Thursday, November 3, 2016

Turning the Page on October 2016

october collage

I'm in LOVE with my Harry Potter-themed pumpkin this year! You can see a couple more pictures here.

*My mom came to visit for a wonderful week in mid-October! This was my mom's third time coming to see us on Oahu, so we revisited a few of our favorite places here, then took a weekend getaway to Kauai, Jarrod's and my favorite island. I think my mom really enjoyed it too. I miss her already, but I'm so glad she made the trip out! (P.S. I'm planning to do a whole post with photos from our Kauai trip soon!)

*I turned 31, and I celebrated by spending the afternoon with Harry Potter, a cup of coffee and some knitting, as you can see in the photo above. Jarrod brought home a chocolate macadamia nut pie, and we went out to eat and to see "Inferno" at the theater.

*I made chicken noodle soup from scratch for the first time ever, plus homemade cinnamon rolls and apple dumplings. And our little backyard veggie garden has really been bountiful lately, so there've been a lot of fresh tomatoes, peppers, okra, eggplants and zucchini!

*Jarrod and I went to see Ben Affleck's new movie "The Accountant" at the theater and we both thought it was pretty good. We started watching "Broadchurch," a British crime drama, on DVD and we're both enjoying it. I also started re-watching the last three seasons of "Gilmore Girls" in preparation for the revival. (We've also been watching "Poldark," "The Walking Dead" and "Elementary" now that they're back on, and we've been enjoying the new show "Designated Survivor.")

*Looking forward to: "The Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them," "Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life" and Christmas shopping! November should be a good month. 

october books

Books read: 8
"His Majesty's Dragon" by Naomi Novik (4.5 stars)
"Underground Airlines" by Ben H. Winters (4 stars)
"To the Bright Edge of the World" by Eowyn Ivey (5 stars)
"Rebecca" by Daphne du Maurier (3.5 stars)
"A Gentleman in Moscow" by Amor Towles (5 stars)
"The Last Days of Night" by Graham Moore (4 stars)
"Die Like an Eagle" by Donna Andrews (Meg Langslow #20) (2 stars)
"All the Winters After" by Sere Prince Halverson (4 stars)

*With "The Last Days of Night," I met my Goodreads goal of 70 books for 2016. Now everything else will be a bonus!

Currently reading: "The Forgotten Garden" by Kate Morton

Favorite book: Goodness, it's hard to choose between my two 5-star reads: "To the Bright Edge of the World" and "A Gentleman in Moscow." Both were character- and setting-driven historical fiction with exquisite writing, and I adored them both. One features a 19th century Alaskan explorer and his wife, and the other is about a Russian count sentenced to live out his days inside a Moscow hotel during the Bolshevik Revolution.

Biggest let-down: I wouldn't say "Rebecca" was a let-down, exactly, but it didn't live up to the expectations I had after seeing so many rave reviews. It was atmospheric, but not as much as I thought it would be, and I didn't find the plot to be especially suspenseful.

And, while I didn't have particularly high expectations going into "Die Like an Eagle" it didn't even manage to meet those, being riddled with poor editing and lackluster writing. I think this'll be the end of my relationship with amateur sleuth Meg Langslow, I'm sad to say.

November release I'm most excited about: "The Chemist" by Stephenie Meyer (out November 8). I loved the Twilight series and "The Host," and I'm intrigued to see what Meyer has come up with for her new adult thriller about a former agent for a clandestine governmental organization.

Book I'm most excited to read in November: "The Fifth Season" by N.K. Jemisin. I've been craving some gripping sci fi/fantasy and I've heard so many good things about it!

Books added to my to-read list: 15

Books added to my maybe-to-read list: 8

Most intriguing TBR addition: "House of Leaves" by Mark Z. Danielewski. It's an older (2000) horror novel that readers claim is utterly terrifying! Somehow I had never heard of it until I was looking at a list of Halloween-appropriate reads this month.

Books read from my fall reading list: 5!

Books read from my must-read-in-2016 list: 0 :(

Favorite bookstagram(s): I can't choose just one this month! The first photo features a few of my favorite things: a fantastic novel, a pumpkin, fall leaves (a gift from my mom), a pumpkin scone and a pumpkin spice latte. Aside from all the fallishness, I just love that book cover!

And I couldn't resist posting the second photo too, which has a certain something about it that I really enjoy -- maybe the dramatic look of black and white, since I don't do many photos that way. Or perhaps it's just that my new owl pumpkin stand looks so adorable proudly perched atop his throne of books. (Find me on Instagram @knittinglindsay!)



Favorite post: 16 Pet Names Inspired by Novels. This was such a fun post to put together, and now I've got a nice stockpile of names for whenever we get our next pet. I'm not too sure if I can get Jarrod to agree to Fitzwilliam Darcy, though.

Book reviews:
"The Royal We" by Heather Cocks and Jessica Morgan (4.5 stars)
"Dark Matter" by Blake Crouch (4.5 stars)
"His Majesty's Dragon" by Naomi Novik (4.5 stars)
"Underground Airlines" by Ben H. Winters (4 stars)
"To the Bright Edge of the World" by Eown Ivey (5 stars!)
"The Other Einstein" by Marie Benedict (4 stars)
"Rebecca" by Daphne du Maurier (3.5 stars)
"A Gentleman in Moscow" by Amor Towles (5 stars!)


  1. What a great month. This is a wonderful way to reflect on everything you got done. One of the things I like about my blog id documenting things and looking back on them. I am not-so-patiently waiting on the new Gilmore girls this month - only 22 more days! I just finished rewatching the old ones last month and am ready to roll. I bought House of Leaves early this year, but have yet to tackle it. I heard has has started writing a new series. The first 3 books are out and I think it's called "Familiar 1, 2, 3" you get the drift. Looking forward to your thoughts on House of Leaves.

    1. I like that part of blogging too -- it's so fun to look back at posts from a few years ago. For a while I was doing a meme called What I Wore Wednesday, and I always get a kick out of looking at my outfits from way back in 2011 and '12! And most helpful for me, and the reason I started the blog in the first place, is to better remember the books I've read!

      Who knows when I'll get to "House of Leaves" -- maybe I'll save it for next fall. After thinking about it, I do remember seeing it when I was working at the library but it didn't catch my eye then. The description sounds intriguing and scary, though!

  2. My husband and I saw "The Accountant" as well and enjoyed it. I was surprised by the humor! It definitely wasn't what I was expecting. So excited for Gilmore Girls, too! Yay for binge watching. I am currently starting Season 3. Hope I finish in time!

    1. I decided to start with season 5 because I liked Rory's college years the best, but I'm wishing I had started re-watching "Gilmore Girls" sooner so I could've fit more seasons in. There's already so much I'd forgotten and have delighted in watching again. Good luck getting it all watched -- the seasons are so (wonderfully!) long!


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