Goodbye October – Hello November

October was a weird month for me. The Halloween decorations came out, and many of the spooky books I’d saved up were read. We went on a little trip to the beach for my dad’s 65th… though only days before that the country went into semi-lockdown again so we couldn’t really do anything. The semi-lockdown meant (among other things) that restaurants had to close again, only take-away available. So far for me workwise that didn’t make too much of a difference, seeing as the restaurant I usually work isn’t big enough to let people sit inside at the required distance anyway. If anything, it made my job of sending people back outside a lot easier. However, almost all other zoos have had to close their restaurants completely already… so we are just waiting to here when we don’t have to come in anymore. Tomorrow we will hear if the country is going into proper lockdown, and to be honest the Husband and I wouldn’t really mind.

Anyway, books. Again, not the best month for me reading wise. I DNF’ed a lot, and there were very few reads I loved. I guess my head just wasn’t quite in it.

The first three DNFs were from the list of books that had been on my Want-to-Read list the longest, and I guess I just left them on there too long. London Falling I didn’t get far into at all, but I really didn’t know what I was listening to and I couldn’t bring myself to care for any of it. I should have loved The Bookman, and I did almost finish it. I listened to this during a walk, and after the walk I never felt like putting it back on again. Which is a shame because it should have been right up my alley. Retribution Falls just wasn’t for me, but I think The Husband would really like it.

I already DNF’ed the previous book in the Anno Dracula series last year, but in this one we went back in time and to Japan, so I thought maybe with this new ish start I could enjoy it again. But no, I am done with this series.

There were quite a few books I saved for October, but didn’t get to all of them. The once I did read I liked, though very few actually gave me what I was looking for. I do like Christina Henry’s books, and though the Alice ones aren’t my favourite, they were solid 4 star reads for me. Looking Glass gave me very much the same feel. It was messed up and made me feel uncomfortable at times, and I raced through it. A nice addition to the series, not my favourite of hers. Malorie is the continuation of Bird Box, set 10 years later when the kids are 16 and try to find their own way in the new ‘normal’. Did it blow my mind? No. Did it have any faults? No. I did very much enjoy reading it though, and like Bird Box felt like a very accessible and easy read most people will like. A Witch Before Dying is not a book I would have every picked up myself, but did seem like something cozy I could enjoy. And I did, though it was all a bit too dramatic for me at times. Everyone in the village seems to be everyone’s ex, and I kinda lost track of who everyone had dated when. The mystery was interesting though.

The Midnight Circus was a short story collection I received through Netgalley and wrote a full review for (which you can find over here). It had a good mix of stories, none of which felt repetitive or too short. There stories I loved, but also ones I hated. Written in the Blood was a decent book, but not what I wanted it to be at all. The first book followed a ‘man’ who was immortal and could change his face and so infiltrate women’s lives by pretending to be loved ones. It was haunting and creepy and that is what I wanted from its sequel as well. But instead we get three plot lines thrown at us, none of which gets enough time to really be satisfying and none of which were what I wanted anyway. We mainly follow the politics of a breeding program, and I found it kinda boring and too full of plot holes. There is a new scary creature introduced, and though this gave some proper hunting chapters, it was all happening in the background and not connected to the main story enough. And then there is the plotline that does actually connect to the first book, and it was actually kind of an insult to it. I kinda wish I had just read the first book and left it at that. Well, that became a longer ramble than I’d hoped, so for my thoughts on The Once and Future Witches I’ll just refer you to my review.

Buddy Reads! The Husband and I actually listened to two books together last month. The first was Dracula, a reread for me. And I was really disappointed by it. Even though I ‘only’ gave it a 3* rating the first time round, I remember it being a lot better than I found it this time. Don’t get me wrong, there were some great moments in here. But there are also a lot of boring, repetitive moments, the characters (and especially the way they treated each other) made me want to puke in my mouth at times, and then there was the ending… At least The Legend of Sleepy Hollow wasn’t 16 hours long. And there isn’t anything wrong with it. I just went into it with completely wrong expectations. It was well written, had great atmosphere, and the food… but in the end it just left me feeling meh.

A nice surprise to me: the Lady Mechanika series. I wasn’t sure I wanted to continue this series after the first volume, but then the sixth one was available on Netgalley and I decided to fck it and just go for it all. And I had a great time! You can find my review for it over here.

