November Hopefuls

Ahh, November. One of my favorite months. Not only is it my birthday month, but autumn is in full swing. Leaves are fully peaked and falling, the weather is crisp, and you get to pack on layers of cozy sweaters and drink hot beverages all day.

I love Thanksgiving and I love preparing for the holidays, so, November is really where it’s at.

In November, I love to dive back into my favorite genres: historical fiction and fantasy. I like to read big, chunky books during the winter months. I love cozying up in my nook with a cup of tea and getting lost in a story. I have two months left to meet my Goodreads goal, and I have some PLANS.

Let’s get to November:

Vicious (Villains #1) by V.E. Schwab

Vicious (Villains, #1)

I read The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue last year and did not enjoy it, but readers have encouraged me to give her Villains and Darker Shades of Magic series a try, so here I am! I am about 30% through this one already and it is definitely intriguing. Excited to see what comes out of it.

The Rose Code by Kate Quinn

The Rose Code

I really enjoyed The Alice Network and look forward to reading Quinn’s latest book, The Rose Code. I’ve seen some great reviews on bookstagram for this one. This one is THICK, but I always fly through historical fiction books. The Rose Code is about three women who broke German military codes during the war and how they are torn apart by a series of events.

Vengeful (Villains #2) by V.E. Schwab

Vengeful (Villains, #2)

If all goes well with Vicious, I will be picking up the second book in Schwab’s Villains series (I believe a third one is in the works!)

Night Road by Kristin Hannah

Night Road

Another Kristin Hannah. This one I plan on reading via audiobook. Knowing Hannah, I will make sure the tissues are nearby.

The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

The Night Circus

Now this one I am looking forward to! I read The Starless Sea this year and wasn’t a fan, but readers informed me this one is breathtaking. I also read that Morgenstern wrote this book during NaNoWriMo, which I will be participating in this year! I have this one in paperback and audio, so I will most likely do a mix and match with this book.

The Lions of Fifth Avenue by Fiona Davis

The Lions of Fifth Avenue

The cover alone has me interested, but give me a historical fiction about public libraries, suffrage, feminism … I am HERE for it.


What are you reading this month? Have any of these made it on to your list?

And, see what I’ve read so far in 2021!

January Wrap-Up

February Wrap-Up

March Wrap-Up

April Wrap-Up

May to September Wrap-Up

October Wrap-Up

October Wrap-Up

It’s hard to believe that October is already over. The November chill is very much in the air in Connecticut and I am sad that Halloween and spooky season have come to an end. But … bring on the holidays! 🙂

Between work and (safe, vaccinated) visits at our home, I did not spend as much time reading as I anticipated. And now that I have only 10 books left to meet my Goodreads goal for the year (50 books), it’s time to hustle!

I read three books in October — two that were on my October Hopefuls list, and one baby book to prepare for our little one coming in February!

Here are the books I read this month:

The Nature of Witches by Rachel Griffin

The Nature of Witches

I enjoyed this one! This one left me pleasantly surprised. I haven’t been jiving with books lately, and this one was just what I needed. It was atmospheric with beautiful language and a sweet romance. You can learn more in my book review.

A Lesson in Vengeance by Victoria Lee

A Lesson in Vengeance

This one was tough. While I appreciated the atmospheric, witchy vibes, it left me feeling befuddled and wanting more. I did hear that it was more of a thriller than a witchy book from other readers, and they weren’t wrong, but that’s not why I struggled.

What I didn’t like about this book was that it was very similar to A Secret History by Donna Tartt. From the language to the plot, I felt as if I was reading a replica of the same story, except the author threw in witches and subtle paranormal themes. You can learn more in my book review.

The Happiest Baby on the Block by Harvey Karp

Future parents: Get this book. I found this book to be so helpful. I’ve been leafing through some baby books and have found that a lot of the advice is general/instinctive, but this book was a saving grace. It only makes sense that the doctor who wrote this also invented the Snoo, a bassinet that we plan to get for our little babe.

What did you read in October? Share some books below!

And, see what I’ve been reading this year:

January Wrap-Up

February Wrap-Up

March Wrap-Up

April Wrap-Up

May to September Wrap-Up

October Hopefuls

Spooky season is here! Well, if we are being honest, I have been celebrating spooky season for the past three weeks now.

