So here are some personal and bookish news. I typically like to keep my reading life and my bookish life separate, but as I'd been absent from blogging for about five or six days, I figured I should give everyone an update.
Personal News: I just got back from a pretty productive vacation out of town with some friends. We spent the weekend in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee and had a pretty grand time. Pictures may or may not be forthcoming--I haven't had a chance to upload anything to my computer to sort out yet, but I'm going to try to publish another post dedicated to vacation pictures. But in case anyone is wondering, some of the activities we did included:
- Hatfield and McCoy Dinner Feud -- This was so much fun, though the food at dinner could have been better. Of course, I'm sure these types of dinner shows are all about the show rather than the dinner, though having gone to a medieval dinner show once, I guess the dinner needed to be in sync with the show's theme. So fried chicken, pulled pork, and all the fixin's... including good ol' Moonshine, sold by the jar!
- Hollywood Wax Museum -- I'm not going to lie, I really enjoyed this activity a lot, if only because I gave myself permission to act like a star-struck sixteen year old. I got to take a picture with MORGAN FREEMAN! Okay, so it was the wax replica of Morgan Freeman, but whatevs, I'm standing right next to him and looking all excited. I also did a cheesy Charlie's Angel pose, a comedic-cool Men In Black number, and stood with the cast of Star Trek waiting to be beamed up.
- Titanic Museum -- This museum was very lovely and I learned a lot of things. Unfortunately, while the museum self-tour was wonderful and I got to sit and take a photo with a 100+ year old grand piano, the museum was just way too cold and I found myself wanted to move quickly through it so that I could get back into the warm outdoor temperature. I DID buy a hoodie though and I'm not sure if that was the ploy of the cold temperature. Oh, you also get to touch an iceberg.
- Ripley's Aquarium -- I read that the aquarium is a fairly new addition to the Ripley's Believe It Or Not franchise in Gatlinburg; there are two other locations as well. It was a lot of fun, very educational, and I just loved seeing all the sea creatures. I also got startled by a shark as we were passing through the underwater tunnel--basically, I was intently looking for Squirrelfish, turned my head at just the right moment, and saw Jaws headed in my direction from above with teeth showing and everything. It probably didn't help that they had that ominous Jaws music playing in the tunnel.
These were only a few of the things we did, as we also spent a great day walking around the tourist district in Gatlinburg right outside of the Ripley's Aquarium where much shopping and eating took place. The first day on our trip we actually went to The Island in Pigeon Forge and did a lot of picture taking, shopping, eating, and wine and moonshine tasting. I've got three words for you all: Mango Habanero Whiskey. I mouth burned for a good fifteen minutes after taste-testing that stuff--to be fair, the moonshine bartender DID warn us not to be deceived by the pleasant mango smell of the liquor.
Finally, on the last day of our trip I got sick. We still went to the Smokey Mountains for a quick photo day to sight see a little bit, but it was a little hard to enjoy considering my motion sickness caught up with me during the driving tour, and my nose started running something terrible.
But I'm ready to take a minor vacation to recover from my vacation. And with that, we move into the Bookish News.
Bookish News: I'm still falling behind in the Halloween Bingo, as I have yet to call a Bingo even though I have a specific book that will get me to that point. But the book is slow going. I hadn't had much of a chance to read much these past five days with all the activity, and managed only to get a short percentage into Leigh Bardugo's final installment of The Dregs, Crooked Kingdom, which I'd been looking forward to reading since I finished the first book last year in 2015.
I still plan on participating in The Hound of the Baskervilles buddy read, but since I'm a little behind on my "planned reading schedule," I'm probably going to be behind in this buddy read as well. More than likely, I'll just try to catch some of everyone else's updates as soon as I catch up with five days worth of BL newsfeed, which I've been scrolling through on and off all day since I got home.
But even as I say that I feel like I'm falling behind in the Halloween Bingo, I sure as heck got a lot of reading done in September, so I'm pretty satisfied.
Otherwise, onto the monthly wrap-up!
