October 2017 Month in Review

November 1, 2017


Wait. It’s November already?!

October was a wonderful whirlwind of family visits, wedding planning, musical performances, new and exciting work projects, and helping Kurosh become a true member of the family (even though sometimes it feels like he is patiently grooming us to be members of his pack). I made a conscious effort to spend more time with my friends, and for the most part, I think I was quite successful!

David and I managed to write out and mail all our Save the Dates. Let me tell you, that was QUITE an ordeal.  But now that it’s all done and they are in the mail I couldn’t be more excited! That feels like an awesome check off my list. 😀

I also finished training for, and ran, my first 10k! It was cold and pouring rain, but I really enjoyed myself. In this process, I learned that I can run quite comfortably listening to audio books. It just took acclimating to a steady pace. Now I just need to make certain I keep running so I don’t lose my distance!


List of Reads

After September being an amazing reading month, October fell flat. With family visiting, sickness, things at work, wedding preparations, and still acclimating to a new dog in the house–well, I didn’t get a ton of reading done. I think I’m also in a bit of a reading rut… The dreaded book AND blog slump! OH NO!

October Books:

Read total books, 4 Empty Pages Writing Club submissions


MUST READ this month:

Anne of Ingleside – Oh Anne, I love you and your family so much. You have such amazing adventures! While this certainly isn’t the strongest of the entire Anne of Green Gables series, it still wormed its way into my heart. I love the Blythe children even if they seem a bit too adorably perfect. This was just the right book for my mood when I picked it up– I cannot wait to keep reading this series!

Meh. I wasn’t into it this month:

The Hundred Lies of Lizzie Lovett   I can summarize this book in one sentence: “What the heck did I just read?” I can understand why people might enjoy this novel. Hawthorne, our protagonist, is a realistic 17-going-on-18-year-old. There is a good message… somewhere in all that. But I spent most of the book wondering why I wasn’t enjoying myself. Sadly, this should have been a DNF for me.

Challenge Updates

  • Overall Reading Challenge: 108/110 (98% complete)
  • Listopia Challenge: 16/15 (106% complete)
  • Book Riot’s 2017 Read Harder Challenge: 19/24 (79% complete)
  • Popsugar 2017 Challenge: 34/52 (65% complete)
  • The Great Newbery Challenge: 27/95 (28%)

After soliciting feedback from my amazing friends last month (thank you all!!!) — I decided that I will be focusing on trying to finish Read Harder for 2017, but I will keep the PopSugar challenge going into 2018. There are quite a few books on that list I still want to read, but I need to give myself some breathing room. Plus, Book Riot’s Read Harder challenge will challenge my reading a bit more before the end of the year. And I think I need to up the ante when it comes to the content of my books.

You can follow my Yearly Reading Challenge updates more regularly here, and for The Great Newbery Challenge here.


Tsundoku Life

It wouldn’t be tsundoku if I didn’t have a gigantic pile of books and bookish things going on in my life!

On the Blog:

After September being super busy, October was fairly quiet on my blog. Like I said before, I couldn’t be more thankful for the amazing friends I’ve made in the blogosphere. It means so much to me that you are diligent and attentive to me even when I’m quite and negligent. You are all so important to me!

Book Reviews


Other Posts

Wow. Upon doing this list I realized two things:

  1. I never published my review for Anne of Ingleside! (Expect to see that ASAP early in November)
  2. I didn’t participate in any Top Ten Tuesdays this past month

These are both things I must correct. Oops! Good thing this list is here to remind me. I’ve got to get more organized… 

November TBR:

Ugh. So many of these are carrying over from October… C’est la vie!

