October Wrap Up

I have talked about The Storygraph in the past, but the website keeps getting better and better! They have now included more monthly stats, so I thought it would be fun to start sharing those in my wrap ups. Let me know what you think!

Read

8 books, 3,042 pages

Moods

As it is October, I am not at all surprised to see the majority of the books I read this month were dark, tense, emotional, and mysterious. I would be upset if that weren’t the case!

Pace

I would say this is pretty normal. Most of the books I read throughout the year fall into the medium-paced category!

Page Number

I am surprised that two of the books I read this month were over 500 pages! They were Jane Eyre and Plain Bad Heroines.

Genres

Horror, thriller, and mystery being in my top five categories is no surprise and, of course, I had to read a couple romances to break up all the heavy and haunting reads!

Star Ratings

Average rating: 3.97

One of the best things about The Storygraph is the rating system! As you can see, I had a pretty good reading month. Half the books I read were four stars or above!

Devolution: A Firsthand Account of the Rainier Sasquatch Massacre by Max Brooks

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As the ash and chaos from Mount Rainier’s eruption swirled and finally settled, the story of the Greenloop massacre has passed unnoticed, unexamined . . . until now.

But the journals of resident Kate Holland, recovered from the town’s bloody wreckage, capture a tale too harrowing–and too earth-shattering in its implications–to be forgotten.

In these pages, Max Brooks brings Kate’s extraordinary account to light for the first time, faithfully reproducing her words alongside his own extensive investigations into the massacre and the legendary beasts behind it.

Kate’s is a tale of unexpected strength and resilience, of humanity’s defiance in the face of a terrible predator’s gaze, and inevitably, of savagery and death.

Yet it is also far more than that.

Because if what Kate Holland saw in those days is real, then we must accept the impossible. We must accept that the creature known as Bigfoot walks among us–and that it is a beast of terrible strength and ferocity.

Part survival narrative, part bloody horror tale, part scientific journey into the boundaries between truth and fiction, this is a Bigfoot story as only Max Brooks could chronicle it–and like none you’ve ever read before.

I am officially a Max Brooks fan! I love the way he tells a story and has you questioning whether or not what you are reading is actually fiction. The tension slowly builds in this story and it takes awhile for the reader to understand exactly what is going on. I loved seeing the growth in our main character! A haunting read for sure!

My Best Friend’s Exorcism by Grady Hendrix

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Abby and Gretchen have been best friends since fifth grade, when they bonded over a shared love of E.T., roller-skating parties, and scratch-and-sniff stickers. But when they arrive at high school, things change. Gretchen begins to act….different. And as the strange coincidences and bizarre behavior start to pile up, Abby realizes there’s only one possible explanation: Gretchen, her favorite person in the world, has a demon living inside her. And Abby is not about to let anyone or anything come between her and her best friend. With help from some unlikely allies, Abby embarks on a quest to save Gretchen. But is their friendship powerful enough to beat the devil? 

I loved how campy this was! It wasn’t a perfect read, but it was certainly a fun and creepy one. The 80s references made it all the better!

The Sun Down Motel by Simone St. James

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The secrets lurking in a rundown roadside motel ensnare a young woman, just as they did her aunt thirty-five years before, in this new atmospheric suspense novel from the national bestselling and award-winning author of The Broken Girls.

Upstate NY, 1982. Every small town like Fell, New York, has a place like the Sun Down Motel. Some customers are from out of town, passing through on their way to someplace better. Some are locals, trying to hide their secrets. Viv Delaney works as the night clerk to pay for her move to New York City. But something isn’t right at the Sun Down, and before long she’s determined to uncover all of the secrets hidden…

The Sun Down Motel was exactly the level of spooky that I love. I appreciated that dual timelines and how they paralelled one another. It is always fun when you are questioning whether or not something paranormal is actually happening! I cannot wait to read Broken Girls.

In a Holidaze by Christina Lauren

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It’s the most wonderful time of the year…but not for Maelyn Jones. She’s living with her parents, hates her going-nowhere job, and has just made a romantic error of epic proportions.

But perhaps worst of all, this is the last Christmas Mae will be at her favorite place in the world—the snowy Utah cabin where she and her family have spent every holiday since she was born, along with two other beloved families. Mentally melting down as she drives away from the cabin for the final time, Mae throws out what she thinks is a simple plea to the universe: Please. Show me what will make me happy.

The next thing she knows, tires screech and metal collides, everything goes black. But when Mae gasps awake…she’s on an airplane bound for Utah, where she begins the same holiday all over again. With one hilarious disaster after another sending her back to the plane, Mae must figure out how to break free of the strange time loop—and finally get her true love under the mistletoe.

In a Holidaze is a cute holiday romance. If you are like me and you love a good Hallmark movie, I think you will enjoy this one. Not my favourite Christina Lauren novel, but it did make me excited to get my hands on all the holiday-themed book coming out this year!

Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte

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Orphaned as a child, Jane has felt an outcast her whole young life. Her courage is tested once again when she arrives at Thornfield Hall, where she has been hired by the brooding, proud Edward Rochester to care for his ward Adèle. Jane finds herself drawn to his troubled yet kind spirit. She falls in love. Hard.

But there is a terrifying secret inside the gloomy, forbidding Thornfield Hall. Is Rochester hiding from Jane? Will Jane be left heartbroken and exiled once again?

