October Month in Review

November 1, 2016

month in review



October just flew by this month! I can’t believe I am already sending my family holiday wish lists. Luckily I have been using the library a ton this year, and with my Goodreads tag of Want To Own, I prefabricated my family a holiday list comprised 100% of books. Genius, if I do say so myself.

We’re getting into Yearly Challenge crunch time. I have not been holding up my end of the bargain. If I have learned anything from my blogging and book club involvement this year it’s that undercomitting to challenges is less stressful than overcommitting. I hope I manage to take place in fewer challenges next year. Do you agree? How do you feel about reading challenges?


List of Reads

I have been reading more than blogging lately, which is a bit of a mixed bag. In October I only managed to write 8 book reviews, but I read 18 books. I have been in a bit of a book review slump lately. Does that happen to anyone else? I’m hoping to see that lift soon. Here’s hoping!

October Books:

Read 18 total books


october-5 october-4 october-3 october-2 october-1
Currently Reading – 7 books

  • Creating a Lean Culture: Tools to Sustain Lean Conversations by David Mann
  • Influencer: The Power to Change Anything by Kerry Patterson, Joseph Greeny, David Maxfield, Ron McMillan, and Al Swizler
  • Kitchen Confidential by Anthony Bourdian
  • Tender is the Night by F. Scott Fitzgerald
  • Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide by Nicholas D. Kristof
  • Hogwarts: An Incomplete and Unreliable Guide by J.K. Rowling
  • I Don’t Know What You Know Me From: Confessions of a Co-Star by Judy Greer

(Yikes. Most of these books have been here for multiple months…)
You MUST READ this month:
OH MAN. There were so many great books this month. I am cheating– instead of picking 1, I’m picking four:

  • Rad Women Worldwide: This book is something all families with young girls should have in their house. Get a copy for everyone you know who meets these criteria.
  • Shrill: Notes from a Loud Woman: I swear, Lindy West is my spirit animal. Part memoir, part collection of empowering essays this book reads quickly and had me constantly laughing. Recommended to all.
  • At Home with Madhur Jaffrey: In an attempt to become a master Indian food chef, I have been reading a lot of books about Indian food. This includes recipes, learning about ingredients and cooking techniques, as well as the history of cooking this food and the tools used in these processes. No book has taught me more, or improved my cooking, like this book. I am completely in love with Madhur Jaffrey.
  • Gemina: Oh, The Illuminae Files. How I love you. I won’t be able to put into words how much I adore this book (of which I binge read 660 pages in 36 hours) for a while yet, but it’s amazing. Don’t believe me? Check out my review of the first book in this series, Illuminae.

DANGER! Avoid this month:
This feels a bit unfair, but still:

  • Sisters of Wind and Flame: This feels like a cop-out, but it was my lowest ranked book this month. Sisters of Wind and Flame is the prequel to Threats of Sky and Sea. I read this as part of my PopSugar Challenge. Normally, I wouldn’t toss a novella up here, but it really ranked the most poorly… It was just a really great month for reading!


Challenge Update

I did make some good progress on my reading challenges this month. It’s not a huge jump, but I’m starting to worry. I have some vacation days left this year; I might take some just to make a dent in my challenges. Oops! It looks like going forward I’ll need to restrict my reading as much as I can to only challenge books.

Check out my challenge statuses as they update here.


Tsundoku Life

It wouldn’t be tsundoku if I didn’t have a gigantic pile of books waiting for me! Sadly, I barely read any of the books my friends lent me. And, I went a little crazy with the library books this month. Plus I overly committed to NetGalley? Yikes. As we are entering into November, this list will continue to grow, but I will try to focus on my challenge books. This is CRUNCH TIME PEOPLE!

TBR: Library Books

  • Naruto, Vol 7 by Mashashi Kishimoto
  • A Thousand Nights by E. K. Johnson
  • This One Summer by Mariko Tamaki
  • At Home with Madhur Jaffrey by Madhur Jaffrey
  • We Should All Be Feminists by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
  • The Kingdom of Gods  by N. K. Jemisin
  • Where the Red Fern Grows by Wilson Rawls
  • Catch-22 by Joseph Heller
  • Scott Pilgrim #1 by Bryan Lee O’Malley
  • Akata Witch by Nnedi Okorafor

TBR: Lent from Friends

  • Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson
  • When You Reach Me by Rebecca Stead
  • Inside Out and Back Again by Thanhha Lai
  • One Crazy Summer by Rita-Williams Garica
  • Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson

NetGalley ARCs

  • A Perfect Score by Craig and Katheryn Hall
  • From Panel to Screen by Drew Morton
  • Year of No Clutter by Eve Schaub
  • The Blazing Star by Imani Josey
  • The Meaning of Michelle by Veronica Chambers

Book Club Reading

  • Our Shared Shelf- Mom & Me & Mom by Maya Angelou
  • Kids Lit – One Crazy Summer by Rita Williams-Garcia
  • West Side Stories – Brave New World by Aldous Huxley
  • Brunch Books – The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry by Gabrielle Zeven

<sigh> I don’t know how I end up in this predicament every month. Am I the only one with gigantic TBR lists? How do we stop this?!