And then there were these other ‘random’ books I read last month. I am decently on schedule of my Discworld reread to pick up Hogfather at Christmas. This was the fourth time I read Soul Music, and though not a favourite I still had a great time with it. And I feel I pick up on more references with every read. Niksen was a book I requested from Netgalley because I’m Dutch, and it was fine… I wrote a review for it so feel free to check that out. Death Comes but Twice was a great sequel in a series that is become a favourite very fast. The mystery itself was a bit disappointing, but the characters were superb once more. And the third book is arriving on my kindle in less than two weeks, jeey. You can find my review over here. I received the 11th book in the Alex Verus series through netgalley, so guessed I should get a move on that by picking up the 4th book Chosen. And damn that took a turn (for the good). Where the previous three books were just quick, light fun, this one turned dark. We see more of Verus’ past, he is given a problem to which there is no right solution, and he is shown to be a morally gray character. A great setup to a very interesting plot line, and I am starting the fifth book as soon as I finish typing this post.

So that was October, what about November? Well, I’m joining in with 3(!!!) readathons, though for all I’m sticking to the books I would be reading already anyway, and just using the social elements as motivation. The Clear ur Shit Readathon focuses on reading owned books (with prompts like what book has been on your shelf the longest, read the shortest book you own, etc). The 1000 Doors Readathon leads you through a series of prompts in a choose your own adventures style, and you only find your next prompt after finishing a book. For now I am working with the prompt five, which works great for the book that has been on my shelf the longest: the fifth Alex Verus book (the one i just said i would start right after this). And then there is Believathon, the readathon that focuses on middle grade books. I had to join in with this, though I won’t really be following the prompts and just read as many middle grade books from my shelves as I can.

We will have to see what November brings us. Stay safe…

Hoping you are having a wonderful day,

14 thoughts on “Goodbye October – Hello November

  1. I had a rough month DNF’ing 3 books, but still managed some good reads. Didn’t quite get to The Once and Future Witches, so it’ll become a November read. I don’t know much about Lady Mechanika, but the covers alone have me intrigued!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Glad you read some good books still. Once and Future Witches would work perfect for November still. Yes its a book about witches, but its more about women’s rights and sisterhood so not necessarily a Halloweeny read.
      Lady Mechanika has gorgeous artwork (like what you see on the covers is what you get), and for me turned superb from the third volume on. Dark plots, with a complex MC who doesn’t always do the Right thing but questions herself and learns from her actions.


  2. Sorry the dnf’s affected you so much. I love it when other people DNF because I know they’ll get some other books that much sooner. But when you’re the one DNF’ing, well, it doesn’t always feel very good 😦

    Do you think any part of your reaction to dracula was because of Dave? He’s warned me he’s got a salty review coming up about it. I must admit, I’m looking forward to it 😀

    Hoping things work out for you with the whole/partial lockdown thingy. I have a feeling that our presidential election tomorrow is going to set the course for the winter in terms of that kind of thing, ie, whichever gets elected will take a very different path from what the other would have done. If that makes sense.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Im not surprised by these DNFs, I ‘put them off’ this long for a reason. But when its 4 in a row it does put me off from reading quite a bit. Luckily I ended the month with some great reads so I’m very excited for Novembers books.

      Maybe? Or maybe I’m more critical now? Or the 4 DNFs made me enjoy reading less in general?

      Oh yeah, I can see how that would affect it a lot. We are financially and mentally prepared for a lockdown this time round, and tbh wouldnt mind it at all. We could use a break…

      Liked by 1 person

  3. It’s nice to see how easily you DNF the books that clearly don’t seem to work for you though. Better off spending your time on things that would make you happier reading! I was curious to see more people talk about Malorie but it seemed like the book didn’t explode in popularity within the book blogging community or something and I can see why. I hope things work out for the better with the second lockdown for you guys. Stay safe and happy reading! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’ve become a lot better with DNGing books this year. Still, 4 in a month is a lot for me. But I put these of for a reason so I’m not surprised.
      I saw some people talk about Malorie when it came out, but have barely read any reviews for it.

      We just heard that we are now on a 2 week forced holiday, and tbh, we are fine with that. We saw it coming, and are financially and mentally prepared for it. We could use the break really.

      Hope you guys stay safe and healthy as well! 😘

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Wow, enjoy your readathons! I knew you were doing a couple, but didn’t realize it was up to three. 🙂

    I remember enjoying Dracula the last time I read it (which admittedly was more than ten years ago) but I also remember enjoying the beginning section a LOT more than the rest of the book. Too bad the whole book wasn’t as good as the start was.

    Liked by 1 person

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