September Wrap Up (Blogtober Begins!)

September was a rocky reading month for me, but I (finally) came out of a month pretty satisfied with my reading. The cursed slump was driven away, thanks to Gail Carriger’s Parasol Protectorate.

I’m really glad I saved finishing that series for so long, because without it, I’m not sure I ever would have clawed my way out of the slump. (That’s probably overly dramatic, but it’s how I felt 😛 )

In September, I finished eleven books, four fairy tales, and one short story.

september wrap up

The Fairy Tales

(Clicking the titles takes you to my Fairy Tales Fridays post for each of them.)

The Books

  • The entire Parasol Protectorate series (Soulless, Changeless, Blameless, Heartless, Timeless) by Gail Carriger
  • The Girl from the Well by Rin Chupeco
  • Haunted: Ten Tales of Ghosts edited by Rayne Hall
  • The Suffering by Rin Chupeco
  • Kill Creek by Scott Thomas (reviewed)
  • The Marble and Other Ghost Tales of Tennessee and Virginia by Joe Tennis
  • We Have Always Lived in the Castle by Shirley Jackson

Short Stories

“The Cask of Amontillado” by Edgar Allan Poe


I totally won at R.I.P. 13, which I talked about in my first and second update posts. Since I’ve already succeeded with Peril the First (reading 4 books), my bigger focus for R.I.P. in October is going to be Peril of the Short Story and Peril on the Screen.

Over the weekend, there was a pre-FrightFall readathon, during which I read two books (the last two on my list above).

Lastly, I think I’ve been able to mark a couple of squares for Fall Bookish Bingo, yay!


I don’t know about you, but I’m pretty excited for October, and I really hope I get at least as much reading done this month as I did in September.

 

How was your September?

Did you read anything great?

Are you participating in any autumn or Halloween themed book events?

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R.I.P. XIII: Update the Second

(Check out the R.I.P. 13 page here, and my sign up post here.)

I’ve officially completed Peril the First, whoo!

That doesn’t mean I’m stopping, because I have several spooky books lined up for October, and other spooky challenges to participate in (like FrightFall which I just posted about earlier). I’m just shocked that I A) actually finished four books that fit, and B) have done so before October even started haha.

In my first update, I’d read two books and was working on a third (I ended up DNF’ing The Library at Mount Char…maybe some other time).

Since then, I’ve also finished:

  • The Suffering by Rin Chupeco (the sequel to The Girl in the Well), and I loved it I think as much as the first book, maybe more. I might post a combo review soon, but I gave it 4.5/5 stars.
  • Kill Creek by Scott Thomas (reviewed here) which…I didn’t love. 2/5 stars.

For Peril of the Short Story I read:

  • Haunted: Ten Tales of Ghosts edited by Rayne Hall which I gave 1/5 stars :/
  • Then I re-read “The Cask of Amontillado” by Edgar Allan Poe which I gave 4.5/5 stars (it’s not my favorite Poe story, but I really enjoy it).
  • I think The Marble and Other Ghost Tales of Tennessee and VIrginia by Joe Tennis counts. It’s a super short book (70 pages) of ghost stories from a small region of TN and VA. I just read it this morning and gave it 3.5/5 stars.

For Peril on the Screen:

I watched Happy Death Day. I’ve wanted to see this movie since I first saw previews last year(?) and I was not disappointed. I don’t want to say much about it, but I honestly loved it. Probably enough to buy it if I ever find it cheap.

I give this one 4.5/5 stars for being so much fun to watch, and because if I hadn’t spoiled myself accidentally by searching for something while watching it, I honestly wouldn’t have seen the ending coming. I might have figured out the “who,” but not the “how.”

If you like movies like Scream, April Fool’s Day, Heathers, Final Destination, maybe Final Girl, Black Christmas (the original, I don’t think I’ve seen the remake), and–of course–Groundhog Day, you might want to check this one out if you haven’t already.


I think that’s it for my R.I.P. updating, but there will be more coming next month, probably.

FrightFall/Something Wicked This Fall Comes

Noooo, I forgot to post this earlier this week >_<

I completely missed my note to myself to check back on the Seasons of Reading blog to find out about signing up for these events, but I don’t think I’m actually too late, yet.

click to go to the sign up page

FrightFall runs throughout the month of October, and this year there’s also the Something Wicked This Fall Comes event (a read along of Something Wicked This Way Comes) going on over at Castle Macabre.

Basically, FrightFall is a spooky books readathon, but the only requirement is to read at least one book for the event.

I’ve been saving most of my horror, gothic lit, etc. for this event and it’s finally about to begin! (Actually, the pre-event readathon is currently happening this weekend.)

I’m most excited, I think, to dive into Something Wicked This Way Comes because I’ve been saving it for autumn since I bought it earlier this year, and then holding out for next month since the Something Wicked This Fall Comes post went up at the end of August.

R.I.P.: Update the First + mini review of Hereditary (the movie)

We’re just over two weeks into R.I.P. 13, and I can finally post something about my progress, yay! (My sign up post.)

