October wrap-up: Spookathon and WitchAThon

Hi! I read a lot this month and a lot of what I read was amazing. Strap in because this is going to be quite a long wrap-up.

I participated in two readathons this month: Spookathon and WitchAThon. I expanded the reading challenges to take up the whole of October. I completed all but two: I have not yet finished the group read for the Spookathon and I did not read a book by candlelight for the WitchAThon (though I did listen to many audiobooks while sitting near lit candles, so maybe that counts?). Many of the books I read fit into several challenges; for this post I’ll put a book in for each challenge and list all the other books I read this month afterward. I definitely got into a sci-fi mystery/thriller mood towards the end of the month and I think it reflects in my reading.

Some stats for the month:

5🌟 reads: 6

4.5🌟 reads: 4

4🌟 reads: 6

3.5🌟 reads: 3

Format (this will add to more than the total because I did a lot of switching from audio to visual and back this month)

Audiobooks: 17

Physical books: 5

E-books: 2

Library books: 14

Owned: 6

Re-read: 4

Goals:

I have a goal to read all of the queer books that I own. This month I read 2 physical and 1 audiobook for this goal (though one of the physical books probably shouldn’t count since I bought it after I finished reading it due to it’s gorgeous cover and gorgeous content).

Spookathon:

  • A thriller: The Ballad of Black Tom by Victor LaValle (4🌟) This was a Lovecraftian story with a black main character set in the 20’s, I think? It was lovely. I highly recommend it to anyone looking for a creepy novella.
  • A book with purple on the cover: The Diviners by Libba Bray (4.5🌟) This was Madalyn’s fault and I regret nothing. It was just the right kind of creepy for October. I’m going to be really slow about continuing the series, though, because the last book doesn’t even have a release date yet.
  • A book not set in the current time period: The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson (3.5🌟) This was a buddy read with the S’more Sci-fi Book Club. You can check out their related podcast episode here.
  • A book with a spooky word in the title: City of Ghosts by Victoria Schwab (4🌟) This was my first Victoria Schwab book. It didn’t disappoint, but I do think I will like some of her other works better. (AKA I’m getting to the Shades of Magic series I swear!!)
  • A book with pictures: Moonstruck, vol. 1 by Grace Ellis and Shae Beagle (4🌟) This was a really cute graphic novel. It wasn’t quite as fluffy as I had been hoping and I’m looking forward to future volumes so the characters can actually talk about their issues.
  • The group book was Toil and Trouble: 15 tales of women and witchcraft edited by Tess Sharpe and Jessica Spotswood; I’ve started it but haven’t finished it yet.

WitchAThon:

  • A book that made me warm and happy: When the Moon Was Ours by Anna-Marie McLemore (5🌟) I bought this book because I knew I needed to read some Anna-Marie McLemore and I loved the premise of this one. This was a very good choice because I’m already thinking about when I might reread it.
  • A spooky horror/thriller: Sawkill Girls by Claire LeGrand (5🌟) I am going to own this some day and mark it up because there are so many amazing quotes in this book. Though this wasn’t a buddy read I did spend the entire book texting (re: squeeing at) Destiny.
  • A book with paranormal elements: Certain Dark Things by Silvia Moreno-Garcia (3.5🌟) This was my actual buddy read with Destiny. This is a vampire noir book set in Mexico City and the vampirism is based in indigenous culture. While I think it did all of those things very well, I also think that noir isn’t for me. If it sounds good to you, I highly recommend it.
  • A book that features my ethnic heritage: Bone Crossed and Silver Borne by Patricia Briggs (4🌟 and 4🌟). This is a little misleading because unlike the MC of this series, who is half Blackfoot, I am white as Wonder Bread. However, because I know very little about my heritage other than that we’ve lived in Montana for something like eight generations and because the MC was also raised in Montana, I decided to count it. It’s a stretch, I know.
  • A buddy read: Strange Grace by Tessa Gratton (5,000,000🌟) There were a couple of reasons I thought this book was the best thing ever. For one, it is an amazing story with gorgeous writing and the most precious YA triad I have ever read. It was also my first buddy read with a friend (Madalyn), and now I’m addicted.
  • The group book: The Girl who Drank the Moon by Kelly Barnhill (4🌟). I hosted a buddy read of this on Twitter. It’s a really cute MG story with amazing atmosphere. I recommend it to anyone who’s looking for a high-witchy read (instead of high-fantasy… it makes sense in my head, I promise.)

Other October reads:

  • Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo (4.5🌟) I have finally finished this duology and my life is wonderful for having done so. I spent a lot of time messaging Will about this one, and though I have some small reservations about a part of the ending, overall it was amazing and for me it lived up to the hype.
  • Summer of Salt by Katrina Leno (4.5🌟) I have been wanting to read this since hearing Chelsea rave about it on her channel, but I was really hesitant because the story deals with sexual assault and that doesn’t always work well with my head. I’m glad I read it, though, and I’m proud for taking breaks as needed and otherwise being really good to myself as I read it. It is absolutely a queer Practical Magic and Leno’s writing deserves all the praise Chelsea has been giving it. (Also, this is the first non-graphic novel, non-eARC that I read entirely visually in a long time. Go me!)
  • The Host by Stephenie Meyer (3.5🌟) This was a reread; after my recent Twilight binge I felt like snuggling up with this super fluffy, easy read. To the surprise of zero people there were some problems (ablism, ace erasure, a general sense of cisheteronormativity), but I still had fun with it. There were some great talks about consent and there is some gender discussion regarding other species of aliens, though humans are seen as binary and static in their gender.
  • The Loneliest Girl in the Universe by Lauren James (4.5🌟) I somehow didn’t know this was going to be a sci-fi psychological thriller going into it and I’m okay with that. I loved the tension, I loved the twists, and I absolutely loved the ending (even if it’s not what I originally thought I wanted). The writing was also amazing. I’m going to try fitting in James’s other two books during November.
  • Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff (5🌟) WHAT
  • Gemina by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff (5🌟) THE
  • Obsidio by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff (5🌟) HELL! How is this series so good?? How did I not know about it until the last weekend of October?? I did a mix of audio and physical books for this series; though they’re different experiences, I’d say both formats worked really well for the stories (at least partially because I’m a sucker for a full-cast audio). I loved the characters, I loved the stories, I loved ALL the twists… my wife can attest to the many WTF moments, especially in Illuminae. Much like with Sawkill Girls, I spend a lot of time during these reads texting Destiny and basking in our mutual love for all these space bbs.

There you have it, all the books I read in October. I did a lot of binging this month and I read a lot of amazing things. Also, the reading challenges were really fun. Have you read any of these? Any thoughts or feelings? Feel free to leave them in the comments.

All the best,

Owl

Author: SeeOwlRead

They/She. I’m a queer reviewer and librarian.

2 thoughts on “October wrap-up: Spookathon and WitchAThon”

  1. Eeeeeeep, you read so many AMAZING books in October! Thank you for contributing to my lifetime goal for everyone to read The Diviners series. πŸ˜‰ Summer of Salt, When the Moon Was Ours, and Crooked Kingdom are all favorites of mine. (And the Illuminae Files audiobooks are so good!) I’m so happy we read Strange Grace together! What a perfect book; I’m still not over it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I will never be over how beautiful Strange Grace is. Like, is January too soon for a reread?
      Seriously, though, it was such a good reading month. I don’t think I’ve ever read that many 4-5 stars so close to each other.

      Like

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