I cannot believe that it is less than 2 months until 2020 starts.
Like, what?? I actually can’t.
So October (basically what I like to call ~spooky szn~) is gone (I guess), and it was a very, very weird month and I genuinely don’t know how to feel about it.
BOOKS I READ:
☀️ lead / major side characters of color
🏳️🌈 lgbtq lead / major side characters
🌸 neurodiversity and trauma
✨ New Release Challenge
💨 Beat the Backlist
📚 Back to the Classics
📖 Library Love Challenge
🎧 Audiobook Challenge 2019
How It Happened by Arthur Conan Doyle ★★★★☆ // This was a really, interesting, well-written short story with FANTASTIC foreshadowing. I actually love Conan Doyle’s work a LOT. More thoughts here.
10 Blind Dates by Ashley Elston ★★★★☆ (4.5) // Cute, fun, Christmas-y rom-com with a big family? This is as good, if not better, than it sounds. You bet I’m rereading it this December. More thoughts here.
Before the Devil Breaks You by Libba Bray ★★★★☆ // Goodness, this was so perfect for October, and I adore these characters, atmosphere and the setting. I cannot wait for the finale. More thoughts here.
The Fly in the Ointment by V.S Pritchett ★★☆☆☆ // This was so boring that watching paint dry was more entertaining. I get its value, but this was definitely Not For Me. More thoughts here.
Girls of Storm and Shadow by Natasha Ngan ★★★★☆ (4.25) // A great sequel with so much to love, but it did suffer from pacing issues and second book syndrome. Find my rapid thoughts here and my full review here!
The Custody of the Pumpkin by P.G Wodehouse ★★★★☆ (4.25) // Another hit in terms of a short story – fantastically hilarious, tongue-in-cheek, incredibly British and a lot of fun. More thoughts here.
Rebel by Marie Lu ★★★☆☆ // This was fun and all, but this really wasn’t needed, to be honest. More thoughts here.
The Taste of Watermelon by Borden Deal ★★★★☆ (3.75) // A great coming-of-age short story that I really enjoyed! More thoughts here.
Daisy Jones and the Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid ★★★★☆ (audiobook reread) // Taylor Jenkins Reid is just so good at writing, and this was great on its own. More thoughts here.
Words in Deep Blue by Cath Crowley ★★★☆☆ // This is literally a book lover’s dream – it’s wonderfully Australian, a quick, fun read, but some things really annoyed me about it. More thoughts here.
His Hideous Heart edited by Dahlia Adler ★★★★☆ (4.25-4.5) // This was PERFECT for October, and I’m really glad that I got some exposure to Poe. Definitely one of the stronger anthologies, and I definitely recommend taking your time with it. Rapid thoughts here and a full review to come (either on Goodreads or as a separate blog post!)
TOP POST OF THE MONTH:
The header graphic doesn’t tell you much, but my top post of this month was me talking about my rating system and how I rate books! I’m glad you all enjoyed it, because it was definitely an interesting post to write.
FAVOURITE POST OF THE MONTH:
Another default graphic, but this is used to represent the post where I wrote about 17 books that were significant to my reading life to celebrate my 17th birthday! I loved these books so much and it was a really different type of post to write, which was interesting for sure.
OTHER POSTS OF THE MONTH:
- Basically a Marie Lu Appreciation Post, (More) Short Stories/Novellas, My Contemporary-A-Thon Wrap Up + Me Oversharing, Again // Recent Reads #6
- September ’19 Wrap Up // The One Where I Am Dying From School, Read A Bunch, and I Am (Extremely) Excited For October!!
- I’m Turning 17?? // (Incoherently) Talking About 17 Books That Marked My Reader Life (+ some of my favourite books that you need to read ASAP OKAY)
- October Reading Plans – My Birthday Month (!!!) My Mixed September TBR + My Laid Back October TBR
- A Far Smaller Amount of Books Than Normal // Recent Reads #7
- The Ins and Outs of My Rating System aka Me Making Everything Unnecessarily Complicated and Intricate
I’m going to share some posts that I did really enjoy in my limited blog hopping, and I’m sorry I haven’t done any commenting at all! Or responded to comments (yikes), because school is killing me and that’s … fun.
But I think I’m going to be getting rid of this section until the summer or whenever I had more time to blog hop because I truly haven’t found anything and that SUCKS.
