Monthly Wrap-Up – October 2020

Hello everyone,

The spooky season is just about over and we are getting close to the end of the year. Just two months to go, but there is plenty to fit in. For me, I am hoping to read as many books as possible – there is unrealistic amount I want to get to between now and the start of 2021!

October was definitely one of my busiest months of the year. A new term began at university and of course it is much different to normal with all the safety measures in place and no in-person events to organise. On the bright side, it has been great to at least see some of the students again and spend more time on campus. Universities are going to stay open during the new lockdown here in the UK, but I shall wait to find out if that affects me in any way.

One of the things I do is a student newsletter every two weeks. I created it last year for all the students in the five subjects I work on, and it mostly contains updates, messages, and lists of upcoming events. But for this year, I have decided to include my own book recommendations, just for fun!

The other thing I have had to focus on is my new flat. I have spent a lot of time cleaning there and the bedroom has now been painted, so all there is left to do now before I move in is to paint the living area and buy a few bits of furniture.

While all of that has been going on, I have been trying to get as much reading done as I can. I did have a pretty large TBR planned for October and unsurprisingly I could not fit everything in, but I did finish five books and most importantly, I enjoyed them all.

Here are the books I read in October:

The Travelling Cat Chronicles ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
The Creak On The Stairs ⭐⭐⭐.5
You Should See Me In A Crown ⭐⭐⭐⭐
The Silvered Serpents ⭐⭐⭐.5
The Invention Of Wings ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Along the way, I completed my Goodreads challenge!! My target was 52 books, and I was really glad to reach it by mid-October. The aim for me now is to reach an all-time best. It currently stands at 62, which I managed in 2018, and I think I can do it!

For November, my schedule is nothing if not ambitious. I am hoping to do three buddy reads, a blog tour, read some of the other books on my TBR, and also get through some books for the Book Bloggers’ Novel of the Year Award (BBNYA), for which I am a panellist. Wish me luck!!

As for writing, I could not find the time to do much poetry in October, something which I hope to put right. I did though submit my next magazine article and there could be some interesting news coming up about my previous WIP, we shall wait and see…

On the blog, I passed 1,200 followers – an amazing number which still has me in shock!! I cannot say how grateful I am for all the support and love for my posts, it means so much.

As always in a monthly wrap-up, I am finishing by returning some of the love by highlighting a lot of my favourite posts from the community during October. They are all wonderful – do check them out!

  • Brittany recently got her first job in book publishing, and she shared her cover letter, which was just fantastic. So proud of her!
  • Cielo provided an amazing guide for new book bloggers.
  • On a similar theme, Clo wrote about ways to improve your book blog and increase engagement.
  • Caro celebrated three years of blogging and shared some resources that she finds very useful.
  • Krisha discussed the importance of taking an occasional break from blogging.
  • Chana and Malka wrote a fun post about how they procrastinate.
  • Katie discussed whether we change our ratings of particular books after a period of time.
  • Multi-talented May gave some extremely helpful tips to help with writer’s block
  • Elizabeth wrote about why she keeps coming back to reading YA, and why the genre matters so much.
  • Sofii wrote one of her fantastic discussion posts, this time providing tips for that most difficult of puzzles – balancing blogging with everything else that goes on in our lives.
  • Noly put together a list of spooky book recommendations for scaredy cats.
  • Bain compiled a list of ‘weird’ book recommendations.
  • Allie took part in Blogtober, posting every day during the month! In one of them, she gave her thoughts on all the Shakespeare plays that she has studied as a literature student.
  • Nyx explained why she cannot read book series anymore.
  • Dini took part in the Let’s Talk Bookish meme to discuss what makes her choose to DNF a book.
  • The book I am most looking forward to reading this month is The Once And Future Witches by Alix E. Harrow, and the reviews by Kat and Margaret review couldn’t have been more perfect.
  • Another highly anticipated read is These Violent Delights. Needless to say, this review by Marianna made me even more excited to get to it!
  • Kay wrote a lovely review of Among The Beasts And Briars, and finished with a beautiful moodboard.
  • I loved Claire’s review of The Lost Ones by Anita Frank, which seems to have a wonderful Gothic vibe.
  • Florence wrote such a wonderful and eloquent review of A Thousand Ships by Natalie Hynes that I added it to my TBR straight away!
  • Becky wrote a review of A Deadly Education by Naomi Novik which certainly left me intrigued!
  • I am excited to read The Cemetery Boys by Aiden Thomas, and after seeing Samuele’s review, I don’t need any more convincing!
  • Celine wrote a fantastic review of What Lies Between Us by John Marrs
  • A Librarian and her Books wrote an in-depth review of The Tattooist Of Auschwitz which provided an excellent background of the book itself.