Books Dropped/Put On Hold
Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo
September Reading Stats
- 14 full length novels
- 2 audio books
- 2 short story
Average rating: 3.74 Stars
- Highest Rated:
- (1) The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman // 5.0 Stars
- (2) A Curious Beginning by Deanna Raybourn // 4.5 Stars
- Lowest Rated: 5 books // 3.0 Stars
- (1) Ammie, Come Home by Barbara Michaels
- (2) Dark Witch by Nora Roberts
- (3) The Legend of Sleepy Hollow by Washington Irving
- (4) We Have Always Lived in the Castle by Shirley Jackson
- (5) The Adventure of the Speckled Band by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
Series I started reading:
- Georgetown by Barbara Michaels
- Victoria Speedwell Mystery by Deanna Raybourn
- Voodoo in Mojo by Stephanie Bond
- The Cousins O'Dwyer by Nora Roberts
- Lucy Valentine by Heather Webber
- Anitquities Hunters by Kay Hooper
- The Others by Anne Bishop
- Mattie Winston Mystery series by Annelise Ryan
- Colorado High Country by Pamela Clare
Favorite reads: OMG! A Curious Beginning is so freakin' fabulous! And The Graveyard Book is so freakin' awesome! Really, a 5-Star rating and a 4.5-Star rating makes little difference to me aside from maybe one or two quibbles. But both books were my favorites this month.
I also very much enjoyed the two Kay Hooper books, being pleasantly surprised as they are quite different from the Bishop/SCU series of recent. Truly, Madly is a wonderful start for a new-to-me cozy mystery series. And, as always, Pamela Clare is a biased love.
Disappointing reads: I actually had very few disappointing reads, though if I had to pinpoint one or two, I'd throw in Ammie, Come Home because I had been a bit over-hyped about it. And then maybe The Legend of Sleepy Hollow and Dark Witch, as I'd also been expecting to like both more than I actually did.
Reviews & Notable Posts
- The Gingerbread Man by Maggie Shayne
- Ammie, Come Home by Barbara Michaels
- Enemy Mine by Kay Hooper
- The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson
- A Curious Beginning by Deanna Raybourn
- Coraline by Neil Gaiman
- The Haviland Touch by Kay Hooper
- In Deep Voodoo by Stephanie Bond
- Murder of Crows by Anne Bishop
- The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman
- Dark Witch by Nora Roberts
- Scared Stiff by Annelise Ryan
- The Legend of Sleepy Hollow by Washington Irving
- We Have Always Lived in the Castle by Shirley Jackson
- A Study in Scarlet by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
- Slow Burn by Pamela Clare
- Truly, Madly by Heather Webber
- The Adventure of the Speckled Band by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
- First Impressions and Halloween Bingo! | Ammie, Come Home / The Graveyard Book
- Can You Read a Series in a Month? Wrap Up
- Ammie Read Update | Ammie, Come Home
- A Curious Update | A Curious Beginning
- Halloween Bingo 2016 -- Update #1 || First Book Marked
- Preview Impression | Falling
- Reading Update for Hill House | The Haunting of Hill House
- A Curious Update #2 | A Curious Beginning
- Halloween Bingo 2016 -- Update #2
- Halloween Bingo 2016 -- Update #3
- Pre-Review Thoughts | The Graveyard Book
- Personal Update || Me Right Now...
- Starting | We Have Always Lived in the Castle
- Halloween Bingo 2016 -- Update #4
- 2016 Reading Assignment Challenge -- Third Quarterly Report Card
Coming Up In October
Other StuffJust Halloween Bingo, so far, has been the main bookish activity. With a week left of my vacation time, I intend to get as much reading done as possible, though, to be honest, I really DO need to get some other IRL activities taken care of.
Monthly Reading Wrap Up -- January 2016
Monthly Reading Wrap Up -- February 2016
Monthly Reading Wrap Up -- March 2016
Monthly Reading Wrap Up -- April 2016
Monthly Reading Wrap Up -- May 2016
Monthly Reading Wrap Up -- June 2016
Monthly Reading Wrap Up -- July 2016
Monthly Reading Wrap Up -- August 2016