  • Our Shared Shelf  – Hunger by Roxanne Gay
  • Kids LitThe Legend of Buddy Bush by Shelia P. Moses
  • West Side Stories – The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot AND The Sympathizer by Viet Thanh Nguyen
  • Brunch Books – The Stone Sky by N K Jemisin
  • VACB Book ClubGood Omens by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett AND Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett
  • Science Fiction/Fantasy Book Club: The Goblin Emperor by Katherine Addison
  • Popsugar Challenge – Stuart Little by E. B. White
  • Read Harder Challenge – Roll by Darcy Miller
  • The Great Newbery ChallengeThe Strawberry Girl by Lois Lenski
  • #AnneReadAlong2017: Rainbow Valley by LM Montgomery
  • Empty Pages Writing Club – Finalize submission review and schedule posts!

Blog Projects

There are so many projects happening on the blog right now!

I’m wrapping up my work for the Empty Pages Writing Club. I am completely embarrassed, but I totally let this fall off my radar this past month! But, things are ready to go and you can expect to see posts about the last set of submissions coming up in the next two weeks. The members blew me away with their writing skills. This was an even better experience than last time– and I love it.

#AnneReadAlong2017 is still running strong. My biography of L.M. Montgomery is the post I’m most proud of from this past month. Sadly, writing this post made me realize I never posted my review of Anne of Ingleside! Looks like this month you’ll be doubling down on Anne book reviews. 🙂

I’ve started a new post series on my blog, Solving for Tsundoku. I couldn’t be more excited, as this series will focus on making peace with the piles and piles of books sitting around you. I have some great ideas for future posts. I hope you’ll join in the discussion with me!

Finally, Ottavia from Novels and Nonfiction and I are excited to announce our Thanksgiving Readathon!

Join us Wednesday, November 22nd through Sunday, November 26th for a low-key readathon! We’ll be hosting a giveaway and can’t wait to read along with you. More details to follow in a separate post.


While October was my poorest month in terms of stats for posting, reading, and blog hopping it was still a wonderful and fulfilling month. November is my favorite month of the year– I cannot wait to see what is in store once I get out of this slump! 😉 Here’s hoping you avoid the dreaded slump!

Happy Reading,

Jackie B.

Jackie B Forman

What do you think?

  • What are your book slump cures?
  • What book on my TBR are you most excited I read? Why?
  • How do you keep your blogging organized? What are your favorite tricks to stay focused and on your game?
  • Are you interested in participating in our Thanksgiving Readathon? Why or why not?
  • What are you most excited to read for November?


  • Lashaan (Bookidote) November 1, 2017 at 11:24 am

    Hi Jackie! Sounds like you were able to do a lot even if you were super busy in October. 😀 Hopefully you’ll be able to go through even more great books in November and achieve all your challenges before the end of the year approaches (it’s soo, sooooo close though!). Personally, my only cure to a slower pace than usual is to do something other than read (sports, shows, movies, outings, etc.) Really curious about The Goblin Emperor by Katherine Addison though!! I haven’t heard of it and I just looked it up. It seems like a lot of fun! Happy reading! 😀

    • Jackie B November 5, 2017 at 8:37 pm

      When did the end of the year get so close?! Seriously– it’s like I blinked and Summer was gone. And Fall. Fall too. O_o

      Thank you for all the well-wishes! I will certainly try to step away and pick up someting different. I haven’t played many video games lately… Perhaps that’s a good way to rekindle my passion? This advice reminds me of weight loss advice, actually– they say when you plateau you should stop paying attention for two week or so to diet and exercise, but then come back in. It’s like your body need to forget a bit and start over. I like this application to books and blogging!!

      I can’t wait to tell you all about The Goblin Emperor

  • Novels And Nonfiction November 1, 2017 at 2:48 pm

    Woo hoo! Readathon announcement 🙂 I love it! I’ll be sending you another email about that today/tomorrow. Keep your eyes peeled 🙂

    • Jackie B November 4, 2017 at 11:16 am

      <3 <3 <3 SO EXCITED!

  • Laila@BigReadingLife November 1, 2017 at 3:02 pm

    Book slump cure idea… choose a book from your go-to genre. For me it’s mystery. Whatever it is, pick something you’re excited about!

    Also, 6 books in a month is good! My reading pace is usually about 6-7 a month.

    Your review posts are always fun to read!