Here are some posts I did really love this month, though:
- May @ Forever and Everly wrote a post about your hypocrisy about “realistic” teens in YA
- Caitlin @ Caitlin Athea discussed the reasons why reading is so unpopular
- Marie @ Drizzle and Hurricane Books talked about how to organise your reading life as a blogger
- Fadwa @ Word Woonders had lots of wonderful discussions by a variety of bloggers under her #diversebookbloggers discuss series!
- Well, October, was another weird month in terms of life updates, and I don’t know how to feel about it?
- But nice things first, I guess – I celebrated my 17th birthday this month! I celebrated it by talking about 17 books that changed my reading life in some sort of way, and it was an okay day, I guess?
- I had half term (yay) and went back to Singapore for it! Which was kind of mixed, honestly. While it was great to see my friends, things such as homework and other stuff made it a very stressful and not very restful break.
- Which leads me to my next point – my mental state was not the best this month. A lot of it had to do with school – I have always tried to push myself in school, and I’m trying really hard to keep up, which means pushing myself a lot. In short, I saw a lot of sleeping at 2 to 3AM, which is, uh, not great for self-care (as I have been repeatedly told by friends, lmao). If you want to know the state of mind I’m in, someone asked me how I’m doing and I nearly broke down. (… I’m totally fine). And yes, I know I’m complaining a LOT but I’m still so thankful I took A Levels instead of IB.
- And about school in other respects? Honestly, I’m still struggling (although less and less now) to find my footing here socially. The fact that a) I’m not the best in social situations, plus the fact that b) a lot of new kids knew people here and have already settled in well, c) a lot of people have been here since they were really young and all know each other, and d) most people speak Thai (which I understand nothing of), which makes social situations really difficult. Like, there are some lovely people here, and I really want to get to know them more, but I … just don’t know how. Fun.
- Truth Hurts by Lizzo (Truth Hurts, 2017)
- hot girl bummer by blackbear (hot girl bummer, 2019)
- Darling by Christian Leave (Milksop / Darling, 2019)
- Fly Me To The Moon (In Other Words) by Frank Sinatra and Court Basie (Sinatra/Basie: The Complete Reprise Studio Recordings, 1962)
- Best Part (feat. H.E.R) by Daniel Caesar (Freudian, 2017)
I had seen a few memes that combined John Mulaney’s comedic routine with Brooklyn 99 content, and I had heard that his Delta Airlines skit was funny, so I decided to try it out. And it was so great. John Mulaney is basically a woke comedian (as I’m typing this I realise how stupid I sound), which we stan. Okay, his jokes aren’t the funniest but his delivery was BRILLIANT. Do yourself a favour and listen to him.
MISCELLANEOUS MEDIA OF THE MONTH
WHAT I WATCHED
I didn’t read as much as I would have liked to this month, but I did watch a bunch of TV! Which was cool, I guess.
How to Get Away with Murder, Season 1 ★★★★☆
This was LOTS of fun. I watched it because I have always wanted to watch a legal drama series before (because ya girl is interested in law, even though legal dramas aren’t exactly renowned for their legal realism), and I just got addicted fairly quickly. Before going into this, all I knew about this was that it was fairly well known and it had Alfred Enoch (aka the actor for Dean Thomas in the Harry Potter films). This show is high stakes, and kind of brutal, but so addicting. I’m pretty impressed that I got through one season, and I’m lowkey proud of myself even though I need to stop procrastinating. Viola Davis’s performance was so great, and did I mention Liza! Weil! is! in! this! show! (aka Paris Geller), which was awesome.
The Good Place, Season 4 (ongoing) ★★★★★ (4.75-5)
I never realised how much I love the Good Place until this season, BUT I DO. Seasons 2 and 3 weren’t as fun for me largely due to the setting, but Season 4 has returned to where, in my opinion, it shines –
Brooklyn 99, the Halloween Episodes ★★★★★
I know you all celebrate Halloween with your sweets and all, but this is how I celebrate Halloween (and I’m presuming fellow 99 stans agree with me here). These episodes are known as some of the best in the series, and for good reason. The dynamics between the characters were perfect, the comedy was on-point and the endings were brilliantly plotted. I’m not giving it the full 5 because I feel that the Season 2, 3 and 4 episodes pale significantly next to the Season 1 and 5 episodes. That season 5 ending? Genuinely perfection. I feel so soft after I watch that episode.
- Answer all, or as many comments as possible! ❌ Because of life things, I have gotten so behind on replying to comments, and I feel really bad for doing so. Therefore, in October, I really want to prioritize this.
