As summer ends and fall begins, everyone starts looking towards winter and the craziness of the end of the year. There are certain things that you do to prepare yourself for the colder months and the end of the year. Heading into that last quarter of the year can be a little melancholy when you think about the year ending, but it can also be the best time of the year. Some people just want to hibernate, but others are full of purpose and activity.
I prepare to hunker down and stay in. For me it’s the time of warm blankets and cozy times. It’s the perfect time for reading and hanging out inside. There are certain things I do to prepare for this.
I get out all my extra blankets, you never know when you want to really snuggle in. I also get out my extra pillows, you never know when you want to make a nest for yourself. Next I get out all my winter candles because again, the season just lends itself to cozy reading time.
Now obviously, we’re in fall and not deep winter, but the temperatures are dropping swiftly and it’s starting to rain. Out come the recipes for soups and the instinct to bake kicks in since the holidays are getting closer and closer.
I don’t do a ton of preparation for the end of the year other than those that will give me comfort. I get both saddened by the upcoming end of the year and happy about it. It’s both an ending and a beginning and often comes very swiftly.
How do you prepare for these seasons? Do you feel the same way?
We all have those books that are super hyped or that a lot of people really love and they don’t jive with us. I have more than a few of these. In most cases it just means the book isn’t for me and that’s fine, but sometimes there are certain aspects that rub me the wrong way. The following are just a few that just weren’t for me.
The Perks of Being a Wallflower – I know this one is very beloved in the book community but it just did not speak to me. Maybe I was too outside the intended audience, but when I finished it I just was confused and hadn’t enjoyed it at all.
Darkfever – Again, there are TONS of people that love this series so I was eager to get into it. I thought it sounded perfect! I was sorely disappointed and almost DNFed it multiple times. This was mostly due to the repeated trope of “If I had known then what I know now.” It drove me crazy.
Eleanor & Park – This one is a bit more complex and again it is one that I desperately wanted to love…and I just didn’t. I’m Caucasian and my partner is Korean, so I thought this would be up my alley, but a lot of stuff that were said regarding the members of the Korean family were borderline (and more than borderline in some places) racist in my opinion. The way characters were described in their looks and speech just made me cringe and get upset.
If you like these books then that’s great. These are just my opinions on books I would rather not have read because I didn’t enjoy my reading experience with them. They are beloved by a lot of people, so if they interest you definitely give them a try.
Any book lover will tell you that there is not enough time to read all the books that you want to read. We try anyway, very valiantly. There’s a ton of books that I wish I had already gotten to this year, but I haven’t had a chance to yet.
These are just some of the books I wish I had already gotten to this year. I’m still hoping to get to them, so fingers crossed!
Teeth in the Mist – This one I’m especially hoping to get to this month, but we’ll see. I really enjoyed Dawn Kurtagich’s novel The Dead House so I was super excited when I heard this one was coming out. I was even more excited when I heard it was a spin on Faust. It’s a bit of a tome but it appears to have a good amount of mixed media in it so I’m hoping that once I get into it I’ll be able to power through it. Plus, I love this cover and how abnormal and creepy it is.
The Loneliest Girl in the Universe – I’ve heard mixed things about this book, both negative and positive, but the premise of it intrigues me. I’ve heard that it can be a pretty quick read so that’s always a good factor. I am pretty picky about the sci-fi that I read, but this one sounds like it’s one I will really enjoy.
Trail of Lightning – I’ve had this one my TBR since it came out. I’m a sucker for anything mythology based from pretty much any culture. I feel that mythology and cultural traditions are important regardless of which culture it is. If stories aren’t told, mythologies and traditions not taught, then they will be lost. That being said, anything culturally based, especially with mythology will pretty much be an auto buy for me. I’ve also heard great things about Rebecca Roanhorse and her writing so I really want to get into this series.
Not Too Bad – I know this one is going to be hard for me to read, but I’ve wanted to read it for a while. Discussing rape culture is an important conversation to have in my opinion, doesn’t mean it’s easy at all, but it has to happen. I’ve heard great things about this book, so I was eager to pick it up regardless of how difficult it may be to read.
