away was one of the hardest things I’ve ever done. They say not to do anything huge the first year of grief, but I went a head & went full force into wedding planning mode. So, now I’ve been playing catch up & focusing on my own wellbeing these last few months. But I’ve also managed to incorporate tons of fun before the summer comes to a close. I want to thank LifeWithDeanna for inspiring me to write this blog post & start my own version of monthly wrap ups. If you haven’t checked out her content / blog please give her posts a read! She’s been one of my favorite bloggers at the moment!

What’s Been Fun This Month…

Towards the end of July, Todd & I went to a lantern festival in the city. Although it’s not an August highlight – I wanted to mention it because it was a wonderful experience that I highly recommend. When you arrive – you are given your own lantern to decorate. You are encouraged to draw any future wishes, past remembrances or anything that defines you. Once the sun went down – hundreds of us let our lit lanterns go into the water & watch them float. Be sure to check out my reel on the lantern festival here for a more in-depth look.

For my birthday, Todd & I ventured to St. Michaels on the Eastern Shore the weekend before & ate lunch by the water. It was a rather hot one thanks to the continuous heat wave, but we cooled down by walking through some of the town shops & I took a slice of Smith Island cake to go.

And on my actual birthday, we met up with my mom & brother for dinner at Glory Days [ they have the best burger sliders ] & I got a free ice cream sundae. It was a much needed low key celebration & I was so glad we could all celebrate together as a family. Although, I’ve been spending lots of “me time” this summer for healing – I’ve chosen to lean on these two for most of my support along with my husband of course. I’ve learned it’s better to have a small group of supporters instead of tons.

On a separate note, if you are interested – I can share my thoughts on grief & how the process has been from my personal experience in a blog post.

My favorite birthday gift hands down were these custom book jackets from the brand Nerdy Ink. We all know how much I love the A Court of Thorns & Roses series! And these new covers are so beautiful on my new bookshelf.

For those who aren’t familiar with the state of Maryland – we are known for our steamed crabs [ especially during the summer ]. We enjoyed a weekend pool party / crab feast. It was fun because we literally knew one person [ but were able to meet tons of new people ]. We all sat around a long table, picked crabs & told the funniest stories. We ended the evening with a bonfire & roasting marshmallows.

Towards the end of the month, we celebrated my brother’s birthday in Annapolis. I surprised him with a Better Call Saul law school sweatshirt. All three of us – my husband, my brother & I are huge fans of that show & are so sad season 6 was their final season. Have you watched it?

find this on etsy

What I’ve Been Loving…

It’s been a long time coming but my books are no longer stored on the floor of my office. I finally have a proper bookshelf & I’m obsessed with it! Here it is >> my bookshelf . It’s already filled with tons of books [ many that still need to be read ]. I’m especially looking forward to starting the Throne of Glass series soon! * update – I have started Throne of Glass & am 20 chapters in! – fantasy is officially my favorite genre *

I’ve been creating more of a capsule wardrobe & decluttering / replacing a few clothing pieces. I updated my shorts with a few pairs of Levi 501’s & they are the best fitting shorts I’ve ever owned. I bought two pairs of blue denim as well as a white pair. If you are interested in seeing my fall capsule wardrobe in a blog post, let me know in the comments.

What I’ve Been Reading…

After finishing ACOTAR at the end of July – I was in a bit of a reading slump until I discovered a series my husband recommended which is the Red Rising trilogy. I talked about the first book in my July reading wrap up.

This month I read:

Golden Son by Pierce Brown: the second book to the Red Rising trilogy. This one is my favorite because of the epic ending! Wow – I couldn’t stop reading this fast paced sci fi action novel. Highly recommend.

Morning Star by Pierce Brown: the final book to the Red Rising trilogy. Epic action just like the other two, great character building & a shocking ending.

