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Oooh, boy! It’s been almost a year since I wrote a “What I Read” post and I am hyped to be here! Don’t y’all want to hear about all the books I read… erhm… two months ago? (Don’t judge me! I was planning to write this in November and I took all the pictures. Then November was crazy but… I took all the pictures!)

With this relaunch, I want to keep my book posts shorter and sweeter. And also with less of my truly atrocious book photography. (I will get better at that, I swear…) So, without further ado – What I Read in October 2021!

What I Read: October 2021

My Best Friend’s Exorcism by Grady Hendrix

My Best Friend’s Exorcism is really good, really unsettling, and a little bit gross. It truly feels like a 1980s possession movie in book form – the little bits of multimedia scattered throughout super help with that. If you liked Stranger Things, this book is for you. Plus it has its own playlist!

(Once you finish it, though, go read The Southern Book Club’s Guide to Slaying Vampires – it’s a spiritual sequel and my fav.)

Half Sick of Shadows by Laura Sebastian

This is a cute little YA Arthurian retelling, focused around Elaine of Astolat, the Lady of Shallot. (Fun fact: back in my days of insanejournal based roleplay games, one of my favourite characters I ever played was a modern reincarnation of Elaine.) To be honest, now that it’s December, I don’t remember a ton about Half Sick of Shadows – like to the point that I couldn’t remember if it was a standalone or not. The non-linear storytelling is fun, though, and it was a quick read.

Sky Without Stars by Jessica Brody and Joanne Rendell

Another retelling! Sky Without Stars is Les Mis in space and it is a part of a series. It is also very apparent that it’s a re-telling, if you know Les Mis. I liked the world-building, I liked the Marius character more than I like Marius… I struggled with the death of a child that kicked off the main plot. You guys, now that I hang out with a little girl, I just can’t with little girls dying in books. (It’s not graphic or anything, it just makes me sad to think about.)

A Kingdom of Flesh and Fire & The Crown of Gilded Bones by Jennifer L. Armentrout

Yeah, Tiktok made me do it. They said that Jennifer L. Armentrout’s books were spicy and there was truly spice to be had. I took a big break between the first book of this series and these two, due to library reasons, and I found it super hard to remember any of the mythology of the world. But it’s smut wearing a fairly substantial fantasy hat so… it does its job.

The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue by V.E Schwab

I will admit that The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue has a bit of a slow start and the perspectives we get are a bit uneven (we understand Addie way more than Henry). However, there was just something about Addie that vibed with me. It reminded me of something I would have loved when I was a teenager in Ontario, learning about art and “Bohemia” and all that good stuff, but all grown up. It might not be your taste, but I devoured it.


So? Do you like the more short and sweet format? Do you want the old pictures back? Let me know because there’s going to be a November post coming sometime this month… mwahaha.

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Books I Read January

How are we already talking about books I read in January 2021? How is it already 2021? Time is going by so fast these days, my dears, and while the part of me who wants to hug people is totally okay with that, the part of me that needs to somehow complete a research project by April is less so. Along those lines, I was really afraid that I would not have any books to talk about this month. As evidenced by the stressed out side of myself, school is really ramping up in my second last semester so I have lots of work to do and lots of Freire to read. Maybe by the end of this semester, I’ll finally be able to explain to people what praxis means.

But, like we recently discussed, when life is heavy and when life is light a girl needs to take some time for herself. And in my “me” time, I do like to read.

Something that will be a little bit different this year – I’m following the POPSUGAR Reading Challenge. I typically read more books in a year than the challenge requires you to read so not all books will fit into a category for the challenge, but if a book does tick a box, I’ll let you know which one.

The Cousins by Karen McManus

Favourite January Book I Read: The Cousins by Karen McManus

I was so excited to read The Cousins – Karen McManus writes YA thrillers in a really approachable way that still keeps you crazy engaged all the way through. Her characters act like teenagers and, when they decide not to include adults in their adventures, the decision makes sense. (Teens acting like adults in YA fiction is my least favourite thing – give me a compelling reason to get the adults out of the way!)

The Cousins lived up to all my expectations. It tells the story of – you guessed it – three cousins from the Story family. These kids barely know each other due to family **drama** when they are mysteriously invited to spend the summer working at their grandmother’s isolated island resort. As you can imagine, secrets are exposed and thrilling adventures take place. Plus! A bonus – the book has parallel time periods. It was such a fun read.

POPSUGAR Reading Challenge: A book with a family tree

The Hazel Wood by Melissa Albert

The Hazel Wood by Melissa Albert

By contrast, I don’t think I could call The Hazel Wood a fun read, even if it is equally mysterious. Alice and her mother have spent their lives on the road, always followed by the “bad luck”. When her grandmother, a famous and reclusive author, passes away, it seems like the bad luck is finally behind them… but it’s just beginning.

