Thursday, October 1, 2020

September 2020 Wrap Up & October TBR

 I cannot believe how fast September went by this year. Maybe it is because school is finally back in session and life has mostly returned to the normal routine around here. Or maybe it is just the way the years will always go for me, once Munchkin has his birthday the rest of the year will fly by.

First and foremost is my only actual challenge for the  year . . .

TBR Books from the Past 3 Years:
 I didn't manage to read a single book off my list from previous years :(

I didn't read any books off my older TBR (not included in the last 3 years of hauls):

2020 Books added to TBR & Read:
Last month I did a great job with reading a bunch of the new books I purchased this year, I wanted to keep that momentum going and I have done a really good job with it and would probably be nearly caught up if I hadn't added so many more new books (more on that in a bit).  But here are the recent purchases I read this month:

September Additions:
After behaving myself so well last month, I kind of blew things. A friend and I finally got together after not seeing each other in over a year and with both of us being booklovers, we got together at a used bookstore. Things happened . . . 

Yeah, you see that right, 31 new books added to my shelves. I am a little embarrassed but in my defense, many of them were only $1 each at the used bookstore, I also went on a bit of a shopping spree to support indie/self published authors, and finally I have already read 7 of these books (so lets call it only 24 added, that makes me feel a little better).

In other reading I am tracking this year, I read . . .


Borrowed Books:
24. Mastered by Her Mates
25. Nailing Studs
26. A Touch of Cinnamon
27. A Splash of Vanilla
28. About a Dog 

Books Over 500 Pages:

Requested Reviews:
Soul Riders: Jorvik Calling (Netgalley)
The Ranger of Marzanna (Netgalley)
Max Meow: Cat Crusader (Netgalley)
A Highlander Comes to Town (Netgalley)
Happy Narwhalidays (Netgalley)
A Heartfelt Christmas Promise (Netgalley)

August Reading Stats:
I read a total of 25 books this month
3,130 pages read and 5 days, 0 hours and 32 minute of listening

Resolutions Check in:
1. Read that TBR: I have pretty much given up on this goal, if I can just focus on not adding to it at this point I will be happy. - :(
2. Purchase Less Books: Last year I had purchased 15 books in September, this year it was 31. More than double last year, that is a big fail (and to think how many anticipated releases are coming out in the next two months)!.  - :(
3. Read Big Books: I managed one book over 500 pages, I still wanted to read more but oh well, I am pretty happy with how many I have already read this year. - CHECK
4. Interact: Still struggling with balancing in person life and online life. I haven't even posted on Instagram in ages. I just need to find that balance again.  The good news is that we made a ton of progress on a whole house purge and organize, so I feel like I don't have as much hanging over my head constantly. - :/ 


I did so well with my goals last month with reading 2020 purchases and requested reviews that I want to keep that momentum rolling into September.  I am also looking to get into some more atmospheric fall reads, but luckily I have a bunch of those in my recent purchases.

For TBR List

and for requested reviews

Okay that TBR seems insane but I am honestly so excited to read every one of these books and they all seem so suited to October.  I hope I can get to a good amount of them.  I have a few days off in which I plan to work on cleaning and purging my house and getting some crafting done, perfect for audio books. 

Wednesday, September 30, 2020

Top 5 Wednesday: Fall Reading Recommendations

 Top 5 Wednesday is a group on Goodreads.

I am very thankful that a user on Goodreads by the name Gabriella has taken over hosting and selecting topics for Top 5 Wednesday and has revived the group! It has been some time since I last posted but I really wanted to share my fall reading recommendations (especially since last week I shared my own Fall TBR for this year).  So here are a few other books I highly recommend reading as the weather gets cool and crisp and the spooky Halloween decorations start going and the nights start getting longer.

For me, I love books that have a great atmospheric feel to them in the Fall. Maybe a slight bit spooky, sometimes a little twisted, but always a book that completely pulls you into the story.  Here are a few examples of some great books to pickup this time of year.

I am sure you have all been seeing this book everywhere and hearing people raving about it, I did too, until I finally broke down and picked it  up. Now I am 100% agreeing with the hype. It is dark and twisted, atmospheric and eerie and totally earns the name Gothic!

If you enjoyed the vibes of Mexican Gothic, I really encourage you to pick up The Resurrectionist.  Not only does it have intriguing anatomy diagrams but the story itself is again dark and twisted and at times is difficult to remember that it is a work of fiction. 

I could not leave this book off the list, inspired by Frankenstein by Mary Shelley but is definitely not a re-telling. An author seeking inspiration hides away in the same Swiss Alps near where the Frankenstein holdings were in the novel.  Things take a twisty turn and the lines between reality and fiction become blurred.  It takes some time for this story to develop but once it does, you get pulled into it.