Happy Reading,

Jackie B.

Jackie B Forman



  • Drew @ TheTattooedBookGeek November 1, 2016 at 9:22 am

    That’s an eclectic mixture of covers there! πŸ™‚

    How do you manage to read 7 books at once??? πŸ™‚

    • Jackie B November 2, 2016 at 3:36 pm

      It is an eclectic mix of covers! But it’s also an eclectic mix of genres, eras, and authors. πŸ™‚
      7 books at once is a bit overwhelming, for sure. Two books are for work, and I’m really struggling to finish them. Oops. Two books are books I’m trying *really hard* not to DNF on. I need them both for challenges, and I keep trying to read a chapter or two a night. One is an audiobook. One is my “read between meetings” book. And one is an eBook. So, yeah. Who knows how soon I’ll get through them!

      • Drew @ TheTattooedBookGeek November 2, 2016 at 5:42 pm

        Ah, an eclectic mix of reasons behind the books to!

        Me thinks I’ll stick with my one book.

        • Jackie B November 3, 2016 at 11:36 am

          I think you have the right idea, Drew. Sometimes, I feel like a crazy person. O_o

  • Books, Vertigo and Tea November 1, 2016 at 10:53 am

    8 reviews and 18 books is pretty great honestly! Now I feel worse about my slump As far as challenges, ah yes the struggle with over committing. Less is more sometimes, you are right. I need to learn to stop hitting the request button or accepting titles I have no time for. Great wrap up!

    • Jackie B November 2, 2016 at 4:21 pm

      Thanks, Danielle! My wrap ups get REALLY verbose sometimes, so it’s nice to hear praise. πŸ™‚

      I find that when I have some personal downtime, I always go to NetGalley and request FAR too many books. It’s a challenge, to be sure. I can’t resist the pretty covers… πŸ˜‰ Such a problem. Hopefully I can reign it in a bit. It looks like you don’t have any tricks for that, since it’s a problem for you too…?

      • Books, Vertigo and Tea November 2, 2016 at 4:26 pm

        No tricks, that is why it is a problem haha. I even went as far as removing the bookmark on my browser! But alas I still do the exact same thing. I guess there are worse habits <3

        • Jackie B November 2, 2016 at 4:35 pm

          There are waaay worse bookish habits, let alone the non-bookish kind. Thanks to my library card and NetGalley, I only spend money on books I know I will want to own. This saves me bookshelf space as well as cash! Economical book addiction. Perfect.

  • Laura November 1, 2016 at 11:26 am

    I just finished reading Broken Kingdom, and started The Kingdom of the Gods! John suggested the trilogy to me, I have mixed feelings but overall found them enjoyable. I think I liked the second more than the first. We’ll see if the last one holds up as well.

    • Jackie B November 2, 2016 at 4:25 pm

      Yay! I’m so glad you’re reading these. I am publishing my Hundred Thousand Kingdoms review tomorrow. πŸ™‚ We will certainly need to get together and chat once the three of us have finished the series. I also liked The Broken Kingdoms more, but it wasn’t as addictive a read for me… That review will follow… eventually… Who knows when I’ll get to it at this rate.

  • Brendon November 1, 2016 at 5:39 pm

    I get into reviewing slumps too… I sit in front of my computer and I literally can’t think of anything to write about the particular book. And then I end up procrastinating on something else. Before I know it, so much time has passed I feel like I cannot review it anymore… Although putting out 8 reviews in a month is pretty awesome imo!

    My TBRs tend to be super long as well. I did not write a November TBR this month but I tend to read 4-6 books simultaneously and have an absurd list I know I probably cannot finish. And then I go to the library or on NetGalley and get more books that I did not initially put on my list -_-

    The life of a book blogger and book lover!! I don’t think i would change it! πŸ™‚

    • Jackie B November 2, 2016 at 4:28 pm

      EXACTLY! I sit in front of my computer, all prepped to write a review (or four), and I find I’m on Twitter or blog hopping or whatever. Suddenly, the entire day has gone by and I haven’t written a single review. A Jacques from Finding Nemo says, “I am ashamed.” (complete with accent and all)

      My personal goal is to write two reviews a week, since I tend to read at least 8 books a month. It means a lot to me that you think it’s awesome! There are so many new book reviews each day, I feel like all my blogger friends are super prolific all the time. Perspective is essential.

  • Anne November 2, 2016 at 7:47 am

    Holy cow, you’ve read 18 books this past month?! O_o That’s SO impressive! I read like, five…
    Ha! So that’s what they’re called, reviewing slumps. I’m totally in one now as well. And it’s affecting my reading as well because if I finish any more books, I’ll totally mix everything up if I wait too long with reviewing. Meh. Low-key challenges are better than stressing yourself out by setting higher goals for sure. I’d also like to see a book blogger who has less than 20 books on their current TBR. Hands please?