These are just some of the books I wish I had already gotten to. Believe me when I say there are so many more to pick from but these are definitely near the top of my pile.
I’m going to switch up from the standard prompts today, since I don’t have a ton of reviews yet from this month. I am trying to get better at reviewing backlist titles fully when I read them, but the last couple months have been pretty slumpy.
Since I don’t have much of a list of review posts available for this month, I thought I’d explore the different formats of reviews that I’ve seen. When I review on Goodreads, I usually do something that is conversational, though I will include things like trigger warnings if I feel they are important to anyone thinking about picking up a book. Other than that I don’t include a bunch of stats in my reviews.
Some things I have seen in reviews include a format similar to pros and cons, bullet points, specific content and trigger warnings and even buzzwords. Some people also insert gifs into their reviews to better communicate how they are feeling regarding the books they are reading.
I like to keep my reviews pretty simple and as I said, conversational, but I know that’s not everyone’s cup of tea. What do you like to see in reviews? Do you love when there are bullet points or do you like something that is more written out. What are your thoughts on content warnings? Do you feel like they are spoilers and shouldn’t be included, or important?
Everyone who loves fall probably has different reasons, but I’m sure some of them overlap. For instance the love of pumpkin spice anything (I am not a member of that camp, but know many who are). There are just certain things that come with fall that some people love, so here’s some of mine.
The change in the environment – Changing leaves and cooler weather are some of my favorite aspects of fall. It provides the perfect reading atmosphere.
Hot Drinks – I love my iced drinks, and get them year round, but along with cooler weather comes the inclination towards hot coffee and tea again. It’s soothing and energizing at the same time.
Sweater weather – Pull out the long sleeves, jackets and boots. I love the shift in wardrobe that happens this time of year and again there is an increase in comfort that goes along with it. Some days are still warm enough that you can do easily changing layers, while others call for heavier clothes.
Did I mention boots? – As much as I love my sandals, getting to pull out my boots and other cold weather shoes after most of the year not using them is always fun.
There’s something about the last quarter of the year that prompts so many changes. It’s the dusk before the dawn of a new year. People are finishing up projects that they started earlier in the year, making plans for the coming new year and perhaps thinking back on things that they would do differently or wish they’d done. It’s a wonderful time of year before the holidays and the new year.
Everyone loves a good ambiance when reading, especially if reading spooky or autumn reads. I don’t care as much about the brand of candle as I do the scent. During the spring and summer I tend to lean towards citrus scents but that changes as we head into fall and winter.
When we get to the later part of the year I am reaching for maple and cinnamon scents, apple pie and similar baking scents and more. I still reach for citrus if it has an evergreen touch to it and anything that smells like leather and the forest will also draw me in.
I do enjoy Bath and Body Works candles because you know they are quality, but any brand that has a great scent and lasts a decent time is good. I haven’t been able to try a wood wick candle yet, but I would really like to because those just sound perfect for the fall and winter time.
What are some of your favorite candles? Do you associate certain candle scents with the season, or with reading itself?
I won’t lie, most of my Bookstagram posts are pretty simple, book stacks, flat lays or books with my cat. Typically I don’t go super elaborate but sometimes I do like to use some props. When I was trying to think what I would use for something more autumn themed I came up with a few things I’ve seen used here and there that would fit my aesthetics.
Foliage – I’ve seen lots of shots in front of foliage or using autumn leaves. You don’t even have to get real leaves, you could get some silk flowers and leaves and use them year round!
Candles – Lighting a candle and turning down the lights will give your pictures that spooky look that fit this season. They give a wonderful warm glow that I think looks great in Instagram pictures, without the use of a filter.
Soft fabrics in warm colors: I think a lot of people lean towards cool colors such as whites, but warm colors such as rich jewel tones are the types of colors I reach for in the fall.
