October 2019 Wrap-up

Hello everyone! I hope you all had a fun Halloween! It was super rainy and windy here, so a lot of trick or treating got cancelled and moved to tonight. I hope people will actually be out tonight since I am going to be dressing up and helping my friend Sarah @WindsorWrites hand out candy at her place.

Anyway, since October is officially over, it is time once again for the monthly stats!

  • 19 books read
  • 185 average pages per book

The average number of pages was lower this month than previous months since I ended up reading a lot of manga:

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As you can see, the vast majority of what I read in October was either manga or graphic novels. This was mostly because I picked up a bunch of manga due to Barnes & Nobel having a buy 2 get 1 free on Kodansha manga.

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Because most of what I read was manga, I didn’t end up re-reading any books in October. Every book I read last month was new to me. Kinda neat actually! Still, I do like to re-read my favorites.

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I read a surprising number of standalones…surprising because, again, most of what I read was manga, and most manga are part of a series.

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I was feeling the spookies last month, and finally started to read some more horror. Now I really need to get on with reading more New Weird (which was a goal I made for myself at the beginning of the year. So far, I have done abominably.)

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Lots of gender unknowns last month. Again, this was because I read a lot of manga, and some mangaka it is difficult to find any information about them online.

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No five star reads for me this month. The one N/A was for an anthology of old horror short stories. I had trouble rating it because each story I would have rated very differently. I could have done an average, but I feel that doesn’t give a great picture of what I actually thought.

Anyway, that’s it for October. Overall it was a pretty good month. I am just happy the cold weather has finally arrived.

Hocus Pocus Book Tag

“Oh look! Another glorious morning. I hate it.” My gosh I love this movie. Anyway, I was browsing my followed blogs here on WordPress, and I saw that Kristen @KristenKravesBook had done this tag. I wasn’t actually tagged, but I just can’t resist doing this book tag. Tis the season right?

Anyway, the Rules:

There are no rules. It’s YOUR blog. But it would be nice if you linked back to Never Not Reading (tag creator), and maybe the person who tagged you too. Share the love folks.

Feel free to use the GIFs used by Never Not Reading, the graphics made by Flavia the Bibliophile if you would like, both, or make and use your own visuals!

The Black Jewels Trilogy by Anne Bishop – This is probably my favorite trilogy of all time. You know how you have that world in your head that you disappear to when you need to not be in this world for a bit? Many people invent their own world, but many people also have a world based on well, a book. My interior world is built from this series. Technically, there are more than just three books based in this world, but these three were the original trilogy.

The Golden Compass by Philip Pullman – This one was kinda hard for me, because I don’t often read books with truly evil villains, whether male or female. I actually had to look up books with female villains! And to be honest, it has been so long since I read this series, that I am not really sure if Mrs. Coulter qualifies as truly evil. But I’ll just go with this answer.

One person that did pop into my head was Baru from The Traitor Baru Cormorant by Seth Dickinson. However, I didn’t think she qualified as truly evil. Maybe from the perspective of the other characters in the book she would seem truly evil, but since she is the protagonist, and we the readers see into her head and know her motivations, it is hard to call her truly evil. It is possible my opinion on that will change once I read the second book though.

Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling – I mean, this is the quintessential one right? What is truly uncanny about it is that it is a children’s book that attracts adults.

The Lightning-Struck Heart by T.J. Klune – Ok, so, you have to be careful with T.J. Klune books. He can have you laughing so hard you pee your pants on one page, and then emotionally rip out your heart on the next page. This is definitely the silliest of his books (so far), but I have heard later books in this series get very heart-rippy, and I am terrified to read further.

The Fall of Hyperion by Dan Simmons – Perhaps the first book in this series, Hyperion, would fit this prompt better, but a lot of the things people find pretentious about it, I actually thought was clever (the whole mimicking The Canterbury Tales thing….once I learned that each story also mimicked a different style of science fiction, that’s where it turned the corner for me from pretentious to cool). This book was also really excellent, at least up until the end where several things came to light that just made me roll my eyes.

An Unkindness of Ghosts by Rivers Solomon – This book pulls no punches

A Court of Thorns and Roses series by Sarah J. Maas – I DNFed the first book in this series and have no intention of ever picking it up again. I had major issues with it, and I don’t understand how anyone reading this book and noticing those same issue doesn’t find it deeply concerning. And yet, more and more books keep coming out for this series. According to Goodreads, there are 6 planned books I guess? I don’t know, I am just sick of hearing about this garbage.

Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck – This was a really hard prompt for me because I tend to read about evil genius (or just super genius) type characters because I love them so. So I went with a school read and picked Lennie Small from Of Mice and Men.

Nod by Adrian Barnes – There were meant to be two books after this one, but sadly the author passed away before he could write any more. I was left with so many questions in this book, and they will never be answered.

