Reading, Reading Wrap Ups

October 2020 Reading Wrap Up

Hello Lovely Readers! It is that time of month again already. The time when we look at all the books I managed to read in October.

Can I tell you a secret? I had this entire post written and ready to be edited and then my computer crashed. And somehow I lost the entire thing… So now I am going to attempt to recreate what I had written in time to still go live on Thursday. If you’re seeing this, you’ll know if I succeeded, and I hope the future is treating you well.

Overall, October was a mediocre reading month for me. I managed to make progress on my fall goals, and I read a number of Halloween themed books, but even though I enjoyed most of what I read, and nothing was really terrible (with the possible exception of one DNF), the whole month just felt a bit “meh.” I’ll have to see if there’s anything I can change up to make November feel more successful.

Speaking of changes… When I started these posts back in the spring, I mentioned that I wasn’t sure how long I would continue with this format of posts. In that time, I have found that, while I enjoy writing wrap ups, I also am not completely sure if I love the format for me.

Personally, I enjoy reading and watching other people’s wrap ups. But while I enjoy traditional wrap ups from some of my favourite creators, I also love ones that twist up the format. Some of my favourite wrap ups are the “Balancing the Books” videos Emma from @drinkingbymyshelf. Just the slight twist of needing to see how many books went on and off her TBR makes the videos unique and interesting, even if she doesn’t do a full wrap up for each book. I am also a fan of other TBRs or Wrap ups that incorporate some form of game.

All that to say that I am considering a change. And while I am thinking about what I want to do going forward, I am curious about what types of posts you prefer. Do you enjoy reading wrap up posts – either traditional or with a twist? Or would you prefer more in depth book talks instead of the short blurbs I give in wrap ups? I would love to hear your thoughts in the comments!

Now, on to this month’s books! I read a total of 6 books in October, I got part way through one other, and I DNF’d 1. I read 3 audiobooks and 3 e-books. The DNF was the only physical book I picked up. My favourite read of the month was Dead Beat and my least favourite was Candy Corn Murder. Now on to the blurbs.

1. Serious Moonlight by Jenn Bennett – 3.5 stars

This is a YA contemporary, and it is the second Jenn Bennett novel that I have read. Though I didn’t enjoy it quite as much as Alex, Approximately, I did have a lot of fun reading it. In particular, I enjoyed the mystery aspect of the story. I liked how the main character was a mystery aficionado, and how her love interest worked with that to spend time with her. As someone who also loves mysteries, I thought it added a fun twist to the typical romance plot line.

2. Dead Beat by Jim Butcher – 4 stars

This was the next book in line as I work my way through the Dresden Files series, and I could not have planned the timing better if I tried. This book took place at Halloween, and the main case involved necromancers and Zombies. It was the perfect read at this time of month and I think that the atmosphere added to my enjoyment of the story. That and all the parts that made me literally laugh out loud.

3. The Spook in the Stacks by Eva Gates 3.5 stars

This is the first book I have read in the Lighthouse Library series, though it is not the first book in the series. Though there is a good amount of suspended disbelief required for the premise (there is no way that you can fit a library, a rare book room, and a small apartment into a library), I really loved it and am excited to read more in this series. I know that it’s not possible, but I want a small apartment in a lighthouse library, doesn’t that sound perfect? I Will definitely be picking up more in this series.

4. Proven Guilty by Jim Butcher 4 stars

Since I enjoyed reading Dead Beat so much this month, I jumped right into the next book in the series, so it was a two Dresden Files month. This book also ended up being perfect for October, as it featured supernatural monsters disguised as horror movie monsters. I didn’t enjoy this one quite as much as Dead Beat but I still had a lot of fun reading it. I especially liked how this book integrated a number of the recurring characters from previous books and I am excited to see how some of the new developments unfold in the upcoming books.

5. Made for Us by Samantha Chase 3.5 stars

This is the first book in The Shaughnessy Brothers contemporary romance series. This wasn’t my favourite book by Samantha Chase, but it was a solid and enjoyable read. I really liked both the main characters as well as the side characters, who I know will get their own books as the series progresses. This book was exactly what I was looking for when I picked it up. One of the things that I love about Chase’s romances is how she develops the relationship between the main characters and how there’s the perfect amount of tension and steaminess for me. Not too hot, not too cold.

6. Candy Corn Murder by Leslie Meier – 3 stars

I think that this completes my reading of Meier’s Halloween themed Lucy Stone novels. Chronologically, this one falls between the previous two that I read, and I would say that my overall enjoyment of it fits right in between those two as well. Particularly my enjoyment of Lucy. This book supports my theory that Lucy gets less irritating as the series goes on. My main complaint was that there was too much lead up to the murder and then not enough tension or intricacy between the discovery of the body and the revelation of the murderer. The way that Meiers went back and forth between the past and the present had such potential, but in my opinion it didn’t tie together as well as it could have. Will I continue reading this series? Probably. But if you know of another author that writes seasonally themed mysteries, I would love to check out your recommendations.

DNF The Beautiful by Renee Ahdieh

I wanted so badly to enjoy this book, but I just couldn’t get into it. On the surface, it had everything I was looking for. Vampires. Murder. Atmosphere. Romance (I’m assuming?). But it was so boring. I read about the first 130 pages and I just kept wondering when I would get drawn in, and that’s not because there was no action. There were 2 or maybe 3 murders in that time, and we were introduced to what I am fairly certain is a secret society of supernatural or magic beings. All of this should be highly engaging! And yet, I had no problem returning the book to the library when my loan expired. So what I would like to know from you is this. If I am feeling this way 130 pages in, is it worth it for me to borrow it again and push through? Does it get better? If you have read this book, let me know your opinions – either yes it’s worth it, or no let it go – in the comments.

And now for a new feature… the November Preview!

You might have noticed that I don’t post TBRS unless it’s for a specific read-a-thon or challenge. I am the worst at sticking to them, and I don’t see the point in posting something that is at best a rough guideline of what I think I might read that month. BUT I am tossing around the idea of including a preview of what I’m thinking of reading in the next month. So, here we go.

In November I am continuing to try and make progress on my fall reading goals since it is the last month to accomplish them. I want to continue to read thriller and/or spooky books but I am also feeling that Fantasy feeling and would love to pick up one of the big fantasy novels I talked about last week. Add to that a non-fiction book for “Non-fiction November”… and it looks like I need to read like it’s my full time job this month. Obviously that’s not going to happen, but it will be fun to see where I end up. Perhaps I’ll abandon it all and read nothing but romance. But you will need to come back next month to see 🙂

What kind of a reading month was October for you? Did you read everything that you were hoping to read? What was your favourite book of the month? What are you looking forward to reading most in November? Let me know in the comments!

Until Next Time,

Meaghan Signature

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