It is October — one of the best months of the year. Leaves are changing, the weather is getting crisp, and fall cardigans are getting pulled out of the storage bins (*sneezes*).

And, spooky books are being read! I am excited to share my October hopefuls this year. Naturally, they are very witch-oriented, and I wouldn’t have it any other way! I love reading witchy books in the fall.

Here are the books I want to read in October:

The Nature of Witches by Rachel Griffin

The Nature of Witches

I started this book the other day and I am already enjoying it. It’s a new take on witchcraft and magic. I respect the author’s not-so-subtle nod towards climate change and how the witches must try to protect the world from our ever-changing climate. There is also LGBTQ representation and diversity, which I appreciate. I love the atmospheric language associated with each season, and the idea that individuals are stronger and more “themselves” in the seasons when they are born. As a November baby, I can relate to that.

A Lesson in Vengeance by Victoria Lee

A Lesson in Vengeance

This seems to be a dark, academic, witchy book that I can’t wait to pick up. I plan on reading this one next and I have a feeling it’s going to be good. I also heard it’s more of a thriller than a witchy book, so we will see! Also, the cover is really cool. I did judge the book by its cover for this one.

The Age of Witches by Louisa Morgan

The Age of Witches

A Secret History of Witches was one of my favorite books last year, so I really look forward to this one! Morgan’s books are all about sisterhood and feature strong, powerful women. I can guess that this one will be much of the same.

Hour of the Witch by Chris Bohjalian

Hour of the Witch

This one seems to be less magical and whimsical and more like historical fiction, but hey, I love historical fiction. It’s about a young puritan woman escaping a violent marriage in 17th century Boston.

Coraline by Neil Gaiman

Coraline

This will be a reread with a buddy read group I am a part of on Bookstagram. For those who don’t know, Coraline is one of my favorite books and I reread it quite often! It’s frightening, eerie, empowering, and plain ol’ fantastic. I almost wrote my master’s thesis on Coraline, but I had to cut her from my list. I’m sure I will write more about her one day.

What are you reading this month? Share in the comments below!

And, check out these posts to see what I’ve read this year:

January Wrap-Up

February Wrap-Up

March Wrap-Up

April Wrap-Up

May to September Wrap-Up

May to September Wrap-Up

Uh…yeah, so. Hi…

This is awkward. I kind of disappeared the past few months because …

We are going to have a baby! Our first child is due in early February. The first trimester was very rough, and I did not come up for air and feel better until a month ago. So, I am slowly returning to “normal” until the third trimester takes over again.

Seeing that I have a good excuse … I am forgiven, right? I can move on to the books?

OK, cool.

This is going to be a long one, folks. I have read 15 books since I wrote last, and I am going to list them out below with a few sentences on each.

And awayyy we gooo …. (sorry, I am super jazzed as I write this)

Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo

Six of Crows (Six of Crows, #1)

Without a doubt my favorite book so far this year. I absolutely loved this story. The story world, the characters, the fast-moving plot. It was so good. So, so good. If you weren’t a fan of Shadow and Bone and really want to give Bardugo another try, pick up Six of Crows.

Beth & Amy by Virginia Kantra

Beth and Amy (The March Sisters, #2)

Virginia Kantra’s retellings of Little Women are just OK. I am not a big fan of retellings anyways because why mess with perfection, but then again, She’s the Man and 10 Things I Hate About You slaps. I was not expecting anything groundbreaking or anything insightful with this one, so I did not feel disappointed reading it. They are cute and easy reads, but I wouldn’t highly recommend them.

Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo (Six of Crows #2)

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This one wasn’t as good as Six of Crows, but I loved revisiting these characters and learning more about their stories and what happened next. I felt that this one dragged a bit — it could have benefitted from some good editing and cuts. Otherwise, I finished the duology really loved them!

Kingdom of Ash by Sarah J. Maas

Kingdom of Ash (Throne of Glass, #7)

A full Throne of Glass series review is forthcoming once I get over my book hangover. I finished this book in June and golly, what an adventure. This book is THICK, folks. Lots going on. Lots of storylines to wrap up. It got a little too much and I started to lose track and interest. I mostly finished to finish the series, and that’s disappointing. Again, I will do a longer review of the series soon!