I’m not 100% sure if the Parasol Protectorate series by Gail Carriger counts (I mean, I’d classify it as “supernatural,” but I’m still not sure what the difference is between supernatural, preternatural, and paranormal, so…), but I am going to count it, but only as one thing, because it feels like cheating to count a whole series of five books for a challenge that I only need to read four books for.

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Next, I read Rin Chupeco’s The Girl From the Well which solidly fits into the “horror” category. I really liked this one, and I want to read the sequel, and check out some translated Japanese horror stories at some point. I’m finding that my tastes in horror tends to be classic ghost stories (I’m also a big fan of true/”true” ghost stories), Gothic horror and Japanese stories (particularly ghostly ones).

Now I’m trying really hard to make myself finish The Library at Mount Char by Scott Hawkins, but…I’m really not loving this book. I’ve tried to read it a couple of times, and finally got about 50 pages into it earlier this year before giving up. I really want to read it and enjoy it, but it might just not be my thing. I like weird stuff, but I also like to have at least a tiny idea of wtf is going on :/

Will this one end up being my third book?

I have no clue. I’m around 20% into the story and just…bored. And frustrated. I rarely regret only spending a couple bucks on a book (I got this one on sale a while back), but I’m starting to regret this one, and I’m really thinking it might be a DNF.


And then there’s Peril On the Screen.

I usually save all horror-viewing this late in the year for October and my month-long binge, but I had a Redbox code, and the Redbox I use had Hereditary. I couldn’t help myself.

My thoughts on Hereditary are mixed. On one hand, I totally see why it was compared to The Witch. Neither are really scary, both have a sort of central theme of a family drama, and both deal with the occult (albeit in different ways).

I’ll try to keep this non-spoilery and brief.

  • I loved, loved, loved the camera work. Seriously, it was the best part of the movie imo.
  • I was not particularly surprised by anything in the big reveal. That’s the curse of being interested in the occult and watching five billion horror movies, I guess.
  • I didn’t really like or care about anyone in the movie, so what happened to them was just “eh” for me.
  • Nothing really scary happened. I mean, ok, if this were happening to my family, yeah…I’d be a bit freaked out. Mostly pissed off, but definitely a bit freaked. (Then again, if I wanted to contact a spirit, I sure as hell wouldn’t trust someone I didn’t really know to provide me with a way to do it.)
  • It was gory at times, but in a way that…worked. It wasn’t on the level of things like Saw or Hostel, for sure, but it had a few moments that were done pretty well.
  • I laughed my ass off towards the end with a thing that Annie (I think was her name) suddenly started doing after a thing involving fire. I’m trying to be vague here so I don’t spoil anything :/
  • The ending was really weird, but not bad. Just weird. I have completely neutral feelings about it.
  • My feelings about how it kind of makes you think it could be mental illness, or it could be supernatural, and you’re not sure which for much of the film, are mixed at best. On the one hand, I think it works. On the other hand, I am so sick of people with MI being thrown under buses for anything and everything, including horror stories.
  • I liked The Witch way more, but I would totally watch this again if it ever comes to Netflix and I’m bored.
  • This is one I might recommend to fans of things like Paul Tremblay’s A Head Full of Ghosts, Rosemary’s Baby (book or movie), The Wicker Man (1973), and maybe The Haunting of Hill House by Shirly Jackson and the movie Orphan.
  • I would also suggest looking up trigger warnings before watching it.

I’d give the movie a 3/5 rating, but this is another one that just didn’t scare me like I’d hoped it would. I think I might have liked it more if I’d liked at least some of the characters, but I was indifferent to them all.

However, it has a nice vibe and I didn’t hate it. I just didn’t like it enough to buy it.


And that’s it for now, I guess. I’m not sure how often I’ll post about R.I.P. from now until it ends, on October 31st. It might be kind of random, it might be weekly. We’ll just have to wait and see.

If you’re participating, tell me about what you’re reading and/or watching, or leave a link to your sign up post so I can check it out 🙂

Fall Bookish Bingo Sign Up

I utterly failed with Summer, so I didn’t even both posting my card (I’m not sure I even got one space, honestly). And, with the reading slump bs, I considered not signing up for the fall round, but I just can’t stay away! I love Bookish Bingo (hosted by Pretty Deadly Reviews), so I have to do it, even if I fail again.


 

Here’s the card for this round:


And here are some of the books I’m thinking of reading:

  • Made into a movie: Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury (I actually saw the movie first, years ago, and still haven’t read the book. Oops :/ )
  • Middle grade: City of Ghosts by Victoria Schwab (assuming I can get a copy)
  • One word title: Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier
  • History with a twist: The Terror by Dan Simmons
  • Witches: Labyrinth Lost by Zoraida Cordova
  • Black cover: The Phantom of the Opera by Gaston Leroux (I’m pretty sure my edition has a black cover, but if now, I have plenty of choices)
  • Space or stars: The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet by Becky Chambers
  • Fall release: Vengeful by V.E. Schwab, OR A Map of Days by Ransom Riggs (if I can get one/both of them)
  • Purple cover: The Bone Witch by Rin Chupeco
  • Legend or myth: The Odyssey by Homer (I’ve been planning to re-read it for ages)
  • Pretty spine: Uprooted by Naomi Novik
  • Less than 300 pages: Equal Rites by Terry Pratchett

Anyone else participating this round?