New Moon by Stephenie Meyer – I’m just gonna leave this here and run away and hide. Nah, just kidding. So, the first book of this series, was meh, lot’s of issues but whatever. This book was better. I don’t even remember what happens in three. And I DNFed book four. So, I guess what I’m trying to say is, if I had to read any of them again, it would be book 2. Is it still garbage? Yes. But sometimes a person just wants to read garbage. Is there better garbage out there? Sure, but there is also a lot worse garbage out there.

The 7½ Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle by Stuart Turton – I don’t even know what this prompt means. Doesn’t every book have a mind of it’s own? Like, what the heck prompt? Anyway, this one popped into mind (haha) for it’s uniqueness.

The Sandman: Preludes & Nocturnes by Neil Gaiman, Sam Kieth (Illustrator), Mike Dringenberg (Illustrator), Malcolm Jones III (Illustrator), Todd Klein (Letterer), Karen Berger (Introduction/Editor) – Technically, this is the first instance of meeting Neil Gaiman’s version of Lucifer Morningstar, but as the character then got his own spinoff comic series, as well as a TV show, I’m calling this a cameo. 

If you enjoyed this tag, please feel free to do one of your own! Specifically, I tag Emily @Embuhleeliest, Madi @TheMadiWay, and @allthingsmommablog.

Spoopy Memes Book Tag

Spoopy Memes Book Tag

Hello readers! I was tagged by my good friend Emily @Embuhleeliest. She actually created this book tag, and the banner above! I am very excited for this tag because I love Halloween and I find memes to be rather amusing.

Here are the rules:

  • If you’d like to do this tag, please link back to the original post so Emily can see your answers!
  • Feel free to use the banner above if you’d like, and I highly suggest you copy over the memes, as they give the questions context

Time to get spooky! What books will you be reading to celebrate this time of year?

The House of Salt and Sorrow by Erin A. Craig – I have actually already read this earlier this month. Didn’t really like it though. This was my Goodreads review:

** spoiler alert **The mystery, horror, and ghost parts of this book were really well done. The romance, however, was totally cheesy and the entire book would have been much more emotionally satisfying and poignant had Cassius remained dead. Instead the book perpetuates the “wish upon a star and your wish will come true” bullcrap. Yes, I realize it is a fairytale retelling and that there is a certain amount of magic within the world, however, even in fairytales the dead remain dead. It was painful for me reading the last 2-3 pages of this book, and I eventually had to go to bed and then force myself to read them the next morning. Ugh.

Another thing that bothered me was Annaleigh lost her old friend/onetime crush, semi-mentor, step-mother, father, and the man she was in love with all in the space of one day. I’m sorry but, no one would be “at peace” after just 7 months. Not after a day that horrific. Anyone who has suffered through even one traumatic death of a loved one will tell you the same.

Basically, the epilogue, though it had its good moments, ruined the entire book for me. I would have liked this book a lot more if the epilogue had just been about Annaleigh moving on with her life, learning to live with her loss, and appreciating the remaining family she had left.

2 Stars

I might attempt to read Monstress Vol. 4 and Vita Nostra this month. I say “attempt” because I have a giant backlog of books that I want to read but wasn’t able to in previous months because of readathons. So, I don’t know if I will actually get around to these this month hahaha.

Do you put up decorations for Halloween? If so, describe them! Even better, show them!

I don’t decorate at home, but I do decorate at work. This is what my team area looks like right now:

work halloween

I figure, I spend more awake hours at work than at home so I might as well decorate there. Though, someday it would be fun to have a boneyard theme going on at my house.

What is the scariest book you’ve ever read? What made it so scary?

Um…does the news count? While I do sometimes (very infrequently) read “scary” books, I don’t read books that I know will make me genuinely scared. I tend to not be able to sleep when that happens. I like sleep. Anyway, the news sure is terrifying these days though.

What’s the last book you read that truly shocked you, made your jaw drop, or made you chuck the book across the room?

I am really hard to shock when it comes to reading because I am really good at spotting foreshadowing and predicting plot. However….

The Left Hand of Darkness by Ursula K. Le Guin – I will never get over this book. I will never recover from the devastation.

Besides this book though, pretty much anything by T.J. Klune will guarantee to shock me at some point. I yell at his books a lot.

What’s a book that’s fallen out of the spotlight that you still really like and try get people to read?

Uh, I don’t often recommend books, but one book I read recently that I am jazzed for and think everyone and their mother should read is Ancillary Justice by Ann Leckie. It came out in 2013, and while I do see it recommended every once in a long while on r/Fantasy or something, I think it definitely still deserves to be in the spotlight.

Are you dressing up this year? If so, what as? If not, what would be your costume if you were?

I am dressing up as a steampunk sky pirate. I am using a bunch of pieces of various Renaissance Faire costumes.

What is your opinion on the word ‘spoopy’, and memes that follow its theme?

I think the word is silly but the memes are great!

If you liked this book tag, and want to do one of your own, consider yourself tagged!  Specifically, I tag: