WRAP UP: September & October 2020

Bookends is a weekly feature on my blog that is a little reflection on what I’ve read/watched/enjoyed (or not) over the past week!

I took an unannounced break from the blog and from a lot of Instagram posting because my cat Broccoli’s death affected me a lot more than I anticipated. I thought I’d be able to focus on a few more reads in the month of October, but near the end of last month, I started feeling motivated to read again and come back to the blog. I only read six books in October, which is less than average, but I’m okay with that number all things considering!


The top four I’ve been struggling with for various reasons, or just not interested enough in to read long chunks at a time. I’m most surprised about ACOWAR because I devoured the first two in a matter of days each. American history is a struggle because we’re in the midst of so much now. The Big Book of Science Fiction is HUGE, and I have to remind myself I don’t have to read all the stories in it if they’re not connecting with me at the time. I picked up some romance to try to get out of my reading funk, and it’s sort of working? Nooks & Crannies is part of my 20 in 20 tbr, and it’s very dark for a middle grade book but I’m enjoying it! I’m also reading a little bit of poetry here and there because it’s short, it makes me contemplate things, and I’m still trying to broaden my reading horizons.

📚 bookshelf pick  |  📓 physical review copy  |  📱 digital review copy | ⌛️ library/borrowed | 💾 ebook  |  💞 reread

📚 A Court of Mists and Fury – Sarah J. Maas (36%)
📚 A People’s History of the United States – Howard Zinn (29%)
📚 The Big Book of Science Fiction – edited by Ann and Jeff VanderMeer (15%)
📚 Mansfield Park – Jane Austen (20%)
📚 A Duke of Her Own – Eloisa James (41%)
📚 Lady Bridget’s Diary – Maya Rodale (14%)
📚 Nooks & Crannies – Jessica Lawson (39%)
📚 The Penguin Book of the Prose Poem: From Baudelaire to Anne Carson – edited by Jeremy Noel-Tod (2%)


I read eleven books in September and six books in October! I started quite a few in October, but I couldn’t focus on some of them very well to finish them in a timely manner. Overall, both months were good reading months with only one legitimately terrible-to-me read.

📚 bookshelf pick  |  📓 physical review copy  |  📱 digital review copy | ⌛️ library/borrowed | 💾 ebook  |  💞 reread

⌛️ Madeleine L’Engle Herself: Reflections on a Writing Life – Madeleine L’Engle (3/5 stars)
📱 Fable (Fable #1) – Adrienne Young (4/5 stars)
⌛️ Hamnet – Maggie O’Farrell (3/5 stars)
📓 Captain Moxley and the Embers of the Empire – Dan Hanks (4/5 stars)
📓 The Phlebotomist – Chris Panatier (4/5 stars)
📱 Project Hail Mary – Andy Weir (5/5 stars)
📚 Into the Drowning Deep – Mira Grant (5/5 stars)
📚 Deathless – Catherynne M. Valente (5/5 stars)
📓 She Come By It Natural: Dolly Parton and the Women Who Lived Her Songs – Sarah Smarsh (4/5 stars)
📓 A Place Called Zamora – L.B. Gschwandtner (1/5 stars, DNF)
📱 Black Sun (Between Earth and Sky #1) – Rebecca Roanhorse (5/5 stars)
⌛️ The Anatomist’s Wife (Lady Darby Mystery #1) – Anna Lee Huber (4/5 stars)
📚 The Gilded Wolves (The Gilded Wolves #1) – Roshani Chokshi (4/5 stars)
📓 They Wish They Were Us – Jessica Goodman (3/5 stars)
📚 Nightbooks – J.A. White (4/5 stars)
⌛️ The Woman in the Mirror – Rebecca James (4/5 stars)
📚 The Legend of Sleepy Hollow and Other Stories – Washington Irving (4/5)


I’m keeping the same books from the last Bookends post, with the addition of Enchantress from the Stars. This is another of my 20 in 20 books, and I’m reading it in an end of the year readathon!

📚 bookshelf pick  |  📓 physical review copy  |  📱 digital review copy | ⌛️ library/borrowed | 💾 ebook  |  💞 reread

📚 Beowulf – trans. Maria Dahvana Headley
📚 Real Life – Brandon Taylor
📓 Red Noise – John P. Murphy (thank you, Angry Robot!)
📓 Stranger in the Shogun’s City – Amy Stanley (thank you, Scribner!)
📱 The Orphan of Cemetery Hill – Hester Fox (thank you, HQN/Graydon House!)
📚 Enchantress from the Stars – Sylvia Louise Engdahl


I did a lot of retail therapy in October, and these are some of the books I bought! I have been wanting to get my hands on a copy of Babitz’s Slow Days, Fast Company ever since reading Eve’s Hollywood, and I’m so pleased to finally have a copy to go on the shelf. Sarah Smith’s Simmer Down is a food truck romance that looks so cute and I couldn’t pass it up. I have an e-ARC of The Year’s Best Science Fiction, Vol.1 but I wanted a physical copy to peruse through, and it’s big and floppy, and I can’t wait to read the rest of the stories. Tristan Strong Punches a Hole in the Sky finally came out in paperback! I have seen Kushiel’s Dart on a few friends’ instagrams over the last few months, and I remember reading this forever ago? But I didn’t have a copy because I think it was long enough ago that I just secretly borrowed things from the library. Scribner sent me a copy of Eudora Welty’s One Writer’s Beginnings and it was a surprise to me because I don’t recall requesting it! I bought The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue and The Once and Future Witches on release day as they’re some of my most anticipated new releases of the year! I didn’t know about Ex-Libris until it came into the store on its release week, and it’s so beautiful in person. I wish the illustrated covers included in the book were actual books to own!

📚 bookshelf pick  |  📓 physical review copy  |  📱 digital review copy | ⌛️ library/borrowed | 💾 ebook  |  💞 reread

📚 The Tethered Mage – Melissa Caruso
📚 Stalking Jack the Ripper – Kerri Maniscalco
📓 They Wish They Were Us – Jessica Goodman (thank you, BookSparks!)
📓 The Endangereds – Philippe Cousteau and Austin Aslan (thank you, BookSparks!)
📓 A Place Called Zamora – LB Gschwandtner (thank you, BookSparks!)
📓 Caley Cross and the Hadeon Drop – Jeff Rosen (thank you, BookSparks!)


GAMING: I caught up on reputations in World of Warcraft with the boost before the patch; after the Shadowlands patch, I’ve been focusing on leveling!

TV: I’ve continued watching The Golden Girls, and I just finished watching the first episode of The Mandalorian‘s second season.

MOVIES: Netflix’s Rebecca had potential, but I thought it lost its way with some of the casting and the very last scene. Adam Brody in The Kid Detective is fantastic, making for a very enjoyable film about what it means to be a kid prodigy coming to terms with normal people adulthood.

There are a few movies and shows on Netflix I want to watch, and I need to make a list so I stop forgetting what they are. If you have any recommendations, let me know!


I adopted a black kitten who I named Wednesday! She’s been so cute and she loves snuggling with and being with people, so she has been a comfort these last few weeks.