Other than that, you can get ideas by going to your local craft stores and seeing what they have available decor wise. Office supply stores my have poster board or other items that could serve as a good background. The possibilities are endless.
I used to be such a lover of horror films, but somewhere along the lines horror became gore, and well, that wasn’t my thing. My imagination can do far more than fake limbs, blood and CGI can do. That being said some of my favorites may not be considered traditional horror.
Jaws – Ok, if you like monster movies at all, then Jaws should be at the top of your list. Is it strictly horror? No, but it’s the quintessential sea monster movie. It was something that anytime it was on my dad and I would stop what we were doing and watch it, much to the chagrin of other family members.
The Lost Boys – Oh, be still my heart, punk vampires in the 80s. Need I say more than a young Kiefer Sutherland being a bad boy vampire? Plus, you have to love the references to Peter Pan in the concept of this one. One last vote in this movie’s favor? THE SOUNDTRACK. If you do nothing else, then at least listen to the soundtrack, it is amazing.
Rose Red – I love this miniseries based on Stephen King’s take on the Winchester Mystery House. It’s not everyone’s style and does end up being really long since it was a miniseries, but it is so good. It’s one of those things I can easily put on for noise and enjoy.
Ghostbusters – Ok, ok I know Ghostbusters isn’t horror, it’s comedy at it’s root, but I always want to watch it this time of year. Something about the mythos that was created by that first movie just always draws me in. Plus, who can resist a stories high marshmallow man?
So what are some of your favorite movies to watch this time of year? Do you disagree with me on horror?
Anyone who knows me knows that I love a good ghost story. When a place is supposedly haunted, I love to hear the history and story of it. I’ve always loved stories that were more creepy in nature and ghosts have been one of my favorite aspects of that genre.
Anytime someone is going on a trip and asks me if I would like anything, I often ask for them to look for books of ghost stories from the areas they are visiting. I have a good stack of ones that I’ve made my way through so I’m going to talk about some of my favorites.
Houses of Horror by Hans Holzer – Holzer is well known in the paranormal community as one of the original ghost hunters. He often visited locations with mediums and then researched anything that came through. He’s written a number of titles detailing his wide array of cases. I’ve only read two of them so far, but Houses of Horror is a good place to start. His writing can be a little dense, but the cases are intriguing and the history matching up with his mediums (or not matching) is always interesting.
Haunted Houses of California by Antoinette May – I picked this one up on a trip to the Winchester House in California. It includes a ton of information on different locations and the legends or stories associated with them. Sometimes those that are specific to certain areas are great because you get a concentrated section of stories. Tourist areas or gift shops are often a great place to find books of ghost stories, so keep a look out when traveling!
Ghost Stories of Oregon by Susan Smitten – This one isn’t so much this specific book as this is part of a much larger series of books published by Ghost House Books (the Oregon one is number 20). Whenever I see more of this series I pick them up. Again, they contain short stories that talk about the history of the location as well as the details of what people have reported happening there. Not all of them are state or location centered either, they have some such as Haunted Theaters or Haunted Highways that are more broad in area.
If you are into reading real ghost stories, you should definitely check some of these out, they were all really informative reads.
Anytime I think about autumn or fall themed book covers I don’t necessarily turn towards leaves. I tend to lean towards things that are spooky and more horror themed. Some of my favorites are actually middle grade books that have come out pretty recently, but let’s be honest – book designers have been doing a stellar job on covers as of late.
There are also some young adult covers recently that have no only intrigued me but also creeped me out just a little bit. Call me crazy, but that makes me want to read them even more. I’m not usually the biggest fan of the typical girl on the cover books, but these take that to the next level.
There are so many other covers I could show, but then my post would be nothing but graphics. Needless to say, if a book has a creepy cover with amazing detail, I will most likely be drawn to it and be more likely to at least look into it. So many of these tell a story with just their covers, which is one of those things that pull you in.
What are your favorite things to see on covers? What will make you pick up a book you’ve never heard of just by the cover alone?