Survive the Night by Riley Sager

Survive the Night

This was one of my most anticipated thrillers of the year, and I devoured it in one sitting. But I will tell you … I didn’t love it. The plot was a little too familiar to me, and I got super bored with all the movie references. The main character was beyond unlikable and the ending beyond unpredictable. The small twist barely made me gasp. Underwhelming.

Watching You by Lisa Jewell

Watching You

I was super bummed after reading Survive the Night, and then I was super bummed after reading Watching You. Again, the main character was unlikable (which is usually OK in books, don’t get me wrong), but I was not even interested in how much I disliked her. And the ending, like Sager’s, was not surprising. Bleh.

People We Meet on Vacation by Emily Henry

People We Meet on Vacation

After reading two dull thrillers, I moved to a genre I almost never read: contemporary romance. I wanted to switch it up and hopefully get out of my “meh” reading slump. This one did not disappoint. I loved it. If this were made into a movie, it would be my favorite movie ever.

Malibu Rising by Taylor Jenkins Reid

Malibu Rising

When I saw that TJR was coming out with a new book this summer, I sighed with relief. Great. One of my favorite authors will release another book that will change my life. Unfortunately, Malibu Rising (or as I call it, Mali-boo Rising) did not make the cut. I was engaged the first 100 pages, but TJR lost me after that. I didn’t care about most of the characters, and all of their troubled storylines seemed so hurried and fragmented. There was a lot of unnecessary drama, and the “big ending” was about 3 lines. Just underwhelmed. Again.

The Lost Apothecary by Sarah Penner

The Lost Apothecary

The cover alone pulls you in, right? I was hoping to read a whimsy, mystical, witchy-esque book to kick off spooky season a little early, but again, found myself going “meh” at the end. While I enjoyed the parts about the apothecary and murders (yep, you read that right), there was too little of that and more focus on a present-day, two-dimensional, boring character. I just closed the book wanting more.

The World of Pooh by A.A. Milne

The World of Pooh: The Complete Winnie-The-Pooh and the House at Pooh Corner

What can I say? I’m a pregnant woman who wanted to read some Winnie the Pooh. Loved every moment and cannot wait to read this to my little one.

The Secret History by Donna Tartt

The Secret History

…No idea what I even read. If there’s anything I’ve learned about Donna Tartt, it’s that she is a superb writer. But while she is a fantastic writer, she is also the world’s biggest flexer. This book is her flexing her writing skills paired with her knowledge of the Greeks and other snooty things. Not to mention this book is dripping with homophobia, antisemitism, racism, sexism (any kind of ism … throw it in there), and lots of triggers. I read the entire book with interest, but I didn’t like it.

The Female Brain by Louann Brizendine

The Female Brain

Because I am having a baby girl, I wanted to reread a book all about female brains. This is a good one for anyone who wants to learn about how the female brain works. She also has one on the male brain which I read that is much shorter. She makes a joke about why it’s shorter. I bet you can guess why.

The One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate

The One and Only Ivan

I’ve been on a children’s book kick lately and oh my goodness, this book. Please be advised: If you are pregnant, do not read unless you want to sob on your couch for hours. This book is written in-verse and it is truly a masterpiece. I loved it!

Blackbird House by Alice Hoffman

Blackbird House

You kind of already love this book because of its cover, right? Hoffman writes a series of short stories circled around this one grand house, Blackbird House. It is witchy, whimsical, and magical…but also kind of … boring? I liked some stories more than others, but it was a good witchy book to kick off the season.

Wish You Were Here by Jodi Picoult

Wish You Were Here

When I got Picoult’s new book as an ARC (advanced reader’s copy) I dropped my witchy books and read this in two days. And … well … I hated it. I am a big Jodi P fan, don’t get me wrong, but this book was just not right. I will let my Goodreads review (with some spoilers, mind you) speak for itself.

So, while I was nauseated and encountering my first trimester, I WAS reading! See?!

What did you read these past few months? Share in the comments below!

Check out these posts to see what I’ve read this year:

January Wrap-Up

February Wrap-Up

March Wrap-Up

April Wrap-Up