The Hazel Wood is a throwback to dark fairy tales. It blends original fairy tales with the real world in a way that feels mildly reminiscent of Alice In Wonderland. Except it is very grown up. And Alice is not a particularly likeable character. There is a very very good reason for the darkness inside Alice – which she cannot understand – but I should warn you. You gotta wait through some angry, nastiness to get there.

POPSUGAR Reading Challenge: A book about forgetting

The Night Country by Melissa Albert

The Night Country by Melissa Albert

Obviously I was able to get past Alice’s darkness – I almost immediately read The Hazel Wood’s sequel The Night Country. I preferred this book. Alice is in a more accessible place – even if she continues to set fire to the world around her – and y’all know I love it when the world expands. Plus this book has one of my favourite fantasy things – parallel storylines! I absolutely love seeing how the characters come together.

There is also a book of the fairy tales from this series – Tales from the Hinterland. I cannot wait to see where the characters in these first two books come from. We hear hints of their “stories”, I want the whole thing!

Wayward Son by Rainbow Rowell

Wayward Son by Rainbow Rowell

Wayward Son is another sequel… and I haven’t written about the original on this blog so… um… how do I handle this?

I really enjoyed it. It’s a YA LGBT romance-fantasy.

Go read Carry On. Then just read Wayward Son right afterwards to see what happens to a Chosen One once the thing they were chosen for is no longer a thing. It’s like fanfiction, but by the author. Love it.

My Favourite Half-Night Stand by Christina Lauren

My Favourite Half-Night Stand by Christina Lauren

Christina Lauren is fairly prolific in the rom-com genre for their fluffy beachy reads. My Favourite Half-Night Stand is definitely a cute fluffy read, if fairly trope-y. (It’s a classic “secret identity” romance and the denouement happens through letters). I guess my only complaint is that I wish they had committed more fully to the bit? Like, a couple of times they show messages from a group chat and if that’s going to be a thing, I want it to be a thing.

But maybe I’m just thinking too much about my rom-coms.

Though I will admit, I literally started reading this book a year and a half ago. It took this long for me to actually sit down at finish it. So that says something.

POPSUGAR Reading Challenge: The book that’s on your TBR list for the longest amount of time

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What I Read: December 2020

Well well well, my friends. It’s mid-January and I think by this point you know exactly what to expect. A book post! Let me tell you, this beauty is going to be long because I was on break. So, without further ado, let’s get into What I Read December Edition!

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How I'm Celebrating my Christmas Break Alone Because of Covid

It is December 23, 2020 and yesterday was my last day of work until after New Years. Almost two weeks off! Plus? I am done school for the semester and don’t go back until January 11. (Don’t worry, I am starting up both things hot after the break – the next course I coordinate starts first day back and I literally have my first school zoom on the 11th). On the one hand, this is super exciting. On the other hand, this is the time of Covid and I’ll be spending most of my Christmas break alone.

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What I Read: November

You guys love the book posts! And I love telling you about what books I read because it makes me feel way less guilty about reading instead of blogging. (Note: I totally know that this guilt is in my own head and nothing that y’all have done. I’m all about beating myself up over things I think I “should” be doing. I am working on it. But that is a post for another day). So, without further ado, here are my thoughts the books I read this past month!

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Collage of Books I Read in October

Hello friends and…enemies? Friends yet to come? Book lovers? People who care about books I read? I don’t know, ya’ll, who comes to blog posts of very small blogs? Maybe weigh in down in the comments so I know how to refer to you all.

Ugh. Another opening paragraph that is going to make my SEO go super crazy because I, just like every recipe blogger out there, take a million years to get to the point.

And what is the point, you may ask?

Books! Ya’ll seem to love it when I talk about books so without further ado, please enjoy this quick overview/review of the books I read this October.

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(“Two Gentlemen of Verona” Poster Image, as always, lovingly stolen from Theatre Calgary. Their site is always adding more incredible, informative material about their shows, please take the time to explore it.)

First off: I probably should have written about this show a month again. Actually, if I were really good at my job, I would have seen the show early in it’s run and written an actual review to actually encourage my readers to go see it. But long-time readers know that’s not what I’m here for. I’m here for ruminating on things for far too long and then vomiting my thoughts about important theatre onto this blog. And today? The #importanttheatre that I’m talking about is #ShakesBow‘s production of Two Gentlemen of Verona.

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Erin looking down

I’m the worst at Youtube videos. I never like, I never comment, it takes forever before I remember to subscribe – even if I love every video you post. I’m working really hard at being an engaged viewer. I’m not there yet but, hey, what is life if we aren’t always striving towards something, right? One day I will totally remember to comment on a video.

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Yes, it’s true. This girl has fallen into an absolute spiral of locking herself in her basement and just all reading books, all the time. Why? Why have I turned into a book hermit?

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