I did it! I finally read Jane Eyre, and I loved it! This book reminded me how accessible classics can be. I am often scared away from reading classics thinking they will be to time consuming or over my head, and that is just not the case. Jane Eyre is the perfect book to read this time of year!

Don’t Look For Me by Wendy Walker

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One night, Molly Clarke walked away from her life. The car abandoned miles from home. The note found at a nearby hotel. The shattered family that couldn’t be put back together. It happens all the time. Women disappear, desperate to leave their lives behind and start over. She doesn’t want to be found. Or at least, that’s the story. But is that what really happened to Molly Clarke?

The night Molly disappeared began with a storm, running out of gas, and a man in a truck offering her a ride to town. With him is a little girl who reminds her of the daughter she lost years ago. It feels like a sign. And Molly is overcome with the desire to be home, with her family—no matter how broken it is. She accepts the ride. But when the doors are locked shut, Molly begins to suspect she has made a terrible mistake.

When a new lead comes in after the search has ended, Molly’s daughter, Nicole, begins to wonder. Nothing about her mother’s disappearance makes sense.

Nicole returns to the small, desolate town where her mother was last seen to find the truth. The locals are kind and eager to help. The innkeeper. The bartender. Even the police. Until secrets begin to reveal themselves and she comes closer to the truth about that night—and the danger surrounding her.

A new favourite thriller! When I wasn’t reading this book, I was thinking about it. It is a book that had me constantly looking over my shoulder and didn’t feel so farfetched. I need to read more from Wendy Walker!

The Midnight Library by Matt Haig

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Somewhere out beyond the edge of the universe there is a library that contains an infinite number of books, each one the story of another reality. One tells the story of your life as it is, along with another book for the other life you could have lived if you had made a different choice at any point in your life. While we all wonder how our lives might have been, what if you had the chance to go to the library and see for yourself? Would any of these other lives truly be better?

In The Midnight Library, Matt Haig’s enchanting new novel, Nora Seed finds herself faced with this decision. Faced with the possibility of changing her life for a new one, following a different career, undoing old breakups, realizing her dreams of becoming a glaciologist; she must search within herself as she travels through the Midnight Library to decide what is truly fulfilling in life, and what makes it worth living in the first place. 

One of my favourite books of the year, which is no surprise considering how much I adore Matt Haig. The Midnight Library is the most hopeful book I have read so far in 2020, and it gave me all the fuzzy feelings. If you are like me and you love everything that Mitch Albom writes, I think you will adore The Midnight Library.

Plain Bad Heroines by Emily M. Danforth

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Our story begins in 1902, at The Brookhants School for Girls. Flo and Clara, two impressionable students, are obsessed with each other and with a daring young writer named Mary MacLane, the author of a scandalous bestselling memoir. To show their devotion to Mary, the girls establish their own private club and call it The Plain Bad Heroine Society. They meet in secret in a nearby apple orchard, the setting of their wildest happiness and, ultimately, of their macabre deaths. This is where their bodies are later discovered with a copy of Mary’s book splayed beside them, the victims of a swarm of stinging, angry yellow jackets. Less than five years later, The Brookhants School for Girls closes its doors forever—but not before three more people mysteriously die on the property, each in a most troubling way.

Over a century later, the now abandoned and crumbling Brookhants is back in the news when wunderkind writer, Merritt Emmons, publishes a breakout book celebrating the queer, feminist history surrounding the “haunted and cursed” Gilded-Age institution. Her bestselling book inspires a controversial horror film adaptation starring celebrity actor and lesbian it girl Harper Harper playing the ill-fated heroine Flo, opposite B-list actress and former child star Audrey Wells as Clara. But as Brookhants opens its gates once again, and our three modern heroines arrive on set to begin filming, past and present become grimly entangled—or perhaps just grimly exploited—and soon it’s impossible to tell where the curse leaves off and Hollywood begins.

A story within a story within a story and featuring black-and-white period illustrations, Plain Bad Heroines is a devilishly haunting, modern masterwork of metafiction that manages to combine the ghostly sensibility of Sarah Waters with the dark imagination of Marisha Pessl and the sharp humor and incisive social commentary of Curtis Sittenfeld into one laugh-out-loud funny, spellbinding, and wonderfully luxuriant read.

I personally loved Plain Bad Heroines, but it is not a book I would universally recommend. Emily M. Danforth is a talented author and I am in awe of the story that she has woven together. At over 600 pages, I have a feeling many readers will feel that this book could have been much shorter, and I understand where they are coming from; however, I appreciated every single word! The book is more about relationships than it is about horror or thrills. If you are interested in character-driven horror, this is the book for you.

October was a slower reading month for me, but my reading usually slows down as the end of the year approaches. That said, I have read some really fantastic books this month and found a few new favourites!

What was the best book you read this month?

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30 thoughts on “October Wrap Up

  1. Nice wrap up! I liked all the graphs you threw in! It was interesting to see all the details about your reads. The best books I’ve read this month (I read quite a few good ones) were the books in The Weaver Trilogy by Lindsay A. Franklin. Those are SO good! Thanks for the post!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Ooh, the monthly stats from Storygraph look fun! I should give that a go. Also, congrats on crossing Jane Eyre off your classics list, and I’m glad you ended up liking it! I had a few quibbles but it was a standout for me as well. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. So glad you liked Jane Eyre! 😀 It is perfect for this time of year. I tend to shy away from classics too but Jane Eyre helped to make me consider picking up a classic novel every now and then.

    Liked by 1 person

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