It’s time for another monthly wrap up! I read the same amount of books in October as I did in September, though I felt like I was taking forever to read. October was also the month of buddy reads, so I was trying to break up my reading to keep pace with the readalongs. It worked better with some books than others 😂 Still, it was a great month for spooky reads and books that got me into the fall/winter mood. I didn’t read anything under four stars, so I’m definitely counting it as a great reading month!
Now, let’s talk about all the books I managed to finish in October.
- The Midnight Guardians by Ross Montgomery: I was reading this as part of the Middle Grade Marvels buddy read in September. Clearly, it took me a wee bit longer since it’s in my October wrap up 😅 This is through no fault of the book, though! This was an incredible read that had me hooked from the beginning. It just suffered because of my weird reading mood in September. This was a wonderful middle grade story about friendship and fighting for what’s right, even if it feels like everything is against you. The backdrop of this story is WWII and there is an air raid on London that is intricately detailed, so it can get a bit intense. Still, I had a great time with this book and really fell in love with the characters. ★★★★
- The Only Good Indians by Stephen Graham Jones: I’ve read a few Stephen Graham Jones novels now and I think I’ve found my favorite, so far. This was such a dark, atmospheric, incredible book! The entity stalking the main characters in this book was suitably creepy and I loved the background story that was created for it. The fact that this is rooted in Blackfeet culture was interesting, as well. This was a frightening, engaging read and makes me want to read even more from this author! ★★★★★
- The Ex Hex by Erin Sterling: I read this book as part of a buddy read. I did not stick to the reading schedule, though, because, once I started reading, I couldn’t stop! This was such a fun, witchy romance that had me enthralled from page one. It was a quick, cute read and I was hardcore rooting for our main couple, Vivi and Rhys. I haven’t read many second chance romances, but if they’re all like this, I can see myself wanting more! I also love the town in which this was set. It was so cozy and gave the perfect Halloween vibes. I liked this book so much that I pretty much immediately picked up the next book in the series, which you’ll see later in this post, haha. ★★★★
- The Legend of Black Jack by A.R. Witham: I read this fantasy novel as part of a tour hosted by The Write Reads. You can tell the author really thought about the world he created in this book a lot because the worldbuilding was top-notch! I was enchanted by this portal fantasy and found it easy to picture it all in my head. This book read like a movie, which is something I always love! I did feel like the ending was a bit rushed but, overall, this was such an engaging and enjoyable read. You can find my full review here. ★★★★
- Nettle & Bone by T. Kingfisher: I’ve been hearing more and more about the author T. Kingfisher lately but I hadn’t read anything by her. I figured it was spooky season and this looked probably creepy, so I picked it up at the library. I’m so glad I did because I ended up loving this! It was a dark fairytale that starred all of the side characters that don’t usually get the spotlight. It was dark and funny and digs into some real world topics in a way that I very much enjoyed. And there’s a bone dog and a demon chicken! What more do you need, right? After this experience, I’m excited to give more of her books a try! ★★★★
- The Paris Apartment by Lucy Foley: Similarly to the last book, I’ve heard so much about Lucy Foley but had yet to pick up any of her books. I found this book on Scribd and figured, “Why not?” Again, I’m so glad I gave this a shot because I had a great time! This was a wonderfully atmospheric thriller that made me want to never go to Paris 😂 The apartment building itself is almost a character of its own it has so much sinister personality. I wanted to strangle a good portion of the characters and I guessed a few of the twists, yet I still found myself on the edge of my seat, eager to read what was going to happen next. And I certainly didn’t see the ending coming! Again, now I’m excited to pick up more from this author. ★★★★
- The Miraculous Sweetmakers: The Frost Fair by Natasha Hastings: This was another book I read for a The Write Reads tour. This is the perfect book to read if you want to get into a wintery mood! The cold weather vibes in this book were on point! That aside, this is also incredible middle grade story about friendship that also takes a good look at tough topics like grief and the patriarchy. Natasha Hastings does a great job of approaching those topics in a way that feels accessible to the target audience. She also made some fantastic characters that you can’t help but root for! You can read my full review here. ★★★★
- The Kiss Curse by Erin Sterling: And then it was time to go back to Graves Glen! This book follows the love story of Vivi’s cousin, Gwyn, and Rhys’ brother, Wells. This rivals-to-lovers story was just as cute, if not more so, than the love story between Vivi and Rhys. I do believe I enjoyed this one more, though I keep going back and forth, haha. It continued having incredible, witchy vibes and the chemistry between Gwyn and Wells was *chef’s kiss* Also there was a lot more of Sir Purrcival and, as someone who loves both cats and puns, I was quite happy about that. I’m looking forward to the next book in this series! ★★★★
- Babel, or the Necessity of Violence by R.F. Kuang: I ended the month finishing my buddy read of this book. I immediately wanted to re-read it because this book blew my mind! There were so many quotes I wanted to underline, so many notes I wanted to add, that I’m seriously considering buying yet another copy of the book so I can actually annotate it. I wasn’t writing in my special edition! This was a gorgeous book that tore my heart out, which seems to be R.F. Kuang’s M.O. 😂 The pacing could be a little choppy towards the middle of the book, but this book had so much to say and said it in such a beautiful way that there was no way I could give it anything less than five stars. ★★★★★
Book of the Month
Once again, I had two five star reads this month. It always feels good to have multiple five stars in one month! That being said, there was a clear star amongst all the books I read in October, so choosing which five star to feature was pretty simple for me. This book was just so impactful and I know I’m going to be thinking about it for months. I already kind of want to re-read it, haha. The Book of the Month for October is…
Babel, or the Necessity of Violence: An Arcane History of the Oxford Translators’ Revolution by R.F. Kuang
I think, at this point, I must come to terms with the fact that I won’t be finishing my year long TBRs 😅 I started them with the best of intentions! Still, I’m hoping I can squeeze a couple in during November. We shall see…
Popsugar Reading Challenge:
- A book that features two languages (Babel, or the Necessity of Violence)
- A book with a tiger on the cover or ‘tiger’ in the title (The Midnight Guardians)
Read Your Shelf Challenge:
- A second chance story (The Ex Hex)
How was your reading in October? Did you find a new favorite? Make any progress on some challenges? Let me know in the comments!
And, as always, happy reading!