If you  have any recs for the squares I didn’t list a book for (or even for the ones I did list a book for), please leave them in the comments!

It’s Time for R.eaders I.mbibing P.eril 13!!!

I am mentally screaming! R.I.P. is one of my favorite reading events, even though I’ve only officially participated once or twice.

You can read all about it over on the R.I.P. blog, but the basics are as follows:

  • It runs from September 1st through October 31st
  • Choose your Peril level (there are several choices)
  • Choose books that can be categorized as:
    • Mystery
    • Thriller
    • Horror
    • Suspense
    • Gothic
    • Dark Fantasy
    • Supernatural
  • Have fun!
  • Share the fun! (aka your what you’re reading and such)

While this is kinda-sorta a reading challenge, the focus here is less on challenging yourself and more on the community aspect.

Just like last year, I’m choosing Peril the First (my current reading slump be damned), which is to read four books for the challenge.

I never, ever stick to any kind of TBR, so these books are not officially what I’m reading for R.I.P., but they are strong possibilities.

  1. My Best Friend’s Exorcism by Grady Hendrix
  2. something I haven’t decided on yet by Arthur Conan Doyle
  3. also possibly something I haven’t yet decided on from Agatha Christie
  4. Night Film by Marisha Pessl
  5. Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier
  6. Asylum by Madeleine Roux

I know, that’s six books, not four. But I figure if I give myself a couple more than I need, my chances of actually reading any of the books on this list goes up a bit 😉

Maybe it’s not the best decision, signing up for a “challenge” while I’m in a reading slump, but I don’t care. One way or another, this slump is getting kicked, and I’m just hoping it happens soon enough for me to get in my four books. (I keep typing “boos” because I can’t contain my spooky-time excitement, apparently 😛 )


I think I’m also going to do Peril of the Short Story and Peril On the Screen.

I usually like to squeeze in a short story or two this time of year (I love M.R. James and Poe, plus some modern horror zines and anthologies), and I always have a Halloween Month Movie Marathon.

Basically, I watch at least one horror/thriller/spooky/Halloween-themed movie every day for all 31 days, usually culminating in an all-day/evening binge on Halloween of Halloween, Halloween II, Halloween H2O, Hocus Pocus and Trick r Treat.

Don’t worry, I won’t post every day about movies. But I do think I’ll do weekly wrap-ups during Blogtober, posting about whatever spooky things I watched and/or read that week.


Anyone else participating? Let me know what you’re planning to read in the comments 😀

Tome Topple Plans + TBR

I’m kind of addicted to read a thons and reading challenges, but few get me as excited as Tome Topple, and I am so ready (haha, no, I’m not) for the next round!

If you’re not familiar with it, Tome Topple is a read a thon that usually happens a couple times a year(ish) that was created by Sam from Thoughts on Tomes over on YouTube.

Unlike a lot of read a thons, the goal isn’t to read as many books as you can. Instead, it’s to tackle “tomes” (books over 500 pages). Here’s the announcement video for this round if you want to check it out to learn more. There’s also a Tome Topple twitter, and a goodreads group!

This round of Tome Topple begins June 29th and ends July 12th.

Honestly, I’ve kind of failed at Tome Topple in the past :/ But, I’m still going to try this time around, and just hope I make it through at least part of one book by the end. 

There are mini-challenges during Tome Topple, but I don’t know if I’ll do any. I have a couple of books that would count for “part of a series,” and most of them are “adult books,” so I might get to cross off one of those.

I still haven’t decided 100% what my book (or books) will be, but I’ve narrowed it down from a list of like 30 books. I decided to try to only pick a book (or books) that I’ve owned since before this year, and then I narrowed the list down more by figuring out which ones I’ve wanted to read the longest and/or heard the most good about.

That…barely thinned down the list, honestly haha. (I also passed on a couple of non-fiction books I have, but I’ve owned both since last year, so…I might decide to pick one of those up later.)

If you’re doing TT and want to buddy read one of these, let me know! (That’s one of the mini-challenges.)

My TBR Choices

(AKA books I’ll be picking from literally as soon as I start reading, because trying to pick one before that will result in me having no desire to read it by the time the read a thon begins :/ )

 

Kindle books

  • The Queen of the Tearling by Erika Johansen
  • American Gods by Neil Gaiman
  • The Lies of Locke Lamora by Scott Lynch
  • A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness (a re-read)

 

Physical books

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Villette by Charlotte Brontë; The Divine Comedy by Dante Alighieri; The Diviners by Libba Bray; The Luminaries by Eleanor Catton


I meant to have this scheduled and posted way earlier today, but stuff came up and I’m only just finishing this post at 9PM, eek. Only three more hours until Tome Topple begins, yay!

Happy reading, and good luck to anyone participating 🙂