Book Lovers by Emily Henry: I have a bit of an unpopular opinion about this book. I don’t think I’m the biggest fan of this author. Although I did enjoy People We Meet on Vacation as a lighthearted summer read – I just don’t enjoy her writing & find the story lines to be a bit cheesy. Sorry not sorry.
Malibu Rising by Taylor Jenkins Reid: if she writes it, I’m going to read it. I loved this summer read based in one of my favorite places – Malibu, California. It tells the story of the Riva Family & the past POV of their parents. I loved following the character growth between each kid, their backstories & how the past & present can repeat itself. This has gotten me excited to read TJR’s newest release, Carrie Soto Is Back which is dropping this month.
Flock by Kate Stewart: I’ve seen the Ravenhood series all over social media & I basically went in blind. I had no idea what this story even was about & quite honestly – I’m still a little confused. But I’ve heard the second book Exodus is way better. This is a nice summer filler read with tons of spice. 🌶🌶🌶🌶 So, I’m not mad about that at all. If you are into morally grey love triangles, this book is for you.
The Golden Couple by Greer Hendricks & Sarah Pekkanen: I’ve had this book on my shelves for months & I was in the mood for a thriller since fall is approaching. And honestly, this was an extreme let down for me. It started out strong but immediately became anticlimactic & predictable. And the ending just fell flat. I’m wondering if some of their other books are better?

What I’ve Been Watching…

Pretty Little Liars: Original Sin: I’ve actually never seen Pretty Little Liars before this spin off [ don’t come for me ]. But I’m loving this spooky mystery that airs every Thursday on HBO Max.

Love Island UK: My husband & I loved watching the newest season of Love Island UK. I was a huge Ekin Su fan. The US has their own version, but the accents and “banter” of this version drew us in. So entertaining! Hulu has all the seasons available. Which past season should we watch next? Because after following these couples for 60 episodes, I’m missing them like crazy!

A Discovery of Witches: I believe this series is based on a book trilogy. We decided to watch this after doing a bit of research on Reddit & I’m obsessed with it! Any show that has witches, vampires & demons- I’m all for it! And I felt like it would be perfect with spooky season approaching.

What I’ve Accomplished…

Mind Beauty Simplicity’s views have skyrocketed this month after publishing a collaboration with a few other minimalist creators in the community. If you haven’t checked out that post yet, click here. In this collaboration, content creators who live the less is more lifestyle shared their reason for living this way. It’s a fascinating read & hope it inspires more people to downsize their lives a little more. I’m excited to announce this post was mentioned in Courtney Carver’s weekend favorites series on her blog. Be sure to check that post out here.

I’ve also been into creating reels on Instagram. As we know, the algorithm on this platform is rather finicky at times. But I’ve managed to reach almost 50k views on some of them! I’ve been trying to change up my mindset with this platform & just having fun with it connecting with other creators. All in all, I don’t expect tons of growth with this platform, but it’s something I want to maintain to built friendships with other minimalists & creative souls in the community.

What I Want To Work On…

I want to work on being more present & limit my screen time even more than I already do. I’ve been reading a lot more to combat that screen time which I share in this blog post here. My husband & I both will spend a few hours every evening reading together. We turn on a vibey screen saver on Youtube [ like rain or a cozy cabin ] & just enjoy each other’s company. I also hope to read a few more books in the months ahead with the weather getting colder.

I also want to practice having more gratitude & not let other people’s opinions affect my behavior. I’ve been embracing the power of my alone time & enjoying my own company. It’s been the best form of healing during this phase in my life. Although I enjoy time with others – I also need time to recharge & prioritize myself. In the past – I would always put other people’s needs before my own & I want to change that some moving forward.

What I’m Looking Forward To…

I’m obviously looking forward to the Halloween season & honestly – the cooler weather! I’m so tired of this heat. I’ve purchased a few fall decor items already & can’t wait to decorate our house soon!

We do plan to go to the beach for one more weekend [ Labor Day weekend ] before the summer ends to celebrate our 8 year dating anniversary. We’ve only been to our local beach town once this summer [ which is quite different for us ]. And with this heat, the only place to really go to cool off is the beach in my opinion!

We also have a few weddings to attend this fall which is exciting – one in Virginia & another in Pennsylvania. 2022 has been the year for weddings! If you haven’t already, be sure to check out my wedding series.

I hope you had an amazing month in August. Feel free to share what you’ve been up to & what you’ve been loving lately in the comments. Here’s to a new month of possibilities! Let me know if you enjoyed this style of blog post & if I should continue it.

-B