That is everything for this post. Have a good November!

Happy reading 🙂

57 thoughts on “Monthly Wrap-Up – October 2020

  1. Thank you for including me in the wrap up! October was a pretty busy month and I barely read in comparison to previous months🤦🏽‍♀️ but I hope November will be better!
    I hope you can read the 10 books you need to surpass that 62 mark, and congrats on completing the reading challenge! I completed mine (65) a while ago but since I’m not reading much, I didn’t raise the bar up to 80 as I wanted to😅

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You’re welcome, Cielo! I hope you get to read more in November, sometimes life gets in the way and you don’t get the chance to relax with a book. I hope you have a lovely month, and congratulations for completing your challenge.


  2. Thank you so much for the kind words and link back Stephen! 🥰 Looks like you’ve read some great books in October, can’t wait to hear your thoughts X x x

    Liked by 1 person

  3. It’s lovely to hear you had a great October Stephen!! And congrats on both 1200 followers and on completing the reading challenge!!! Both are such huge accomplishments and you should be so proud of yourself 🥳

    Ooh including book recommendations in the student newsletter seems like an amazing decision — and goodness knows you’re qualified to give them! And what is this Traveling Cat Chronicles book that you have rated five stars? 😂🤭 Must go check it out!!

    I loved reading this wrap-up, Stephen, and I hope you have a wonderful November!! 💖

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much, Abby!! Your comment has really made my day 💕

      Yes, I enjoy recommending books and with the newsletter I thought, why not?! The Travelling Cats Chronicles is a special book – 100% recommend!! I absolutely loved it and I’m sure you will too. But be prepared, it is very emotional as well! 😊

      Thank you again, Abby. I hope November is amazing for you, too 🥰❤

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Amazing wrap up! I’m honored to have made the list amongst all these fab bloggers 😍 Thank you, Stephen! Sounds like a hectic October but you’ve got so much done! I have no doubt that you can hit that PB 😉 Have a wonderful November!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Thanks so much for the shout out and I’m glad you enjoyed my review! And congrats on meeting your reading goal and working toward those personal milestones. As always, I enjoy the fabulous and informative content on your blog.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Excellent wrap -up, congrats on your reading goal- and on your followers! Some brilliant looking reads from October, glad you enjoyed them! Hope the lockdown doesn’t affect your uni too much (mine isn’t changing much of its teaching plans etc.. either right now). Thank you so much for including me on this brilliant list, enjoy your November!!! 💜😊🥰

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much, Kat! 🥰 Yes, I am still coming into the office, I hope everything is alright at your uni as well. You’re very welcome, your review was amazing and it more than deserved its place on this list! 🥰
      Have a lovely November 💜

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Congratulations on completing your Goodreads challenge & 1200 followers is just AMAZING, You deserve it!!! 🎊✨
    Thank you SO much for mentioning my post, you know it means a lot to me and I’m also glad you liked it. 😊
    I hope your November is full of good readings ❤️

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Happy (end of) spooky season! So glad you enjoyed You Should See Me in a Crown—that one was so fun 🙂 And congrats on hitting your goodreads goal!
    Thanks so much for sharing my post, and I hope you love The Once and Future Witches when you pick it up 😀 Happy November!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much, Margaret! You Should See Me In Crown was such a feel-good book.
      You are very welcome, I love your reviews and the way you write. I’m hoping to start it in the next day or two. Have a great November! 🙂


  9. Congrats on hitting your reading goal! That’s awesome that you enjoyed every single book you read this past month!! I’ve been meaning to read You Should See Me in a Crown; I hope to enjoy it as much as you did~ ☺️

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Ah I am so behind on blog posts so sorry this is late. And it is all my fault so I hope you’ve been having a lovely November. Hope that everything goes well with uni, thinking of you. I’m so excited to read You Should See Me In A Crown so glad you enjoyed it. Sending love Stephen xoxo

    Liked by 1 person

    1. No problem, Ruby! Take your time 💙 Thank you so much. I really hope you love You Should See Me In A Crown – in my opinion you can’t go wrong, it’s a book that will make you smile a lot. Hope you are having a lovely November, too.

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Oh wow! October certainly sounds like it was super busy! I hope that future months were more relaxed! (Although I’m about to find out as I catch up on your November wrap up!)

    Thank you so much for mentioning our post! I appreciate the shares so much more because of how inactive we were, and these mentions showed me that people still cared even if I couldn’t respond or blog hop immediately!

    Liked by 1 person

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