Speaking of Frankenstein, if you are a fan (or even if you aren't) I highly recommend this unique twist of a re-telling by Kiersten White.  She lets the original stand on its own, sticking to the major plot points but spins an entirely different story from Elizabeth's perspective. 

Another intriguing and dark re-telling from a different perspective is The Raven's Tale.  It follows Edgar Allan Poe's supposed muse, Lenore, as he begins down the path of a writer.  It is a slip into madness and obsession, that is perfectly dark and atmospheric for this time of year.

And while that is 5 recommendations for you to pickup during the Fall season, I cannot end this post without suggesting my all time favorite book . . . 

Have you read any of these books? What are some of your Fall recommendation?

Tuesday, September 29, 2020

Review of I Needed a Viking by Alfa Holden


Read for: Recently Added/ Poetry

Synopsis: "From the author of I Find You In the Darkness, a brand-new book of poetry celebrating strong women and the men they crave.

I never needed a Man.
I needed a Viking.
I needed someone who wasn't afraid of my strengths or of my needs.
I chose wrong in the past...

Beloved contemporary poet Alfa is back with a brand-new collection of more than 180 heartfelt poems on the theme of woman warriors and the masculine heroes they long for. In gorgeous, compelling, and intimate prose, I Needed a Viking takes us on an emotional journey of a woman searching for strength in the midst of a storm."

My Review: I have been trying to read more poetry this year and the title of this one attracted me to it. Like any poetry collection I found some of the poems worked for me and others did not, but many in this collection really hit home. It was a great collection with many along the lines of finding your own inner strength and knowing it is there even when you feel weak. Not only was this a very good collection of poems but the aesthetics of the book were fantastic as well, beautiful detailing on the pages, good quality paper and font selection that really suited it, all added a nice element to reading as well.

My Rating: This was such a pleasant surprise, it was definitely better than most of the poetry collections I have read recently and I really connected with several of them.  I give it a rating of Four Paws!

Monday, September 28, 2020

Monday Reading List

 It is Monday again, and it is time to update with what I read last week, what I am currently reading and what to look forward to next week.

Reviews Posted Last Week:
Links will take you to my review

Max Meow: Cat Crusader by John Gallagher 
Mexican Gothic by Silvia Moreno-Garcia
The Reading Dragon by Herb Leonhard (Bedtime Story)
A Thief Among the Trees by Sabaa Tahir and Nicole Andelfinger & Illustrated by Sonia Liao (Graphic Novel)

 Books Finished Last Week:
Reviews will be posted at a later date

A Heartfelt Christmas Promise
A Touch of Cinnamon
A Splash of Vanilla
Nailing Studs
The Reading Dragon
Johnny Boo
About a Dog

Currently Reading:

You Can't F*ck Up Your Kids by Lindsay Powers - Print - on page 98 of 320
Tooth and Claw by Jo Walton - Print/Audio - on page 61 of 416

Pages Read/ Time Listened
734:44 Hours Listened (19:11 listened this week)
22,969 Pages Read (804 this week)

Books Added to Shelves Recently: TBR
The Eyes of Tamburah (gift)
The Wolf in the Whale
~~~~~~~~~~March Birthday Waiver Books ~~~~~~~~~~~~~
The Rain Dragon Rescue
The Order of the Unicorn
All the Wandering Light
Life on the Leash
Phoenix Unbound
You Can't F*ck Up Your Kids  (gift)
Mary Shelley Monster Hunter Vol. 1
The Caged Queen
The Mum Who'd Had Enough
The Voyage to Magical North
I Needed a Viking - READ
The Overdue Life of Amy Byler
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~End Birthday Waiver~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Red Hood (gift) - READ
Scavenge the Stars
Hades & Persephone
Dark Skies
No Country for Old Gnomes (gift)
About That Kiss
The Ranger of Marzanna - READ
The Girl and the Stars
A Choir of Lies
Loving Cara
This Will Kill That - UNHAUL
Girl of Fire & Thorns (gift)
Murder Past Due
All My Loving - READ
Fury of a Phoenix
Homicide in Hardcover (gift)
Unravel the Dusk
Ruthless Gods
Mexican Gothic - READ
Fable - READ


As many books as I read this last week, not a single one was from my recently purchase or past year TBR! So many books borrowed this last week! Not that I am complaining, I have been wanting to use my library more, I just wish that my holds would come available a little more staggered LOL.  Anyway, it was a great reading week and I am looking forward to more great books, especially looking at my TBR for the next two months, I am so excited for all the books I plan to read, it is hard to narrow down what to pick up first.

How do  you decide on your next book with so many great ones calling to be read?