    Ps… I’m still reading Anne of Ingleside! I’m about halfway done. I hope to finish it by the end of the week and post over the weekend!

    • Jackie B November 5, 2017 at 4:06 pm

      That’s really smart! My favorite genre is Magical Realism, and I definitely haven’t read enough of those books. I certainly have to expand my reading in that space. Perhaps checking out Beloved or One Hundred Years of Solitude will give me a pick me up. 😀

      My reading pace used to be higher– I was around 10 books a month. 6 is a solid pace, for sure! It just feels really light. I am totally not poo-pooing that.

      Thanks, Laila! It;s great to hear that. Sometimes, I worry people will find these posts tedius. Positive reinforcement makes me feel a lot better. 😀

      Pft, I just realized writing this post that I never posted my Anne of Ingleside review. O_o that;s got to happen soon. You are in good company!

  • Dani @ Perspective of a Writer November 4, 2017 at 1:23 am

    Ooooh I remembered you mentioning it in your goals tag and I was going to ask you about the readathon! NEED THE INFO! I think I can participate, YAY! Sounds like you had a decent month blogging and an EXCELLENT month living! So great balance there Jackie (though I have missed you!) Good job with the reviews 5 reviewed and 6 read is not bad odds… at least you are maintaining! I’m interested in you reading The Stone Sky by N K Jemisin!! (I’m not sure why?! I recognize the author…) <3

    • Jackie B November 5, 2017 at 7:26 pm

      Yay! Ottavia and I couldn’t be more excited to have you! We will have an official announcement post for the Thanksgiving Readathon soon. I want to make it fancy with all the bells and whistles, but I also like just playing it cool a bit. The holiday season can get super crazy, so it’s nice to have something low key to do for ourselves, right? Right.

      I did have a great month– but it’s nice to be back into the blog a bit more. I have missed you too. There aren’t enough people willing to really dig into conversations with me in the blogosphere! I appreciate your attention. 😀 Hopefully you’ll see more of me going on.

      N K Jemisin is one of my most favorite authors. She won the Hugo this year AND last year for her The Fifth Season books (1 and 2). The Stone Sky is the final book in that series. It’s brilliant sci-fi/fantasy. I also love her Inheritance Trilogy. You can find my review for book 1 here: The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms. I think you’d be really intrigued by her writing style. It’s really gripping and there are some amazing twists!

  • Annemieke November 5, 2017 at 2:30 am

    Sounds like you had a busy month but mostly fun (except for being six then). I hope the book and blogging slump will clear up soon. Why do those even exist, right?

    • Jackie B November 5, 2017 at 8:24 pm

      6 books is still great– but I know I can (ansd have) done better! I just shows true proof I’m in a bit of a slump.

      Who knows why these happen! But it’s frustrating. They always seem to come out of no where. And I am always caught by surprise once I figure it out. I’m hoping that by forcing myself to spend more time blogging, I’ll just magically get out of it? Well, one can hope, right?

  • theorangutanlibrarian November 6, 2017 at 3:29 pm

    Wow well done for running a 10k- that’s amazing!! So sorry to hear you’re in the dreaded reading slump- hope it picks up for you! Looking forward to catching up on all your posts 😀

    • Jackie B November 10, 2017 at 1:18 pm

      Thank you!!! It was a challenge, but I loved running it. Now I just need to stay in shape so I can keep running that distance. Too bad it’s getting so cold out… now I’m not nearly as interested in running outside. Oops!

  • Zoe November 10, 2017 at 10:02 pm

    YES. I disliked The Hundred Lies of Lizzie Lovett for the exact same reason as you: it was just so unrealistic. Thanks for sharing and, as always, fabulous recap! <3

    • Jackie B November 14, 2017 at 10:22 am

      I’m so glad that I’m not alone here! I feel like every review I’ve seen has been “This book is amazing!” It’s nice to see someone else disliked The Hundred Lies of Lizzie Lovett

      Thanks for stopping by and commenting, Zoe!

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