    • Jackie B November 2, 2016 at 4:33 pm

      Haha– I should just stop listing my TBR, shouldn’t I? Just a gigantic list of books I haven’t read yet. But, sometimes another person will point out I have an awesome book listed on my TBR (like Diana did below!) which will make me prioritize it. So, I guess I should keep it? #BookBloggerProblems

      I completely understand what you’re saying. If I keep reading at this rate, but writing much more slowly, I will easily get to a point where I forget the content of a book, what I like and don’t like, etc. Plus, if I don’t really like a book, I struggle to even start writing the review. There must be some sort of magic ice cream filled with inspiration or something, right? Where is my ice cream?!

      • Anne November 3, 2016 at 8:00 am

        You need a muse!! Mine is my cat peeing against my book shelves occasionally. It really inspires me to read mah damn books before they’re too soaked and smelly to ever do so again ;). But it doesn’t help with the review slump though. Ice cream is the only solution.

        • Jackie B November 3, 2016 at 4:35 pm

          Haha. What a spiteful Muse! I should find one who is a less… aggressive. Or I’ll just try every ice cream flavor they have at the local shoppe. That sounds good. Oooh! Or, I could write my blog posts there. Each time I finish a review, I get another scoop. This could be dangerous!

  • Diana November 2, 2016 at 7:49 am

    I do get review slumps and sometime I wish I could just skip reviews but I end up forcing myself to do them especially for ARCs. I do get what you mean though. 18 books is pretty impressive. I hope November turns out to be a great reading month for you. I can’t wiat to hear your thoughts on Akatcha Witch. I am interested in that one. Have a wonderful November.

    • Jackie B November 2, 2016 at 4:24 pm

      It feels so good to know I’m not alone!! I also try to prioritize ARCs, both for reading and review. It’s important to get the word out for new books. πŸ™‚ But, writing reviews can be really draining mentally. I would rather discuss books in person. In fact, I find my best reviews are always written after talking about the book with another person (or group of people).

  • Amanda @Cover2CoverMom November 3, 2016 at 5:47 pm

    18 books?!? Holy crap!!! You’re a reading machine lol Did you write a review for The Girl for everywhere? Did I miss it? I’ll be reading it this month so I wanted to see what you thought about it…

    • Jackie B November 4, 2016 at 9:56 am

      Thanks– I don’t have any kids yet, so I have the time to read a ton. πŸ™‚

      I haven’t written my review for The Girl From Everywhere yet, but I hope to get that posted soon. This and Gemina in particular are causing me some heartache. I have such complicated feelings about these books! I’m not certain how to write them down yet.

      • Amanda @Cover2CoverMom November 4, 2016 at 5:35 pm

        Well enjoy your reading time while you can πŸ™‚

        Ugh I hate when I have complicated feelings for a book. It always make writing he review such a headache! Good luck!!!

        • Jackie B November 8, 2016 at 2:58 pm

          YES. I am sitting on 8 reviews right now, and I’m trying to tell myself not to read more until I write more. But it’s so complicated! I just have so many opinions… And no idea how to get them on paper. πŸ™ Oh well! I’ll get there soon. Thanks for the well-wishes.

  • Read Diverse Books November 12, 2016 at 2:35 pm

    Your TBR is huge!
    Definitely take a reading vacation to catch up. I will be doing that as well because I need to! I’m terrible about taking vacation days unless absolutely necessary because there is always work for me to do and if I take days off, it just piles on for me and it’s worse πŸ™ But if I don’t take a break I will lose the time. My monthly reading total is way lower than yours but I’m happy either way. Looks like you read some great books in October and I hope your November is just as productive and full of great reads as October.

    • Jackie B November 13, 2016 at 9:38 pm

      Haha. Yeah, it’s a bit overwhelming. I tend to collect books like the edges of pictures collect dust. I’ve chased myself into a corner with all my book clubs, reading challenges, and orphan library books. One of my 2017 resolutions will be to keep the TBR to a minimum, I’m certain.
      I am the same way about work!! I am terrible about taking vacation for myself. I have a feeling I might need a mental health day or two before the end of the year to do nothing but drink cocoa and read. πŸ™‚

  • Adoptabookaus November 14, 2016 at 6:48 pm

    omg thats a lot of TBR *hides* I can’t even think about putting my tbr in the one place let alone be organised and write it down like you, I’m much more of a ignore ignore ignore and then buy or lend more books XD Also yay to Gemina’s 6 star rating XD It was just so amazing!

    • Jackie B November 15, 2016 at 9:48 am

      It’s a problem. If I don’t see them, I never read them. And then it grows and grows and grows… The biggest problem right now are the challenge books I’m not reading. Oops. I have a long way to go and not enough time left to read them all. But, that’s okay. Reading should be fun. πŸ™‚

      P.S. !! GEMINA!!! <3 <3 <3

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