Everyone has those things that they are afraid of. Some of those fears may be surprising or irrational to others, but they are very real for those who experience them.
I am very claustrophobic. While I’m not afraid of the dark, if you mix darkness and confined spaces I am not okay in any way. This made parts of Tunnel of Bones very interesting for me, which tells you that Victoria Schwab’s writing was amazing since it evoked those feelings.
I’m also not the biggest fan of heights, but it’s weird. I can be perfectly fine standing on a roof, but standing on a step ladder? Oh boy, the fear is real. I don’t understand it, it just comes as it wants to. I do have a lot of fear and anxiety over being on planes, but that is more because I have a loss of control over the situation and apparently my anxiety is not okay with that.
In most instance my fears do not really affect my reading, though there are cases such as with Tunnel of Bones where they may make me a little uncomfortable while reading, but it’s not going to stop my reading progress or make me stop reading a book.
Do your fears affect your reading? What are you afraid of?
Whenever you read books that include magic or spells, you find yourself wishing that such things could really be used, it could definitely make some aspects of life easier. We find ourselves fantasizing what we would do if we could use such talents.
Though it’s not a spell, the one thing I wish existed would be a time turner. There are never enough hours in the day to get everything done that I want to get done. A time turner would make things so much easier, and allow me to accomplish so much more.
I also would love the powers of being able to tell the future, it would allow me to know if I’m going to enjoy something I read before I read it, but then again I suppose that would take the fun out of reading. So maybe not now that I think about it.
What about you? What spells or magical items would you want to be real?
There are tons of books out there with witches as a central theme, or at least a major part. If you’re looking for classics, The Crucible not only concerns witches but also the human condition and mob mentality. There are also some anthologies featuring witches as well, such as Toil and Trouble. Some of my favorites may be a little lesser known, but they’re enjoyable to me.
Three Sisters Island Trilogy – Nora Roberts has a number of books that deal with witches, but this is my favorite of the ones that she has written. It’s set on an island off the Eastern coast of the United States (think New England) and follows three different women who must work together to undo a curse that was created by their ancestors. Each book follows a different woman in the trio as they deal with their own personal demons as well as form romantic relationships. Each of them deals with different issues and have very distinct personalities.
The Hollows Series – I’ve only read the first book in this series so far but they are a fun ride. The main character is a witch, but there are all manner of supernatural beings in the series. The main character’s sense of humor is amazing and the writing is easy to read, which makes it a fast book experience. This urban fantasy series has a great starter and I’m excited to continue on in the series.
Mercy Thompson Series – Ok, the main character in this series is not a witch; however, there are witches in the series. This is another urban fantasy series that includes a main character who can shape shift into a coyote. She’s a mechanic and is surrounded daily by other supernatural beings. The relationship that Patricia Briggs create, even the friendships, are deep and full fledged. Serious events that happen in earlier books continue to have repercussions in future books instead of being ignored.
These are all series that I’ve enjoyed and are comforting rather than creepy to me. All of them are worth diving into and in the last two cases there are a number of books to keep you busy.
If you are a lover of thriller or horror books, or even just slightly creepy books, then you’ve probably seen some darker book covers. There are some styles that I think are the best design wise, as they really step up the creepy factor.
Pictures within pictures: You don’t see this one as much as I would like to see it, but they can really be amazing. The ones that are done really well won’t be immediately noticeable and be a total surprise when they are seen. This is not necessarily exclusive to creepy books, but I’ve seen it the most in that genre.
Not your standard girl on the cover: Everyone has seen the usual girl on the cover that is very popular in young adult and romance so I love seeing when it is altered for the purpose having a creep factor or just being different. This can still be done in an elegant way without being disturbing, but that in and of itself can be disturbing when you look at the descriptions of these books along with the cover. Some of these are masterfully done and I really hope this becomes a more popular trend.
Normal scene, or not: Again, these are similar to pictures within pictures where you may not notice anything out of sorts with the cover. It may look completely normal until you look closer. These may not be creepy in theme, but you do sometimes see them used in the thriller/horror genre. These are the kind of covers that are fun to look at for a while until you find all the details.
There are tons of other styles of cover which may be more creepy but I love the covers that have deeper details and make you want to spend a lot of time just looking at them.
I’ve mentioned multiple times in this series that these last two seasons of the year lend to hunkering down and staying cozy, so it’s the perfect time for those books that give you a cozy or warm feeling.
Now, October does tend to be the exception since myself and a lot of people reach for spooky reads, but beyond that I also reach for books that give me a warm and cozy feeling.
The first things I turn to are cozy mysteries. What better way to curl up and enjoy an adventure than with these books. These mysteries are usually light and fun, full of humor and also a murder mystery.
I also reach for graphic novels, even darker ones, because they are quick and fun. Even though some of the genres can be heavy they go by quickly because of what they are.
Finally, this is the time of year that I will start reaching for seasonally themed books. Some of the most heart warming and cozy books can be those centered around Christmas or other holidays. Yes, they can sometimes be overly sweet or even a little corny, but there’s just something about them that suits this time of year.
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.
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?