- PSAT and SAT preparation. ✔ I had to do this anyway since I had PSATs in the middle of October, but as for SAT preparation? I need to get a move on.
- Read 12+ books. ❌ I hit 11 books, and I’m definitely annoyed because I wanted to read 27+ books from September to October, and now … I have to read 25 books in November and December to reach my 150 books goal.
- Diversify the types of blog posts I write. ✔❌ I think I did do this, technically? I’m also putting down a cross because I’m not sure how well I did this, because I could’ve done so much better.
- Have my blog posts done and scheduled a good amount of time before the posting date. ❌ I … most definitely did not do that. Literally all my posts were done 1 hour before scheduling, or even pushed back. Clown city – population: me.
- Update all revision things. ✔❌ I honestly, don’t know what to do about it.
- Work. On. History. ✔❌ Another complicated one, because a lot of it was revision/homework integrated into the lessons, but in terms of independent revision? About nothing.
- Solidify friendships and make an effort to get to know people more! ✔❌ I am genuinely at a loss as to how to evaluate this, and I truly don’t know what to say about this. Because I kind of tried.
- Spend time with friends! ✔ With Singapore friends? For sure, since I made an effort to get out of the house a lot. With Bangkok friends? …. Not really.
- Get extracurriculars moving! I have less than a year to pump my CV with stuff, and I need to get my extracurriculars truly moving.
- Pull together a pathways plan/SAT plan. Like I said, I’m applying to uni in like a year (W H A T), so ya girl needs to finalise her SAT plan and an overall pathways plan. (For anyone
basically no one lmaowho’s interested in knowing where I’m interested in applying, I’m looking at the U.S and the U.K – but more so East Coast U.S, which is exciting! Also, I can’t wait to go to college.
- Get on those revision notes!! My AS exams are in May (W H A T) and my mocks are in January, and if IGCSEs taught me anything, it’s that I need to finish my notes as early as possible so I can get on those past papers.
- Read 12+ books. If I want to complete my 150 books in 2019 goal, I have to aim to read at least 12+ books in November, minimum, so I don’t stress out in December trying to make it, and you know, die.
- Make an effort to get essays and major test/homework done at least 24 hours before the due date. I know not everyone is on the same boat as me, but I genuinely REALLY care about my grades. My grades slip up if I don’t revise enough, and I want to be able to time manage so I can complete essays, major written work and test revision to as high of a quality as possible so I can, you know, ~improve~ and do better.
- Complete and schedule posts at least 24 hours before they’re meant to be published!! (please). My scheduling ability and my procrastination has been getting worse, and I want to make sure I combat that by having posts scheduled at least a day before they’re meant to go up, so I don’t have to rush them the day before.
- skincare. Skincare. SKINCARE. Also, self care, I guess? I have been kinda sorta really neglecting skincare and self care, so I want to look after myself. In terms of skincare, I need to wash my face at least once! a! day! exfoliate once a week, put on a hydrating mask once a week, and just hydrate my skin better. And in terms of self-care, I’m going to aim to take Fridays completely off (with maximum of 1-2 hours of schoolwork) and just treat myself, whether that be reading, watching TV, bujo-ing, going out with friends or just unwinding in general.
- Exercise at least twice a week, with at least one morning session! I’m participating in my school’s Gold Duke of Edinburgh International Award (masochism at its finest), and we’re going on a practice expedition in Chiang Mai (if I’m not wrong) in December, so I need to be fit enough so I don’t die (we’re walking like 10 km a day for 3+ days? I don’t know why I do this I just like pain and putting stuff into my CVs I guess? And personal rewards?? I don’t know. And I guess it’s better for my mental health?? I have to exercise anyway so why not hold myself accountable to it!!
- Organisation!! Pretty self-explanatory, but I am actually a mess and I want to be, you know, not a mess (for once).
- Prepare for the December expedition! Since I’m going on that expedition in December, I need to get all the appropriate supplies, which I, uh, haven’t done yet. So that needs to be done.
- School, school and more school. I’m honestly just trying to survive, you know? And come out okay.
- I’m also heading back to Singapore for a weekend for visa-related things! I love Singapore but I can’t really do much since it’ll be a weekend trip. We’ll see whether I can though? I dunno.
How was October for you? What was your favorite book that you read this month, and how was your reading month? Any other favourites? Bloggers, what were some of your favorite posts this month? Feel free to share them here! Did you set goals last month, and how did you do on them?
I would love to know.
I hope you all have a wonderful November!