What Makes the Perfect October Read?

There’s just something about October, isn’t there?

Even before our odd 2010s obsession with pumpkin spice and leggings, October had always been my favorite month. There’s just something in the air, this crispness, that isn’t there at any other time of year. Also, Halloween remains my favorite holiday, even (maybe) more than Christmas. I love costumes and dressing up, and there’s something so magical about the excitement on a child’s face when they get the perfect costume.

October is just the best.

The last few years I’ve been in the mood for a certain kind of book in October. It’s not necessarily a genre, though I know lots of people read mysteries, thriller, or horror in October. It’s more of a … feel. A mood. I don’t know if I can adequately explain it, but I’m sure going to try!

A little creepy or off

I don’t like scary books at ALL, but in October I love to read something where things are just a little edgy. There’s a tension, a creep-factor, missing from the average book. Enough to give you goosebumps, but not enough to keep you up at night. In October I eat that up.

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Settings I Want to

I saw this prompt, or something similar to it, on a Top Ten Tuesday a few weeks ago. It really got me thinking, because so often I feel like I see the same couple of settings over and over again. For literary fiction: New York City. For historical fiction: Victorian England. For YA: generic suburbia. Even fantasy lands are boringly similar to one another, even if things like the magic system or monsters are unique.

Like many people, one of the things that most attracts me to a book is the setting, especially a unique one. So I thought it would be fun to do a post about what I personally would like to read more of.

Unique Fantasy-Land

Some of my absolute favorite books are books that are able to take the idea of fantasy-land and make it completely unique. The best example I can think of off the top of my head is Stardust by Neil Gaiman, because it includes so many of the elements we are familiar with, but gives it the odd twist of being connected to our universe via a wall. Another favorite is The Goblin Emperor, which completely eliminates humans from fantasy-land and created something unlike anything I’ve ever read before. I adore books that successfully do this, and I wish there were more of them.

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Sorting Hat Sunday: To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before

Lara Jean looked nervously at the barrier between the platforms. Margot had already told her what to expect, but Lara Jean was still nervous. It’s not going to hurt, she reminded herself.

She wished her mom was here. She shouldn’t be doing this alone. Margot didn’t have to. That was the thought that did her in. Tears poured down Lara Jean’s cheeks.

“It’s okay Lara Jean,” Margot whispered, pulling her into a fierce hug. “I’m here. You’re not alone.”

“How do you always know exactly what I’m thinking?” Lara Jean sniffed.

“That’s what sisters are for.”

Lara Jean

Lara Jean actually reveals her Hogwarts house during the course of the book, possibly more than once, so there’s not much for me to say here. Sorry if I’ve remembered incorrectly, but I also feel like this is pretty obvious.

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Sorting Hat Sunday: Brooklynn 99

“Hey Gina,” Jake said, looking nervously over his shoulder, “what’s the sorting?”

“Dude, Jake, you just gotta stop worrying about it, man. You’re cramping my style.”

“Gina, we all look exactly the same.”

“No, you all look exactly the same. I am a goddess.”

“Yeah, you’re right.” Jake looked around again. Everyone else seemed so confident, and he … wasn’t. Maybe it was time to make another joke. “Do you think we’re going to have to fight a troll or something?” A girl standing behind him giggled.

“Jake, don’t be rediculous,” Gina said, “it’s not going to be a troll. It’s going to be way scarier, like a dragon or something.”

“WHAT? A DRAGON? Gina, we have to get out of here,” he whispered, panicking a little.

“Good evening students,” a tall, black teacher said in a shocking monotone as he walked through the door. “I am Professor Raymond Holt, and I will be your defense against the dark arts teacher this year.”

“You want us to call you Professor Raymond Holt?” Jake asked. The girl behind him giggled again.

Holt turned and stared at him. “Don’t you think that if I wanted you to address me as Professor Raymond Holt I would have instructed you to call me Professor Raymond Holt?”

Jake gulped. What does that even mean?

“Now, if no one else would like to make any other ridiculous attempts at humor, you may follow me into the Great Hall for the sorting.”

Jake Peralta

Jake is a classic goof-ball who is surprisingly competent and dedicated to doing the right thing. He’s like Fred and George. To me he is characterized by his loyalty to the 99 and to his captain. He always does the right thing, even when it sucks, and is brave enough to go under cover, turn in dirty cops, and wait it out in prison.

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Top 10 Books I Want to Re-Read

An inadvertent theme here on Never Not Reading this summer has been re-reading. I have been consistently lamenting that I don’t re-read books anymore, and I’ve found out that I’m not alone! Apparently a lot of book bloggers prioritize reading new things over re-reading for the sake of creating content for their blogs, but wish they could find the time to re-read.

So today I bring you the books that not re-reading is breaking my heart.

10. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time

I read this book my senior year of high school and was so enchanted by it. I want to re-read it partly because it’s been long enough that I can’t remember it very clearly, and I want to get to know it again. But also because I bet that there’s a lot more to this book that I missed. I’m a much better reader than I was thirteen years ago, and I bet I would appreciate it at a much deeper level. I’ve been itching to re-read this one since I saw it on The Great American Read last summer.

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Six Degrees of Separation: The Dry to Let it Snow

Six Degrees of Separation is a monthly blog event hosted by Kate at booksaremyfavoriteandbest. It’s inspired by the 6 Degrees of Separation, a movie game where you attempt to connect actors in six movies or less. But we do it with books!

This month we’re starting with The Dry by Jane Harper

I know literally NOTHING about The Dry! It is a thriller/mystery/crime/something, and it was the author’s first novel. That’s all I got. So I’m doing a title connection to…

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Top 5 Tudor England Books

Have I mentioned before that I’m a history nerd? (yes) Okay, have I mentioned before that I am obsessed with Tudor England? (yes) All right then, it sounds like you know everything you need to know about why I am writing this post. No intro needed. On to the list!

5. The Rose Without a Thorn by Jean Plaidy

I don’t know why this book is on this list. Maybe because it was the first Tudor era novel I ever read? Maybe because after this one I started devouring Tudor fiction like it was the only fiction there was? Maybe because I was 11 when I read it so I thought it was the greatest thing ever written? Regardless, I read this book 20 years ago and it has stayed with me

The Rose Without a Thorn follows the life of Henry VIII’s fifth wife, Katherine Howard. You know the one, she was beheaded for having an affair. No, not Anne Boleyn, the other one beheaded for having an affair. It’s a rather tragic story of a young woman in love who became Queen not because she wanted to, but because when the King of England wants you, you don’t say no. While probably outdated, I think some of the themes would probably be even more relevant in the Me-Too era than they were when the book was published in 1993.

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